Difference between acknowledgement or acknowledgment

In this article, we’ll explore the nuances between acknowledgment and acknowledgement, two spellings that often cause confusion among writers and learners of English. The primary difference lies in their usage across different English-speaking regions, yet both forms are correct and mean the act of recognizing or admitting something.

Grammar Facts about Acknowledgment and Acknowledgement

  • Acknowledgment is the preferred spelling in American English.
  • Acknowledgement is more common in British English, including other varieties of English outside the United States.

Quick Facts Table

Preferred inAmerican EnglishBritish English
Also accepted inInternational contextsInternational contexts
Part of SpeechNounNoun
DefinesAn act of recognizing or admitting somethingAn act of recognizing or admitting something

Difference Between Acknowledgment and Acknowledgement

Definition of Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment refers to the act of recognizing or admitting the existence, truth, or fact of something. It can also relate to a public way of expressing thanks or appreciation.

Definition of Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement carries the same definition as its American counterpart, denoting the act of acknowledging something or someone, often in writing.

Origin of Acknowledgment

The word acknowledgment derives from the Middle English acknowlechen, which means to recognize or admit. Its spelling has evolved in American English to omit the ‘e’ before the suffix ‘-ment’.

Origin of Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement follows the same etymological path as acknowledgment, with its spelling reflecting the more traditional form found in British English, retaining the ‘e’ before the suffix.


Both acknowledgment and acknowledgement are pronounced the same way: /əkˈnɒlɪdʒmənt/, indicating that the difference in spelling does not affect their pronunciation.

Comparing Acknowledgment and Acknowledgement

Spelling PreferenceFavored in the USFavored outside the US
Usage ContextFormal and informal writingFormal and informal writing
Cultural PerceptionAssociated with American English normsAssociated with British English norms
FlexibilityAccepted globally with preference in American contextsWidely accepted in Commonwealth countries and beyond

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Acknowledgment in Sentences

  1. The author included an acknowledgment in her book to thank those who helped her research. (Shows appreciation in American English)
  2. His acknowledgment of the mistake led to a quick resolution. (Admission of an error in American English)
  3. She nodded in acknowledgment of the greeting. (Non-verbal recognition in American English)
  4. The museum’s acknowledgment of the donors was displayed at the entrance. (Public recognition in American English)
  5. Receiving acknowledgment for his work was important to him. (Recognition of effort in American English)

Use of Acknowledgement in Sentences

  1. The professor’s paper included an acknowledgement section for his contributors. (Shows appreciation in British English)
  2. Her acknowledgement of the oversight simplified the discussion. (Admission of an oversight in British English)
  3. He raised his hand in acknowledgement when his name was called. (Non-verbal recognition in British English)
  4. The event started with an acknowledgement of the traditional land owners. (Public recognition in British English)
  5. Acknowledgement from her peers was crucial for her confidence. (Recognition of effort in British English)


While acknowledgment and acknowledgement differ in spelling, their meaning, usage, and pronunciation remain the same. The choice between the two forms largely depends on the writer’s preference or the regional norm. Both spellings are correct and acceptable in formal and informal writing across English-speaking regions.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is one spelling more correct than the other?
    • No, both spellings are correct. The choice depends on regional spelling norms.
  • Can I use both spellings in the same document?
    • It’s best to stick with one spelling for consistency within a single document.
  • Are there any contexts where one spelling is preferred over the other?
    • Yes, acknowledgment is preferred in American English, while acknowledgement is preferred in British English and other varieties of English outside the United States.
  • Do both spellings appear in dictionaries?
    • Yes, both spellings are found in dictionaries, reflecting their valid use in different English-speaking regions.

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