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Grammar resource: English vs. American spellings

English and American variations

The English language can have variations in spelling from American English. However, since you are studying in a UK higher education institution, it is important that you follow the English versions of spellings. It can be really helpful to ensure your word processor language setting it set to English UK as opposed to English US. The table below outlines some examples of English and English American spelling differences, but this is not an exhaustive list.

Notable exception

Use original spellings if you are quoting directly or giving the title of a book/journal (including in your reference list). 

Examples

These are all examples of common differences between US and UK spellings (s/z, ou/o, iou/io, re/er, ll/l, ae/e) and the rules can be applied widely.

English American

organisation

organization

analyse

analyze

colour

color

labour

labor

favour/favourite

favor/favorite

behaviour

behavior

metre

meter

travelled/traveller

traveled/traveller

paediatric

pediatric

oestragen

estragen

manoeuvre

maneuver