The English words principal and principle are homophones – they sound alike but have different meanings.
In English, principal is an adjective meaning first in order, in importance and can be replaced by main: principal cities are main cities of a country. As a noun, the principal is a person such as the Deputy principal or the school principal.
As an adjective, principal is similar to its French counterpart principal-e and means main or most important.
- Un objectif principal – a main goal, a principal objective (note the plural: des objectifs principaux)
- La rue principale – the main street
Principles, in both languages, refer to fundamental truths, theories, laws or a fundamental basis of something.
Please review the following:
- IN principle, I agree with you. → EN principe, je suis d’accord avec vous / toi.
- ON principle (or BY principle), I refuse. →PAR principe, je refuse.