Principle or principal – which one is correct?

Principle or principal? Since these words look similar, they tend to be used clumsily. However, we cannot use them interchangeably as they carry different meanings. Distinguishing them is also made more difficult by the fact that the pronunciation of both words is the same. So how can we tell them apart?

principle or principal? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form difference examples

Principle or principal? Principle – what does it mean and when do we use it?

Principle is a noun referring to a basic idea of a certain concept or a generally accepted behavior. The word principle is a part of two prepositional phrases: in principle and on principle. The first expression means in general, and the latter refers to following a certain standard of behavior.

Principle or principal? Principal – what does it mean and when do we use it?

The word principal, on the other hand, might be both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it refers to something that is first in order or is the most important. Moreover, it applies to a person in charge of an educational institution. In business, it means an amount of money lent or borrowed, or it might describe a person holding legal responsibility for an organization.

What’s the difference between atleast and at least?

The difference is that the two-word phrase combines the preposition “at” and the adverb or noun “least“. Atleast depicts at least as a single word, which is a mistake. At least makes sense as two words because we have to keep the preposition separate from least. Atleast doesn’t make sense at all.

Principle or principal? Synonyms to principle

  • Basis,
  • doctrine,
  • foundation,
  • rule.

Principle or principal? Synonyms to principal

  • Dominant,
  • main,
  • headteacher,
  • boss.

Principle or principal – now it’s all clear! Examples in sentences


This increases your total dissolved solid rate and allows for a stronger cup of coffee. Think of it like taking a hot steamy shower before exfoliating. Same principle.

Morgan Hines, USA Today Life

Her ceremonial invitation to form a government embodied the principle that dueling parties serve the same nation.

David Von Drehle, The Washington Post

The largest muscle in the human body is the Gluteus Maximus. It is responsible for keeping your posture upright, and is the principal antigravity force working when you walk up stairs.

Anna Kaufman, USA Today

The principal through training and her own personality did an excellent job of making sure that tensions didn’t escalate,” superintendent John Carruth said.

Associated Press in Tucson, Arizona, The Guardian

Written by

Student of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. Enthusiast of books, movies, and music. In her free time, she rides a bike, swims, and goes for walks. In the future, she dreams of a career as a translator.