Common mistake tab vs tap

Understanding the Difference: Tab vs Tap

English can be a tricky language, and sometimes words that sound similar can have completely different meanings. One such example is the confusion between "tab" and "tap". Let's delve into the definitions and clarify when to use each.


When we talk about "tab," we are usually referring to it as a noun or a verb.

As a noun, "tab" commonly refers to a small piece of paper or card that is attached to an object to label or identify it. For example:

  • Please write your name on the tab of the file folder.
  • I put a sticky tab on the page to mark my favorite quote.

As a verb, "tab" means to keep a record or account of something. For example:

  • She likes to tab her expenses in a spreadsheet.
  • I tabbed all the important information for easy reference.


"Tap" is most commonly used as a verb, describing an action performed with a finger or hand, usually on a touch screen or a physical surface. For example:

  • Tap the screen to open the app.
  • She tapped her fingers impatiently on the table.

It’s worth noting that "tap" can also be a noun, referring to a device or valve that controls the flow of liquid or gas. For example:

  • Turn on the water tap to get a glass of water.
  • Make sure to tighten the tap to avoid any leaks.

So, the next time you find yourself unsure whether to use "tab" or "tap", remember their definitions and context. Using the correct word will help you communicate more effectively.

As a side note, if you're unsure about your grammar in general, you can always rely on the Linguix grammar checker to assist you in writing error-free content.

tab vs tap mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    Please tab on the button to enable your profile.

    Please tap on the button to enable your profile.

  • Incorrect:
    I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Tap.

    I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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