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Spelling Science the British Way

British Flag

Have you seen some funny spelling in books or web pages from other countries?

  • caesium
  • colour
  • litre
  • oesophagus

It may be wrong here, but right in another country—even though it’s all English!

In America, we spell some words our way. In England, Scotland, and Wales, they spell it the British way. And in countries like Canada, they spell some words the British way and other words more like the American way. Confused? Check out the table below to see some of the differences.

British spelling American spelling
aluminium aluminum
amoeba ameba
anaemia anemia
anaesthesia anesthesia
analyse analyze
caesium cesium
catalyse catalyze
centre center
colour color
faeces feces
fibre fiber
flavour flavor
foetal fetal
grey gray
hydrolyse hydrolyze
kilometre kilometer
labour labor
litre liter
metre meter
mould mold
oesophagus esophagus
orthopaedic orthopedic
paediatric pediatric
palaeontology paleontology
paralyse paralyze
programme program
sulphur sulfur
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