Is It Practise or Practice? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

UK vs US updated on  January 10, 2024 4 min read
Practise and practice are two spellings of the same verb meaning “engage in something professionally” or “train by repetition.” The spelling depends on whether you’re using American or British English.

Practice is also used as a noun meaning “training” or “the application of a method.” It can also be used to refer to the business of a lawyer or doctor. The noun is always spelled with a “c.”

  • In British English, “practise” is used as a verb and "practice" as a noun.
  • In American English, “practice" is used as both the verb and noun. "Practise" is never correct.
It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.


Examples: Practise or practice in a sentence
Judy practises/practices law at a prestigious firm in the city.
I'm sure you'll learn how to crochet. You just have to practise/practice.
I'll see you tomorrow at baseball practice
Leonard spends 50 hours a week at his doctor's practice in Boston.

Practice as a noun

As a noun, practice is always spelled with a “c,” regardless of what type of English you’re using. It can refer to a custom, application of a theory or method, a repeated exercise, or a doctor’s or lawyer’s business.


Examples: Practice as a noun in a sentence
The practice of teaching is incredibly rewarding.
It’s common practice to wash your face, arms, and feet before entering a mosque.
It’s the final practice before the big exam tomorrow.
I haven’t visited a doctor’s practice in years!

Practising or practicing

The spelling difference for the verb practise or practice carries over to the present participle forms (ending in the suffix “-ing”).

  • In British English, “practising” is standard.
  • In American English, “practicing" is correct.
Examples: Practising or practicing in a sentence
I can't stand making mistakes. I've been practising/practicing for years.
I'm sure you'll ace your exam. You've been practising/practicing for weeks.
I'm a practising/practicing doctor in a small town in Indiana.

Best practise or best practice

Best practice is a compound noun that consists of an adjective (“best”) and a noun (“practice”). It refers to a set of rules that’s considered the golden standard in a field. The plural noun form is best practices.

Best practice or best practices is always spelled with a “c,” because “practice” is used as a noun. It’s never spelled with an “s.”


Examples: Best practice in a sentence
It’s best practice to wear protective gear in hazardous work environments.
The organization encourages employees to share best practices.

Main differences between American and British English

American and British English are very similar, but there are a few main differences in spelling. Five important differences are:


Difference

Rule

Examples

-or vs -our

In American English, many Latin-derived words end in -or.

In British English, these same words end in -our.

Behavior or behaviour
Labor or labour
Favor or favour
Favorite or favourite
Color or colour
Honor or honour

-er vs -re

In American English, some French, Latin, or Greek words end in -er.

In British English, these same words end in -re.

Theater or theatre
Center or centre
Meter or metre
Liter or litre
Saber or sabre
Fiber or fibre

-ize vs -ise

In American English, many Greek-derived words end in -yze or -ize.

In British English, these words end in -yse or -ise.

Realize or realise
Recognize or recognise
Analyze or analyse
Organisation or organization
Minimize or minimise
Finalize or finalise

-ed vs -t

In American English, most verbs are regular and form their past tense with the suffix -ed.

In British English, some of these verbs are irregular and form their past tense with the suffix -t.

Learned or learnt
Burned or burnt
Kneeled or knelt
Dreamed or dreamt
Smelled or smelt
Spelled or spelt

Single vs double consonant

In American English, many words are spelled with a single consonant.

In British English, these same words are spelled with a double consonant.

Modeling or modelling
Traveling or travelling
Canceled or cancelled
Labeled or labelled
Buses or busses
Focused or focussed

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, rhetorical devices, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Common mistakes

Commonly confused words

Rhetoric

Hers or her’s

Aid vs aide

Malapropism

Truely or truly

Advice vs advise

Pun

Beck and call or beckon call

Council vs counsel

Extended metaphor

Jist or gist

Former vs latter

Simile

Despite of

Breathe vs breath

Dramatic irony


Frequently asked questions about practise or practice

Is it to practice or to practise?

Practice and practise have different uses in American and British English.

  • In British English, “practice” is used as a noun and “practise” as a verb.
  • In American English, “practice” is used for both the noun and verb.

“To practice” is the infinitive form. In British English, you’d use to practise (with an “s”), and in American English, you’d use to practice (with a “c”).

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it exam practice or exam practise?

Practice and practise have different uses in American and British English.

  • In British English, “practice” is used as a noun and “practise” as a verb.
  • In American English, “practice” is used for both the noun and verb.

“Practice” in “exam practice” is a noun, so you should use exam practice in both American and British English.

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it choir practise or practice?

Practice and practise have different uses in American and British English.

  • In British English, “practice” is used as a noun and “practise” as a verb.
  • In American English, “practice” is used for both the noun and verb.

“Practice” in “choir practice” is a noun, so you should use choir practice in both American and British English.

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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