Principal Or Principle (Explained with examples)

English language is full of mysteries, there are words that look, sound, and mean the same whereas on the other hand there are words that are identical but their meanings are totally different and so are their uses. Among those many words, two are Principal vs Principle. Their uses are often confused since they spell and sound the same.

However the meaning is quite different, the first-word principal which is used as both an adjective and a noun is used to describe a leading person or Ranks or authority. Whereas principle simply means a guide or rule.  how do you differentiate between the two words? That’s exactly what we are going to answer in this article.

Principal: most important, consequential, or influential
principle: a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption

When to Use Principal

Principal is both used as a noun and adjective.

When used as a noun, it has more than one meaning. The most simple one is to refer to a person of authority or importance. The most common example is the school principal who apparently plays a very important role in the management of the institution.

  • Deena is the principal of this school

The word principal is also used in finance and law. In concerns with the law, it refers to someone who has high responsibility in the case or has taken a lead part in the inter preparation of a crime.

In finance, the word principal denotes an amount of loan which has to be paid back.

Here are the examples to help you understand better:

  • How do you plan to repay the principal of the loan?
  • Though she looked innocent,she was the principal in the murder case.

As an adjective, the word principal simply refers to anything that holds prominence. It isn’t a specific title here but can be referred to as any noun.

Here are the examples to help you understand better:

  • Eggs are the principal ingredient in this recipe.
  • Understanding the role of the agent is principal in this case study.

When to Use Principle

Principle can only be used as a noun.

It literally means a rule or a standard. The rule or standard can be from any category whether doctrine, tenet, or federal. It can be used to describe simple rules such as grammatical ones.

Here are a few examples to help you understand this better:

  • Knowing the principles is very important for this exam
  • He must not go against any principle.

Remember the difference

I still remember one of my elementary school teachers teaching me this tip to remember the correct endings of these two words. She use to say, “The principal is your pal.” While this may have painted an overly rosy view of people who hold the “most important, consequential, or influential” positions within schools (I’m looking at you, Mr. Jonathon), it worked.

Example: Mr. Jonathon was a really mean principal. He was so not my pal.

‘Principle’ is all the time a noun, whereas ‘principal’ can be either a noun or an adjective. Therefore if you’re describing something like the most significant or first of something, the word you’ll need is ‘principal.

Furthermore, if you keep in mind that ‘principal’ is an adjective meaning ‘most important, you can use this as a reminder that it’s also a word to describe the main or most important person in a group.

Now, it should be easy to recall that a ‘principle’ is a rule, law, or guideline.

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