Principle and principal are easily confused. It doesn’t help that they are homophones, which means they sound alike. Here’s a guide to what they mean and how you can tell them apart.
The word principle means a standard, a law or a rule. This means you can have:
- the principles of economics, which are the laws that govern economic theory
- moral principles, which are the rules and standards that govern your behavior
The word principal usually refers to a person. Remember that it ends in ‘pal’, which is a person. A principal can be:
- the head of a school
- the head of an organization
- the main person involved in a contract or financial negotiation
Putting It All Together
If you remember that principal is a person, then you can easily make sense of this sentence:
The principal taught us the first principle of social responsibility.
Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily!
Keep learning! Browse the Misused Words category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:
Stop making those embarrassing mistakes! Subscribe to Daily Writing Tips today!
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!