Absence vs. Absense: What Is the Correct Spelling?

The English language features unusual grammar rules. It is also filled with odd and hard-to-remember words. Like remembering the correct spelling between absence vs. absense. Many use the misspelling of absence but you don’t have to be one of them. Read on to master this common misspelling.

Absence Meaning: What Is It?

Before getting into the details of the correct spelling of absence, you should learn what it means and where it comes from.

Absence is a noun that describes a condition of something that is expected or wanted not being where it should be – or not existing at all. The word comes from the Latin word absentia which means to be away from. It first appeared in its current spelling in French, which dates all the way back in the 14th century.

Using Absence in a Sentence

Absence is a pretty common word, which means you’ll likely encounter it often in your everyday life. But that won’t help you to remember its correct spelling. However, seeing it used in a few sentences may do the trick. Here are five examples of how to use absence in a sentence.


  • Steve had no valid excuse for his absence, so the teacher punished him accordingly.
  • You might underestimate how much a loved one’s absence will affect you until they’re gone.
  • You should always make arrangements to have someone watch your home in your absence, or you may come home to an unwelcome surprise.
  • They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but that’s cold comfort when your spouse is away and you’re alone.
  • In the absence of any hard evidence, the prosecutor failed to secure a conviction in the sensational murder case.

Absence vs. Absense: How to Spell Absence?

A photo showing the right spelling between absence vs. absense

When choosing the right spelling between absence vs. absence, many mistakenly believe that its root word is “sense.” Some even transposes the “c” and the “s” to end up with “abcense.” And sometimes they’ll add an “a” or a “ts” to end up with other absence misspellings like “absance” or “absentse.”

There’s only one correct spelling – and it’s absence.

Trick to Remembering the Spelling

If learning the meaning of the word and seeing it in sentences isn’t enough to make the correct spelling stick in your memory, there’s one more thing you can try. What is it? It’s to use a small mnemonic trick. When you try to remember the correct spelling between absence vs. absense, think of this sentence:

Even though it doesn’t make much sense, the word absence has the letter “c” in it where the second “s” should be.


So now you know that in the battle of absence vs. absense, there is a clear winner – absence. Plus, you know that the word traces its roots all the way back to the 14th century. Best of all, if you can manage to memorize the simple mnemonic trick to remember that sense has nothing to do with absence, you should get the spelling right from now on.

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