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Are You Thinking “Aloud” or “Out Loud”?

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Do “aloud” and “out loud” mean the same thing? We’ll go over their definitions and provide example sentences.

Aloud vs. Out loud. Learn more about these words below.
Can “aloud” and “out loud” be used interchangeably?
Aloud vs. Out Loud
  • Aloud and out loud are both used to mean “with a speaking voice loud enough to be heard by other people.” They can be used interchangeably, although aloud is the older of the two phrases.
    • He was thinking aloud about what to do next.
      He was thinking out loud about what to do next.

Is It “Aloud” or “Out Loud”?

Aloud and out loud are two different phrases that are synonymous. Therefore, they can be used interchangeably without much fuss from your readers. Below, we’ll elaborate on their definitions and provide examples.

“Aloud”—Definition and Examples

Aloud is a one-word adverb that means “in a voice that is audible to other people.” If you’re speaking aloud, then you’re not whispering to yourself or silently. Instead, your voice is loud enough so that other people can hear you.

She giggled aloud and made all the kids around her giggle, too.
David thought aloud and tried to come up with a solution.
On the last day of class, the students cried aloud.
“Aloud” or “Allowed”?

Be careful with aloud’s homophone friend, allowed. These words cannot be used interchangeably. Aloud is an adverb, whereas allowed is a verb (participle form) that means “to permit someone (or something) to do something.”

  • Thomas was allowed to speak about his concerns.

“Out Loud”—Definition and Examples

Out loud is a two-word adverbial phrase that is synonymous with aloud. Although there was a time that out loud was considered “too colloquial,” it’s quite common to see it today in both formal and casual settings.

They asked me to read out loud but I was too nervous.
I didn’t notice I was thinking out loud until Deon pointed it out.
Please read the instructions out loud.
Ed Sheeran's song “Thinking Out Loud” could have used the word “aloud” instead, and it wouldn't have changed the meaning of the song.

Using “Aloud” and “Out Loud”

When it comes to aloud and out loud, some expressions are more popular than others. Check out the results of a Google Ngram search:

Out loud or aloud chart.
“Aloud” and “out loud” can be used interchangeably in these common expressions.

Thinking aloud and reading aloud are more common than their counterparts. However, crying out loud and laughing out loud win the battle.

In either case, both aloud and out loud can be used with these expressions. All you have to remember is that aloud and out loud both mean “audibly, so that other people can hear” and can be used interchangeably.

If you’re struggling with word choice, LanguageTool–a multilingual spelling and grammar checker–can ensure correct usage. This advanced editor can also easily provide synonyms, suggest formatting improvements, and help improve your style and tone with its rephrasing feature.

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