Recognise Or Recognize – British vs. American English

08.01.24 British English vs. American English Time to read: 3min

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It is crucial to maintain consistency in academic writing to ensure that the work is logical and straightforward. Nevertheless, several students find it challenging to distinguish between British English vs. American English, leading to confusion when determining the correct spelling of specific words, like “recognise” or “recognize.” If you want to improve your understanding of these two forms of English, continue reading.

“Recognise” or “recognize”

“Recognise” and “recognize” are both verb forms. The word is used to express the action of identifying or acknowledging something or somaeone based on prior knowledge or familiarity. Both spellings are correct, and the choice between “recognise” and “recognize” depends on the English variety you are using. There is no strict rule against using either spelling in the respective regions, but it’s recommended to maintain consistency within a given context or document.

British English

recognise

American English

recognize

“Recognize” is more common in American English, and “recognise” is more common in British English. While both spellings are generally accepted in their respective regions, it’s essential to be consistent within a specific context or document.

Examples of using “recognise” and “recognize” as a verb

The following examples will illustrate the difference in the spelling of the verb “recognize/recognise” in British and American English.

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  • She couldn’t recognise the person in the photograph.
  • They were thrilled to recognise each other in the crowded airport.
  • It’s important to recognise the achievements of individuals.
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  • She couldn’t recognize the person in the photograph.
  • They were thrilled to recognize each other in the crowded airport.
  • It’s important to recognize the achievements of individuals.

“Recognize” or “recognise” in the “-ed” form

The past tense or past participle form of “recognize/recognise” is “recognised” and “recognized” in the respective English variant.

  • British English: Recognised
  • American English: Recognized
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  • The teacher recognised the students for their performance.
  • The detective quickly recognised the suspect in the crowd.
  • The organization was officially recognised for its contributions.
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  • The teacher recognized the students for their performance.
  • The detective quickly recognized the suspect in the crowd.
  • The organization was officially recognized for its contributions.

“Recognize” or “recognise” in the “-ing” form

The “-ing” form of the verb, also called gerund and present participle, “recognize/recognise“ is “recognising” and “recognizing” for the respective English variant.

  • British English: Recognising
  • American English: Recognizing
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  • She is particularly good at recognising patterns.
  • He received an award for recognising the importance of health.
  • The software is capable of recognising various voices.
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  • She is particularly good at recognizing patterns.
  • He received an award for recognizing the importance of health.
  • The software is capable of recognizing various voices.

FAQs

Both “recognised” and “recognized” are correct spellings. The choice between them depends on the regional variety of English being used. “Recognised” is more commonly used in British English, while “recognized” is the preferred spelling in American English.

In British English, the spelling “recognise” with an “s” is used.

In South Africa, the spelling can vary, as both British and American English spellings are commonly accepted. However, the British English spelling “recognise” with an “s” is often more prevalent.

“Recognize/recognize” means to identify somaeone or something based on prior knowledge, memory, or familiarity. It involves acknowledging or realizing the existence or significance of a person, object, or fact.

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