mail tip Sign up for daily tips
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
grammar checker Try a grammar checker
Follow Us on Twitter Like us on Facebook by Craig Shrives

Tenant or Tenet?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between tenant and tenet?

Tenant is a person who rents land or property. For example:
  • The tenants in the apartment above us are too noisy.
Tenet is a principle on which a belief or theory is based. For example:
  • Non-violence is the central tenet of their faith.

Tenant or Tenet?

The words tenant and tenet sound similar, but their meanings are completely different.

Tenant

The noun tenant describes a person who occupies land or property that is rented from a landlord. Though not as common, tenant can also be used as a verb. For example:
  • My tenant never washes his hair.
  • (Here, tenant is a noun.)
  • We are only tenants, and shortly the great Landlord will give us notice that our lease has expired. (Joseph Jefferson)
  • She tenants the land from a farmer.
  • (Here, tenant is a verb.)

Tenet

The noun tenet denotes an adopted belief, theme, or principle.

Examples:
  • Trust is the central tenet of our agreement.
  • The phrase "Love your enemies" is not always an easy tenet to live by. (Lea Salonga)
  • My views have evolved to support marriage equality. They do not require a religion to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom. (Tim Johnson)
Quick Test