Archive for April 18, 2011

the difference between words: customer, client and guest


Often I hear my students mixing up the words “customer” and “client”, so that’s what I’ll write about today. I’ll also go over when to use the word “guest”.

We use “customer” to talk about people who buy things from a store. We use “client” to talk about people who hire a company to provide a service to them. Finally, we use “guest” to talk about people who pay money to stay at a hotel. For example:

The store where I work had many customers today because it’s almost Christmas.

This must be a good store because it has so many customers.

I work for a lawyer and he has many clients. Yesterday, he talked with eight clients.

I’m going to go see my client today to talk about his financial needs.

Thank you for being a guest at our hotel. We hope to see you again soon.

One of our guests was complaining that he didn’t receive clean towels in his room this morning.

If it’s a restaurant, we use the word “customer”, and if it’s a school, we use the word “student”.

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