Common mistake free reign (rein)

Common Mistake: Free Reign vs. Free Rein

One of the most common mistakes in the English language is confusing the terms "free reign" and "free rein."

Free Reign

When someone says "free reign," they are using the word "reign" as a noun, referring to a period of time during which a monarch rules or exercises control over something.

Example: The king gave his daughter free reign to manage the affairs of the kingdom while he was away.

Free Rein

The correct expression, on the other hand, is "free rein." In this case, "rein" is used as a noun, referring to the strap or cord attached to a horse's bit, used by the rider to control and guide the horse.

Example: The teacher gave the students free rein in choosing their own research topics.

The Meaning Behind the Expressions

While both expressions involve the idea of freedom, they have different origins and meanings:

  • Free Reign: This expression carries the idea of having the power or authority to do as one pleases, usually in a metaphorical or abstract sense, like a monarch ruling without limitations.
  • Free Rein: This expression is derived from horse riding, where giving the horse "free rein" meant allowing it to move and make decisions without restrictions or excessive control.

It is important to note that "free rein" has become the more commonly accepted form of this expression, while "free reign" is considered a grammatical error.

Linguix Grammar Checker

Improve your writing by avoiding common mistakes like confusing "free reign" and "free rein" with the help of the Linguix grammar checker tool. Linguix analyzes your texts, detects errors, and offers suggestions for improvement, ensuring your writing is error-free and polished.

free reign (rein) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    The famous actor was given free reign over the city.

    The famous actor was given free rein over the city.

  • Correct:
    The famous actor was given free rein over the city.
  • Correct:
    Free Reign Entertainment ( supplies video games.
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