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US or UK spelling – Which one is right in IELTS?

Should I spell British or should I spell American?

by | Aug 7, 2019 | Vocabulary, Writing

We know spelling is definitely important in IELTS. Both British and American spelling variations are acceptable. The list below contains words from Oxford 3000 and Longman frequent words and different, yet correct spellings.

1) – our / – or

behaviour behavior
colour color
endeavour endeavor
favour favor
flavour flavor
glamour glamor
honour honor
humour humor
labour labor
neighbour neighbor
rumour rumor
vapour vapor

2) – re / – er

centimetre centimeter
centre center
fibre fiber
kilometre kilometer
litre liter
metre meter
theatre theater

3) double “ll” / single “l”

channelled channeled
jewellery jewelry
labelled labeled
marvellous marvelous
traveller traveler
tunnelled tunneled

4) – ise / – ize

accessorise accessorize
authorise authorize
capitalise capitalize
categorise categorize
centralise centralize
characterise characterize
civilise civilize
colonise colonize
computerise computerize
criticise criticize
crystallise crystallize
customise customize
empathise empathize
energise energize
exorcise exorcize
familiarise familiarize
finalise finalize
generalise generalize
globalise globalize
hospitalise hospitalize
idealise idealize
initialise initialize
internalise internalize
maximise maximize
memorise memorize
minimise minimize
mobilise mobilize
moisturise moisturize
nationalise nationalize
naturalise naturalize
neutralise neutralize
optimise optimize
personalise personalize
prioritise prioritize
publicise publicize
realise realize
recognise recognize
reorganise reorganize
socialise socialize
specialise specialize
standardise standardize
summarise summarize
symbolise symbolize
sympathise sympathize
urbanise urbanize
utilise utilize
visualise visualize

4) other words

aeroplane airplane
ageing aging
analogue analog
analyse analyze
archaeological archeological
buses busses
cheque check
connexion connection
cosy cozy
defence defense
dialogue dialog
disc disk
encyclopaedia encyclopedia
enrol enroll
fulfil fulfill
gaol jail
gases gasses
gramme gram
grey gray
judgement judgment
kilogramme kilogram
licence license
misspelt misspelled
monologue monolog
moustache mustache
offence offense
omelette omelet
organisation organization
programme program
pyjamas pajamas
sceptic skeptic
storey story
tonne ton
yoghurt yogurt
About the Author

About the Author

CEO and Co-founder of Juice Academy

Mehdi Safavi is a Cambridge certified English teacher (CELTA Grade A), IDP-trained IELTS expert, Sussex Downs College TESOL with 17+ years of teaching & teacher training experience. More about him →

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