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A trace is a very small amount of something. Sometimes, the word trace, or traces, is used to describe a hint or clue that an object or material was in a specific place.
Ex: We knew the kids were home from school when we saw traces of mud on the carpet. They always forgot to clean their shoes before coming inside.
Ex: I love going to the beach, but I won't drive my car there anymore.
Last time, I was cleaning traces of sand out of the seats for weeks.
The phrase trace elements is used to describes the part of something that are used as evidence in an investigation. Trace elements are the pieces or parts that give a clue about what materials were used or present in a specific place.
Ex: Sarah tried to tell me she didn't eat the missing cookie, but I saw trace elements all over her face. There were crumbs on her mouth and bits of chocolate on her cheeks.
Ex: The police knew Jack had committed the crime after finding trace elements of blood on his car door. He had also left his fingerprints on the weapon.


The word sample describes a small amount of something that is used to show what the whole is like. People will use a sample of food or another object to decide if the whole thing is worth using or buying.
Ex: One of my favourite things about shopping at the delicatessen is the samples. You can always try a small amount of new foods, like cold meats or olives, to see if you want to buy them.
Ex: Before Catherine bought new curtains for the house, she showed her husband a sample. She wanted to make sure he agreed with her decision.
When you sample an object or item from a store, you use it for a trial period. The trial period is the time when you decide whether or not you want to buy the item.
Ex: Janet really wanted a pet dog, but her dad wasn't sure she was ready. So, he let her take a puppy home for a trial period only.
Ex: Whenever you start on new medication, you should use it for a trial period only. If it doesn't work for you, just try something new.
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