The word "allow" is a verb. We use it when giving permission or when saying something is okay.

simplepastpast participle
  • The teacher allowed the class to leave five minutes early.
  • You are not allowed to park your car in that space. (This sentence uses the passive voice.)
  • Renee’s parents will not allow her to go to the party because there’s probably going to be alcohol served there.
  • Are we allowed to use the copier in this office?

The word "allow" is also used when determining an amount of time or space that is sufficient for a situation:

  • You should allow yourself extra time to get to the airport tomorrow.
  • Ralph allowed the wall to dry a few hours before repainting it.
  • Allow a few inches of space on either side of the couch so that we can get it into the apartment.

To make this word into a noun, add "ance" to the end of it: allowance.

  • The city made some allowances so that they could do business in that location.
  • No allowances will be made for students who are late to class.

The word "allowance" also refers to an amount of money that parents give to their children:

  • Vivian’s children get an allowance of five dollars a week.
  • Todd stopped giving his daughter an allowance because she didn’t deserve the money.

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January 16, 2013