‘Prove' vs 'Proof': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 7, 2023

Wondering what the difference is between ‘prove’ and ‘proof’? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to pronounce both words and use them in a sentence correctly.

In short, the difference between the two is:

  • 'Prove’ means to validate something using evidence. This word can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective.
  • The word ‘proof’ refers to the evidence used to justify an argument. It’s used as a noun.

While ‘proof’ stems from ‘prove,’ you can’t use these terms interchangeably.

Difference Between ‘Proof’ and ‘Prove’

As you just learned, the difference between ‘proof’ and ‘prove’ is that the former refers to evidence used to justify an argument, whereas the latter means to validate something, such as an argument, using evidence.

‘Proof’ is usually used as a noun, and ‘prove’ is most often used as a verb.

‘Proof’ vs. ‘Prove’ – What’s the Difference?

The main difference between these words is their meaning. ‘Proof’ is the evidence that helps establish a fact or truth.

‘Prove’ is the act of demonstrating that you have evidence that proves your point or argument.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Prove’ and ‘Proof’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘prove’ is to establish the existence, truth, or validity of, or to show yourself to be worthy or capable.

It could also mean testing the truth, validity, or genuineness of.

The same dictionary defines ‘proof’ as something that establishes validity or provides certainty. It could also mean evidence used to determine judgment or the minimum alcoholic strength of proof spirit.

It might also be used to mean able to resist or repel or to make or take a proof or test of.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Prove’ and ‘Proof’

Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce ‘prove’ correctly here’s the phonetic spelling: prOOv
  • To pronounce ‘proof’ correctly here’s the phonetic spelling: prOOf

How to Use ‘Prove’ in a Sentence

Now that you know what the words mean and how to use them in a sentence let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence, starting with ‘prove.’

  • I don’t know how to prove to you that I love you. I’ve done everything you asked.
  • You’re going to have to prove you made this dinner. I know you can’t cook.
  • I don’t have to prove anything to you. I’ve been doing this since before you were born.
  • It’s up to the plaintiff to prove the defendant committed a crime.

How to Use ‘Proof’ in a Sentence 

Now, let’s see some examples of how to use ‘proof.’

  • Do you have any proof or evidence that your ex-boyfriend wrecked your car?
  • You were supposed to provide proof that you completed all the assignments online.
  • In math class, my teacher called on me to do a proof equation, and I froze.
  • I wonder if she has any proof that I was at the party. I don’t want to get in trouble.

Final Thoughts on ‘Prove’ and ‘Proof’

To recap, we learned that the difference between these two words is that:

  • 'Prove’ means to validate an argument using evidence. It can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective.
  • ‘Proof’ means evidence used to justify an argument. It’s used as a noun.

Since they mean different things, you should avoid using these terms interchangeably.

If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back and refresh your memory. We’ve got a ton of other content on confusing words and phrases you might encounter in the English language. Go check it out anytime.

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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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