What is your go-to beverage on a cold day? We all have varying preferences; however, some people’s answer to this question is either coco or cocoa. So, coco vs. cocoa, what is the correct spelling for this kind of beverage?
Cocoa is a brown powder from roasted cocoa beans that you can mix with hot water or milk & sugar to make a sweet drink. Also, cocoa is a dried and partially fermented seed from the cocoa tree used to make chocolate. On the other hand, coco refers to a coconut palm tree that grows in tropical areas.
Coco and cocoa are quickly confusing because one letter is the only difference in their spellings. However, these words refer to different things, and you should not use them interchangeably or as synonyms. Read the rest of this article to learn more about these words and when you should use them in your context.
Definitions Of Coco And Cocoa
Besides their incredibly similar spellings, many people find these words confusing because of their pronunciations. The pronunciation for both words is “\ˈkō-kō\.” Since they have the same articulation, many learners do not know that they do not have the same meanings. For these reasons, we start this article by defining both words.
Definition Of Coco
Coco is “a tall tropical palm tree that produces coconut fruits.” In a sentence, “Coco trees thrive in tropical areas.” Coco here refers to a particular tree. This is the most common definition of this term.
Coco is also the name of “a Northern Nicaragua rising river flowing along the border of Nicaragua and Honduras towards the Caribbean Sea.” An example sentence, in this case, is, “Coco is one of our local rivers with favorite spots to enjoy.”
Another definition of coco is “something made of the fibers from the coconut fruit husks.” The coconut fruit is a round fruit with a furry and hard bark and an interior containing white pulp and sweet juice. The furry hard bark is the fruit husk, which you can use to make objects called coco. For instance, in a sentence, “The coco seat is a perfect example of an object made with coconut fruit husks.”
Definition Of Cocoa
Cocoa refers to a powder formed from cacao seeds. The seeds are dried, fermented, smashed, and roasted to create the powder. You might know this powder because it is what you use to make a chocolate-flavored beverage by mixing it with water or milk and sugar. For example, in a sentence, “Cocoa is my go-to cold weather drink.”
Also, this word refers to the hot drink made with milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. In a sentence, you can say, “We sipped cocoa and talked about our experiences as the night faded.”
Cocoa also refers to the dried, partly fermented oily seed from the cocoa tree that manufacturers use to make chocolate. For example, “Cocoa is the primary ingredient for making chocolate.”
Another definition for cocoa is “a tall palm tree that produces the cocoa fruit.” The plant grows in tropical regions, does not have branches on its trunk, and its nits hang in clusters at the base of its tuft leaves on top of the tree. For example, “The cocoa tree, like the coconut tree, grows in tropical areas.”
As an adjective, cocoa is a light to medium brown color, like cocoa powder. For instance, in a sentence, “Did you wear that cocoa dress to the party last night?”
It is also worth mentioning that some dictionaries list coco as a “dated” alternative word for cocoa. The word “dated” means that it no longer applies. That means, traditionally, you could use these words as synonyms, but modern English does not allow you to do this.
How To Properly Use Coco And Cocoa In A Sentence
Since coco and cocoa have different meanings, their applications are also not the same. The section below explains how you can use each word correctly in a sentence.
How And When To Use Coco
The word coco is a common noun. Therefore, it refers to a specific palm tree that grows in tropical areas and produces coconut fruits.
You can use coco as a subject in your sentence. In this case, the noun should have a corresponding verb. For example, “The coco is thriving.” In the sentence, coco is the subject, and thriving is the verb.
Use coco also as the direct object in a sentence. In this case, it should be the recipient of an action performed by the subject. For example, Jane planted coco in her backyard.
Also, you can use coco as the indirect object in a sentence. In this case, it should be the recipient of the action performed by a direct object. For example, “Let the students plant the coco.”
How And When To Use Cocoa
Depending on the context, you can use cocoa as a noun or adjective. For instance, you can use it as a noun when referring to a drink made with cocoa powder, the seeds from a cocoa tree, or the powder made from roasted and smashed cocoa beans. For example, “Will you have a mug of cocoa as you await the interviewer?”
Note: As a noun, the application rules are similar to the ones explained in the section above.
Alternatively, use cocoa as an adjective when referring to “a light to a medium brown color similar to that of the cocoa powder.” For example, in a sentence, “The cocoa jacked caught my eye from the window.”
Note that an adjective is a word that describes a noun. Therefore, your sentence should feature a noun when using cocoa as an adjective. For example, “I love your cocoa dress.” In this sentence, the dress is the noun, and “cocoa” describes the noun.
Examples Of Coco And Cocoa Use In Sentences
Cocoa and coco are easy words to use in sentences, as long as you understand their meanings. Also, using the terms in written sentences is less confusing than using them in spoken applications because their spellings are different, unlike their pronunciations. Here are some sentence examples showing the use of coco and cocoa in sentences:
Example sentences of coco
- Jane walked for hours until she found the hidden beach with coco plants and fantastic sea views.
- After hiking for hours, I decided to nap under the prominent coco tree in my backyard before going for a bath.
- Coco trees are the perfect example of palm trees that only grow in tropical areas.
- My brother climbed the coco tree and knocked down the coconuts we needed to prepare food for the party.
- Palm trees, like coco, are among the most beautiful tropical tree species.
Examples sentences of cocoa
- I start my mornings with a large cup of hot cocoa, especially in the colder months.
- Whenever I run out of tea for cooking breakfast, I use cocoa as a replacement.
- My husband’s fondest memory is his passion for a hot mug of cocoa on a rainy day.
- The Cocoa farmers in Brazil went on strike after the tax increases on their exports.
- Did you know that some wines contain a cocoa scent because their recipe includes a few pinches of roasted cocoa seeds?
Coco and cocoa are naturally confusing words because they have similar spellings and the same pronunciation. However, coco relates to the coconut tree, and cocoa is related to the cacao tree. Therefore, the correct word for “a sweet hot beverage made from a brown powder” is cocoa, not coco. Is the difference between cocoa and coco clear to you after reading this post?
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He’s one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don’t even want to know what he calls pancakes.