I am having trouble working out whether the following two uses of practice should be the verb (-ise) or the noun (-ice). Can anybody please help clarify?

  1. Every single member of our staff practices/practises discipline

  2. A practiced/practised workforce

I am interested in an answer based on UK English.

  • A good tip to remember this group of words (also licence/ license) in UK English is to say to yourself advice and advise, as you can 'hear' the difference in the noun/verb forms that way. Jan 12, 2021 at 11:24

3 Answers 3


Nouns in English are never inflected (unless you count the genitive), so you know that both of these cases are verbs. In British English, this means you have to use 'practises' and 'practised'.

However, in American English it is required to use the form 'practice' even as a verb.

  • So in UK English it should be (1.) practises and (2.) practised?
    – Shiro
    Nov 30, 2015 at 14:30
  • Sorry, it wasn't obvious to me that you needed a UK English answer.
    – Glorfindel
    Nov 30, 2015 at 14:35
  • 1
    Actually, in US English, practise is not used at all. US spell checkers won't even recognize it, and autocorrect to practice.
    – Karen
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:53

The word “practice” is a noun, it refers to an act itself, not who is doing it.

Examples using the word “practice” (noun)

1.If you want to speak French well, you need to practice.

2.I’m afraid I’m rather out of practice.

3.It is their practice to give annual raises.

Practise is a verb meaning ‘do something repeatedly to improve one skill’. It is a systematic training by multiple repetitions (rehearsing a behavior or engaging in an activity several times repeatedly) in order to improve or mastering that skill. To put this much simply, practise is a verb (doing word) and practice a noun (thing)

.Examples using the word “practise” (verb)

1.The new government has promised all citizens the right to practise their religion.

2.Why don’t you practise what you preach?

3.I’m quite good at tennis but I need to practise my serve.

  • 1
    I know this is an old post - but in the first noun example, it is in fact a verb, and should be 'practise' - or alternatively, the sentence could be reworded; eg replace 'to' with 'more', which would indeed imply a noun.
    – peterG
    May 6, 2020 at 15:07

Practise is a spelling in British English (BrE), and it is used only as a verb.

In American English (AmE), this verb is spelled practice.


Practice is used both in British English and American English. There is no noun spelled practise.

In your sentence 1, the choices you give are different spellings of the verb. If you want the BrE spelling you use practise.

In sentence 2, this is the verb in past participle form, being used as an adjective. Since you want BrE you want to use practised.

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