"British" vs "American" English

There are two major styles of written English that people will often see (British and American). On our site, neither is wrong nor is one standard enforced over another. Users are encouraged to write in whichever they feel most comfortable with. We also do not tolerate users attempting to enforce one style over another. Both forms of English are legitimately recognised and used in many places in the world.

British English is the mother English to all countries in the English commonwealth. (Which includes Canada, Australia, among others.)

The real difference between the two English forms are that British English has some notable differences from American English in how some words are spelled. (This does not affect their pronunciation though.)

Here are some of the common differences…

"ise" vs "ize"

British standards use “ise” on words like: “organise”, “recognise” or “standardise”. EX- “realise” rather than the American version “realize”.

"our" vs "or"

“Colour”, “neighbour” and “harbour” all have the British spelling here. But in American English they are without the “u”. This is one of the most common changes that will be seen.

"re" vs "er"

There are some words that end in “re” for British spelling, words like: “Metre, sabre, spectre” are all British spellings but in American version they would use “er”. Though some caution should be taken because there are words in British form that do end in “er” too. Words like “anger”, “water” or “river”.

"ce" vs "se"

Under British system, words like “offence” or “defence” use “ce” rather than “se” like in America. However words that use “ce” for endings are somewhat rare.

For more info

This article is only a brief look into the differences. We do not list all of them, nor do we really get into why these changes have occurred or all the exceptions or changes to the rules that make up each version of English. So then for more information please check Wikipedia's page on British vs American spelling differences.