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Principle and Principal

Principle and Principal

At first glance, these words are quite similar. Certainly, they sound the same, but they have different shades of meaning. This information can help you understand these differences.

Semantic Features of the Word “Principal”

The word “principal” has more variations than “principle.” It can be used as a noun and as an adjective, depending on the context. If “principal” is used with a noun, it acquires the characteristics of an adjective. In this case, the word “principal” means “the most important,” “very significant.” Here are some examples.

      Exam preparation is my principal task.
      Self-doubt was my principal obstacle on the road to success.
      Helen is the principal singer in our vocal group.
      Charity is the principal activity of this organization.
      This storyline was the principal motive of the book.

On the other hand, “principal” has a different meaning when it acts as a noun and denotes a person who occupies an important, managerial position. Learn these examples.

      My mother is the principal of a charity foundation.
      I cannot find a common language with the principal of the ballet group.
      The principal has distributed responsibilities among teachers.
      Our new principal has established strict rules.
      The principal is responsible for the team members.

Meaning of the Word “Principle’

The meaning of the word “principle” is somewhat similar to the meaning of the word “principal.” However, the fact is that it can act only as a noun (with the exception of some constructions that acquire other shades of meaning, for example, “a position of principle,” “a matter of principle,” etc.). Here are the examples of how “principle” can be used in sentences.

      This activity is contrary to my moral principles.
      The main principle of our organization is to comply with the rules of corporate ethics.
      Mathematical principles formed the ground of this study.
      The principle of equality should be the basis of modern society.

Now you know that the words “principle” and “principal” have some common and distinctive features. Remember the difference between their meanings and use them correctly.

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