American and British English: Differences in Spelling

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Writing

A number of words end in -our in British English and -or in American English. Some words end in -er in American English and -re in British English. Many verbs which end in -ize in American English can be spelt in British English with -ize or -ise. In British English -I is doubled in an unstressed syllable before a suffix beginning with a vowel, while in American English it is not doubled.

Some of the commonest words with different spellings are given below.

Aluminum (American English) / Aluminium (British English)

Analyze (AE) / Analyse (BE)

Catalog(ue) (AE) Catalogue (BE)

Center (AE) Centre (BE)

Check (AE) Cheque (BE)

Color (AE) Colour (BE)

Defense (AE) Defence (BE)

Dialog/ dialogue (AE) Dialogue (BE)

Favor (AE) Favour (BE)

Flavor (AE) Flavour (BE)

Honor (AE) Honour (BE)

Jewelry (AE) Jewellery (BE)

Labor (AE) Labour (BE)

Meter (AE) Metre (BE)

Pajamas (AE) Pyjamas (BE)

Paralyze (AE) Paralyse (BE)

Practice, practise (AE) Practise (BE)

Program (AE) Programme (BE)

Realize (AE) Realise/ realize (BE)

Theater (AE) Theatre (BE)

Tire (AE) Tyre (BE)

Traveler (AE) Traveller (BE)