Difference between Lamb and Sheep | Lamb vs Sheep

You might have heard ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ being used interchangeably, so have you thought whether both these terms are the same or not? To make sure that you don’t get confused between these terms, it’s necessary that you know the difference between them. This article will walk you through all the essential points that you need to know about ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’.

The English Language can be a tricky subject, and students who want to write or speak grammatically correct English must know that words that might seem to be the same can have completely different meanings. Once they know the difference between such words, it will be beneficial for them to use such confusing words correctly in sentences. Let’s go through the points below that will clear the difference between ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’:

Table Summarising the Difference between Lamb and Sheep

Lamb Sheep
Meaning The word lamb is used to refer to young/baby sheep. The word sheep is used to refer to a domestic animal that’s kept for its wool.
Usage It is used as a Noun. It is used as a Noun.
Example Mary had a little lamb. The sheep are grazing in the field.

The table above shows that even though ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ refer to the same animal, they can never be used interchangeably, and neither can be used synonymously. Students who had previously assumed that they could use the words ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ interchangeably. can now understand how they can use these terms correctly in sentences with the help of this table. Once they understand the difference between these commonly confusing words, they can apply these in correct contexts.

The Difference between Lamb and Sheep – Meanings

The simplest way to explain the difference between these two words, i.e. ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’, is that the former refers to a baby/young offspring of the latter. So if you want to talk about the young offspring of the animal, then you must use the word ‘lamb’, for example, ‘The little lamb followed Mary everywhere.’ But if you want to talk about a domesticated adult  animal that’s raised for its wool and meat, then you have to use the word ‘sheep’. Another interesting fact about the word ‘sheep’ is that its singular and plural forms are the same i.e., ‘sheep’, for example, ‘The shepherd is taking the herd of sheep to the fields.’ The moment students understand when and how to use both these terms, they’ll never misinterpret these words again. The following examples discussed below will ensure that students understand the difference between these words clearly.

Examples of Lamb and Sheep

The examples below will help students understand the terms ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ quite clearly:

Lamb – Miss Wilson had four lambs playing around on her farm. (noun)

Sheep – The boy shouted that the tiger had attacked his herd of sheep. (noun)

These examples will help students understand how the word ‘lamb’ is different from the word ‘sheep’, and they can use them in the right contexts.

Lamb and Sheep – Conclusion

To conclude, though the words ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ are used to denote the same animal of different ages, i.e., young and old respectively, but  neither can be used interchangeably nor can be used synonymously. This article points out the difference between ‘lamb’ and ‘sheep’ to make it easier for students to put them in sentences correctly. Apart from this, BYJU’S also offers various articles on many such ‘Differences Between Two Words’ that students often get confused with.


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