Principal vs Principle

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What’s the difference between them?

Principal

Meaning:

a person who is in charge or the head of an institution, a person who is primarily responsible for a certain thing (such as the principal investor), or a sum of money (such as a loan principal).

Examples:

1. The principal of our school is a very wise and compassionate leader.

2. The principal theme of the novel is the power of friendship.

3. I will have to discuss this issue with the principal first.

Principle

Meaning:

A principle is a fundamental truth or law that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior.

Examples:

1) It is a fundamental principle of our government that all citizens are equal.

2) I try to live my life according to the principles of honesty and integrity.

3) The principles of physics can explain how things move and interact with each other.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Principal

Headmaster

chief

Agent, Employee

Principle

Tenet

belief

ambiguity

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Principal", "Principle".

1. Remember that ‘principal’ refers to a person that holds a position of authority; it can also refer to the amount of money borrowed or invested.

2. Remember that ‘principle’ refers to a fundamental truth or law; it can also refer to a fundamental quality or rule of conduct.

3. Remember the mnemonic phrase: 'The school principal is very pricniple.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word 'Principal'?

The word 'Principal' is a noun, and is most often used to refer to a person, such as the head of a school or the leader of an organization. It can also refer to the amount of money borrowed or invested, such as the principal on a loan.

When to use the second word 'Principle'?

The word 'Principle' is a noun and is most often used to refer to a rule or law. It can also be used to refer to a basic truth or belief that guides someone's actions.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

Though they are spelled differently, the words 'Principal' and 'Principle' are pronounced the same. Both words are pronounced with the stress on the second syllable ('prin-CIP-al').

What are common mistakes associated with words 'Principal' and 'Principle'?

One common mistake made with these words is confusing them with each other. People often use the wrong word in a sentence, such as using 'Principal' when they mean 'Principle'. Another common mistake is misspelling the words. 'Principal' is often misspelled as 'Principle', and vice versa.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The __________ of the school is to create a safe and inclusive learning environment.

2. All students must follow the __________ of the school.

3. The __________ of the school held a speech at the assembly.

4. The __________ will not tolerate any form of bullying in the school.

5. We must abide by the __________ set out by the school.

6. The __________ is the head of the school and is responsible for all aspects of the schools operation.

1. Principal

Explanation: The principal is the head of the school and sets out the general principles that the school should follow.

2. Principle

Explanation: A principle is a rule or a fundamental belief that a school upholds, such as respect for all students and staff.

3. Principal

Explanation: The principal is the head of the school and is responsible for hosting assemblies, making speeches, and setting out the rules of the school.

4. Principal

Explanation: The principal is the head of the school and has the authority to take action against any form of bullying that takes place in the school.

5. Principles

Explanation: The principles are the rules that the school sets out for its students to follow.

6. Principal

Explanation: The principal is the highest authority in the school and is responsible for all aspects of the schools operation.

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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.