Canadian English

Canadian English contains major elements of both British and American English, as well as some uniquely Canadian characteristics. Spelling in Canadian English varies regionally and within social groups, yet general trends are as follows:

  •  The letter u is retained in words such as colour and odour,
  • ‘re’ is used rather than ‘er’ ending in words such as metre (length of measure), and centre,
  • the consonant “l’ is doubled when adding suffixes to words even when the final syllable (before the suffix) is not stressed, for example, travelled, counselling, and marvellous,
  • the British spellings of defence and offence are used,
  • Nouns are spelled with -ice while matching verbs take -ise – for example, practice and licence are nouns while practise and license are the corresponding verbs.
  • Canadian English uses curb, tire, and aluminum, which in British English are spelled kerb, tyre, and aluminium.

Language is an important feature of culture, and culture is an important factor in national identity. Canadians should try to use Canadian English as much as possible.

Canadians often do not use Canadian English in correspondence and reports as the default setting is American English in many word-processing software packages. Generally, this is easy to correct by changing language preferences. So, change your language settings today (if necessary) and keep your computer and work Canadian!