Inicio > Recursos Inglés > GUARANTEE vs. WARRANTY (REVISION)


02 / 10 / 2006

GUARANTEE vs. WARRANTY (revision): meaning and examples

Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend!

Last week we received the following question from Míriam F.

Good afternoon Mr. Ray,
I've a question regarding the words "warranty" and "guarantee".  (AS A NOUN) I've seen that "warranty" is a written promise by a company that, if there are faults or defects in something they have sold within a certain time, they will repair it or replace it free of charge. I read then the meanings of "guarantee" and I've seen that there is an entry with exactly the same meaning. My question is: For the definition given above, can I use them without distinction? Have they got the same meaning? Thank you very much. Best regards, Míriam F.

We covered this topic on October 6th, 2004, which we reproduce in its entirety below.


Today we are going to look at 2 words that are very very similar, but have some important differences, which often cause confusion: warranty and guarantee.

In the first place, remember that warranty can only be a noun, but guarantee can be a noun or a verb.

Warranty (noun) means: a company's written promise to replace or repair a product you buy from them if it breaks or does not work. A warranty usually has a limited period of time.

Guarantee (noun) means: (1) something that makes certain something will happen; (2) an agreement that if something you buy does not work it will be repaired or replaced, or you can have your money back.

Guarantee (verb) means: to make sure that something will happen.

Notice that meaning (2) of guarantee is the same as the meaning of warranty. However, the meaning of the verb (1) is more generic and doesn't necessarily refer to products and companies. Consider the examples below.

Example 1
The other day I bought the cheapest DVD player in the shop. It had the same two-year warranty as the expensive ones.

Example 2
The other day I bought the cheapest DVD player in the shop. It had the same two-year guarantee as the expensive ones.

Example 3
Saving 300 Euros each month will guarantee that you have plenty of money when you retire.

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