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Difference between Allowed and Aloud

allowed or aloud

In English, words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings, known as homophones, often cause confusion. “Allowed” and “aloud” are prime examples. Although they sound similar, these two words serve entirely different functions in the language. This article aims to demystify these terms, providing clear definitions, origins, and examples of their correct usage.

MeaningPermitted or given permissionSomething done with voice, not silently
UsageTo denote permission or allowanceTo indicate that something is spoken or read out loud
Part of SpeechVerb (past tense of allow)Adverb
Example SentencePhotography is not allowed in the museum.She read the poem aloud to the class.

Difference Between “Allowed” and “Aloud”

Definition of Allowed

Allowed” is the past tense of the verb “allow,” meaning to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen. It refers to the act of permitting or granting approval, often used in contexts involving rules, regulations, or personal consent.

Definition of Aloud

Aloud,” an adverb, means to say something in a voice that can be clearly heard; it is the opposite of silently or quietly. It emphasizes the audible aspect of speech or reading, indicating that sounds are made to be heard by others.


Origin of Allowed

The word “allowed” comes from the Old French word “alouer,” which means “to praise, approve, or commend,” and from Latin “allocare,” meaning “to place, allot, or assign.” Over time, its meaning shifted to include the concept of permission.

Origin of Aloud

Aloud” originates from the Middle English phrase “out loud” or “in loud,” where “loud” comes from the Old English “hlūd,” meaning “producing sound” or “noisy.” The term evolved to specifically refer to vocal sounds made to be heard.


  • Allowed: /əˈlaʊd/
  • Aloud: /əˈlaʊd/

Despite their identical pronunciation, the context in which they are used clearly distinguishes their meanings.

Comparing Allowed and Aloud

The primary distinction between “allowed” and “aloud” hinges on their grammatical roles and meanings. “Allowed” is a verb focusing on permission, whereas “aloud” is an adverb related to the manner in which speech or sound is produced. Recognizing their usage is key to applying each word correctly.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Allowed in Sentences

  1. Mobile phones are not allowed during the examination.
    • Indicates a prohibition or rule against mobile phone use.
  2. She was finally allowed to visit her friends after the quarantine period.
    • Describes permission being granted after a restriction.
  3. Parking is only allowed for residents in this area.
    • Specifies a rule permitting parking for a particular group.
  4. Are we allowed to bring our own food into the venue?
    • Questions the permissibility of an action.
  5. Children under 12 are not allowed to watch this movie without adult supervision.
    • States a restriction based on age.

Use of Aloud in Sentences

  1. He thought aloud, sharing his ideas with anyone who would listen.
    • Describes someone speaking their thoughts audibly.
  2. Reading aloud can improve your pronunciation and fluency.
    • Suggests a benefit of vocalizing text.
  3. The teacher asked the students to read the passage aloud.
    • Instructs students to vocalize text for auditory reception.
  4. She laughed aloud at the joke, unable to contain her amusement.
    • Indicates a loud, audible reaction.
  5. Can you say that aloud? I didn’t catch what you whispered.
    • Requests repetition of something in an audible manner.


Understanding the difference between “allowed” and “aloud” is crucial for effective communication. “Allowed” pertains to permission or allowance, while “aloud” refers to something being done in an audible manner. By grasping these distinctions, you can avoid confusion and convey your messages more precisely.

aloud definition

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Can “allowed” and “aloud” be used interchangeably?
A: No, they cannot. Despite their similar pronunciation, their meanings and grammatical functions differ significantly.

Q: Is there a trick to remembering the difference between “allowed” and “aloud”?
A: Yes, associating “allowed” with “allowance” or permission and “aloud” with “loud” or sound can help distinguish between the two.

Q: Are there common errors to watch out for when using “allowed” and “aloud”?
A: The main error to avoid is confusing one for the other due to their similar sound. Always consider the context of permission versus audible action to choose the correct word.


What is the difference between “allowed” and “aloud”?

“Allowed” is the past tense of the verb “allow” and means “permitted, granted, or given permission to.” On the other hand, “aloud” is an adverb that means “with a loud voice” or “audibly.”

What is the definition of “allowed”?

“Allowed” means to give permission or permit something to happen.

What is the definition of “aloud”?

“Aloud” is an adverb that means “with a loud voice” or “audibly.”

How can “allowed” be used in a sentence?

“Allowed” can be used to indicate permission or granting of a specific action. For example, “You are allowed to enter” or “She allowed her children to stay up late.”

How can “aloud” be used in a sentence?

“Aloud” is often used to describe speaking or reading something in a manner that can be heard by others. For example, “She read the poem aloud” or “He spoke aloud during the presentation.”

Is there a difference in the usage of “allowed” and “aloud” in American English and UK English?

The overall distinction between “allowed” and “aloud” remains the same in both American English and UK English. However, there may be slight variations in their usage based on regional differences or specific contexts.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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