Ball or Bawl?

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Ball or Bawl?

What is the difference between "ball" and "bawl"?
  • "Ball" is a noun that describes a spherical object or a social gathering or dance. For example:
    • Roll the dough into a ball about the size of a tennis ball.
    • Cinderella was late for the ball.
  • As a noun, "bawl" describes a loud yelling noise. For example:
    • Who was responsible for that bawl?
    • (Often, the word "bawling" is used.)
  • As a verb, "to bawl" means to shout or scream loudly. For example:
    • Don't bawl at me!
ball or bawl?

Ball and Bawl

Occasionally, there is confusion over the words "ball" and "bawl."

Click on the Two Correct Sentences
(Interactive Game)

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Ball

The word "ball" is a noun with two meanings. It can describe a spherical shape. A ball can either be solid or hollow. It most typically refers to an object that is kicked, thrown, or hit in a game (e.g., football, cricket ball, soccer ball).
It also refers to a formal social gathering where guests can dance.

Examples:
  • If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.
  • My pitching philosophy is simple - keep the ball way from the bat.
  • The women are getting dressed up in their best gowns and going to a royal ball.

Bawl

The word "bawl" can be used as a noun or a verb. When used as a noun, "bawl" is a loud, unrestrained shout. As a verb, it means to cry or scream noisily and unrestrainedly.

Examples:
  • He showed his lung power with a loud bawl.
  • (Here, "bawl" is a noun.)
  • I'm going through a stage where the dumbest things make me bawl.
  • (Here, "bawl" is a verb.)
  • If you want to cry, bawl. If you need help, raise your hand and jump up and down.
  • (Here, "bawl" is a verb.)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? What are nouns? List of easily confused words