Greatful or Grateful: What’s the Difference?

Some people might be surprised to hear that this is a problem for certain writers, but for English language learners and those who have only heard the word spoken, the confusion makes a little more sense.

What is the Difference Between Greatful and Grateful?

In this post, I want to compare greatful vs. grateful. I will go over each spelling and outline which is correct and why. Plus, at the end, I will give you a helpful tip to remember the correct spelling for the future.

After reading this post, you won’t ever again wonder, “Is it spelled greatful or grateful?”

When to Use Greatful

grateful meaning and grateful definitionWhat is the definition of greatful? Greatful is not a word; it is is a common misspelling of grateful, and, therefore, does not have a definition.

The reason for this mistake is undoubtedly related to the pronunciation of great. Great and grate are pronounced identically, and people use the word great with much more frequency in speech and in writing, so they think grateful should be spelled accordingly. That is not the case.

You can eliminate greatful from your mind altogether. There is never a reason to use it.

When to Use Grateful

how do you spell gratefulWhat is the definition of grateful? The correct spelling of the word is grateful. Grateful is defined as feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful. It is related to the word gratitude.

  • I am very grateful for all of your help this week.
  • We should all be grateful for the leadership of our new CEO.

When someone says they are grateful, they are appreciative or thankful for something that was done for them or to them.

You are usually grateful for something or grateful to someone.

  • I am grateful to you for all that you have done for me.
  • I am grateful for all that you have done for me.

Grateful comes from the Latin word gratus, which means pleasing, agreeable, welcome.

Outside Examples

  • Doubtless, he could feel as lost and as unmoored as the rest of us, especially in our youth, and his music famously gave succor to those who believed themselves to be adrift or misunderstood. That is something to be grateful for, yet still, to cleave to a work of art, in any medium, because of its therapeutic benefits is to risk neglecting the artist’s sense of play. –The New Yorker
  • Still, the Patriots will be grateful for — and perhaps in dire need of — whatever contributions Edelman can make. –The Washington Post
  • Given new research linking gratitude to better health and increased happiness, the grateful stars may be on to something. –Time Magazine

Trick to Remember the Difference

what does grateful meanHere is a helpful trick to remember grateful vs. greatful. If you use this mental check when you aren’t sure what spelling to use, you will be all set.

Trick: To be grateful is to show gratitude for something or to someone. Pair these two words with each other in your mind.

  • Grateful = Gratitude.

This will keep you from making the mistake in the future because there is no comparable word for greatful. Greatitude sounds silly, and anyone would spot that as a mistake.


Is it grateful or greatful? Grateful is the correct spelling, and greatful should be universally avoided.

Greatful is a common misspelling for the word grateful.

Grateful is the correct spelling of the words.

If you have any other questions about other confusing English words, be sure to visit out confusing words index page. There you will find hundreds of the most commonly confused English words with example sentences and quizzes.