English has plenty of homophones, but two of the most easily confused homophones are aloud and allowed. These two words give even experienced writers trouble. If you make this mistake in a text message or a post on social media, the stakes may be fairly low, depending on your circle of friends. The same mistake in an academic essay or professional correspondence, however, can be seriously detrimental to your credibility as a writer.
Aloud originated from Middle English: (expressing manner) + loud. Allowed originated from Middle English (originally in the senses ‘commend, sanction’ and ‘assign as a right’): from Old French alouer, from Latin allaudare ‘to praise’, reinforced by medieval Latin allocare ‘to place’
Aloud as adverb:
He read the letter aloud.
He wept aloud.
Allowed as verb:
Allowed is the past tense of allow.
Bertelson was one of five Las Positas College veterans who read aloud essays that they had written about their military experiences at the first-ever “LPC Veterans Stories” event, which took place on the evening of November 4th at the college’s Barbara F. Mertes Center for the Arts. (The Independent)
Maddon also didn’t back down from the rival Cardinals, wondering aloud if Tony Soprano was in the visitor’s dugout after Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch on purpose on Sept. 18. (The Chicago Tribune)
There, he read aloud a proclamation from Governor-General Kerr dismissing Prime Minister Gough Whitlam from the nation’s highest political office and installing Malcolm Fraser in his place. (The Sunshine Coast Daily)
A woman who belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was allowed to wear a colander on her head in a driver’s license photo after her original bid to do so was denied. (The Huffington Post)
Indications that Umar will eventually be cleared and allowed to join the Pakistan T20 squad have come with statements from captain Shahid Afridi that if he was innocent he should be included in the team for the England series. (The Times of INdia)
Allowed or aloud:
Aloud and allowed are homophones, but they are different parts of speech. Aloud is an adverb that means spoken or read in full voice. Allowed can be either an adjective, where it means permitted or sanctioned, or the past tense of the verb allow, which means to permit something or to concede a point. Since allowed ends with the suffix –ed, you can always remember to use it as a past tense verb instead of aloud.