Premise or Premises?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between premise and premises?

A premise is a basis for a theory. For example:
  • The media's job is to question a premise. (Joey Skaggs)
Premises are land and buildings. For example:
  • The company moved to new premises last year.

Premise or Premises

A premise is part of an argument. The plural of premise is premises. This causes confusion because the word premises also means land or property.


The noun premise is a term in logic that describes a statement considered to be true for the purpose of an argument. For example:

premise or premises

The verb to premise means to presuppose something.

  • The judge granted the divorce on the premise that the husband had committed adultry.
  • I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. (Ralph Nader)
  • They premised that the universe was three billion years old.
  • (Here, premise is being used as a verb.)


The noun premises describes a house or a building. It usually refers to a building that is occupied by a company or an organization.

  • The police men removed the protesters from the premises.
  • Alcohol is forbidden on these premises.
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? 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? practice or practise? principal or principle? cannot or can not? who's or whose? What are nouns? List of easily confused words