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Commonly Confused Words: Rain vs. Reign vs. Rein


What does each word mean?

The word rain is used as both a noun (to describe water that falls in drops from the vapour condensed in the atmosphere) and as a verb (to describe the act of water droplets falling from the sky).

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is rain used in some example sentences:

  • The rain was heavy in the morning but slowed to a light drizzle by lunchtime.
  • It rained heavily in the morning but at lunchtime the sun came out.
  • The soldier dodged the bullets raining down on him and searched for cover.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word rain.

As a noun, reign refers to the period during which someone or something is dominant or powerful. As a verb, it refers to the act of being in power.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is reign used in some example sentences:

  • The Great Fire of London happened during the reign of King Charles II.
  • Queen Elizabeth II reigns over the United Kingdom.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word reign.

Rein is also used as both a noun as a verb. As the former it refers to a long narrow strap that is used to control a horse or deer and the latter refers to the act of controlling, directing, or restraining something.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is rein used in some example sentences:

  • Father Christmas’s sleigh is pulled by reindeer.
  • He shook the reins and his horse began to gallop.
  • She reined in her horse.
  • He reined in his anger.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word rein.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between these words?

  • Think of the rhyme ‘Rain rain go away, come again another day!’ to help you remember that rain is spelt with an a.
  • Think of a king or queen having a ‘great reign’ to help you remember that reign is spelt with a silent g.
  • Say ‘the Reign of Henry the Eighth’ to yourself to help you remember how to spell the middle of the word reign.
  • If you need to rein in something, you need to restrain it or keep it under control. Use the word restrain to help you remember the first part of the word and the phrase rein in to help you remember that rein has the word in in it.

Where can I find other posts about easy-to-confuse words?

Sources: The Online Etymology Dictionary.


06 Dec 2016
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