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Aisle vs. Isle

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2:49 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Aisle and isle are one of the most confusing pair of words as they sound exactly alike and their spellings are almost similar too. There is however, a great difference between their meanings. Most young writers and English learners mistake this pair of homophones and it can result in change in the entire meaning of the sentence. For this purpose, you need to be aware of the meanings, usage and difference between the words aisle and isle. This article will sure prove to be informative about this pair of words.


Aisle originated from the late Middle English ele, ile, from Old French ele, from Latin ala ‘wing’. The spelling change in the 17th century was due to confusion with isle and influenced by French aile ‘wing’. Isle originated from Middle English ile, from Old French, from Latin insula . The spelling with s (also in 15th-century French) were influenced by Latin.

Aisle as noun:

Aisle is used as a noun in English language where it describes a passage between rows of seats in a building such as a church or theatre, an aircraft, or train. It has synonyms like passage, passageway, corridor, gangway, walkway, path, lane or alley etc. She wandered round the aisles, filling up her trolley.

The musical had the audience dancing in the aisles.

Aisle is also defined as a passage between cabinets and shelves of goods in a supermarket or other building. I spend much of my time at the shops, wandering through the aisles. In architecture, (in a church) a lower part parallel to the nave, choir, or transept, from which it is divided by pillars is known as the aisle.


The tiled roof over the south aisle needs repairing.


Isle as noun:


An isle, on the other hand is used as a noun in English language where it means an island or peninsula, especially a small one, in the middle of the sea.

Aisle vs. Isle


Crusoe's fabled isle is my favorite.



You can understand why the Obama spin machine would rather suggest there is disarray on the Republican side of the aisle. [Washington Post]

There is nothing vaguely real about this much-visited uncharted desert isle. [Los Angeles Times]

The 787 will have a wider cabin, allowing for wider seats and aisles. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Tatum plays a loyal Roman whose honour gets a drubbing, while Bell plays a “barbarian” from the British Isles. [Montreal Gazette]

As Kim Kardashian gets ready to walk down the aisle with fiancé Kris Humphries, her American football star ex-boyfriend is dating her doppelgänger. [Daily Mail]

The towering presence of the Mt Yeoti volcano watches over Niseko, jewel of Japan’s most northerly isle. [Telegraph]

Aisle or isle:

An aisle is a passageway between rows and seats in a building, such as a church, theater, or auditorium however, an isle is an island, usually a small one. If you have a hard time remembering this difference, have no fear. There is a great trick you can use each and every time you can’t decide which is correct, aisle or isle. An aisle is something that you find on an airplane. Both of these words start with the same two letters, “AI.” An isle, on the other hand, is an island. Both of these words start with the same two letters, “IS.”

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