Is it a principle, or a principal?

Friends, this week we briefly discuss the difference between the words “principle” and “principal.”

If you’re referring to a rule or basic truth, use “principle.”  This word functions only as a noun.  The similar-sounding word “principal” usually denotes something highest in importance, and can be used as either a noun or an adjective, e.g., “the school principal,” “paying off the principal sooner saves interest later,” “the principal witness.”  Finally, an agent’s counterpart is a “principal.”

That is all for now …

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