Straight vs Strait

Another set of homophones that are often mixed up by writers are the words straight and strait. While these two terms sound alike, they actually have different meanings and are different parts of speech. This post will help you identify these differences to enable you to use them properly in your writing.

The word straight is most commonly used as an adjective which means “extending or moving uniformly in one direction only without a curve or bend” or “properly positioned so as to be level, upright, or symmetrical.”

Girls golf: Eades leads SHG to 8th straight regional crown
The State Journal-Register

Thai Sept consumer mood rises for 2nd straight month-survey

Sensex, Nifty fall for 6th straight day; FMCG pack slides
Economic Times

It may also be used as an adverb meaning “in a straight line,” “directly,” or “in or into a level, even, or upright position.”

Walmart wants to deliver groceries straight to your fridge

5 Lifelike Robots That Take You Straight Into the Uncanny Valley

Paul Geaney expects David Clifford to go straight into training with Kerry senior squad
The Irish Sun

On the other hand, the term strait is most commonly used as a noun referring to “a narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water.” It may sometimes be “used in reference to a situation characterized by a specified degree of trouble or difficulty.”

Swimmer makes it across Strait in less than eight hours
Peninsula Daily News

5 missing after tanker and dredger collide in Singapore Strait
Yahoo Singapore News

In Dire Straits, Connecticut Nears 90 Days Without Budget
New York Times

Now that you’ve learned the differences between the uses and meanings of the words straight and strait, you should be able to use them correctly in your writing. Remember that only excellent and experienced swimmers can swim across a strait for several hours straight.