Words ending in -ize and -ise
In British English some words can be spelt with either -ize or -ise. In American English, the forms with -ize is more common.
Examples are given below:
- Realize / realise
- Computerize / computerise
- Mechanize / mechanise
- Baptize / baptise
Most words of two or more syllables have -ise in both British and American English.
- Surprise, revise, exercise, advise, comprise, despise, compromise, improvise, supervise, televise, advertise
In American English, advertize is also possible.
If in doubt, remember that -ise is almost always correct in British English.
Spelling and pronunciation
In English, spelling words is not easy. In fact, even native English speakers often find it difficult to spell words correctly. This is mainly because the pronunciation of many English words has changed over the last few hundred years. The spelling system, on the other hand, has stayed more or less the same. Here is a list of some common words that often cause difficulty.
In the following words the letters in brackets are not pronounced.
The following four syllable words are usually pronounced like three syllable words. The letters in brackets are usually not pronounced.
In the following words b is silent.
- Climb, comb, dumb
In the following words d is silent.
- Handkerchief, sandwich, Wednesday
The gh is silent in the following words.
- Bought, caught, ought, thought, daughter, height, high, light, might, neighbour, right, sight, tight, straight, through, weigh
In the following words h is silent
- What, when, whip, why, honest, hour, honour