the difference between words: customer, client and guest

shopping-couple

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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2 Comments »

  1. KL Said:

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

    Is this correct? I think it should be “I’m going to see my client….” not “I’m going to go see my client…”
    Thank you.
    KL

    • Hi there.

      In English, we often use the words “come” and “go” with another verb directly following them. When I wrote “I’m going to go see my client…”, the meaning is I’m going to go and see my client. However, we usually drop the word “and”. This is very natural in English. However, it is possible to also say “I’m going to see my client.” Both ways are fine.

      Thanks for your question.

      Mike


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