The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'save' and 'safe'?

What is the difference between 'save' and 'safe'?

What is the difference between 'save' and 'safe'?

The words save and safe are often confused because they look similar. Do you know the difference?

Save means to prevent harm or difficulty when used as a verb.

Safe means not in danger; free from harm's reach when used as an adjective.

A good way to remember the difference is COME UP WITH SOMETHING HERE.

Out of the two words, 'save' is the most common.



### Is the correct phrase 'save your breath' or 'safe your breath'? You should use 'save your breath'. These phrases are often confused because they look similar.

Is the correct expression 'save by the bell' or 'safe by the bell'?

You should use 'save by the bell'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Which is correct 'better safe than sorry' or 'better save than sorry'?

The right phrase is 'better safe than sorry'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Should it be 'safe and sound' or 'save and sound'?

The right expression is 'safe and sound'. These phrases are often confused because they have a similar spelling.

Some synonyms of save are: spare, recover, keep, foreclose, reserve.

Some synonyms of safe are: good, cupboard, clear, reliable, contraceptive.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of saveDictionary Definition of safe

Examples of save in a sentence

So what did that mean,   save them? 
- Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
You must make sure your own soul is safe before you try to save your brother’s.
- The Haunted Air by F. Paul Wilson
Link de Nova and his powers have allowed us to save our bio-implants and our artificial organs;
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
It would save me a lot of work.”
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
The least he could do was to save them from the horrors he saw every day.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber

Examples of safe in a sentence

For all that he'd taken away from me, while he'd been here, safe, taking it easy while . . .
- Cropper's cabin by Jim Thompson
You're safe now, Jesse.”
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
They're still safe.
- Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Your little secrets are safe with me.
- From Russia with love: a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming
But we are quite safe.
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.