Canadian and American Spelling in Action: A Sampler

by Compiled by the TEC TEAM

Published at 2016-06-08


Still puzzled by the different Canadian vs. American spellings? Drawing on the three blogs Barbara compiled (A to G, H to P, and Q to Z), we have written these sampler sentences to help you practise/practice. We have underlined the Canadian spellings that you would use if writing for a Canadian audience. Remember: some spellings are the same.


Double -ll- or single -l-

When it is winter in many parts of Canada, layers and layers of [woolen/woollen] clothing are a necessity!


A wildlife management plan was created by the animal reserve to help [imperilled/imperiled] species survive.


Using -ou- or -o-

[Rumour/rumor] has it that the U.S. presidential election will unfold [clamorously/clamourously].


Beth told a very [humorous/humorous] anecdote at lunch today. She has a good sense of [humour/humor].


Using -ue or -u

James spent much of his morning trying to think of good adjectives to use in [catalogue/catalog] copy.


The novel needed extensive editing to make the [dialog/dialogue] more idiomatic.



Using -que or -ck

“The [cheque/check] is in the mail” is a [favorite/favourite] expression that many businesses use when  asked about an  overdue payment.


Tennis, squash, and badminton are all [racquet/racket] sports.


Using -e- or -a- / -ea or -a

“[Grey/gray] skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face” has a [likeable/likable] tune.


Surveying the water-stained wallpaper, scuffed tiles, and grimy windows, Jenna realized that it would take many hours of work to make the room [livable/livable]. 


There’s no denying that high demand for a product can render even low-quality knock-offs [saleable/salable].


Using -ce or -se

The [practice/practice] of good writing comes from relentless hours of [practising/practicing] the craft.


“The board will need to [license/license] me within the week,” Irma pointed out, “because without a [licence/license], I’ll have to serve alcohol-free beverages at the restaurant’s opening.”



Using -re or -er

The gas [meter/meter] measures consumption in cubic [metres/meters].


The Zumba class is at 9:00 a.m. Thursday at the community [centre/center].





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