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Bellow vs. Below

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips

In English, even minor spelling differences can completely change the meaning of common words. In these cases, a simple typo can completely derail your sentence and turn your writing from polished prose to meaningless drivel. Luckily, you can catch most of these errors through diligent proofreading. Below and bellow are two such words. There is only one letter’s difference between them, but they are actually different parts of speech. One is a preposition, and the other is a verb. You might be able to use prepositions as verbs in poetry, but for formal writing, you will need to know the difference between below and bellow.


Bellow originated from Middle English: perhaps from late Old English bylgan. The word below originated from late Middle English (as an adverb): from be- ‘by’ + the adjective low. Not common until the 16th century, the word developed a prepositional use and was frequent in Shakespeare.

Bellow as verb:

Bellow is used as a verb in English language where it means (of a person or animal) emit a deep loud roar, typically in pain or anger.

He bellowed in agony.

Bellow as noun:

Bellow can also be used as a noun meaning a deep roaring shout or sound.

A bellow of rage.

Below as preposition:

Below is used as a preposition in English language where it means at a lower level or layer than.

Just below the pocket was a stain.

Below also means extending underneath.

The tunnel below the crags.

Below as adverb:

Below is also used as an adverb which means at a lower level or layer.

He jumped from the window into the moat below.


“The socket wrench is on the shelf below the adjustable wrenches,” said the mechanic. (Preposition)

“Stow the treasure below!” shouted the captain as the ship was overtaken by pirates. (Adverb)

With investment returns expected to remain below historical averages and competition from low-cost robo advisers growing, advisers are looking to differentiate themselves to justify their fees and “gain the trust” of prospective clients, says Paul Auslander, former president of the Financial Planning Association. –The Wall Street Journal

“You kids get off my lawn!” bellowed the grumpy old curmudgeon.

The dog bellowed his disapproval at the squirrel who was eating from the bird feeder.

Nor can one commend an ensemble, almost all of whom bellow their lines as if somehow being young again conferred its own invitation to run riot. –The New York Times

Bellow or below:

Despite their similar spellings and close pronunciations, these words function as different parts of speech and are never interchangeable. Below functions as a preposition or an adverb and means beneath something else. Bellow is a verb that means to yell loudly, or a noun referring to a device used to keep a fire burning. It is easy to choose between these two words, so let’s go over a trick to remember bellow vs. below. Bellow and its rough synonym holler each have a double L, and they are both verbs. You can use the spelling of these words as a reminder that bellow is a verb.                                           

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