Aisle vs. isle

Isles, not just for screen savers anymore.

Isles, not just for screen savers anymore.

aisle: a) a passage (as in a theater or railroad passenger car) separating sections of seats
b) a passage (as in a store or warehouse) for inside traffic
isle: island
—Merriam-Webster

These words are prime targets for errors because they are spelled the same way, minus the beginning A in aisle. Luckily, there is an easy way to remember which is which. Note that isle and island start with the same three letters.

Examples:
Robby tripped in the office’s aisle.
Theo can’t wait to visit the tropical isle.

The bride looked ravishing walking down the aisle.
She and her new husband will vacation on an isle.

Quiz
Fill in the blanks with either aisle or isle. The answers are at the bottom.

  1. Becky stood in the room’s _______, chatting with her friends.
  2. Next year, Jessie will spend a month in the British _______s.
  3. Clean up in _______ five!
  4. Beatrice enjoyed island life on the ______.

Answers:
1. aisle 2. Isle 3. aisle 4. isle