Differences Between American Spelling and British Spelling


-orvs. -our
American British
color colour
favorite favourite
honor honour


-llvs. -l

American British
enrollment enrolment
fulfill fulfil
skillful skilful


-ogvs. -ogue

American British
analog analogue
catalog catalogue
dialog dialogue


-ckor -k vs. -que
American British
bank banque
check cheque
checker chequer


-ensevs. -enze
American British
defense defence
license licence


-zevs. -se

American British
analyze analyse
criticize criticise
memorize memorise


-ervs. -re

American British
center centre
meter metre
theater theatre


-evs. -oe or -ae

American British
encylopedia encylycopaedia
maneuver manoeuvre
medieval mediaeval


-dgvs. -dge (or -g vs. -gu)

American British
aging ageing
argument arguement
judgment judgement



American British
jewelry jewellery
draft draught
pajamas pyjamas
plow plough
program programme
tire tyre

In British English,words that end in -l preceded by a vowel usually double the-lwhen a suffix is added, while in American English the letter is not doubled. The letter will double in the stress is on the second syllable.

BaseWord American British
counsel counseling counselling
equal equaling equalling
model modeling modelling
quarrel  quarreling quarrelling
signal signaling signalling
travel traveling travelling
excel excelling excelling
propel propelling propelling

-edvs. -t

The first categoryinvolves verbs that use -ed or -t for the simplepast and past participle.   Generally, the rule is that if thereis a verb form with -ed, American English will use it, and if there isa form with -t, British English uses it.  However, theseforms do not exist for every verb and there is variation.  For example,both American and British English would use the word 'worked' for the pastform of 'to work', and in American English it is common to hear the word'knelt' as the past tense of 'to kneel'.

Baseform American British
todream dreamed dreamt
toleap leaped leapt
tolearn leareded learnt

baseform vs. -ed

The second categoryof difference includes verbs that use either the base form of the verbor the -ed ending for the simple past.

Baseform American British
tofit fit fitted
toforecast forecast forecasted
towed wed wedded

irregularvs. -ed

The third categoryof difference includes verbs that have either an irregular spelling orthe -ed ending for the simple past.

Baseform American British
toknit knit knitted
tolight lit lighted
tostrive strove strived

For the list of words with the spelling variations between American Spelling and British Spelling,

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For detailed differences between American Spelling and British Spelling,

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For another list of detailed differences between American English and British English,

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