Apologise Or Apologize – British vs. American English

18.09.23 British English vs. American English Time to read: 4min

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English is commonly used across numerous global regions. However, due to a range of geographic and cultural factors, two primary forms have developed: British English vs. American English. Each version has unique vocabulary and slight variations in spelling. For example, “apologise” and “apologize” are two spellings of the same word. In this article, you will learn how to maintain consistency in academic writing.

“Apologise” or “Apologize”

Both “apologise” and “apologize” are English terms that function as intransitive verbs. It is used to admit fault or to express remorse or regret.

Apologise-vs.-apologize-UK flag

British English


Apologise or apologize US flag

American English


Both spellings are correct. “Apologize” is mainly used in American English (US) while “apologize” is predominantly used in British English (UK/AU/NZ). You should use the one that aligns with your variant of English that you are using.

Remember: Apologize and Arizona are both words that contain a “Z”, and both being words that are commonly used in America.

Examples of using “apologise” and “apologize”

The forthcoming examples will elucidate the distinction in between the verb “apologize/apologise” in British and American English.

Apologise-vs.-apologize-UK flag
  • She had to apologise for her husband’s behaviour.
  • Anna apologises for arriving late to the tea party.
  • Max didn’t hesitate to apologise to his mum.
Apologise or apologize US flag
  • He really needs to apologize for arriving that late.
  • I need to apologize to you for the inconvenience.
  • John reluctantly decided to apologize.

“Apologise” or “apologize” in the “-ing” form

When using the verb “apologise/apologize” in its “-ing” form, the correct spelling of the term is “apologising/apologizing”

  • British English: “Apologising”
  • American English: “Apologizing”

The ensuing examples will demonstrate the usage of the words.

  • She was busy apologising for the broken vase.
  • Melissa felt better after apologising to her little brother.
  • Apologising is important when you make a mistake.
Apologise-vs.-apologize-apologising UK flag
  • I felt better after apologizing to my sister for breaking her toy.
  • Sarah was apologizing for accidentally spilling the juice.
  • She felt bad and started apologizing immediately.
Apologise-vs.-apologize-apologizing US flag

“Apologise” or “apologize” in the past tense

“Apologise/apologize” is spelled “apologised/apologized” in the past tense.

  • British English: “apologised”
  • American English: “apologized”

The word’s usage will be demonstrated through the following examples.

Apologise-vs.-apologize-apologised UK flag
  • She apologised for being late.
  • After realising her mistake, she apologised directly.
  • He apologised for the mistake he made.
Apologise-vs.-apologize-apologized US flag
  • After the misunderstanding, she regretted not apologizing sooner.
  • The captain apologized for his outburst during the game.
  • The CEO apologized profusely for the late arrival.

“Apologise” or “apologize” as a noun

The noun for “apologise/apologize” is spelled “apology” for both.

  • British English: “apology”
  • American English: “apology”

The words will be demonstrated through the following examples.

Apologise-vs.-apologize-apology UK flag


  • The CEO issued a public apology.
  • Lisa realized she owed her an apology.
  • John offered a heartfelt apology to his friend.
Apologise-vs.-apologize-apology US flag


In the UK, as well as in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, “apologise” is the preferred spelling of the word.

Yes. The noun form for both is “apology”. It means to say/to be sorry.

Both are terms for saying that someone is or feels sorry. “Apologise” is the British variant, and “apologize” the American version. Even in the British-English speaking community, however, “apologize” has been considered standard for a long time, while remaining more common until now.

  • British English: “apologise”
  • American English: “apologize”

“Apologise” or “apologize” (depending on the variant of English you are using) can have different meanings. Here are the most common ones:

  • To express/make an apology (because you are feeling sorry)
  • acknowledge failings or faults
  • make a formal defence in speech or writing

Synonyms for “apologise” or “apologize” could be: express regret, ask for pardon or to beg someone’s forgiveness.

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