Practice vs. Practise | Definition, Difference & Examples

Practice and practise are two different spellings of the verb meaning “train by repetition” or “engage professionally in something.”

The noun is always spelled “practice.” The spelling of the verb varies based on whether you’re writing in UK or US English:

  • In UK English, “practice” (with a “c”) is the noun and “practise” (with an “s”) is the verb.
  • In US English, “practice” (with a “c”) is used as both noun and verb. “Practise” (with an “s”) is never used.
Examples: Practise and practice in a sentence
I still practise/practice speaking French, albeit not often.

If you want to be a better cook, you should practise/practice cooking more often.

Gerard’s research has major implications for clinical practice.

The medieval practice of alchemy influenced the modern field of chemistry.

The noun is always practice

Regardless of the version of English you’re using, practice (with a “c”) is always used as the noun referring to the application of an idea, a repeated exercise, or a custom.

Examples: Practice as a noun
There’s a big difference between theory and practice.

You’re getting better at driving, but you need more practice before the exam.

Meditation is a common religious practice.

Practising or practicing

The same regional distinction applies to the “-ing” forms of the verb. Both forms can also be used as adjectives.

  • In UK English, “practising” (with an “s”) is standard.
  • In US English, “practicing” (with a “c”) is correct.
Examples: Practising and practicing in a sentence
You’ve been practising/practicing playing the drums all morning.

Ellie is no longer a practising/practicing doctor.

Best practice or best practise

Best practice is a noun referring to a procedure that’s considered a standard in a profession or field. The plural best practices is also commonly used to refer to a set of preferred procedures.

Best practice/best practices (with a “c”) is correct in both UK and US English. “Best practises” is never correct, because “practise” is not used as a noun.

Examples: Best practice in a sentence
It’s considered best practice to regularly update your company’s security system.

You can read more about best practices in the following chapter.

Other interesting language articles

If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

 

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.