Distinguishing Between Allow & Permit

Key Difference – Allow vs Permit

Allow and permit are two verbs with the same meaning: to give permission or make it possible for someone to do or have something. They are also similar to the verb “let,” which is more informal. The only difference between allow and permit is their level of formality; permit is considered more formal than allow, and is often used in reference to the law.

What Does Allow Mean?

Allow has two primary meanings:
1. Let someone have or do something
– He did not allow anyone to enter her chamber.
– She was the only one allowed to wear the royal colors.
– I don’t allow people to smoke in my house.
2. Give the necessary time or opportunity for
– The ceasefire allowed them to strengthen their forces.
– The new system allows you to access your data from different locations.
– The deep cave system allows passage through the mountains.
Example in a sentence:
– Smoking is not allowed inside this building.

What Does Permit Mean?

Permit shares the same meaning as allow. However, in some cases, permit can refer to the action of authorities, unlike allow. That is to say, permit can mean ‘officially allow (someone) to do something’. Therefore, permit is more used in formal and legal contexts. Examples of permit usage include:
– The government did not permit him to leave the country.
– The librarian did not permit anyone to enter the restricted section.
– We’ll go on a picnic tomorrow if the weather permits.
Example in a sentence:
– Smoking is not permitted in this building.

Permit as a Noun

Permit can also refer to a noun. The noun permit refers to an official document giving someone authorization to do something. For example:
– He only has a permit to cut the trees.
– I showed the security my special permit and entered the building.

What is the difference between Allow and Permit?

– Allow means let someone have or do something or give the necessary time or opportunity for something.
– Permit can mean officially allow someone to do something.

Grammatical Category:
– Allow is a verb.
– Permit is a noun and a verb.

– Allow is not as formal or official as permit.
– Permit is more formal than allow.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles