My favorite mnemonics for American vs British English

Published on in English and Mnemonics

Use these weird tricks to remember which words are American English and which are British English. Linguists HATE them!

Table of contents

Learned vs learnt

"Learned" is American English, "learnt" is British English.

Mnemonic: Englishmen like to drink tea, so the word ends in a t.

Source of the mnemonic: Learned or Learnt? on Grammarly

Words ending in "-er" vs "-re"

Many words end in "-er" in American English and in "-re" in British English.


American English British English
center centre
fiber fibre
liter litre
meter metre
theater or theatre theatre

Note that in American English, theater is the standard spelling, but the -re spelling is also commonly used, especially in proper names (the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre).

Source of the rule and the quote: Words ending in "-re" and "-er" on Lexico

Mnemonic: in Am-er-ican English, many words end in "-er."

Source of the mnemonic: me!