School’s In–Do I Meet the Principle or Principal?

Is It Principle or Principal?

This is a tricky one! The words principle and principal are spelled so similarly that it can be difficult to remember which is which. I often find these two words mixed up when I’m proofreading. So, is it principle or principal? Keep reading and I’ll give you some tips on how to figure that out!


The word principle is defined as: rule of action or conduct; a fundamental doctrine or tenet. It is often use in connection with moral, or between right and wrong.

The teacher’s principles reminded the kids to treat each other kindly.


One principle of the company is to have a good work ethic.

Think of it as a rule or a code of conduct.



The word principal is defined as: chief or head, particularly of a school. It could also be used as an adjective meaning first or highest in rank, importance, or value. One example would be:

Bummer. I got sent to the principal’s office.


The principal ingredient in the cookies is chocolate chips.

The easiest way to remember this is to look at the end of the word–pal. The principal is your “pal!”


Pop Quiz:

Ok, let’s try a few and see if you can figure out the correct word to use.

  1. Where is  the __________ car parked?
  2. My school’s __________ is so friendly!
  3. What are the company’s __________ ? 
  4. Is the __________ in her offic?
  5. What is the __________ ingredient in her famous recipe?
  6. What are the __________ of the team?
  7. Why is that  __________ important to learn?
  8. You’re right, the __________ is so funny! He makes me laugh.
  9. Which __________ should we implement at today’s conference?
  10. The __________ discussed the school’s __________ with her students. “These __________ will help you in your everyday life,” said the  __________.

Okay, how’d you do?

  1. principal’s
  2. principal
  3. principles
  4. principal
  5. principal
  6. principles
  7. principle
  8. principal
  9. principle
  10. principal, principles, principles, principal

Whew! You made it! Congratulations! You are now an expert at figuring out if it should be principle or principal!

Do you need something to help you remember? Click HERE for your free download of the above graphic.

Do you need a proofreader? Click HERE for more information on my proofreading services.


Similar Tips You May Be Interested In:

Everyday vs Every day   There, Their, and They're

*Thanks to for the info. 

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