Difference Between Absent and Absence

Main Difference – Absent vs Absence

Absent and absence are two related words that have similar meanings. The difference between absent and absence stems not from the meaning, but from the grammatical category: absent is an adjective whereas absence is a noun. Therefore, these two words have different grammatical features. This is the main difference between absent and absence.Difference Between Absent and Absence- infographic

Absent – Meaning and Usage

Absent refers to not being present at a usual or expected place. When absent is used to describe an expression, it implies that someone is not paying attention to what is being said or done. Absent is an adjective, therefore, is always followed by a noun or preceded by a verb. Observe the meaning and usage of absence in the following sentences.

Many students were absent from school.

Her absent smile made us realize that she was in her own world.

He is an absent father who spends most of his time at the office.

This gene is absent in mammals.

Jake has been absent from work on a number of occasions.

Main Difference - Absent vs Absence

Absence – Meaning and Usage

Absence is a noun. The meaning of absence can slightly differ according to different contexts. It can refer to

The non-existence or lack of

The absence of a theater is greatly felt.

Her total absence of facial expressions was scary.

In the absence of a guest house, the guests found accommodation in a nearby farmhouse.

The absence of a strong police force is a major problem for the citizens.

A period of time when someone is not present at a place, job, etc.

This telegram arrived in his absence.

The defense minister presided the meeting in the absence of the prime minister.

She returned to office after a long absence.

Her repeated absence from work affected her progress.

Difference Between Absent and Absence

Difference Between Absent and Absence

Grammatical Category 

Absent is an adjective.

Absence is a noun.

Meaning 

Absent refers to not being present at a usual or expected place

Absence refers to the non-existence or lack of or a period of time when someone is not present at a place, job, etc.

Image Courtesy:

“All smackin’ together every day^ Every absent worker halts the team-work. – NARA – 534966″ by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via

Absence makes the war last longer – NARA – 513748″ by  U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.


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