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Patience, Young Grasshopper

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Here’s how to remember when to use “patience” and “patients” correctly.

How To Spell Patience
Doctors must have much “patience” to treat several “patients.”

My mother had a lot of patients with us when we were young and wild.

My mother had a lot of patience with us when we were young and wild.

A wise man once said, “patience is a virtue.” We agree. Knowing how to spell patience is important, too. Below, we’ll cover the correct spelling of patience and teach you how not to confuse it with patients.


How To Spell “Patience” Correctly

The correct spelling of patience is p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e.

Correct spelling of "patience"
“Patience” often gets mixed up with “patients.”

It is pronounced /ˈpeɪʃns/, which sounds like pay-shns. This word is a noun (person, place, thing, or idea) that means “the ability to accept delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry, bothered, or upset.”

You must have patience if you want to photograph an animal in the wild.

The adjective form of this word is patient, and that’s where the confusion comes in.


“Patience” vs. “Patients”

As we stated above, patience is the ability to accept delay, trouble, or suffering without getting bothered. In other words, it’s staying calm, cool, and collected when things don’t go as planned.

Someone who is patient (adjective) has patience (noun). However, patient has another definition. It’s a noun that means “a person awaiting or receiving medical care.”

The doctor had to treat the patient before he could take the call.

The plural form of this word is patients. It is pronounced /ˈpeɪʃnts/, which sounds like pay-shnts. As you can see, it has a nearly identical pronunciation to patience.

Remember this:

Patience means staying calm, cool, and collected. Patients are people who are receiving medical treatment.


What Are Other Words for “Patience”?

Other words you could use instead of patience are:

  • tolerance

Mr. Jones had a lot of patience for misbehaving students.

Mr. Jones had a lot of tolerance for misbehaving students.

  • calmness

I appreciated the customer’s patience as we fixed the audio on the TVs.

I appreciated the customer’s calmness as we fixed the audio on the TVs.

  • forbearance

It’s a difficult journey, but you must have the patience to reach your goal.

It’s a difficult journey, but you must have the forbearance to reach your goal.


Have “Patience”

If you’re still having trouble with this word, have patience. Correct spelling is a matter of practice and familiarization. If you need extra assistance, try LanguageTool. This multilingual text editor will correct grammar and spelling mistakes, easily provide synonyms, and offer stylistic improvements.


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