Does the earth revolve, rotate or go (a)round the sun?
What is the correct expression?


2 Answers 2


The correct verb in this case is 'to revolve'. So the correct and acceptable expression is:

The Earth revolves around the sun.

But you can also say "The Earth orbits the sun." or even "The Earth travels around the sun."

The difference between 'to rotate' and 'to revolve' is as follows: rotation means that an object moves around its own axis in a circular movement while revolution (from revolve) is when something goes around something else (a smaller body moves around a bigger one). Usually revolution refers only to celestial bodies. Since the Earth travels around much bigger sun in an elliptical trajectory, it is a revolution. Both phenomena, the rotation and the revolution, are described very thoroughly on this website.


Actually technically, the Earth rotates around it's axis while it revolves around the Sun.

  • One rotation per day*.

  • One revolution per year*.


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