Tenant or Tenet?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Tenant" and "Tenet"?

"Tenant" and "tenet" are easy to confuse because they sound so similar.
  • "Tenant" is a person who rents land or property. For example:
    • The tenant in the apartment above is 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

More about "Tenant" or "Tenet"

"Tenant" and "tenet" are typically used in documents intended for a business audience, and they will expect you to use the right word.


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.

Example sentences with "tenant":
  • My tenant never washes his hair. correct tick
  • (Here, "tenant" is a noun.)
  • We are only tenants, and shortly the great Landlord will give us notice that our lease has expired. correct tick (Actor Joseph Jefferson)
  • She tenants the land from a farmer. correct tick
  • (Here, "tenant" is a verb.)


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

Example sentences with "tenet":
  • Trust is the central tenet of our agreement. correct tick
  • The phrase "Love your enemies" is not always an easy tenet to live by. correct tick (Singer 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. correct tick (Actor Tim Johnson)

Ready for the Test?

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.