Word for Wednesday: Is it practise or practice?

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If you are used to American English spelling, you may not have known that these were two separate words! However, it’s useful to know that in British English, these words have different meanings.

When writing, the two are often confused. So if you’re stuck, opt for ‘practice’ since, in any case, this is the correct American English spelling and its meanings are interchangeable.

Spelled with an ‘S’, practise is a verb. Specifically, ‘practise’ is the act of doing something repeatedly and carefully in order to improve at it. For example: “We must practise spelling often in order to improve at it.

With a ‘Cpractice is a noun and refers to the application of a method, habit, idea or belief. For example: “Let’s put some of the things we’ve learned into practice”.

To help you to distinguish the difference, remember that advISe is a verb advICe is a noun. Hopefully you’re now a little better equipped to make the distinction, or not, between practice and practise. Remember, if in doubt, use ‘practice’!

Hugh MacDermott

27 May 2015
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