Sergeant or Sargent: Which Spelling Is Correct?

The words sergeant and sargent are often confused in the English language. And it is easy to see why! New writers often struggle by mixing up the vowels -a & -e on certain words. In this post, we’ll help you choose correctly between sergeant or sargent with some sentence examples

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Which Is Correct: Sergeant or Sargent?

comparison of the words sargent or sergeant

The correct spelling is sergeant. As in “Sergeant Major James Thompson”.

Sergeant is a noun, just like Nanna & Nana, that describes a specific rank of a police officer or member of US military. Also, be sure to understand the rules for capitalizing nouns in your writing. You should capitalize the rank of a person if it is directly before an individual’s name.

  • Sergeant Vasquez
  • Sergeant Major Thompson
  • Sergeant Smith

Sargent is a common spelling mistake. The correct spelling includes an -e in the first part of the word and -ea in the second part of the word.

Just like we saw in our post explaining the phrase thank you everyone, we know even small spelling mistakes can make a huge difference.

Police Officer Sergeant

A police sergeant is a high-ranking member of the police force. More specifically, they are a first-line supervisor that oversees a group of officers that keep citizens safe in a specific community.

  • Plan Officers Schedules
  • Assign Work
  • Review Cases
  • Evaluate the Work Activities of Their Subordinates

Here are some sentence examples of how to use Police Sergeant in your writing:

  1. After reviewing the body cam footage, Tom’s police sergeant was not happy.
  2. My police sergeant is a stickler for the rules.
  3. The police sergeant has a press conference with the media at 12 pm today.

Armed Forces Sergeant

Another form of sergeant is a military sergeant. Again, this is a high-ranking member of the armed forces that leads a group of men & women.

  • Responsible for training and guiding a team of soldiers
  • Serve as first-line supervisors
  • Coach soldiers in warfare techniques

More specifically, a military sergeant typically oversees a group of about 5 soldiers and serves as their commanding officer. Here are some examples of how to use “military sergeant” in your writing.

  1. My drill sergeant was not happy that I reported to duty 1 hour late.
  2. Staff Sergeant Thompson is the best leader I have ever served under.
  3. Sergeant Major Chambers is the highest rank in my unit.

Sentence Examples

Here are some additional sentence examples that demonstrate how to use “sergeant” correctly in your writing.

  1. The sergeant major is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier in the Army.
  2. The sergeant at arms is responsible for maintaining order in the Senate.
  3. In the Marine Corps, a sergeant is a staff non-commissioned officer.
  4. A police sergeant is a rank above officer and below a lieutenant.
  5. A fire sergeant is responsible for leading a team of firefighters.

Just like we saw in our analysis of payed attention or paid attention, small spelling mistakes can make a huge difference!

How To Pronounce Sergeant

The word “sergeant” is pronounced saar·jnt. As in, “saar·jnt Thompson”. Be sure to understand how phonetics works in order to master how to pronounce difficult words.

Sergeant Abbreviation

The abbreviation for a sergeant is Sgt. Most military ranks have an abbreviation that can be used to shorten the word.

For example:

  • Sgt. Thompson
  • Sgt. Johnson
  • Sgt. Smith

British vs US

There are many differences between American & British English. However, when it comes to “sergeant” both American & British English spell it the same. But they do have slightly different meanings.

  • British English – Police officer ranking immediately below inspector.
  • American English – Police officer ranking immediately below a lieutenant.

Popularity Analysis: Sergeant vs Sargent

google ngram data for sargent or sergeant

After reviewing Google’s N Gram data it is clear that Sergeant is the more popular spelling. That is not surprising considering that is the correct spelling! However, Sargent does appear in published literature because it can be used as a name.

However, just like we saw in our post on the meaning of LMAO, certain words & phrases change in popularity. So who knows, by 2030 Sergeant could become much more popular!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you spell sergeant like in the army?

The correct spelling is sergeant. In the Armed forces there is a drill sergeant, staff sergeant, sergeant major, and more. Sergeant is a specific rank within the Army and Marine Corps that determines the authority of a soldier.

What is the meaning of Sargent?

In the Air Force & Army, Sargent is the rank of a noncommissioned officer. The Sergeant rank is above Corporal in the Army and Marine Corps. For example, “Chief Sergeant Thompson determined the best strategy was to send his troops east.”

Which is higher staff sergeant or Sargent?

A Staff Sergeant is an E-6 and is a higher rank than a regular Sergeant. Remember, “sargent” is not a word and is a common misspelling of the word sergeant.

How do Canadians spell sergeant?

Canadians and Americans spell it as Sergeant. The correct abbreviation for sergeant is Sgt. A sergeant is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. On the other hand, a police sergeant is a first-line supervisor of his department’s police officers.

Is E 5 a Sargent?

Yes, an E-5 is a sergeant. A staff sergeant is an E-6 and ranks higher rank than a traditional sergeant. “Sargent” is an incorrect spelling of the word sergeant.

The Bottom Line

By now you should have the answer to the debate between sergeant vs sargeant. Sergeant is the correct word and should be used in all contexts. Sargent is a common typo and should NOT be used in your writing. It is very easy to mix up the vowels in these words so pay close attention. If you need some extra help with this grammar rule, consider using our reword a sentence tool to make things easy.