Little Book of Confusables

Principal vs principle: do you know the difference?

PRINCIPAL or PRINCIPLE: which is which? Simple spelling tips to help you remember the difference.

PRINCIPAL or PRINCIPLE – two words with very different meanings. What do they mean – and how do you decide which spelling you need? It’s easy.

These spelling tips will help you decide whether you need to write PRINCIPAL or PRINCIPLE.


PRINCIPAL is a noun, meaning the head of a school or college, or the most important person within an organisation.

The easiest way to learn this is to remember that PAL is a noun: your PAL the princiPAL.

For example:

“Ms George is the college principal.”

Spelled this way, PRINCIPAL is also an adjective, meaning the chief or most important.

“Increasing turnover is our principal goal.”

Remember the in principAl and the A in mAin.


PRINCIPLE is also a noun that describes a fundamental truth or belief.

For example:

“These are the principles of good grammar.”
“I don’t agree with his principles.”

I hope this helps you to remember the difference between PRINCIPAL and PRINCIPLE.

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PRINCIPAL or PRINCIPLE: which is which? Top spelling tips to remember the difference.

PRINCIPAL or PRINCIPLE: which is which? Top spelling tips to remember the difference.

Coming soon: The Little Book of Confusables

Wouldn’t you love a handy guide to those tricksy spellings that trip you up and make you look bad? Words like PRACTICE and PRACTISE, AFFECT and EFFECT, or IMPLY and INFER.

The Little Book of Confusables shares simple, memorable spelling tips and examples for more than 500 of the words you find most confusing. Supercharge your vocabulary and avoid embarrassing mistakes! Sign up to my monthly newsletter for updates.