Practice or Practise?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between practice and practise?

If you're following US convention, use practice (i.e., practice can be used as a noun or a verb). If you're following British convention, you must use practice for the noun but practise for the verb. For example:
  • Practice makes perfect. () ()
  • (Here, practice is a noun.)
  • Shall I practice my handwriting? () ()
  • (Here, practice is a verb.)
Note: Some in the US are starting to follow the UK convention.

Practice and Practise

Those following US writing convention don't need to worry about the difference between practice and practise. Just use practice. However, if you're following British convention, life is a little more difficult. You must use practice for the noun but practise for the verb.

licence license UK US
Infographic showing the difference between practice and practise.

If you follow UK convention and you're unsure how to identify nouns and verbs, you can use the substitution trick below.
The Substitution Trick

A Trick To Spot Practice

Try using the word preparation (or lessons) instead of practice. If the sentence still makes sense, then practice is almost certainly correct.

(This trick works because practice is a noun, just like the words preparation and lessons.)

A Trick To Spot Practise

Try using the verb to prepare (in its various forms, e.g., preparing, prepared, prepares) instead of practise. If the sentence still makes sense, then practise is almost certainly correct. However, if you find yourself trying to use preparation, then you should be using practice because both are nouns.

(This trick works because to practise is a verb, just like to prepare.)

Example Sentences with Practice and Practise

Remember, Americans do not need to worry about the word practise. Americans can just use practice. British writers do need to worry though. Here, for the Brits, are some examples with practice and practise.

Example 1:
  • You need more practice.
  • (Here, practice is a noun.)
Try the substitution trick:
  • You need more preparation.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practice is correct. NB: Preparation and practice are both nouns.)
Example 2:
  • You should practise more.
  • (Here, practice is a verb.)
Try the substitution trick:
  • You should prepare more.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practise is correct. NB: Prepare and practise are both verbs.)
Example 3:
  • They practice in the office for 10 weeks before being sent into the real world.
Try the substitution trick:
  • They preparation in the office for 10 weeks before being sent into the real world.
  • (This is nonsense. Therefore, practice must be wrong. It should be practise because prepare sounds okay.)
Example 4:
  • Keep practicing that stroke until the whistle blast.
Try the substitution trick:
  • Keep preparing that stroke until the whistle blast.
  • (This sounds okay. Therefore, practising is correct. NB: Preparing and practising are both formed from verbs.)


As this came from a British publication, it should say practises not practices.

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the difference between practice and practise.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words