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Difference between apologise or apologize

DALL·E 2024 02 09 03.08.32 A person sitting at a desk with a dictionary and a laptop searching for the correct spelling of a word reflecting a sense of confusion and the desir

In the English language, the words apologise and apologize represent the same action—the expression of regret or remorse for one’s actions or words. However, their usage varies primarily based on the variant of English spoken. This article delves into the distinctions between these two terms, offering insights into their definitions, origins, pronunciations, and applications in sentences.

Quick Facts Table

Preferred inBritish EnglishAmerican English
Grammar RoleVerbVerb
First RecordedEarly 16th centuryEarly 16th century

Difference Between “Apologise” OR “Apologize”

Definition of Apologise

Apologise is a verb used in British English to express regret for an offense or failure.

Definition of Apologize

Apologize, on the other hand, is the American English variant of the same verb, also meaning to express remorse or regret for an offense or failure.

Origin of Apologise

  • Apologise has its origins in early 16th century English, derived from the Greek word ‘apologia’, meaning a speech in defense.

Origin of Apologize

  • Similarly, apologize traces back to the same Greek root ‘apologia’. The spelling difference emerged as American English evolved.


  • Apologise is pronounced as /əˈpɒlədʒaɪz/, with a more rounded vowel sound in British English.
  • Apologize is pronounced as /əˈpɑːlədʒaɪz/, with a broader ‘a’ sound typical of American English pronunciation.

Comparing Apologise and Apologize

The primary distinction between apologise and apologize lies in their spelling and regional usage. Both words share the same meaning and grammatical function in a sentence. The choice between them depends on whether British or American English is being used. In terms of pronunciation, the difference is subtle and aligns with the general pronunciation patterns of British and American English.

Comparison Table

RegionBritish EnglishAmerican English
Spelling VariantSZ
UsagePreferred in the UK, Australia, and other regions using British EnglishPreferred in the US and other regions using American English

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Apologise in Sentences

  1. She decided to apologise to her friend for the misunderstanding. (Shows the action of expressing regret in a British English context.)
  2. After realizing his mistake, he wrote a letter to apologise. (Illustrates the act of seeking forgiveness through written communication in British English.)
  3. They apologised for the delay in service. (Used in a formal setting to express regret for a service issue, British English.)
  4. I must apologise for not being able to attend your party. (Expresses personal regret in British English.)
  5. The company issued a statement to apologise to its customers. (Shows corporate responsibility and the act of public apology in British English.)

Use of Apologize in Sentences

  1. He’s going to apologize for his rude behavior yesterday. (Demonstrates the act of expressing regret in an American English context.)
  2. I apologize for any inconvenience caused. (A formal expression of regret, American English.)
  3. The senator issued an apology for the oversight. (Shows a public figure expressing remorse in American English.)
  4. Please accept my apology; it was not my intention to offend. (Personal regret expressed in American English.)
  5. The airline apologized for the flight cancellation. (Corporate apology in an American English setting.)


The choice between apologise and apologize primarily depends on the variant of English being used. Both forms are correct within their respective dialects, and their usage reflects the global diversity of the English language. Understanding the context and audience can guide the appropriate selection of these terms in writing and speech.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “apologise” only used in British English?
    • Yes, apologise is typically used in British English and other varieties of English influenced by British norms.
  • Can “apologize” be used in British English?
    • While apologize is predominantly American, it can sometimes be found in British English texts, especially in more modern or international contexts.
  • Are there any differences in meaning between “apologise” and “apologize”?
    • No, both terms mean to express regret for an offense or failure. The difference is purely in spelling and regional preference.
  • How do I know which spelling to use?
    • The spelling should match the variant of English you are using or the preference of your audience.
  • Do “apologise” and “apologize” have the same grammatical functions?
    • Yes, both serve as verbs in a sentence and have the same grammatical functions, allowing the speaker or writer to express remorse or regret.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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