The Principle Is…

Would you proudly say that your principle is Mr. Brown? The problem is, in spoken English, “principle” and “principal” are homophones – they are pronounced the same way. So when it comes to spelling it out, students (and even adults) get confused. Here are the differences.

  • principle (n.) the basic rule that controls or tells how something happens or works, the fundamentals
  • principal (n.)the head of a school or college, the leader of a group
  • principal (adj.)the first in rank, importance, the foremost

Examples:

  1. My principals in life have made me a better person. (X)
    My principles in life have made me a better person. (√)
  2. The principals of accounting is taught only to foundation students. (X)
    The principles of accounting is taught only to foundation students. (√)
  3. The principle of Ethan Elementary has transformed the school into a well-respected one. (X)
    The principal of Ethan Elementary has transformed the school into a well-respected one. (√)
  4. We urgently need to replace our principle violinist who is ill, or else the concert could not go on. (X)
    We urgently need to replace our principal violinist who is ill, or else the concert could not go on. (√)
  5. Only the principle credit card holder is authorized to request for the account balance. (X)
    Only the principal credit card holder is authorized to request for the account balance. (√)

So the school principal is teaching his students the principles of economics. 😛 (Thanks, Rose for the input.)

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Posted on December 31, 2009, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The first principle of accounting is to ‘potong’ regardless whether it’s a principal or supplementary card, hehe.

    Thank you Sir, wishing you a velli velli velli happi nieu year two jilo wan jilo.

  2. Kev, you are most welcome!! Nice explanation you have here.

    Happy 2010!

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