Spelling Tips: Practice or Practise?
  • 2-minute read
  • 11th September 2022

Spelling Tips: Practice or Practise?

If you’ve seen both “practice” and “practise” in English writing, you may have wondered what the difference is between them. The answer depends on which English dialect you’re using. It’s easy to get them confused, however, so read on to learn when to use which.

When to Use “Practice”

As a noun, in all dialects, “practice” means a habitual or customary performance:

With enough practice, anyone can learn to play the piano.

It can also refer to the business of a professional person:

The doctor’s practice was located downtown.

As a verb, in American English, “practice” means to perform something habitually or regularly:

It’s time to practice playing piano.

When to Use “Practise”

In UK and Australian English, “practise” is the spelling used for the verb form:

Let’s practise for the recital together.

This may seem simple, but sometimes it can be tricky to tell if you’re using the noun or the verb. This is because the words sound exactly the same, and the meanings are very similar. If you come across this issue, try replacing the word with a different noun and verb, and then see which one sounds better.

For example, in this sentence:

You need more practice.

If we substitute “practice” with a noun and a verb, we can figure out which spelling to use:

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You need more apples. ✔︎

You need more walk. ✘

In this case, the noun (apples) works in the sentence, so “practice” would be the correct spelling.

Let’s try this with another sentence:

You’d better practise more.

You’d better apples more. ✘

You’d better walk more. ✔︎

Since the verb (walk) works in this sentence, in UK and Australian English, we’d use “practise.”

Summary: Practice or Practise?

To sum up, in American English, you can use “practice” for all forms of the word, and, in UK and Australian English, you should use “practice” for the noun and “practise” for the verb. We hope this post has helped to clear up any confusion you may have had about these two words.

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