Grammar Guru: “Practise” Or “Practice”

The difference between practise and practice from our grammar guru

Do we ever practice? Or is it always practise? This time, the Grammar Guru shares some valuable advice on how to never confuse the two words again.

In fact, a lot of people use “practise” and “practice” interchangeably, or even randomly, but really there is no need ever to pick the wrong one again.

All you need to do is learn a very simple rule . . .

In a nutshell, “practice” is a noun, and “practise” is a verb. Simple! But what if you are unsure of the difference between a noun and a verb?

A noun is a naming word. If you’re talking about doing a bit of “practice” to perfect your piano-playing, or visiting your local “practice” to see your doctor, you need “practice” with a “c”.

A verb is a doing word. If you’re talking about the need to “practise” your piano-playing, or noting that your doctor “practises” medicine, you need “practise” with an “s”.

Preparation Instead Of Practice

Still unsure? Here’s a clever little trick to help you. Try using the word “preparation” in your sentence instead of “practice”:

You need more practice/You need more preparation – it still makes sense, so “practice” with a “c” is correct.

For “practise” with an “s”, try substituting the verb “to prepare”:

You should practise more/You should prepare more – “practise” with an “s” is correct.

And just to double check: “You should preparation more” makes absolutely no sense, confirming that “practise” is the correct spelling in this instance.

More from our Grammar Guru here.

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Allison Hay

I joined the "My Weekly" team thirteen years ago and, more recently, "The People's Friend". I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazines. I manage the digital content for the brands, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters.