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Is It Realise or Realize? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

updated on  January 9, 2024 3 min read
Realise and realize are two ways of spelling the same verb, which means “become aware of” or “make (something) happen.” The spelling depends on the type of English you use.

  • In British English, “realise” is standard, unless you follow Oxford style. In that case, you should write “realize.”
  • In American English, “realize” is the only correct spelling.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Realise or realize in a sentence
Leo didn’t realise/realize the value of time management until he missed a deadline.
After two months, Logan started to realise/realize how much he loved his girlfriend.
Debbie went to Scotland to realise/realize her dream of petting a Highland cow.

Realised or realized

The spelling difference also applies to the past tense or past participle form realised or realized.

  • In British English, “realised” is standard, unless you follow Oxford style guidelines. In that case, use “realized.”
  • In American English, “realized” is the only correct spelling.

Examples: Realised or realized in a sentence
Chloe realised/realized that her friend needed advice.
Cooper realised/realized that it was raining outside.
After hours of studying, he suddenly realised/realized the solution to the problem.

Realising or realizing

The same spelling difference applies to the gerund and present participle realising or realizing.

  • In British English, “realising” is standard, unless you follow Oxford style. In that case, “realizing” is correct.
  • In American English, “realizing” is the only correct spelling.

Examples: Realising or realizing in a sentence.
The hiker explored the forest, realising/realizing the beauty of the wilderness.
Over time, Bert found himself realising/realizing the value of simplicity in art.
He felt a sinking feeling, realising/realizing that he had been scammed.

Realisation or realization

The spelling difference is also true for the related noun realisation or realization.

  • In British English, “realisation” is standard, unless you follow Oxford style. In that case, “realizing” is correct.
  • In American English, “realization” is the only correct spelling.

Examples: Realisation or realization in a sentence.
The realisation/realization that she had left her wallet stopped her in her tracks.
I came to the realisation/realization that I didn’t like my major.
After hours of reflection, she had a realisation/realization about her true calling.

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
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
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 realise or realize

Is it realise or realize in India?

Realise and realize are two spellings of the same verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In British English, you use “realise.”
  • In American English, you use “realize.”

Indian English generally follows the UK guidelines for spelling, so realise is standard.

The same difference applies to similar words, such as “recognize or recognise,” “analyze or analyse,” “finalize or finalise,” “minimize or minimise,” and “organize or organise.”

It's important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it realise or realize in Canada?

Realise and realize are two spellings of the same verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In British English, you use “realise.”
  • In American English, you use “realize.”

Canadian English usually follows the UK guidelines for spelling, but for words ending in -ize or -yze, it follows American guidelines. This means realize is standard.

The same difference applies to similar words, such as “recognize or recognise,” “analyze or analyse,” “finalize or finalise,” “minimize or minimise,” and “organize or organise.”

It's important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

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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