aloud and allowed - the difference

Aloud means out loud.
Allowed means permitted.

Aloud or Allowed?

The words aloud and allowed sound similar and are sometimes confused.


The adverb aloud means out loud and refers to sound (almost always speech).

  • Please do not read aloud. You're disturbing everyone else in the library.
  • The public are not keen on lip-syncing; therefore, medal hopefuls must all learn to sing the national anthem aloud.


Allowed is the past tense of the verb to allow, which means to permit. Allowed is synonymous with (the same as) permitted.

  • Small amounts of baby formula and breast milk are allowed in the aircraft cabin if a baby or small child is traveling.
  • I am not aloud to go to the party on Saturday.
  • (should be allowed)
Select the correct version:


Those with English as a second language are particularly prone to this error.  A native English speaker confusing these words constitutes a grammatical howler. 

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