What is the difference between the Sea and the Ocean?


These words are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. Understanding the difference is very simple.  There are just two things you need to remember.


Refers to a large open area of water and it covers the vast majority of the earth’s surface.

There are seven major oceans in the world all interconnected to each other, the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, the Arctic, Indian, South Pacific, North Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans.

The Sea, on the other hand, is the opposite, it’s much smaller than the ocean although being a body of salt water also.

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Are located where the land and ocean meet, such as the Bering Sea. Unlike oceans, it can sometimes be partially enclosed by land but is still connected to an ocean. A good example is the Mediterranean Sea.

These are the two major differences when speaking geographically about seas and oceans.  Another key difference is that light can’t reach the deeper ocean beds but most sea beds are shallow allowing the light to reach the bottom.

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Now, that you understand the difference, which sentence is technically correct?

I live by the ocean.


I live by the sea.

The correct answer is B. Geographically no one can live by the ocean, remember the ocean is an open area connected to other oceans, it’s not surrounded by land.  What connects the ocean and land is the sea.

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