Organisation Or Organization – British vs. American

04.12.23 British English vs. American English Time to read: 5min

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Organisation-or-organization-01

With the distribution of the English language, different versions of words have evolved especially, in the sense of spelling. When writing an academic paper you must pay attention to keep a linguistic consistency to maintain a cohesive flow. Two of the most popular variations are British English vs. American English. This article takes the case of “organisation” or “organization” to showcase the distinction between American and British English.

“Organisation” or “organization”

The word “organisation” or “organization” functions as a noun. The meaning can differ depending on the context but in general, it refers to an executive and functional structure. It can also be used as a synonym for society or association. Another common meaning is the state of being ready or structured. Both variations have the same meaning except for their different spellings. In British English, “organisation” is written with an “s”. In American English, however, the word is written with an “z”.

Organisation or Organzation UK flag

British English

organisation

organization

Organisation or Organzation US flag

American English

organization

 

Both variations are correct. However, it depends on whether you decide to write in British English or American English. While in British English, both versions are accepted, in American English there is only one correct way of spelling “organization.” It is essential to stick to one version to keep academic integrity and credibility.

Examples of using “organisation” and “organization”

The following examples highlight the different spelling of the word “organisation/organization” in British and American English.

Organisation or Organzation noun UK flag
  • Many countries have secret organisations/organizations.
  • The boss was dissatisfied with the lack of organisation/organization.
  • The entertainment organisation/organization represents artists.
Organisation or Organzation noun US flag
  • Many countries have secret organizations.
  • The boss was dissatisfied with the lack of organization.
  • The entertainment organization represents artists.

“Organisation” or “organization” as a verb

The verb form of “organisation/organization” is “to organise” or “to organize,” depending on whether you select the British pattern or the American pattern. However, it is noteworthy that, like the noun, both variations with the ending “-ise” and “-ize” are acceptable in British English, but the “-ise” form is more common. The following examples show how to use the verb “to organise/organize” in both English variants.

British English: to organise/organize

American English: to organize

Organisation or Organzation-organise-organize-verb-UK flag
  • It’s smart to organise/organize your notes before the meeting.
  • She needs to organise/organize the event in the next two weeks.
  • He finds it difficult to organise/organize a family gathering.
Organisation or Organzation-organise-organize-verb-US flag
  • It’s smart to organize your notes before the meeting.
  • She needs to organize the event in the next two weeks.
  • He finds it difficult to organize a family gathering.

“Organisation” or “organization” in the “-ed” form

When the verb “organise/organize” is inflected in the “-ed” form, it indicates the past simple tense, past participle, or the passive voice. Like the above, the British dialect accepts both, “organised” and “organized,” whereas the American dialect only uses “organized.”

British English: organised/organized

American English: organized

Organisation or Organzation-organised-organized-UK flag
  • We organised/organized a successful birthday event last year.
  • The members have organised/organized several lectures.
  • The workshops were organised/organized by my teacher.
Organisation or Organzation-organised-organized-US flag
  • We organized a successful birthday event last year. (past simple)
  • The members have organized several lectures. (past participle)
  • The workshops were organized by my teacher. (passive voice)

In the inflected “-ed” form, the word can also act as an adjective. In this form, it specifically refers to something that is planned based on an orderly manner. Therefore, it primarily describes people, groups, activities, or events that entail proper structuring. The following examples show how to use the adjective “organised/organized” in sentences in both English variants.

Organisation or Organzation-organised-organized-adjective-UK flag
  • The community lives structured and organised/organized.
  • It was evident that the event was organised/organized.
  • The student is organised/organized with her notes.
Organisation or Organzation-organised-organized-adjective-US flag
  • The community lives structured and organized.
  • It was evident that the event was organized.
  • The student is organized with her notes.

“Organisation” or “organization” in the “-ing” form

The “-ing” form inflection of the verb “to organise/organize” implies the present participle or a gerund. While the “-ising” and “-izing” are both used in the British English language, the American English language only sticks to the “izing” form.

British English: organising/organizing

American English: organizing

Organisation or Organzation-organising-organizing-UK flag
  • She was organising/organizing the wedding last month.
  • He is organising/organizing the graduation trip.
  • Organising/organizing the monthly work schedule is no easy task.
Organisation or Organzation-organising-organizing-US flag
  • She was organizing the wedding last month. (present participle)
  • He is organizing the graduation trip. (present participle)
  • Organizing the monthly work schedule is no easy task. (gerund)

“Organisation” or “organization” as an adjective

“Organisational” or “organizational” refers to an adjective, derived from the word “organisation/organization.” Unlike “organised/organized,” “organisational/organizational” describes anything that is related to a functioning order or a structure. It is specifically used in contexts that entail characteristics of an organisation/organization such as culture, behavior, or structures. Both variations are used in the UK, however the “-s” version is preferred, while the US only accepts the “-z” version.

British English: organisational/organizational

American English: organizational

Organisation or Organzation-organisational-organizational-UK flag
  • The organisational/organizational tools were recently adjusted.
  • Organisational/organizational skills are top priority in the company.
  • She requested a specific organisational/organizational structure.
Organisation or Organzation-organisational-organizational-US flag
  • The organizational tools were recently adjusted.
  • Organizational skills are top priority in the company.
  • She requested a specific organizational structure.

“Organisation” or “organization” as an adverb

The adverb of “organisation/organization” is “organisationally” or “organizationally.” Here, the same pattern for the British variant and the American variant is followed.

British English: organisationally/organizationally

American English: organizationally

Organisation or Organzation-organisationally-organizationally-UK flag
  • They operate differently organisationally/organizationally.
  • It is organisationally/organizationally impossible to reach the goal.
  • She is organisationally/organizationally well-structured.
Organisation or Organzation-organisationally-organizationally-US flag
  • They operate differently organizationally.
  • It is organizationally impossible to reach the goal.
  • She is organizationally well-structured.

FAQs

Both variations are correct. In America English, only “organization” is correct, while in British English, both versions are accepted.

Both versions are English words and correct. In American English however, there is only one correct version which is “organizing.”

Organizing means systematically arranging activities or duties for better performance.

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