Practice or Practise?
The Quick AnswerWhat 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.)
Practice and PractiseThose following US writing convention don't need to worry about the difference between practice and practise. Just use practice. However, if you're following British convention, life is a little more difficult. You must use practice for the noun but practise for the verb.
Click on the Two Correct Sentences
(Interactive Game) (Adopt the UK convention for this game.)
Infographic Explaining Practice and Practise
Infographic showing the difference between practice and practise.
The Substitution Trick
A Trick To Spot PracticeTry 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 PractiseTry 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 PractiseRemember that Americans do not need to worry about the word practise. Americans can just use practice. British writers do need to worry though. Here, for the Brits, are some examples with practice and practise.
- You need more practice. (Here, practice is a noun.)
- You need more preparation. (This sounds okay. Therefore, practice is correct. NB: Preparation and practice are both nouns.)
- You should practise more. (Here, practice is a verb.)
- You should prepare more. (This sounds okay. Therefore, practise is correct. NB: Prepare and practise are both verbs.)
- They practice in the office for 10 weeks before being sent into the real world.
- 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.)
- Keep practicing that stroke until the whistle blast.
- Keep preparing that stroke until the whistle blast. (This sounds okay. Therefore, practising is correct. NB: Preparing and practising are both formed from verbs.)
A Wrong Example from a MagazineAs this came from a British publication, it should say practises not practices.
(And, yeah, it's not his best side!)
Practicing and Practiced Do Not Exist in British EnglishIf 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. () ()
A Video SummaryHere is a short video summarizing the difference between practice and practise.
Interactive ExerciseHere 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 Alsoadverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? 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? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words