Confusing Words

Licence Vs License

One problem that has always bothered many English speakers around the world is the matter of licence vs license. Furthermore, license refers to both as a verb and noun in the United States. However, when people live in other English speaking nations, they may spell the word as licence. Moreover, the people in such English speaking countries would spell it only as a noun. However, when they use the word as a verb, they would spell it as license, similar to the United States. Therefore, the verb form of this word is always spelt as license. Most noteworthy, the word always has the same exact meaning—to provide permission or to issue a license.

As one can see, spelling is the only criterion to differentiate licence vs license.  However, other than the spelling, the meaning of both the variants remains the same. Most noteworthy, this difference usually takes place between American English and British English.

licence vs license

Difference Between Licence and License

Most people often end up in confusion regarding the terms licence vs license. There certainly exist some big differences between the words licence vs license. Furthermore, these differences pertain to the convention, usage, and form of expression.

There are some individuals who use both the words in an interchangeable manner. However, experts of the English language do not recommend such a thing even though the meaning of both may be the same.

The first and foremost difference between licence vs license is with regards to the convention. Furthermore, the word licence is a convention of the United Kingdom, while license is a convention of the United States.

In the UK convention, use of licence takes place as a noun, and license becomes the verb. This happens even though the licence meaning is the same as that of license. In the US version, the use of license takes place to imply both the verb and the noun.

As the usage can vary, many people find it difficult to remember the correct form of the word. Therefore, an easy way to know whether the word is a verb or noun is by following a simple rule.

The rule involves following the spelling- alphabet C is before S, and letter N is before V. Therefore, the word licence is a noun, while the word license reflects a verb. Simply speaking, C is the denotation of a noun, while S is the denotation of a verb.

A license can refer to permission to carry out or do some activity. For example, having a medical pharmacist license allows an individual to be a pharmacist.

In some contexts, licence refers to the document which facilitates or grants or discusses permission to something. For example, having a driving licence proves that a person is eligible to drive.

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When/How to Use Licence

Let us now see how to make sentences using the variant licence. Furthermore, this will make the students understand the matter of licence vs license in a better manner.

Correct use of the word licence is- “The authorities have revoked the driver’s licence of Peter”. Incorrect use of the word licence is- “’President’s driving licence’ were the words written in an American magazine/book”. Furthermore, in the second example, the use of word license should have taken place because it is the accepted variant in American English.

When/How to Use License

Now let us understand how to use the variant license in a sentence. This will bring out the difference between the two variants of licence and license in a more enhanced manner.

Correct use of the word license is- “The shop has the license to sell precious stones”. Incorrect use of the word license is- “’License revoked’ were the words mentioned in a UK newspaper”. In the second case, the use of the word licence should have taken place because it is the acceptable variant in British English.

Examples of Licence – Using Licence in a Sentence

Let us go through some example of the word licence to better understand the difference between the two words.

Example 1: To prove that he is a driver, John gave us a look at his driving licence

Example 2: The licensing authority will soon issue him a licence. In this example, there is the use of the word licensing even though the variant present is licence spelling. This is an example of British English usage

Example 3: Why don’t you apply for an export licence?

Examples of License – Using License in a Sentence

Let us go through some examples of the word license. Furthermore, these examples will be similar to those of licence because the meaning of both variants is the same.

Example 1: A restaurant must apply for a license to sell wine. Furthermore, this example shows the presence of a need.

Example 2: Peter has to pay a hefty fine for driving without a license.

Example 3: Getting a gun licence here seems to be an easy process without any complications.

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