Is It Labelled or Labeled? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

UK vs US updated on  December 13, 2023 3 min read
Labelled and labeled both are correct spellings of the past tense of the verb “label,” which means “attach a label to something” or “categorize something or someone.” The spelling depends on the type of English you use:
  • In British English, “labelled” with a double “l” is standard.
  • In American English, “labeled” with one “l” is correct.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Labelled or labeled in a sentence
Susie has accidentally labelled/labeled all the jeans incorrectly.
I was labelled/labeled a rebel as a teenager.
Leron labelled/labeled every book on the shelf in one afternoon.

The difference in spelling is also true for similar verbs, such as cancelled or canceled, levelled or leveled, and travelled or traveled.

Labelling or labeling

The spelling difference also applies to labelling or labeling.

  • In British English, “labelling” with a double “l” is correct.
  • In American English, “labeling” with one “l” is standard.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Labelling or labeling in a sentence
I don’t like labelling/labeling people I barely know.
I was labelling/labeling my clothes when you rang me.
Labelling/labeling someone based on one encounter is not fair.

The difference in spelling is also true for similar verbs, such as modeling or modelling and traveling or travelling.

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:

Difference

Rule

Examples

-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
Organisation or organization
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
Canceled or cancelled
Labeled or labelled
Buses or busses
Focused or focussed

Do you want to know more about commas, parts of speech, email, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Commas

Parts of speech

Commonly confused words

Comma before because

Nouns

Flier vs flyer

Comma before such as

Collective nouns

Its vs it’s

Comma splice

Verbs

Use to or used to

Comma before or after but

Noun clauses

Alright vs all right

Comma before too

Predicate nominative

Affective vs effective


Frequently asked questions about labelled or labeled

Is it labeled or labelled in Canada?

Labelled and labeled are both correct spellings of the past tense of the verb “label.” The preferred spelling depends on the type of English.

In this instance, Canada follows the British English convention, so the word is spelled labelled (double “l”).

This difference in spelling is also true for other words, such as modelling or modeling and travelling or traveling.

Is it labelled or labeled in Australia?

Labelled and labeled are both correct spellings of the past tense of the verb “label.” The preferred spelling depends on the type of English.

In Australia, they generally follow British English conventions, which means they prefer labelled (double “l”).

This difference in spelling is also true for other words, such as modelling or modeling and travelling or traveling.

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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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