Practice and Practise




What is the difference between practice and practise?

If you're following US convention, use practice (i.e., practice can be used as a noun or a verb). If you're following British convention, you must use practice for the noun but practise for the verb. For example:
  • Practice makes perfect. () ()
  • (Here, practice is a noun.)
  • Shall I practice my handwriting? () ()
  • (Here, practice is a verb.)
Note: Some in the US are starting to follow the UK convention.

Practice and Practise

If you're following US convention, you don't need to worry about the difference between practice and practise as you can use practice as a noun or a verb. However, if you're following British convention, you must know the difference between a noun and a verb to know whether to use practice and practise. (Note: Practice is a noun, but practise is a verb.)

If you follow UK convention and you're not sure how to identify nouns and verbs, this page will show you a few tricks to help.

A Trick To Spot Practice

Try using the word preparation (or lessons) instead of practice. If the sentence still makes sense, then practice is almost certainly correct.

(This trick works because practice is a noun, just like the words preparation and lessons.)

A Trick To Spot Practise

Try using the verb to prepare (in its various forms, e.g., preparing, prepared, prepares) instead of practise. If the sentence still makes sense, then practise is almost certainly correct. However, if you find yourself trying to use preparation, then you should be using practice because both are nouns.

(This trick works because to practise is a verb, just like to prepare.)

Example Sentences with Practice and Practise

Here are some examples with practice and practise:

Example 1:
  • You need more practice.
  • (Here, practice is a noun.)
Try the substitution trick:
  • You need more preparation.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practice is correct. NB: Preparation and practice are both nouns.)
Example 2:
  • You should practise more.
  • (Here, practice is a verb.)
Try the substitution trick:
  • You should prepare more.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practise is correct. NB: Prepare and practise are both verbs.)
Example 3:
  • They practice in the office for 10 weeks before being sent into the real world.
Try the substitution trick:
  • They preparation in the office for 10 weeks before being sent into the real world.
  • (This is nonsense. Therefore, practice must be wrong. It should be practise because prepare sounds okay.)
Example 4:
  • Keep practicing that stroke until the whistle blast.
Try the substitution trick:
  • Keep preparing that stroke until the whistle blast.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practising is correct. NB: Preparing and practising are both formed from verbs.)

Practising or Practised?

If you're following British convention, there should be no confusion with practising or practised as these are words formed from the verb to practise. In other words, for Brits, the words practicing and practiced do not exist. Look at this example:
  • I must keep practicing that accent. () ()


As this came from a British publication, it should say practises not practices.

Select the correct version:



 




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