I am following the magento docs to create a theme for practicing, it shows me how to find these things but I would like to know what is the difference between templates and layouts in magento before I start overriding them
Layouts are the XML files that specify the overall structure of a page like the position of header, side columns, and footer, etc.
The Layout Object is an XML object that will define which Blocks are included on a page, and which Block(s) should kick off the rendering process.
Templates are pieces of code in PHTML (PHP) files which add features and contents that you see on the front page.
A template in Magento is a layout only for certain pages. A template can be used for pages where you need completely different look or You just simply want to display left and right sidebar when a theme has only one sidebar.