American or British

Variations in spelling exist in English words. In Great Britain and Canada, some words have spellings that differ from American spellings. Readers of books by British and Canadian publishers will note these differences. Some confusion may arise depending on the writer’s experience with these variant spellings.

Many nouns that in American English end in –or, in British English end in –our.


American English British English
arbor arbour
behavior behaviour
candor candour
color colour
favor favour
neighbor neighbour
splendor splendour

Some nouns that in American English end in –er, in British English end in –re.

American English British English
center centre
meter metre
specter spectre
theater theatre

Some nouns that in American English end in –se, in British English end in –ce.

American English British English
defense defence
offense offence
pretense pretence

Other words also have variant spellings.

American English British English
check cheque
connection connexion
curb kerb
draft draught
inquire enquire
maneuver manoeuvre
mold mould
mustache moustache
pajamas pyjamas
plow plough
program programme
skillful skilful
sulfur sulphur
traveler traveller
Posted in English.

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