Style Matters #38: It really should be easy to ‘practise’ putting ‘practice’ into action


Here’s a quick tip for a Monday morning.

There’s a simple way to remember whether to use practice or practise in a sentence.

As n (for the noun) comes before v (for verb) in the alphabet, so c comes before s, so if you need the noun form, use c, and if you want a verb, use s.


It is his practice to rise early. (noun, a person place or thing)
She will practise for two hours on weekdays. (verb, an action word)

And, if you need an adjective, go with the noun form.


          The cricket team headed for the practice nets. (adjective, a descriptor)

The same rule applies when using licence or license.


I have to renew my licence. (noun)
The state will license the facility to serve alcohol. (verb)

However, with defence, Australians and British English users differ from the Americans. We only use that one spelling, while US writers seem to have chosen to opt for the opposite, defense.


If you like what you’ve read here, you can see reporting4work’s similar posts at Style Matters or connect via Facebook by liking the reporting4work Facebook Page 

2 responses to “Style Matters #38: It really should be easy to ‘practise’ putting ‘practice’ into action

  1. I like the American spelling — practice and license. It doesn’t matter what part of speech you’re looking at, the spelling is the same.

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