Cancelled and canceled are both correct spellings of the past tense of the verb “to cancel,” which means “revoke,” “annul,” or “neutralize.” The spelling depends on the variant of English you use:
In British English, “cancelled” with a double "l" is most common.
In American English, “canceled” with one "l" is the standard.
Nowadays, it’s also possible to say “someone is cancelled/canceled” when celebrities and influencers lose their support after a scandal. This use is informal and should be avoided in academic writing.
Examples: Cancelled or canceled in a sentence My membership was cancelled/canceled automatically.
The seasonal variations in revenue cancelled/canceled each other out.
Do you know that influencer who got cancelled/canceled after shouting at her kid?
The difference in spelling is also true for similar verbs, such as labelled or labeled, levelled or leveled, and travelled or traveled.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.
The spelling difference also applies to the present participle or gerund cancelling or canceling.
In British English, “cancelling” with a double "l" is most common.
In American English, “canceling” with one "l" is standard.
Examples: Cancelling or canceling in a sentence
I'm cancelling/canceling my gym membership because I never use it. Cancelling/Canceling a date at the last minute is not very polite. Did you know Adele is cancelling/canceling her concert?
The difference does not apply to the same extent for the related nouncancellation or cancelation. Even though cancelation (with one “l”) is occasionally used in American English, it’s not the standard in either US or British English. Instead, use the noun cancellation (or the plural noun cancellations), which means “the instance or act of cancelling something."
Examples: Cancellation in a sentence Did you receive a cancellation email?
There are no cancellations for our wedding.
We could be seated in the restaurant due to a cancellation.
Main differences between American and British English
American and British English are very similar, but there are a few main differences in spelling. Five important differences are:
-or vs -our
In American English, many Latin-derived words end in -or.
In British English, these same words end in -our.
Behavior or behaviour Labor or labour Favor or favour Favorite or favourite Color or colour Honor or honour
-er vs -re
In American English, some French, Latin, or Greek words end in -er.
In British English, these same words end in -re.
Theater or theatre Center or centre Meter or metre Liter or litre Saber or sabre Fiber or fibre
-ize vs -ise
In American English, many Greek-derived words end in -yze or -ize.
In British English, these words end in -yse or -ise.
Realize or realise Recognize or recognise Analyze or analyse Organize or organise Minimize or minimise Finalize or finalise
-ed vs -t
In American English, most verbs are regular and form their past tense with the suffix -ed.
In British English, some of these verbs are irregular and form their past tense with the suffix -t.
Learned or learnt Burned or burnt Kneeled or knelt Dreamed or dreamt Smelled or smelt Spelled or spelt
Single vs double consonant
In American English, many words are spelled with a single consonant.
In British English, these same words are spelled with a double consonant.
Modeling or modelling Traveling or travelling Canceling or cancelling Labeled or labelled Buses or busses Focused or focussed
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