• 2-minute read
  • 8th January 2019

Word Choice: Aloud vs. Allowed

The words ‘aloud’ and ‘allowed’ sound the same. However, these terms also have very different meanings, so you won’t want to confuse them in writing. To make sure your work is always error free, then, check out our guide below.

Aloud (Loud Enough to Hear)

‘Aloud’ is an adverb (i.e. it modifies a verb). We use it to show that something was said ‘out loud’. For instance, we could say:

He read the letter aloud so that his family could hear.

They laughed aloud when they saw the man fall over.

As such, this term simply means ‘at an audible volume’. And if you ever struggle to remember this, the fact that it contains the word ‘loud’ is helpful.

Allowed (Permitted)

The verb ‘allow’ means ‘give permission’. The simple past tense and past participle form of this word, meanwhile, is ‘allowed’. We therefore use it when permission has been given for something:

I am not allowed to run with scissors.

It can also indicate that someone has let someone have something:

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We allowed you a lot of freedom growing up.

Finally, ‘allowed’ can mean ‘set apart’ for a purpose, such as in:

I allowed myself an hour for preparation.

In all cases, though, ‘allowed’ is the past tense of the verb ‘allow’.

Summary: Aloud or Allowed?

These terms are very different in meaning, so mixing them up could look bad. However, they are also different in spelling, so it should be easy to tell them apart. Remember the following distinction to avoid errors:

  • Aloud is an adverb that means ‘spoken at an audible volume’.
  • Allowed is a past tense verb that means ‘permitted’.

If you struggle to recall which is which, keep in mind that saying something ‘aloud’ is the same as saying it ‘out loud’. And since ‘aloud’ contains the word ‘loud’, this term almost defines itself! In addition, if you’d like a little help ensuring that your writing is error free, just let us know.

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