Providence vs province

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Providence and province are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation, but have very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of providence and province, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Providence is the protective power of God or nature. Providence is a mass noun, which is an uncountable noun that does not have a plural form. Providence is the name of the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island, which is also the home of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The city of Providence, Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a man fleeing religious persecution. He named the area Providence as he believed God’s providence had brought him there. The word providence is derived from the Latin word providentem, which means prepare, act with foresight.

A province is a section of a country that has its own means of governmental administration. Province may also mean a person’s area of expertise or responsibility. Canada is divided into ten provinces:  Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick,  Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, as well as three territories. The word province is derived from the Latin word provincia, which means conquered territory or territory outside Italy under Roman administration.


Thus we trust in God’s providence and will, prepared to carry our own cross, remembering Jesus’ prayer before His crucifixion: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) (The Los Alamos Daily Post)

Former mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. is ready to take the city to court again in a tax dispute over one of Providence’s most prominent downtown office buildings, the value of which he argues has been hurt by vagrancy in Kennedy Plaza. (The Providence Journal)

The federal government appears ready to take a hands-off approach as provinces begin rolling out how they plan to police the sale and use of marijuana once it becomes legal. (The Barriere Star Journal)