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Reinforce Vs Reenforce, What’s The Spelling We Should Use?

Reinforce Vs Reenforce, What’s The Spelling We Should Use?

The most important thing as a writer is to be understood by the reader. There is no room for errors, whether it is a story in a blog or an article in a magazine. When referencing strength, should you say reenforce or reinforce?

Reinforce is the most common and accepted spelling when about adding strength or force to something, again. But there’s also the thought that even if you write reenforce, it could still pass as an accepted variation of “reinforce,” based on the fact that the word “enforce” also exists. 

There’s an adage that reads, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck,” and even though this is something that is often used to identify something when augmenting, you could also use it to check what is the correct word to use. Let’s see if it looks, swims, and quacks like a duck.

reinforce sign spelled in red

What Does Grammar Say About This?

Spelling rules can either make you or break you, but it is important that the message you want to convey be clear and easy to understand. Some of the things that should be analyzed when using unfamiliar words are homophones, affixes, and variant spelling.

Homophone. A homophone is a word with different spelling and meaning as another one, but it has the same pronunciation. With reinforce and reenforce, the sound is pretty much the same. Which can make you wonder if a person can live their whole lives saying a word and never have written it. Is it possible that they mistake the spelling?

Some examples of homophones in the English language are the following:

  • Flower or flour
  • Write or right
  • Meet or meat
  • Peace or piece
  • Reinforce or reenforce

Affix. Words in any language that follows the Greek alphabet know that new words can be derived from existing ones. An affix is a grammatical component in forming a group of words that will change their meaning when added to a root word. In this example, both words have the prefix “re,” which means to do something again. Some examples are the following:

  • Readjust; to adjust again.
  • Reapply; to apply again.
  • Rewrite; to write again.
  • Reinforce; to in force or enforce again.

Variant spelling. Words can have different spellings based on a country, region, or the changes a language has undergone in time. The evolution of a language shows how well people adapt and advance.

Examples of spelling variation between American and British English are the following:

  • math vs. maths
  • trapezoid vs trapezium
  • canceled vs. cancelled
  • center vs. centre

Examples of spelling variation between old and modern English are the following:

  • autour vs. author
  • faute vs. fault
  • neuew vs. nephew
  • thou vs. you

Examples of spelling variation between more and less common usage are the following:

  • among vs. amongst
  • naught vs. nought

Word Vs Word Posts

What’s The Correct Spelling?

The term reinforce is from late Middle English from a combination of French (reinforcer), English (inforce), and Italian (rinforzare). It is a verb that means to strengthen or support something (an object or substance). Some of the uses of this word are in the context of strengthening an idea, feeling, or habit; or strengthening a military force. Some examples can be seen as follows:

  1. All you do is reinforce the notion that school teaches manners and is not valid.
  2. Always having her back only reinforces the idea that she deserves to be treated like that.
  3. If you keep cleaning up after your children, it reinforces the message that they don’t have to do it themselves.
  4. The army was the first part of the militia; next came the air force to reinforce the country’s security.
  5. She needs singing lessons to reinforce her voice after so much time without singing.
  6. Merging the two businesses will reinforce our products in the market.
  7. Adding some cardio and weight training will only reinforce the feeling of health in your life.
  8. The new advertisement strategy for the radio and the TV really helped reinforce our brand.
  9. Leaving the new player for the second half is an excellent idea as it will reinforce their defense.
  10. They make a great couple, and they may end up reinforcing each other.
  11. Schools often reinforce the idea that female students must cover their bodies so as not to distract male students.
  12. Flyers are always available in the reception area to reinforce healthy eating.
  13. If it is Tommy’s turn to bring the hamster home for the weekend, reinforce that it needs to be fed every day.
  14. Once you teach the subject, you can reinforce it by adding activities such as games or repetition drills.
  15. Parents who get jealous of their children reinforce the idea of competition.
  16. If you need any assistance, remember that the HR department is there to reinforce any work rules.
  17. Replacing meals with snacks will reinforce to the child that they don’t have to eat something if they don’t want to.
  18. Giving specific feedback to your employee will reinforce the sense of understanding between the two and not just lecturing in general.
  19. Having the stores reinforce the message that customers can return anything without a receipt is good customer service.
  20. Reinforce the warmth of a room with contrasting colors between the furniture and the walls.

reinforcement word in the dictionary

Why Is It Confusing?

Reenforce is supposed to be a variant of the word reinforce, and it makes a lot of sense. As described above, it is sometimes acceptable to have two versions of a word. When things like this happen, we must look at the root of the problem. Where does “reenforce” or “reinforce” really come from?

If the prefix is removed, you’ll get “enforce” and “inforce.” But are those actual words in English?

Inforce is a phrase that means something in full strength, alluding to military force in large numbers. Or it could also mean something that must be applied, binding. On the other hand, the word enforce is a verb that means to put force on something; to obtain something by obligation; to demand something by force; to urge an argument with energy.

Another thing could happen when you can’t seem to notice when there’s a typo. This is called Typoglicemia, and it talks about the mental process involved when reading texts. Positively, it refers to the fact that people can read jumbled words as long as the first and last letters are in the correct place. This happens because the human brain doesn’t read the letters one by one but as a whole. But in a negative way, it means that you may miss a typo in common words.

Reinforce In Other Contexts

Reinforce Behavior. It is a way to show another person, especially children, how their behavior is accepted in a specific event or situation. It can include things such as praising, rewards, or fun activities.

Reinforce Brick Wall. It is a way to make a brick wall stronger by adding steel bars, hoop iron, and expanded mesh. 

Reinforce Brand. Is the way companies remind their customers what their company stands for. This is done by sending holiday cards to the customers, communicating through social media, and sending quarterly newsletters.

Reinforce Knowledge. There are ways or forms to use to reinforce learning in people, and some of those ways are spaced repetitions, microlearning, gamification, coaching, and enablement.


Having the correct spelling of a word will show the reader that you have a full grasp of the language being used, and having two versions of the same word makes it even better. But always keep in mind that it is better to be safe than sorry, so if there’s an alternative, go with the standard version of it.