American and British English: differences in spelling
A number of words that end in –our in British English, ends in –or in American English. Common examples are: colour / color; favour / favor; honour / honor
Most English dictionaries now include American and British spellings. In US dictionaries the difference is usually included in the headword with the variation given in parentheses.
For example: Favo(u)r
What this means is that this word is spelled favor in American English and favour in British English.
Here is a list of the most common spelling differences between American and British English.
American English / British English
Aluminum / aluminium
Analyze / analyse
Catalog / catalogue
Center / centre
Check / cheque
Colour / color
Defense / defence
Honor / honour
Labor / labour
Program / programme
Realize / realise
Theater / theatre
In British English, realize is also possible.
In American English, the consonant at the end of a word is sometimes not doubled. In British English, it is doubled when the consonant is an ‘I’.
Travel / traveling / traveler (US English)
Travel / travelling / traveller (British English)
Spelling: problem cases
Some words have two possible forms before –able and –age. The form without e is more common in most cases.
Like -> likable or likeable
Move -> movable or moveable
Love -> lovable or loveable
Two spellings are possible for the nouns dryer / drier and flyer / flier.
Words derived from dry can also be spelt with either y or i.
Dryly / drily
Dryness / driness
Judgement and acknowledgement can be spelt with or without the e after g.