Guarantee or Guaranty: What Is the Difference

Numerous words in English are pronounced one way and spelled in a different way. Also, some terms have such similar spellings that we end up using them incorrectly. You’ve probably come across and used the term guarantee, but have you also seen it spelled guaranty? Is this a misspelling, an alternate spelling, or a completely new term? Discover the correct guarantee spelling, the difference between the two terms, and how to use them in your writing.

Guarantee Vs. Guaranty: What Is the Difference?

Guarantee” and “Guaranty” are two different terms, but their dictionary definitions overlap to some extent.

What Does Guarantee Mean?

Guarantee functions as a noun and a verb with the same meaning. The noun refers to the agreement, and the verb relates only to the action.

When functioning as a noun, “guarantee” means a written assurance that something will be done or meet specific requirements. Guarantees are written to protect a company, institution, or individual from losing money or property.

  • You have my guarantee that the loan will be paid within six months.
  • The contract provides a guarantee of employment for a fixed period.

When functioning as a verb, guarantee gives surety or promises that something will be provided or accomplished as stated.

What Does Guaranty Mean?

“Guarantee” is a noun and is similar to “guaranty.” However, It is a more restrictive and specific term. It refers to the promise or assurance of paying the money if the other person or party fails to pay the amount. It is a formal assurance that another’s debt, obligations, or payment will be fulfilled at all costs.

It’s commonly utilized in banking and finance, but it’s only used in legal situations. Guaranty serves as a security for a service or goods provided to someone.

  • The bank would not give a loan without a signed guaranty.
  • Our house was used as a guaranty for the loan approval.
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How to Remember Guarantee Spelling

Guarantee refers to a written document of security in most contexts. It could be from any organization like lenders, manufacturers, service providers, and such.

However, a guaranty is only a specific type of written agreement where one party promises to pay money if another party fails to pay.

There is a quick trick to help you remember the difference between the two words. Link the last two e’s of the guarantee spelling with “everyone everywhere” since guarantee can be used in most contexts.

On the other hand, consider the “y” at the end of “guaranty,” which could mean an agreement between you and the other party.

Why Is Guarantee Spelled With a “U”

“Guarantee” comes from the Old French word “garantir” which means “to protect.” The English adopted this word based on the rules of their language.

The letter “g” in English can have a soft or hard sound. Words like “legend” and “gerund” have a soft “g” sound. However, words like “govern” and “good” has a hard “g” sound. When English adopted some of the French words, they preferred to often insert a “u” in the spellings. This is to emphasize the “g” in the word as a hard sound as in “guilt” or “guest.”

To Wrap Up

Guarantee and Guaranty have the same phonetics with only exceptions at the end of the spellings. However, they are not alternate spelling.

These two are different terms with similar meanings, leading to much confusion. This article explains the difference between the two words with details on why the word “guarantee” has a “u” in it.

If you ever need a reminder on the correct guarantee spelling, come back to this article for a quick memory jog.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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