April 03, 2016
principle (noun)
\PRIN-suh-pul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a general or fundamental law2 : a rule of or code of conduct or devotion to such a code
How do you use it?
The fact that Eliza wouldn't let the other students copy her homework for money showed that she was a girl of very good principles.
Are you a word wiz?

"Principle" is often confused with "principal." "Principal" is a noun meaning "a leading or most important person" or "the head of a school"; it can also be an adjective meaning "most important." The sentences below use either "principle" or "principal," but only one picks the right word and uses it properly. Which sentence is it?

The principles of "principle" and "principal" can be tricky, but sentence C gets them straight. It will help you choose the right word if you remember that the school principal is your "pal." That is, the word meaning "leader" (and, as an adjective, "leading") ends with "-pal," not "-ple." "Principle" with the "-ple" ending refers to rules governing something. When in doubt, the best rule of thumb is to refer to your dictionary.
Archive RSS Feed