Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Principal and Principle

Principal vs. Principle

‘Principle’ and ‘principal’ are usually confused with each other. They are also used interchangeably. This is probably due to the pronunciation that makes almost the same sound. The spelling between the two was not made intentionally. The meaning of these words did not matter much in the old days. However, in contemporary days, the meaning of the words has been important. To know what the words really mean, it is best to define them. These words have the same root word, which is ‘princip,’ which means ‘basic’ or ‘primary.’

To understand deeper the meaning and differences between the two, it is best to define and differentiate them. Through this you are able to distinguish one from the other and use them accordingly.

The word ‘principal’ is used on objects, persons, and other things that are physical. It refers to the basic, the starting point, or the main part of a certain thing, person, or place. For example, the principal of a school is the main head who governs the entire school. Another is the principal amount of money. It may also mean the foundation of something, like the principal pillars of a building. It may also be used in the beginning of a title of a person in the corporate world if he is of higher value in a certain company. Like a principal engineer also known as the chief engineer. Another is the principal architect or otherwise known as the chief architect. Both of these positions are the main organizers in their corresponding fields.

‘Principle,’ on the other hand, is used on things that are more abstract. This word is usually used on laws, beliefs, and rules. This word is used on things that have no physical form, or things that you can’t use with your five senses. It also is used as something that you do or something that is happening. An example for this is, someone says, ‘It is not my principle to lie.’ This means that lying is not something that you like to do, or lying is against the way you do things. Ultimately, a principle is a law or a rule that must be followed. It is also a form of consequence in a form of rules and regulations. A principle is a system that must be followed. In addition, a principle is a doctrine or a code of ethics that the person must follow regardless.

SUMMARY:

Both meanings are basic; however, ‘principal’ means starting point or main while ‘principle’ means the fundamentals that one must follow.

‘Principal’ is used on things with physical form while ‘principle’ is used on things that are more abstract.

‘Principal’ is used on things, persons, or places while ‘principle’ is more on rules and laws.

‘Principal’ can be used as a title to a person with position while ‘principle’ is used as a code of ethics or a doctrine.

An example for ‘principal’ is the principal amount of money for payment.


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