Both breath and breathe have something to do with air in our lungs, but each word has a different function in the sentence. One refers to the air itself, and the other is the action of inhaling and exhaling.
Stopping abruptly, he said, “I need to catch my breath.”
In this post, I want to compare breath vs. breathe. I will go over the definitions of each word and how they function in a sentence. Plus, at the end, I will give you a trick to remember the difference. After reading this post, you won’t ever again wonder to yourself, “Is it spelled breath or breathe?”
Breath as noun:
I was gasping for breath.
Breathe as verb:
She was breathing deeply.
Use of breath:
Breath (pronounced breth) is a noun and refers to the air inhaled or exhaled out of one’s lungs. Breath refers to the actual air that is either inhaled or exhaled from one’s lungs. As I mentioned above, it is pronounced as breth (rhymes with death).
Take a breath; it will be okay.
Do you think Eric will be on time today? Don’t hold you breath.
Use of breathe:
Breathe (pronounced breeth) is a verb and to breathe is the action of inhaling and exhaling air using the lungs. Breathe doesn’t refer to air itself; instead, it refers to the action of inhaling and exhaling air from one’s lungs. Breath is also pronounced differently that breath. Breathe is pronounced as breeth (rhymes with seethe).
After the race, I could hardly breathe.
Breath or breathe:
Is it breathe or breath? The spelling, of course, depends on your sentence. Do you need a noun or a verb? Breath is a noun and refers to the air that it inhaled or exhaling while breathing. Breathe is a verb and is the action of inhaling or exhaling. Here is a useful trick to remember breathe vs. breath. If you use this as a memory check when you go to use these words, you will be all set. Think of the extra “e” in breathe as standing for exhale. To breathe is to exhale.