Fuelled Or Fueled – British English vs. American English

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

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While mutually intelligible, there are different ways of spelling specific words in British English vs. American English, reflecting the cultural, social, and historical influences of the UK and the US. Most differences manifest in grammar, pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary. A noteworthy case of a spelling difference is in the word “fuelled” or “fueled.” Learn more about this specific instance in the following article.

“Fuelled” or “fueled”

Unlike their British counterpart, American lexicographer Noah Webster has implemented simplified ways of spelling specific words. “Fuelled/fueled” is a word that belongs to a broader pattern attributed to the influential spelling reforms proposed by Webster. “Fuelled” or “fueled” refers to the past participle and past tense of the verb “to fuel,” which describes the act of powering or supplying something with a substance that can create energy. In a physical sense, this primarily refers to supplying an engine or machine like a car. However, metaphorically, it may also indicate that something/someone is sustained by something non-physical, such as “fuelled” or “fueled” by opinions. In rare cases, “fuelled/fueled” can also act as an adjective, typically combined with a noun or adverb.

Fuelled Or Fueled UK flag

British English

fuelled

Fuelled Or Fueled US flag

American English

fueled

In British English, the word “fuelled” is spelled following the British pattern of doubling consonants, here the “l,” whereas American English adopted the simplified version with one “l.” Despite differing in spelling, the meaning remains the same for both versions. The choice of which one to use depends on whether you follow British or American English conventions.

Note: An easy way to distinguish the British word “fuelled” from the American word “fueled” is that the British variant follows the pattern of doubling consonants.

Examples of using “fuelled” and “fueled” as a verb

“Fuelled/fueled” is a regular verb, meaning that the past tenses are formed by adding “-ed” at the end and the base form doesn’t change. The past participle of “fuelled/fueled” is usually included in sentences that are in the perfect tense or passive voice. The following examples show how “fuelled/fueled” is used as a past participle in British English and American English.

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  • She fuelled the car with diesel two days ago.
  • They have fuelled their passion for music over decades.
  • The machine is fuelled by solar panels throughout the year.
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-examples-verb-past-tense-US-flag
  • She fueled the car with diesel two days ago.
  • They have fueled their passion for music over decades.
  • The machine is fueled by solar panels throughout the year.

“Fuelled” or “fueled” in the “-ing” form

Another inflection of the verb “to fuel,” is its present participle, where the suffix “-ing” is added. In this case, the core of the word does not change, meaning the British English version still follows the double lettering, while the American English version sticks to a single “l.” The following examples illustrate the use of “fuelling” or “fueling” in context.

  • British English: Fuelling
  • American English: Fueling
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-Fuelling-Or-Fueling-UK-flag
  • She is fuelling the debate with her extreme opinions.
  • The convention was fuelling her interest for art.
  • The generator is fuelling the whole building.
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-Fuelling-Or-Fueling-US-flag
  • She is fueling the debate with her extreme opinions.
  • The convention was fueling her interest for art.
  • The generator is fueling the whole building.

“Fuelled” or “fueled” in the infinitive form

The word “fuel” in its infinitive form acts as a present tense verb. Unlike the inflections of the verb “to fuel,” the way of spelling does not change in either English variants, when it is used in its base form, as shown in the examples below.

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  • She participates in classes to fuel her drive.
  • They need to fuel the plane before take off.
  • He needs to fuel the growth of his company.
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-Fuel-verb-base-form-US-flag

“Fuelled” or “fueled” as a noun

The noun for the verb “fuelled/fueled” is “fuel” and translates to the substance that powers something or produces energy. Prime examples of “fuel” are diesel, gasoline, wood, or coal. It has the same way of spelling in both English dialects, as the following examples illustrate.

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  • An alternative to fossil fuels are solar panels.
  • Her passion is her fuel for thorough research.
  • The ferry needed fuel to manage the route.
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-Fuel-noun-US-flag

“Fuelled” or “fueled” as an adjective

When “fuelled/fueled” acts as an adjective, it usually conveys a figurative or metaphorical sense. Essentially, it describes an object or individual sustained, driven, or empowered by something. The following sentences show examples of using “fuelled/fueled” as an adjective in British English and American English.

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  • The discussion was emotionally fuelled the whole time.
  • He made anger-fuelled, rash, and impulsive decisions.
  • The trip was adrenaline-fuelled, leaving everyone breathless.
Fuelled-Or-Fueled-examples-past-participle-US-flag
  • The discussion was emotionally fueled the whole time.
  • He made anger-fueled, rash, and impulsive decisions.
  • The trip was adrenaline-fueled, leaving everyone breathless.

FAQs

In the United States, the correct spelling is “fueled.”

“Fuelled” or “fueled” is the past tense or past participle of the verb “to fuel” and means to provide power to something or drive something.

“To fuel” is a regular verb; hence, the past tense is indicated by the suffix “-ed.” Therefore, the past tense of “to fuel” is “fuelled” in British English and “fueled” in American English.

It can be used in various ways, such as a past tense verb or a past participle.

Examples

  • The success fuelled/fueled my motivation at the beginning of my career. (Past tense verb)
  • My motivation was fuelled/fueled by success at the beginning of my career. (Past participle)

Alternative words for fuelled/fueled are “sustain,” “drive,” “feed,” “power,” and “nourish.”

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