Breath vs. Breathe – Difference and Usage 

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breath vs. breathe difference and usage

As a second language, English is not a difficult language to learn, but some little things can be confusing.

These “little” confusions cause a lot of grammatical battles within one’s head, and “breath vs. breathe” is such a good example.

 The written versions are more confusing because their only difference is the “e” that is absent in “breath” but is in front of “breathe.” That small difference can have you wondering which is which.

Well, after reading this post, “breath and breathe” is no longer going to be a confusing pair. Plus, I have compiled a few inspirational quotes toward the end of this article.

Let’s get started.

Breath vs. Breathe: Difference and Spelling 

“Breath” and “breathe” are related words, but they have different meanings and functions in a sentence.

Breath” is a noun that refers to the air that is inhaled and exhaled during respiration. For example, you can say, “I need to take a deep breath” or “She held her breath for as long as she could.”

It can be used to describe the sound or smell of someone’s exhaled air or the visible exhaled air on a cold day.

“Breathe” is a verb that means to inhale and exhale air (it describes the act of breathing). For example, you can say, “He was panting and struggling to breathe” or “She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.”

Although both “Breath” and “breathe” are commonly used words, it’s important to pay attention to the spelling of these words because they have different meanings and are therefore not interchangeable.

Using the wrong spelling can change the meaning of a sentence. For example, “I need to take a deep breath” means that you need to inhale and exhale a deep breath of air. But if we change it to, “I need to take a deep breathe,” it stops making sense because “breathe” is a verb and cannot be the object of the preposition “a.”

How to Use Breath in a Sentence

Here are a few examples of “breath” in a sentence:

  1. I need to take a deep breath before I give my presentation.
  2. She held her breath for as long as she could while diving underwater.
  3. The cold winter air made my breath visible.
  4. The smell of freshly baked cookies filled the air with each breath I took.
  5. There were onions and chili on her breath.
  6. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths to calm herself down.
  7. Not a breath of craziness ever touched him.
  8. His blow knocked the breath out of her.

How to Use Breathe in a Sentence

Here are a few examples of “breathe” in a sentence:

  1. He was panting and struggling to breathe after running up the stairs.
  2. The baby was crying so hard that she couldn’t catch her breath.
  3. The room was so stuffy that I had to open a window to breathe.
  4. If it breathes, do not let it leave this room.
  5. The doctors had to use a machine to help him breathe while he was in the hospital.
  6. The flowers in the garden were so fragrant that I couldn’t help but breathe in their scent.
  7. The new coach breathed new life into the team.
  8. No one should breathe a word.
  9. Let it breathe for at least 2 minutes.
  10. He breathes football.
breath vs. breathe
Breath vs. Breathe

Quotes on Breathing

Away from the spelling and grammatical stuff, let’s look at a few quotes about breathing that might inspire or encourage you:

  1. “Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.” – Giovanni Boccaccio
  2. “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life is in the breath.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
  4. “Breath is the link between mind and body.” – Dan Brule
  5. “The breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  6. “Breathing is the one thing we do automatically and constantly, yet it is also the one thing we can control and change.” – Belisa Vranich
  7. “Breathing is the key to the practice of mindfulness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  8. “When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.” – BKS Inyengar
  9. “Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” – Erich Fromm
  10. “Let the air become you, and then leave you. Forgive each breath because although it abandons you, every single time, it also brings you life. A man who cannot forgive the air has no chance of living.” – Edmond Manning

Wrapping Up The “Breath vs. Breathe” Discourse

“Breath” and “breathe” are two different forms of the same word. “Breath” is a noun, and “breathe” is a verb. They are often used in different contexts, but they both relate to the act of respiration.

“Breath” refers to the air that is inhaled and exhaled during respiration, while “breathe” refers to the act of inhaling and exhaling air during respiration. 

Their only difference is the “e,” so they are quite a confusing pair. However, if you are describing the action of breathing, use “breathe,” but if you are referring to the name of the activity of breathing, use “breath.”

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.