Instill vs Instil

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What’s the difference between them?

Instill

Meaning:

to impart gradually; to inspire or influence.

Examples:

1. The teacher tried to instill a love of learning in her students.

2. She wanted to instill the values of hard work into her children.

3. We must instill a sense of confidence in our employees.

Instil

Meaning:

to infuse gradually; to implant (an idea, quality, etc.) by repeated suggestion. British English spelling.

Examples:

1. The teacher instilled a sense of responsibility in her students.

2. My mother instilled in me a strong work ethic.

3. His stories instilled a sense of wonder in the children.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Instill

1. Imbue

2. Inculcate

3. Infuse

4. Imprint

5. Endow with

1. Dispel

2. Eradicate

3. Abolish

4. Discourage

5. Annul

Instil

1. Infuse

2. Impart

3. Instill with

4. Ingrain

5. Imbue

1. Discourage

2. Extirpate

3. Dispel

4. Abnegation

5. Negate

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Instill", "Instil".

1. 'Instill' with two L's is the preferred spelling in American English.

2. 'Instil' with one L is the British English spelling.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

'Instill' is the standard American English spelling and is used to describe the act of gradually imparting, inspiring, or influencing something, such as values, beliefs, or habits. For example, 'Parents strive to instill good manners in their children.'

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

'Instil' is the British English spelling of the same concept. It is used interchangeably with 'instill' in the context of infusing or implanting ideas or qualities through repeated suggestions. For instance, 'Teachers aim to instil a love of learning in their students.'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

Yes, 'instill' and 'instil' share the same pronunciation. They are typically pronounced as /ɪnˈstɪl/ in both American and British English.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake is assuming that 'instill' and 'instil' have different meanings due to their spelling variations. In reality, they have the same meaning but are used in different English dialects. Another error is mixing American and British English spellings inappropriately, which can lead to confusion in written communication. It's important to use the appropriate spelling for your target audience or region.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The teacher wanted to ________ a love for literature in her students.

2. Mrs. Thompson hoped she could ________ good manners in her children before they went off to university in London.

3. It takes time to ________ confidence in someone who has always been shy.

4. In British schools, its crucial to ________ a sense of responsibility from a young age.

5. While studying in the States, Jake noticed that American educators often aim to ________ creativity in their teaching methods.

6. Over the years, the coach tried to ________ discipline and teamwork in his players.

1. The teacher wanted to instill/instil a love for literature in her students.

Explanation: Both American and British spellings are acceptable here as theres no specific hint toward one version of English.

2. Mrs. Thompson hoped she could instil good manners in her children before they went off to university in London.

Explanation: The mention of university in London gives a hint towards British English, so the British spelling instil is appropriate.

3. It takes time to instill/instil confidence in someone who has always been shy.

Explanation: Theres no specific indication of American or British English, so both spellings are acceptable.

4. In British schools, its crucial to instil a sense of responsibility from a young age.

Explanation: British schools clearly indicates British English, making instil the correct choice.

5. While studying in the States, Jake noticed that American educators often aim to instill creativity in their teaching methods.

Explanation: The context provides a hint with in the States and American educators, suggesting the American spelling instill.

6. Over the years, the coach tried to instill/instil discipline and teamwork in his players.

Explanation: In the absence of a specific hint, both the American and British spellings are acceptable.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.