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?