Key Difference – Allow vs Permit
Allow and permit are two verbs that share the same meaning: to give permission or make it possible for somebody to do or have something. These two verbs are also similar to let, which is, however, more informal than them. The only difference between allow and permit is their level of formality; permit can be considered to be slightly formal than allow, permit is also used in reference to the law.
What Does Allow Mean?
Allow basically has two meanings:
Let someone have or do something
He did not allow anyone to enter her chamber.
She was the only one allowed to wear the royal colours.
I don’t people allow people to smoke in my house.
Give the necessary time or opportunity for
The ceasefire allowed them to strengthen their forces.
The new system allows you to access your data from different locations.
The deep cave system allows passage through the mountains.
What Does Permit Mean?
Permit has the same meaning as allow. However, in some cases, permit can refer to the action of authorities, unlike allow. That is to say, permit can mean ‘officially allow (someone) to do something’. Therefore permit is more used in formal and legal contexts. Given below are some example sentences using permit.
The government did not permit him to leave the country.
The librarian did not permit anyone to enter the restricted section.
We’ll give on a picnic tomorrow if the weather permits.
Smoking is not permitted in this building.
Permit as a Noun
Permit can also refer to a noun. The noun permit refers to an official document giving someone authorization to do something. For example,
He only has a permit to cut the trees.
I showed the security my special permit and entered the building.
What is the difference between Allow and Permit?
Allow means let someone have or do something or give the necessary time or opportunity for something.
Permit can mean officially allow someone to do something.
Allow is a verb.
Permit is a noun and a verb.
Allow is not as formal or official as permit.
Permit is more formal than allow.