Breathe vs. Breath – What is correct?

TL;DR – “Breathe” is a verb meaning to inhale and exhale air, while “breath” is a noun referring to the air taken in or expelled during breathing.

Especially or Specially

“Breath” and “breathe” are commonly confused English words that, while related in meaning, serve distinct grammatical functions.

Part of Speech: Noun
Definition: “Breath” refers to the actual air inhaled or exhaled during the act of breathing. It can also be used in idioms such as “a breath of fresh air,” meaning something new and refreshing, or “last breath,” implying the final moment before death.
Example Sentences:

  • “I could see her breath in the cold air.”
  • “His bad breath made it difficult to have a close conversation.”
  • “She was a breath of fresh air in the meeting.”

Part of Speech: Verb
Definition: “Breathe” denotes the action of inhaling and exhaling air. The process of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide is vital for life. The word “breathe” can also be used metaphorically, as in “breathe new life” into something, meaning to revitalize.
Example Sentences:

  • “It’s essential to breathe deeply during meditation.”
  • “Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.”
  • “The funding helped breathe new life into the project.”

To help English learners remember the distinction: “breathe” (with the “e” at the end) is the verb, representing the action, while “breath” (without the final “e”) is the noun, signifying the actual air inhaled or exhaled. The extra letter “e” in “breathe” adds a vowel sound, which mirrors the elongated action of inhaling and exhaling, making it easier to differentiate the two in both spoken and written English.


  • How do you use breath or breathe in a sentence?

Published on: 2023-09-30
Updated on: 2023-10-06

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.