Permit or Allow or Let ?

Permit, Allow, Let all are synonyms but they are used in different sense. English language doesn't permit to use these words interchangeably. However, we still let ourselves use them more often, but it should not be allowed. Let us see when they are used in a sentence.

What is the difference among permit, allow and let ?

These synonyms mean to grant or give permission to something. For more detail, we get their definitions one by one.

Permit (V/N)
  • As a verb, permit means to give permission to someone to do something. If one permits you to do something, one gives consent you to do it.
  • As a noun, permit is also a piece of paper or an official document which says that you are giving permission to do something. For example one needs permit to do mining work.
  1. The company permits you to enter the office.
  2. You can't enter the military base without a permit.
Allow (V)
  • Allow is a verb. If someone is allowed to do something, it is all right for them to do it and they will not get into trouble.
  1. Parents don't allow their children to play outside.
  2. Smoking will not be allowed. 
  3. The State Government will not allow smoking in the state.

Let (V)
The word let has many usages, but here we will talk about the meaning belonging to allow and permit.
  • Let means to allow somebody to do something or something to happen without trying to stop it. If you let something happen, you allow it to happen without doing anything to stop or prevent it.
  1. Let your son go.
  2. I would let you go.
  3. Government won't let him leave the country.

Difference among Permit, Allow and Let:
Permit is the strongest word in the trio. Permit suggests formal, authoritative consent. We use the word permit when something is allowed by some powerful body, such as, Government, a king, a dictator, and any such body. The permit should be used when some authority body is there. For example, Smoking is not permitted in the public. Government don't permitted illegal activities.

Allow is used in very general and soft sense. If there is no authoritative consent, one can use the word allow in place of the word permit.
My mom allows me to play outside.
We are not allowed to go outside of hostel after 8 pm.

Let is the weakest word in the trio. It brings a sense of a failure to stop. 
She let the door slam.

In a nutshell:
Permit is the strongest word, which is mostly used by authoritative body. Allow is used in general sense by non-authoritative body. And let is the weakest of them. 

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