There is often confusion about the proper use of principle and principal.
- Principle is always a noun and is a basic truth, or a rule governing behavior.
- Principal can be a noun or adjective.
As a noun it is someone or something of primary importance or a sum of money, either invested or lent.
As an adjective means the first or highest in importance.
Principle Used in a Sentence
- He was a man of principle and good to his word.
- All internal combustion engines work on the same principles.
- The ambassador refused on principle to agree to the terms of the accord.
- There exist certain fundamental principles of human rights.
- Two principles of happiness are being kind and smiling a lot.
- Isaac Newton published his three laws of motion in his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.
- I do not agree with the principles of that religion.
- She ate granola every morning on principle.
- One example of a business principle is putting the customer’s interests first.
Used In a Quote
- “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
- “Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” - Groucho Marx
- “Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “My guiding principles in life are to be honest, genuine, thoughtful and caring.” - Prince William
- “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.” - Jimmy Carter
Principal Used in a Sentence
Used as a Noun
- The principal of the school is retiring this year.
- First chair of the violins is the principal.
- The principal of the firm just gave everyone a raise.
- Mary was the principal in the television series for 10 years.
- The theater troupe had a dinner to honor its principals.
- Every quarter we have to pay interest on the principal.
- The corporation’s principal was based in New York.
- The principal of the ballet had a flawless performance.
Used as an Adjective
- The principal element in the earth’s crust is oxygen.
- This only applies to the principal cities in the state.
- The principal amount of your investment should be at least $10,000.
- Air pollution is a principal cause of respiratory ailments.
- The president highlighted his principal concerns in his speech.
- He is the principal cellist in the orchestra.
- Eggs are the principal ingredient in quiche.
Used In a Quote
- “All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” - Samuel Butler
- “The principal problem facing our economy today is jobs.” - Jim Sensenbrenner
- “My father was also a principal of a school and mother was a curriculum advisor. Both were educators.” - Edwin Moses
- “The dollar is currently the principal reserve currency in the world.” - Robert C. Solomon
- “Here is how I work: when I think that a film needs to have a principal theme, I search for a melody.” - Michel Legrand
Now you have seen how both principal and principle are used in sentences and can better understand the difference between these two words.