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Word comparisons

Note 26 – Is it licence or license?

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link –  If you would prefer to dive straight into note 26, then please read on…

When to use licence and license

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Manser & Stephen Curtis (Penguin Reference Library), explains quite simply that in British English, licence is the noun and license is the verb.  In American English the spelling is license in all circumstances. 

British English

1. Licence (noun)

I have had a driving licence for 25 years

The corner shop has a licence to sell alcohol

2. License (verb – to license)

Is Maisy licensed to sell ice cream from her van?

For more information on vehicle licensing go to…

American English

1. License (for everything)

The corner shop has a license to sell alcohol     [different from British English]

Is Maisy licensed to sell ice cream from her van?    [the same as British English]

My thoughts: This is another one like ‘note 23 practice and practise’, where it is learnable.  Just remember that the words practice and licence are the way that the noun in spelt in British English.

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog.   

Until tomorrow…



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Reference list

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis (Penguin Reference Library)


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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