Desert vs Dessert: Which Is Which?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you weren’t quite sure if you should be using “desert” or “dessert”?

The two words look and sound similar, but they have very different meanings.

In this blog post, you can learn about it!


What is a Desert?

A desert is a type of biome or a large area of land with a specific climate and plant and animal life. Deserts are characterized by their hot, dry weather and lack of rainfall.

When we talk about a desert, we’re referring to a large, dry, barren area of land that is typically covered with sand and rocks. Think of the Sahara Desert, the Mojave Desert, or the Gobi Desert.

Grammatical function and usage

Desert is used as a noun and sometimes as a verb.

For example, “I want to go on a safari in the Sahara Desert,” or “The soldiers deserted the army.”

Examples of using Desert in a sentence

  • “The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth.”
  • “After the storm, the once lush landscape became a desert wasteland.”
  • “She plans to desert her current job for a better opportunity.”


What is a Dessert?

On the other hand, when we talk about dessert, we’re referring to a sweet dish or confection that is typically served at the end of a meal. Think of cake, banana split, or pie.

Grammatical function and usage

Dessert is used as a noun.

For example, “I can’t wait to try the new dessert they have on the menu,” or “I always have room for dessert.”

Examples of using Dessert in a sentence

  • “What’s your favorite dessert?”
  • “The chef created a special gluten-free dessert for the guest with allergies.”
  • “I always save room for a slice of warm chocolate cake for dessert.”


Fill in the blanks with the correct word.

  1. I can’t wait to visit the __________ and see all the sand dunes.
    • Desert
  2. I always end my meal with a delicious __________.
    • Dessert
  3. The movie was so boring that I felt like I was stuck in a __________.
    • Desert
  4. After dinner, I decided to treat myself to a decadent __________.
    • Dessert
  5. The __________ has a hot and dry climate, making it difficult for plants and animals to survive.
    • Desert
  6. The __________ was a hit at the party, everyone loved it.
    • Dessert
  7. The soldiers decided to __________ from the army and go home.
    • Desert
  8. I always look forward to trying the __________ of the day.
    • Dessert
  9. The __________ was so vast, it seemed to go on forever.
    • Desert
  10. The __________ was topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
    • Dessert

Recommended Reads

I hope this post was helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about the English language and its quirks, check out the following links:

  1. Merriam-Webster: Desert
  2. Merriam-Webster: Dessert
  3. Grammarly: How to Use Desert vs. Dessert Correctly
  4. Englishclub: Commonly Confused Words: Desert vs. Dessert
  5. Purdue Online Writing Lab: Commonly Confused Words: Desert vs. Dessert

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