What part of speech is “principal”

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principal is a noun that refers to a person who is the head of something, such as the head of a school, company, or organization, or the primary or most important person or thing associated with it. Its role and function in the English language is to describe this person or thing, typically in a leadership position and, in some cases, to mean a principal sum of money, usually in a loan or amount of debt.

She is the school's principal.

He is the principal of the company.

This is the principal sum of money that has been borrowed.

tips associated with its usage include making sure to pay attention to the context in which the word is being used, whether to refer to a person or a sum of money.


when 'principal' is used as an adjective, it primarily describes something that is of the greatest importance, primary, or holds the highest rank. It can refer to a main figure, element, or factor in a particular context.

The principal reason for our success is our dedicated team.

The principal amount of the loan does not include interest.

She played the principal role in the play.

One of the most common mistakes in English is confusing 'principal' with 'principle.' Remember, 'principal' can be an adjective (as described above) or a noun referring to a person who has a leading position (especially in a school). On the other hand, 'principle' is always a noun and refers to a fundamental truth, law, doctrine, or motivating force. When trying to remember the difference, a helpful mnemonic is 'The school principal is your pal, and a principle is a rule.'

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