'Trainor' or 'Trainer': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on December 14, 2022

'Trainor' or 'trainer' - what is the difference? And which one is the correct spelling to refer to a person who trains?

In short:

  • The correct spelling is 'trainer.'
  • 'Trainor' is an incorrect spelling of the noun.

'Trainor' or 'Trainer' - What is the Difference?

'Trainor' is a common misspelling of the noun 'trainer.' It's incorrect to use it.

  • 'Trainer' is the correct spelling for the widely used word that means to train someone.

Having said that, 'Trainor' can be a proper noun - like the famous singer Meghan Trainor - and takes a capital 'T' like all proper nouns.

Definition of 'Trainer': What does 'Trainer' Mean?

You should use the spelling 'trainer' whenever you're using the word in its noun form. It has several meanings. 

  • The first meaning is to refer to someone who trains.
    • This could be a personal trainer that helps you with your fitness,
    • An animal trainer specializing in animal behavior or an
    • Experienced trainer teaching you to do your job when you start a new role.

'Trainer' is also the British English word for 'sneakers.' You'd have to use it in its plural form if you're using it in this sense.

Let's take a look at some examples of the word used in sentences.

My personal trainer wants me to do reps every day, but I can't find the time.

I've hired a dog trainer to help with Zeus's behavior.

He's the senior trainer for the compliance team.

I'm so grateful for my trainer at work; she taught me everything I needed to know.

I need some new trainers for my marathon.

Horse number 3 crossed the finish line first, much to the delight of trainer Marc.

My trainer told me to keep up the good work!

Before hiring a trainer, ensure you check their credentials.

My personal trainer's helping me get back on track with my fitness goals.

I have to check in with my dog trainer once a week by sending her a few videos.

Why is There Some Confusion About 'Trainer'?

There's some confusion around the spelling of the word 'trainer' because nouns of agency often end in -or.

  • Nouns of agency are what you get when you take a verb and turn it into a profession.
    • 'Actor,' 'solicitor,' and 'governor' are some such examples.

The -or ending is pronounced exactly the same as the -er ending. And it's the same for -ar endings, for that matter, like 'beggar' and 'liar.'

The reason for these different word endings has yet to be determined, although speculations are often made.

Like most things with English grammar, the best way for you to remember is to keep practicing so you'll memorize the correct spellings over time.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Trainor' or 'Trainer'

Now that we've clarified which of the two is the correct spelling for the word 'trainer,' let's quickly recap what we have learned. 

  • The correct spelling is 'trainer.'
  • 'Trainor' is an incorrect spelling of the noun.

I hope you feel more confident that you'll be able to spell it correctly and use it appropriately.

If you'd like to learn to spell more confusing words, visit our Confusing Words blog.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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