Principal vs. Principle

Grammar Tips

Grammar Tip: Principal vs. Principle ~ from Mainstay Editorial Services

Grammar Tip: Principal vs. Principle

While you were in school, were you ever sent to the principal’s office? What about the principle’s office?

Principal – adjective – most important, consequential or influential


  1. She is the principal dancer in the city’s ballet company.
  2. Chicken is the principalingredient in this casserole.

Principal – noun – a person in a role of authority, a person in a leading position especially at an educational institution

  1. The principaloversees all aspects of the school including the students, teachers and staff.

Principle – noun – a fundamental law, a rule of conduct, the ultimate source, origin or cause of something


  1. She was a woman of principle. She remained true to her word.
  2. The restaurant operates under the principle of friendly service.
  3. Cheating on the test went against his principles.

Growing up my mom taught me this trick to remember the difference. The school principal and the principal ballerina are your pals, and if they are your pals, they must end in pal.  

Do you have a grammar question? Let me know about it in the comments. I’ll answer your question in a future Grammar Tips post.

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