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Pedal vs. Peddle

Do you often confuse "pedal" for "peddle" or vice-versa? That's perfectly normal, as these words sound quite similar and may be hard to distinguish one from the other. Even so, the difference between both their meanings and their syntactical functions is major.

1:27 min read
  Charlotte B  —  Grammar Tips
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You cannot replace one with the other, which makes it essential to clearly understand the definition and correct use of each. Read the explanations below to sort things out right now!

Pedal vs. Peddle

Besides the fact that they are spelled differently despite their similar pronunciation, their syntactical function is the next major difference between "pedal" and "peddle". "Pedal" is always used as noun, only defining an object, whereas "peddle" is always used as verb, only defining an action. And, of course, the significations they carry are also perfectly distinct. Learn more about each word's meaning below.

When do we use "pedal"?

The noun "pedal" defines that part/component of a machine that determines the machine to operate or to move once the foot presses it. It can be the bike pedal, or the brake pedal from the car.

Example: The brake pedal worked great - otherwise, an accident would have been imminent. - a "pedal" is the component of a machine that is pressed with the foot to operate that machine.

Pedal vs. Peddle

When do we use "peddle"?

The verb "peddle" refers to the action of selling things of very low, bad quality. It is used especially when referring to the action of selling drugs.

Example: If the police learns that you peddle drugs, they will arrest you immediately. - "peddle" carries the significance of selling things that are illegal, bad, or low-quality.


It is extremely simple to distinguish "pedal" from "peddle" if you think about their syntactical functions. Remember "pedal" is always a noun, referring to a machine component, whether it's car pedal or bike pedal; while "peddle" is always used as a verb only, defining the action of selling drugs or bad-quality things. Not that confusing anymore, right?

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