CS Sealey

New Zealand-based sub-editor, writer and author

The difference between tenant and tenet

You’d be surprised how often the word tenant is confused with tenet, especially in spoken English.

tenant (noun)—a person who rents and occupies a piece of land or property

‘I got a new tenant for the flat today. He seems nice.’

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a book by Anne Brontë.

tenant (verb)—to occupy land or property

The second bedroom was tenanted out to George’s friend from college.

tenet (noun)—a principle or rule of belief

The Five Tenets must be obeyed or risk the wrath of Sithis!

I couldn’t help myself with that last one! Remember, tenant refers to people renting out properties, not systems of belief.

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