‘Case in Point' or 'Case and Point': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 10, 2023

Are you wondering whether to use ‘case in point’ or ‘case and point’? What’s the difference? And which is actually correct? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct phrase in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming? Here’s the short answer.

'Case in point' is the correct way to write the phrase. 'Case and point' is how it's commonly misspelled. Therefore, you should avoid using that spelling of the phrase in your writing.

‘Case in Point’ or ‘Case and Point’ – What’s the Difference?

The difference between these two is that ‘case in point’ is correct, and ‘case and point’ isn’t. Never use the latter in your writing.

Is the Correct Phrase ‘Case in Point’ or ‘Case and Point’?

Since you know the difference between these two phrases, you know that ‘case in point’ is the only correct way to say this phrase.

Definition and Meaning

Let’s break down what ‘case in point’ means. Well, we’ve got ‘in point,’ which is a pretty old phrase. It’s something called a fossil phrase, which is only found in an idiom and never really used on its own. ‘In point’ typically means something relevant or something important.

‘Case’ can refer to something that serves as an example, and ‘point’ refers to an idea that you try to make people understand or accept.

Therefore, the meaning of ‘case in point’ is: “an instance or example that supports, or is relevant or pertinent to, what is being discussed.”

The official Merriam-Webster definition is: “an illustrative, relevant, or pertinent case.”

How to Use the Phrase in a Sentence

Now that you know what the idiom means, let’s see how to use it in a sentence correctly.

  • I knew we’d blow y’all out of the water. Last week’s game was a case in point.
  • She said you were mean. The fact you left me without a ride is a case in point.
  • The way you dress says a lot about your personality. Todd’s a slob. Case in point.
  • I’m better at basketball than you. I win every time—case in point.
  • I’m a stellar student. My grades are a case in point.
  • My niece is a great driver. Her clean driving record is a case in point.

A Brief History

The term ‘case in point’ originates from the French term à point, which means something relevant to the point and dates all the way back to 1647. It was taken from the Anglo-Norman phrase en point, meaning the state or condition of something. It was used to refer to the examples of legal cases presented in the courts.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Case in Point’ and ‘Case and Point’

Now that you know what ‘case in point’ means and the correct way to say (and write) the phrase, you can use the above examples to create your own sentences.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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