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        Principal vs. Principle: Finance, School, & Other Uses

        • calenderSep 06, 2023
        • calender 3 min read

        If you’re unsure whether to use principal or principle, you’re not alone! Using the wrong word for this pair is one of the most common grammar mistakes people make. In this article, we’ll clear all your doubts about when to use principal vs. principle.

        We’ll tell you the difference between principal and principle and provide some handy tricks so you can easily remember the difference between the two. If that’s not enough, our principal vs. principle examples are sure to clarify the matter! So let’s begin! 

        What is the difference between principal and principle?

        The word principal means the most important and main person. The word principal can also be used as an adjective to depict how something is primary and the most essential. 

        In comparison, the word principle denotes a rule, a truth, or a belief that one accepts in their life. The past tense of the word principle, i.e. principled can be used as an adjective. Principal and principle are homophones, words with different meanings and the same pronunciation. 

        Principal vs. principle examples

        He was the principal beneficiary of the government scheme. (adjective) 

        She was the principal shareholder of a large multinational company. (adjective) 

        I have some strict principles that I always follow. (noun) 

        Equal opportunity and fairness must be the guiding principles while hiring for jobs.  (noun) 

        She is a principled person who can never be dishonest. (adjective) 

        He is a principled man who can never hurt anyone intentionally. (adjective) 

        The above principal versus principle examples show when to use principle and principle. However, you may also have another question: Is it principal or principle while describing finances? Let’s find out! 

        1. Principal vs. principle: Finance 

        The word principal is used to describe the amount of money given or invested on which one receives interest. Following are some examples for clarity: 

        He paid the principal amount on which he would receive interest for ten years. 

        She suggested they pay the principal amount and take advantage of the bank’s scheme. 

        The above examples show how principal should be used while talking about finances. However, you may also want to remember whether to use principal or principle for the school’s head. So, what’s the correct spelling in this case? Scroll down to find out! 

        2. Principal vs. principle: School 

        The word principal is used to refer to the school’s head with the greatest authority. Following are some examples for reference: 

        The school’s principal was very strict. 

        The English teacher was called by the school principal

        The word principal also denotes the person with the highest power or position in organizations or institutions. For example: 

        Alice is the principal secretary of a large company. 

        Jordan is the principal product manager of a well-known software company.

        Several people also have another confusion about using principal or principle. Is the correct phrase principle of it or the principal of it? Let’s find out!

        3. Is it principle or principal of it

        The most widely accepted phrase is the principle of it. This phrase refers to the core concept behind something. 

        I don’t agree with the principle of it; it goes against my values.

        What’s important is the principle of the matter!

        While this explanation brings clarity about whether to use principle or principal, you might have faced another confusion: What is the difference between principals and principles? Let’s understand when to use principles and principals

        4. Principals vs. principles 

        Principals is the plural form of principal. It denotes a group of people with the highest authority. 

        There was a meeting of all school principals in the district. 

        A new regulation will be enforced that will affect all school principals

        Principles is the plural form of principle. It means the rules, standards, or simple, basic truths that one follows. 

        The company’s success is thanks to its core principles.

        The fundamental principles of physics can help us understand the universe.

        Now that we’ve understood the difference between both terms, a question arises: How to remember when to use principal versus principle? Here is an effective tip to make the correct word choice: 

        How to remember principle vs. principal

        An easy method is to keep in mind the that principal ends with the word pal. Both principal and pal are used as nouns in sentences. Making a sentence that includes principal, and pal will help to remember the difference between principal and principle. For example: 

        The principal is not my pal!

        A simple way to recollect the meaning of principle is to remember that both principle and rule end with le. Since the word principle also means rule, this helps to remember the meaning of the word principle

        Rules are based on principles.

        We hope the examples and tips given above will help you remember the difference between principle vs. principal. As providers of expert editing services, we realize that English is a tricky language where making the right word choice can be tricky! Here are some resources you’ll find useful: 

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        Priya Linkedin

        Priya has a talent for academic research and enjoys simplifying complex topics. When she's not helping students improve their writing, she can be seen reading poetry, playing the harmonium, or learning classical dance.

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