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Grammar tips: Practise or practice?

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

practise or practice?

Alison Proofreader

Grammar tips: Practise or practice?

I am an educational proofreader, and throughout projects, I have noticed a common theme of mixing up 'practise' and 'practice'. I have researched a variety of ways to help remember the difference. So throughout this blog, I will share with you the best ways to help you remember the difference and a quick quiz using my love of Harry Potter as a theme.

Basic grammar

choose your words

The basic grammar is that 'practise' is a verb and 'practice' is a noun. So if you 'do' something, you 'practise' it whereas if you go to a 'place', you go to a doctor's 'practice'. This can be difficult to remember, so I will provide some great tips to help.

Harry Potter had to practise his flying at Quidditch practice.

'Ice' is a noun and 'sing' is a verb

practice/ice = noun, practising/sing = verb

This is an easy way to remember the difference. The word 'practice' has 'ice' at the end and 'practice' and 'ice' are both nouns. The word 'practising' has 'sing' at the end and 'practise' and 'sing' are both verbs.

Hermione loves to 'sing/practise' her spells.

Substitute the words practise/prepare and practice/preparation

practise = prepare and practice = preparation

This is my favourite way to remember the difference. Simply substitute the word practise/practice (verb/noun) in your sentence with prepare/preparation (verb/noun) and see which one makes sense.

Voldemort practises/prepares his spell, so he has the best practice/preparation for meeting Harry Potter.

If you would like to try out my tips on a few examples, here is a quick quiz. The answers are at the end of the blog. Are the following correct or incorrect?

  1. With practice, Ron will be able to join the Quidditch team.

  2. Hagrid needed lots of practise to become a better teacher.

  3. Continued practice with Dumbledore will improve Harry's chances against Voldemort.

  4. At Hogwarts, the students get frequent practise in defending against the dark arts.

  5. Hedwig practises flying when she delivers the daily post.

In the US, 'practice' is used for both the noun and the verb

simple grammar tips

Don't practise until you get it right. Practise until you can't get it wrong.

So with continued practice, you will be more confident at whether it is practise or practice.

I am a freelance proofreader and a qualified teacher with a maths degree and a love of learning. Thank you for reading 'Grammar tips: Practise or practice?'. Want to find out more grammar tips on whether you use its or it's?

Check out my blog "Grammar tips: its or it's" on my website, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.

Quote from:

Answers for the quiz:

  1. Correct

  2. Incorrect

  3. Correct

  4. Incorrect

  5. Correct

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