Blog/Grammar tips
12 November 2023
2 min read

Apologise or Apologize: Mastering the Correct Spelling

The spelling of "apologise" often leads to a moment of doubt: is it with an 's' or a 'z'? This confusion stems from differences in British and American English. In this article, we'll explore the correct usage of "apologise" and "apologize", providing clarity on when to use each variant.

What Does Apologise/Apologize Mean?

Both "apologise" (British English) and "apologize" (American English) mean expressing regret or asking for forgiveness. For example:

  • I must apologise/apologize for my late arrival.
  • She apologised/apologized profusely for the mistake.
  • It's hard for him to apologise/apologize even when he's wrong.

Though the meanings are identical, the spelling differs based on the dialect of English.

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British vs. American English

Understanding the difference in English dialects is key to using the correct spelling:

  • British English: Prefers "apologise", spelled with an 's'.
  • American English: Uses "apologize", spelled with a 'z'.

This difference is similar to other words like "realise/realize" and "organise/organize".

Summary and Reminder

In summary, "apologise" and "apologize" are both correct but used in different forms of English:

  • Use "apologise" in British, Canadian, Australian, and other Commonwealth English.
  • Use "apologize" in American English.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference in meaning between "apologise" and "apologize"?

No, the words are identical in meaning and differ only in spelling based on the variant of English.

Can both spellings be used interchangeably?

While both spellings are correct, it's recommended to use the spelling that corresponds with the dialect of English you are writing in.

How can I remember which spelling to use?

Associate "apologise" with other British English spellings that use 's', like "realise", and "apologize" with American spellings that use 'z', like "realize".

Do spell-checkers recognize both spellings?

Yes, but they may suggest one over the other based on your language settings.

Is "apologise" ever used in American English?

While not standard, "apologise" can sometimes be seen in American English, but "apologize" is the preferred spelling.

Conclusion

The choice between "apologise" and "apologize" is a simple yet significant aspect of adhering to the conventions of either British or American English. Understanding these regional preferences not only enhances the accuracy of your writing but also reflects a deeper appreciation for the nuances of the English language. Whether you choose to apologise with an 's' or apologize with a 'z', the sincerity of the sentiment remains unchanged.

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