Since both 'action' and 'activity' are nouns derived from the verb act, I used to think they were interchangeable.

But turns out they are not from this sentence ".......the activities and actions companies take to......" , I get a feeling that they mean different things.

Well my question is what is the difference. Thank you.

  • 1
    Differences in meaning are often dependent on context. It might be very difficult to explain the difference when you've given us so little of the original sentence. ELL questions are not a good place to be stingy on context.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:19
  • 2
    The noun activity is used incorrectly here; a subject "takes an action" and "undertakes an activity." It is unreasonable to expect good grammar and correct usage from a marketing company's "sell sheets," especially when the site belongs to a Thai company! Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:23
  • @J.R.- The whole sentence is "Customer retention refers to the activities and actions companies take to reduce customer defection." I do not think this particular case is dependent on context thogh.
    – user118494
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:34
  • @P.E.Dant : I do not get the Thai reference. :/.
    – user118494
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:35
  • 1
    The fact that these two words are used in the same sentence does not necessarily indicate the two words have distinct and disjoint meanings. Sometimes synonyms are used for reinforcement or emphasis (e.g., "We have faced many trials and tribulations over the past decade").
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


an activity

is an on-going process over a period of time, where as

an action

is a single event or effort.

Many actions when grouped together form an activity.

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