I'm pretty sure you've come across both of these words. These two share differences and similarities just like other words in English.

"Put on" vs. "Wear" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both indicate having clothes on. However, 'put on' is the actual act of getting dressed, whereas, 'wear' signifies having clothes on, but not doing the action.

Differences

As mentioned above, 'put on' indicates doing the action of wearing clothes. When someone is putting on his/her boots, they take the shoes and put their feet in them so as to use them. Look at the examples below:

He put on the trousers and changed his mind.

Put on your sun glasses. It's too bright out here.

'Wear', however, refers to having clothes on. When someone is wearing something, they are not doing the action. They have it on them. Check out the following examples:

Now, I want you to describe what you're wearing.

I've decided not to wear heels anymore.

Similarities

Both indicate having clothing items on. Check out the following examples:

Most girls like to wear their fathers' clothes.

Ladies and gentlemen, put on your masks.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although they are both used in similar contexts, they cannot be used interchangeably because 'wear' refers to having clothes on, whereas, 'put on' signifies actually adding a clothing item to yourself. Look at the examples below:

✓ What was Janis wearing last night at the party?

X What was Janis \putting on\ last night at the party?

Here, this one is incorrect.

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