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Write the Right Word: Rein or Reign

“Rein” and “reign” are more examples of words that sound alike but can’t be used interchangeably.

A reign is the period a ruler is on the throne. It also can refer to authority or rule. For example: “Queen Victoria’s reign lasted from 1837 to 1901.” Or this: “Which sport reigns supreme in the U.S.?”

A rein is a leather strap used to control a horse. It also refers to keeping someone or something under control, or someone receiving or taking control. For example: “The rider shortened the reins before getting on her horse.” Or this: “The board gave the new chief executive officer free rein to make changes in the company.” “The prince seized the reins of power when the king died.”

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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