Invent And Discover

These two words are often confused.

Use invent of something which did not exist until man created it. Examples are: telephone, computer, steam engine, train, rockets etc.

  • James Watt invented the steam engine. (It was James Watt who created the steam engine. It didn’t exist before he invented it.)
  • Who invented the light bulb?

Use discover of something which existed without man’s knowledge. Examples are: stars, galaxies, countries, continents, deserts, mineral deposits etc. Remember that you can’t discover something you created. You can only invent it.

  • Columbus discovered America. (It wasn’t Columbus who created America. It was already there.)
  • Who discovered the North Pole?

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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