Language used on the IELTS

Although IELTS is a British test, you don’t necessarily have to use British English in the writing module. American English is equally acceptable. However, you must make sure that you use the same form throughout the exam.

The main differences between British and American English are in spelling.

Here is a list of words which have different spellings in British and American English.

American English British English
Program Programme
Check Cheque
Center Centre
Theater Theatre
Organize Organise
Apologize Apologise
Color Colour
Honor Honour
Flavor Flavour
Dialog Dialogue
Catalog Catalogue
Analyze Analyse
Paralyze Paralyse
Appall Appal
Enroll Enrol
Fulfill, fulfillment Fulfil, fulfilment
Skillful Skilful
Willful Wilful
Jewelry Jewellery
Counselor Counsellor
Modeling Modelling
Traveler traveller


The same idea is sometimes expressed using different words in British and American English. Here is a list of them.

American English British English
Gasoline Petrol
Major Subject
Truck Lorry
Pants Trousers
Faculty Staff
Trash Rubbish
Vacation Holiday
Store Shop
Restroom Toilets
Flashlight Torch

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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