GCSE English

Licence and license


This confusion is so similar to practice and practise that once you've learned the difference for one, you instantly know it for the other!

Licence is a noun, license is a verb. Before learning to drive, you apply for a provisional driving licence, but the DVLA must license you to drive.

When you install a TV in your home, you must have a TV licence. The TVLA (0800 0324690) license you to watch TV.

In the USA they use "license" as a noun. Since computer software comes with a licence for you to use it, this is commonly misspelled as license.

A software licence is often printed on paper - like a certificate. So the critical last two letters remind you of this fact - a licence is a thing (noun).

"Ed didn't have a fishing licence - the council had decided not to license anyone new this year to conserve stocks."

Advice and advise
Affect and effect
Bought and brought
Complement and compliment
Discreet and discrete
Hear and here
Its and it's
Lead and led
Less and fewer
Licence and license
Loose and lose
  Plane and plain
Poor, pore and pour
Practice and practise
Principal and principle
Sort and sought
Stationary and stationery - new!
There, their and they're
Threw, through and thorough
To and too
Warn and Worn
Whose and who's
Your and you're

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