Common English Errors: Breath and Breathe

It's amazing what one little letter – an "e" in this case – can do to a word. Breath and breathe are often misused, but they have quite different meanings.

Note: If you are serious about improving your spelling, then Troy and I highly recommend you try the popular spelling-improvement software Ultimate Spelling.* Read a review of Ultimate Spelling and then visit Ultimate Spelling for more details.

Breath is a noun (an object). It means an inhalation and exhalation of air from the lungs, or the air so drawn into and out of the lungs. As in Debbie drew in another breath. It is pronounced "bre-th".

Breathe is a verb (an action). It means the action of breathing, or blowing softly. As in "After the exam was over, Dylan could breathe a sigh of relief." It is pronounced "br-ee-th".

If you remember there's an "e" in "verb" and "breathe", it can help you to spell this word correctly.

Using a program such as Ultimate Spelling can also help you to learn how to spell oft-misspelled words.


*Troy and I have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of Ultimate Spelling because we are happy to endorse that spelling-improvement software.


Last modified on Friday, 27 November 2015 23:34
English Language Skills (Denise)

English Language Skills (Denise)

I'm a syndicated puzzle writer, with 8 puzzle books to my name, including Word Searches for Dummies and Cracking Codes and Cryptograms for Dummies (with Mark Koltko-Rivera). I have a background in science and graphic design, and am a trained indexer. My favourite puzzles are cryptic crosswords. and my favourite books are murder mysteries and cookbooks. I am also a very keen knitter.

I write a blog all about puzzles, called Puzzling.

Website: E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
You are here: Write Better Spelling Tutorials Common English Errors: Breath and Breathe