Aloud or Allowed?

What Is the Difference between "Aloud" and "Allowed"?

homesitemapA-Z confused words aloud or allowed?
The Quick Answer


(adverb) "out loud" or "audibly"
  • Terry talks aloud when he's thinking. correct tick


(past form) "permitted"
  • Only knights are permitted to enter the castle with a sword. correct tick
aloud or allowed difference
"Aloud" and "allowed" are easy to confuse because they sound identical. However, take care not to confuse these two words because such a mistake would be considered a serious error, if made by a native English speaker. "Aloud" means "out loud" or "audibly." It is an adverb. "Allowed" means "permitted." It is the past form of the verb "to allow" and is often used like an adjective. For example:
  • Say your name aloud. correct tick
  • We allowed the campers to swim in the lake. correct tick
  • Leave me alone. I am allowed. correct tick

More about "Aloud" and "Allowed"

"Aloud" and "allowed" are homonyms, specifically homophones. This means they sound the same but have different meanings.

Quick Test on Aloud and Allowed

It's your go. Select the correct one:


The adverb "aloud" means out loud or audibly. It refers to sound (almost always speech).

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


"Allowed" is the past tense of the verb "to allow," which means to permit. In other words, "allowed" means 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 travelling. correct tick
  • I am not aloud to go to the party on Saturday. wrong cross
  • (This should be "allowed.")

Common Terms with "Aloud" and "Allowed"

Common terms with the word "aloud":
  • read aloud
  • think aloud
  • Girls Aloud
Common terms with the word "allowed":
  • allowed amount
  • allowed breaks
  • allowed countries
  • allowed expenses
  • allowed time

Confusing "Aloud" and "Allowed" Is a Howler

Those with English as a second language are more prone to confusing "aloud" and "allowed." A native English speaker confusing these words constitutes a grammatical howler.

"Out Loud" Not "Out Loudly"

The term "out loud" is an adverbial phrase meaning "aloud." The term is not "out loudly." For example:
  • LOL means Laugh Out Loud. correct tick
  • LOL means Laugh Out Loudly. wrong cross
Read more about LOL than you'll ever need to know.
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.

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