I wrote in an essay: 'We now have licence to move beyond [an idea].' Grammarly flagged this up, saying that I should add an article before 'licence'. Is this true, or is 'licence' interchangeable with 'permission' or 'freedom' in this context?


1 Answer 1


As usual, Grammerly can not think beyond the literal. Your sentence:

'We now have license to move beyond [an idea].

is correct. From the OED: license

liberty (to do something), leave, permission. Now somewhat rare. †Also occasionally exemption from (something). †Formerly often in licence and leave; by, with, without (a person's) licence; to get, give, have, obtain, take licence.

Your usage implies permission is or has been given.

  • 2
    In case anybody is confused about the spelling, the question was in British English,and lbf has replied in American English.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 25, 2019 at 21:00

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