Word Choice – Practice Versus Practise

BizWritingTip reader: “Here is a question for you. When is it appropriate to use ‘practice’ and ‘practise’? I have seen them written both ways.”

BizWritingTip response: The Canadian Oxford Dictionary states that practise is a variation of practice. In other words, both are acceptable. But it does indicate that practice is generally used as a noun and practise as a verb.

Examples (nouns)

Target practice

Best practice

Examples (verbs)

I will practise the piano later.

You should practise what you preach.

When you are using the word as an adjective, it is spelled practised.

Examples (adjective)

She is a practised speaker.

His practised response is becoming boring.

Please note: The different spellings are a British tradition. In the U.S., practice is used for both nouns and verbs.

Which spelling do you intend to put into practice?

By the way, the same rule also applies to licence (the noun) and license (the verb).

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