'Aloud' vs 'Allowed': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on June 29, 2023

If you are looking for the difference between 'aloud' vs. 'allowed,' you are in the right place.

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Aloud' is an adverb that means something is read out loud. 
  • 'Allowed' is the past tense form of the verb allow, which means to grant permission or approval.

To learn more about these terms, take a deeper dive into this guide with examples, definitions, pronunciations, and usage tips. The post will teach you the difference between the adverb and verb and when to use each.

The Difference Between 'Aloud' vs. 'Allowed?'

'Aloud' and 'allowed' are homophones, which means they have different spellings and meanings but similar pronunciations. Another difference is that 'allowed' is the past tense form of the verb allow, while 'aloud' is an adverb that describes how the subject completes the verb.

When to Use 'Aloud' vs. 'Allowed'

You just learned the difference between 'aloud' and 'allowed.'

Now, let's look at how and when to use these terms.

  • Use 'aloud' to describe a verb as being completed by someone by speaking with a ton that themselves or others can hear.

As an example, you might hear someone say:

I read my article aloud after I edited it, and I am glad I did! I found several grammar and spelling errors.

  • Use 'aloud' to say that someone shared something using their voice.

For example, I might say something like:

I've read that book five times, but hearing her read it aloud made the story even better.

  • Use 'allowed' in the past tense to say that someone gave permission or approval for something in the past.

For example, you could say:

His mom allowed him to use the car for the weekend because he said he would clean it and pay for his gas. 

  • Use 'allowed' to say that something is permitted.

For instance, you might hear someone say:

Photos are allowed in the arena, but please turn off your flash.

  • Use 'allowed' with an adverb that acts as a negative function word to indicate that a specific behavior is not authorized.

Case in point, you might see a sign that says:

You are not allowed to take wildlife from national parks

Definition of 'Aloud': What Does 'Aloud' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the meaning of 'aloud' is:

  • Spoken in an audible voice

It can also mean:

  • Spoken loudly or in a loud voice

Synonyms of 'Aloud'

  • Audible
  • Out loud
  • Spoken
  • Verbally
  • Outspoken
  • Blatant
  • Blunt
  • Resoundingly

'Aloud' Terms and Phrases

  • Spoken aloud
  • Thoughts aloud
  • Share aloud
  • Say aloud

Definition of 'Allowed': What Does 'Allowed' Mean?

The same dictionary defines 'allowed' as a verb that means:

  • Permitted, allowed, or authorized

It can also mean:

  • To let something go without restraint
  • To give a segment or piece of something or time to do something
  • To admit
  • To have a specific opinion
  • To give a chance or opportunity

Synonyms of 'Allowed'

  • Permitted
  • Green-light
  • Tolerate
  • Admit
  • Endure
  • Condone
  • Authorized
  • Accredited
  • Warranted
  • Approved
  • Lawful
  • Legal
  • Licit
  • Permissible
  • Admissable
  • Acceptable

'Allowed' Terms and Phrases

  • Not allowed
  • Never allowed
  • No stopping allowed
  • No hitchhiking allowed
  • No single-passenger vehicles allowed

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Aloud' or 'Allowed'

When you are learning about terms, it is helpful to look at the pronunciation. Learning how to pronounce a term correctly will help you remember the spelling and meaning.

So, whether you are learning English as a second language or working on your writing skills, the pronunciation guide below will help:

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'aloud':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'allowed':


Sample Sentences Using 'Aloud' and 'Allowed'

Now, look at these sample sentences using 'aloud' and 'allowed' to see how you can use them in different ways.


  • Please open your book to page 193 and read the second passage aloud.
  • You will each have a written test and a verbal test. During the verbal test, you will answer each question aloud.
  • It can be challenging to read aloud when you are in front of an audience.
  • During the trivia game, you have to be the first person to say the answer aloud to win the point. The person who has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
  • Please recite your assigned passage aloud. If you do not know it, you should do your best to remember it. Otherwise, you will receive a zero.
  • He was speaking aloud last night while he was dreaming. I understood what he was saying, but it was unclear who he was talking to.
  • Each morning, you should write your goals for the day and say them aloud.


  • Using your book, notes, or other aids during the exam is not allowed.
  • The teacher allowed the students who scored higher than 80 on the practice test to use their notes during the final exam.
  • His new lease on life allowed him to reconcile with his family and find love.
  • FYI, no one without a security clearance is allowed beyond those doors. So, you have to work out here until your background check is complete.
  • You are not allowed to use cuss words or inappropriate language in formal emails.
  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are only allowed one paid vacation day per quarter.
  • If allowed this incredible opportunity, I hope you take it! You would be perfect for the role, and the organization would flourish under your leadership.

A Last Look at the Difference Between 'Aloud' vs. 'Allowed'

Finally, let's take another look at the difference between 'aloud' vs. 'allowed.'

Here is a quick recap: 

  • 'Aloud' is an adjective that describes the way a subject completes a verb. 
  • The definition of 'aloud' is verbalizing something so that it is audible. 
  • 'Allowed' is the past tense form of the verb allow. 
  • The definition of 'allowed' is permitted, accepted, or acknowledged.

You should be an expert on these terms, but if you need a reminder, you can return to this post for a quick review.

You can also read the other confusing word guides here to learn about other commonly mistaken and misused English terms. Each includes definitions, usage tips, grammar rules, pronunciations, and examples. So, they are a great way to learn grammar rules or develop a stronger vocabulary.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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