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Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

If you want the dictionary definition, just double click on any word.

principal vs principle

Principal as an adjective means first in order of importance:

For example: The Mississippi is the principal river of the United States.

Principal as a noun can mean the head teacher in a school or college:

For example: The teacher sent the unruly student to see the principal.

Principal as a noun can also mean the original amount of a debt on which interest is calculated

For example: She lives off the interest and tries to keep the principal intact.

Principle is a noun which means a basic idea, standard of behaviour or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works:

For example: The country works on the principle that all citizens have equal rights.

!Note - If you can't remember which is which, try this little mnemonic "The principal is your pal."