I am building a system in which user can vote up/down point for a product (just like Facebook Like function) besides voting up/down, user can give a comment on it.

But I am not sure which word should I use? Should I use the word "Vote" or "Rate"?

In dictionary, Vote: is you set a preference to something & Rate: is you rank something.

  • 2
    Contrary to the oldest answer, if you can only vote up or down, you are doing just that: voting. Rating would be giving it a score. X stars out of five, Y points out of ten, or what have you. When I click the up arrow right here, I am not rating, I am voting. And it's not like that's my personal preference or anything. Everyone across the network always says vote up/down, upvote/downvote. Absolutely nobody at all ever says rate up/down, uprate/downrate. Same on Reddit and other sites that use a system like that.
    – ЯegDwight
    Dec 27, 2013 at 17:11

4 Answers 4


When you vote, you get either a "pick your favorite from the list" choice or an "express your approval of this item" option.

pick-your-favorite voting:

Vote for one:
 [] Frederick J. Flontstein
 [] Barnabas P. Rubbhauser
 [] Dean O. Sauris

express-approval voting:

vote for this answer by clicking the up-arrow next to it!

When you rate, you get to assign the thing in question to some particular point along a scale:

                               1(bad) 2   3   4   5   6   7(great)
please rate the service today: o      o   o   o   o   o   o

When you rank, you place several objects in order of preference relative to each other:

My personal ranking of the four major citrus fruit flavors would be orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit.

For your application, I would say vote is the best choice.


If you have a range (say, 1 to 5), you can ask your user to rate. I think you are better off using vote in the described context.


"Rate" would be more appropriate for the scenario you described. Since users don't necessarily have to choose one product out of a bunch, and (I assume) products will have ratings uninfluenced by the existence of other products, "Rate" would make more sense. This would result with a "Rating" for that product.

In contrast, if you were to do a poll and requested users to vote for which product they recommended as best for the month, the word "Vote" would be applicable.

EDIT : I came back and read the answers from other users, and realized that I was wrong to suggest "Rate" in a strictly up/down scenario. "Vote up" and "Vote down" could be used, with a result showing the "Number of upvotes/downvotes" a product has. I apologize for the confusion, but had to fix it, so that other users won't be mislead.

  • 2
    @VijayaRagavan - Accepting answers is a good practice, but I strongly discourage accepting an answer less than 12 hours after a question is asked. A 24-hour wait is even better. There are whole continents of users who haven't had a chance to wake up and see this question yet. Moreover, this is the kind of question that might draw an array of differing opinions; let's not considered the matter settled after one decent answer comes along.
    – J.R.
    Dec 27, 2013 at 11:10
  • Yes you're right J.R... Dec 27, 2013 at 12:50

"Vote" and "rate" are similar, but not really interchangeable.

Voting is a "yes" or "no" construct. In mathematical terms, it would be "binary," that 1 or 0.

Rating is evaluating degrees of goodness. From 1 (worst) to 10 (best), or vice-versa. Something like an 8 would be "more good than not," but not necessarily a yes or no.

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