In these days of social distancing, I realized I would like to know more about the difference between social and sociable. According to grammarist.com, “social people like going out and being with people, whereas sociable people are easy for others to get along with.” [Yes, the definition did end with a preposition🤨].
Social is also used for society-based words or activities, like social animals, social organizations, Social Security, and yes, social distancing. Most definitions I read agree that social definitely refers to something that relates to society or someone who enjoys being with other people. The definitions of sociable, on the other hand, varied from someone who likes to be with people (the same definition as social) to someone who other people enjoy, e.g. a friendly person.
My conclusion? I’m going to use social for people who like to be with other people and use sociable for people with whom other people like to be. Or maybe I’ll just use social for everything . . .😕