British and American Spelling

Here are the main differences in spelling between British English (BrE) and American English (AmE).

notes British English American English

Final -l is always doubled after one vowel in stressed and unstressed syllables in BrE but usually only in stressed syllables in AmE, for example:

rebel, rebelled

travel, travelled
rebel, rebelled

travel traveled
Some words end in -tre in BrE and -ter in AmE, for example: centre
theatre
center
theater
Some words end in -ogue in BrE and -og in AmE, for example: analogue
catalogue
analog
catalog
Some words end in -our in BrE and -or in AmE, for example: colour
labour
color
labor
Some verbs end in -ize or -ise in BrE but only in -ize in AmE, for example: realise, realize realize

Common Differences

British English American English
all right all right, alright
analyse analyze
centre center
cheque check
colour color
counsellor counselor
criticise, criticize criticize
defence defense
doughnut donut
favour favor
fibre fiber
flavour flavor
fulfil fulfill
grey gray
honour honor
humour humor
jewellery jewellery, jewelry
judgement, judgment judgment
kerb curb
labour labor
license, licence (verb)
licence (noun)
license (verb)
license (noun)
litre liter
metre meter
mould mold
neighbour neighbor
offence offense
practise (verb)
practice (noun)
practice (verb)
practice (noun)
pretence pretense
programme (plan, concert etc)
program (computer software)
program
program
pyjamas pajamas
realise, realize realize
savour savor
speciality specialty
theatre theater
travelled
travelling
travelled, traveled
travelling, traveling
tyre tire
valour valor