Fulfil Or Fulfill – British vs. American English

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

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To produce high-quality academic writing, it’s crucial to maintain consistency in spelling and ensure coherence and clarity throughout the paper. Unfortunately, some students struggle with distinguishing between British vs. American English, causing confusion when deciding which spelling to use for words such as “fulfil” or “fulfill”. If you want to gain a better understanding of the differences between these two styles of English, read on.

“Fulfil” or “fulfill”

The word “fulfil/fulfill” is a verb in its infinitive form or in the present tense. It means to accomplish, satisfy, or complete a task, promise, or expectation. “Fulfil/fulfill” is used to describe the act of carrying out or achieving something that was intended or required.

Fulfil Or Fulfill UK

British English

fulfil

Fulfil Or Fulfill US

American English

fulfill

“Fulfil” is the only British English variation of the word and is used in English-speaking countries like the UK and Australia. For American English, only “fulfill” is the legitimate way of spelling the word. It’s commonly used in the United States. Canada is an exception because both spellings are used there.

Examples of using “fulfil” and “fulfill”

The following examples will illustrate the difference in spelling of the word “fulfil/fulfill” in British and American English.

Fulfil Or Fulfill UK - Example
  • She worked hard to fulfil her dream of becoming a novelist.
  • The company’s primary goal is to fulfil the needs of its customers.
  • It was nice to finally fulfil the promise I made to my grandfather.
Fulfil Or Fulfill US - Example
  • She worked hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a novelist.
  • The company’s primary goal is to fulfill the needs of its customers.
  • It was nice to finally fulfill the promise I made to my grandfather.

“Fulfil” or “fulfill” in the “-ing” form

When using the verb “fulfil/fulfill” in its “-ing” form, the proper spelling of the word is “fulfilling” for both British and American English.

  • British English: “Fulfilling”
  • American English: “Fulfilling”

The following examples will illustrate the use of the word “fulfilling.”

Examples

  • Traveling to new places is so fulfilling.
  • Learning new skills can be very fulfilling.

“Fulfil” or “fulfill” in the past tense

“Fulfil/fulfill” is spelled “fulfilled” in the past tense for both British and American English.

  • British English: “Fulfilled”
  • American English: “Fulfilled”

The following examples will illustrate the use of the word “fulfilled.”

Examples

  • She fulfilled her promise to visit her parents over the weekend.
  • The company successfully fulfilled all the orders ahead of schedule.

“Fulfil” or “fulfill” as a noun

The noun for “fulfil/fulfill” is spelled “fulfilment” and “fulfillment” for British and American English respectively.

  • British English: “Fulfilment”
  • American English: “Fulfillment”

The following examples will illustrate the use of the word “fulfilment/fulfillment.”

Fulfil Or Fulfill UK 2 - Example
  • The successful event brought a sense of fulfilment to everyone.
  • Helping others often brings a deep sense of fulfilment.
Fulfil Or Fulfill US 2- Example
  • The successful event brought a sense of fulfillment to everyone.
  • Helping others often brings a deep sense of fulfillment.

FAQs

In the UK, the correct spelling is “fulfil”.

Both are correct! The difference between “fulfil” and “fulfill” is that they are used in different parts of the world. “Fulfil” is the British English spelling and is used in the UK and Australia. “Fulfill” is the American English version and is commonly used in the US. Canada is an exception because it uses both the British and the American spelling.

The correct spelling of “fulfilling” is the same in both American English and British English. It is spelled F-U-L-F-I-L-L-I-N-G in both varieties.

“Fulfil/fulfill” is a verb that means to accomplish or complete a task. It is used to describe the act of carrying out or achieving something that was intended or required. When you fulfill something, you are essentially meeting a requirement, expectation, or goal.

A synonym for “fulfil/fulfill” is “accomplish”.

  • She was able to accomplish her dream of starting her own business.

Note that there are even more synonyms, and this is just one of many.

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