Unit 7.1

Words with alternative spelling

Advertising

Introduction

Words with alternative spelling are words that you can spell in two ways depending on where they are said: words are spelt differently in British and American English.

Form

These are the main type of words in British English (BR) that change when spelling them into American English (AM):

  • BR: Nouns ending in -tre ⇒ AM: Nouns ending in -ter
  • BR: Nouns ending in -ence ⇒ AM: Nouns ending in -ense
  • BR: Verbs ending in -ise ⇒ AM: Verbs ending in -ize
  • BR: Nouns ending in -our ⇒ AM: Nouns ending in -or
  • BR: Technical words still written as their originals in Latin that have double vowels: ‘ae’ or ‘oe’ ⇒ AM: Technical words in Latin without double vowels, just ‘e’
  • BR: Infinitives that double the last consonant to create other verb forms when they finish in: consonant + vowel + L ⇒ AM: Infinitive forms creating other verb forms maintaining just one ‘l’

Example

  • BR: -tre / AM: -ter
    • Br. centre, Am. center
    • Br. theatre, Am. theater
    • Br. metre, Am. meter
  • BR: -ence / AM: -ense
    • Br. licence, Am. license
    • Br. defence, Am. defense
    • Br. pretence, Am pretense
  • BR: –ise / AM: –ize
    • Br. organise, Am. organize
    • Br. customise, Am. customize
    • Br. realise, Am. realize
  • BR: –our / AM: –or
    • Br. honour, Am. honor
    • Br. colour, Am. color
    • Br. humour Am. humor
  • Technical words ⇒ BR: –ae- and –oe- / AM: -e- 
    • Br. leukaemia, Am. leukemia
    • Br. maneouvre, Am. maneuver
    • Br. paediatric, Am. pediatric
  • Infinitives to form other verb forms ⇒ BR: -ll- / AM: -l-
    • Br. cancelled, Am. canceled
    • Br. marvellous, Am. marvelous
    • Br. traveller, Am. traveler

Use

The words with alternative spelling in English will be used according to the place where one is speaking, either in America or in Britain.

Ambassadors

Open TextBooks are collaborative projects, with people from all over the world bringing their skills and interests to join in the compilation and dissemination of knowledge to everyone and everywhere.

Become an Ambassador and write your textbooks.

Online Teaching

Become a Books4Languages Online tutor & teacher.

More information here about how to be a tutor.

Translations


Ambassadors

The Books4Languages is a collaborative projects, with people from all over the world bringing their skills and interests to join in the compilation and dissemination of knowledge to everyone, everywhere.

License