Practising vs. practicing


Yesterday I read in a book by Joy Fielding the word «practising».
Now, Joy Fielding is American and «practising» is supposed British spelling. The Americans normally stick to « practicing».
No big deal — it just underscores the freedom you have when it comes to spelling in English. I for example I have developed my own system that combines the best of American and British spelling. In a few years the spelling question will be solved anyway, won’t it?
What do you think of this issue?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A well maintained garden[YSaerTTEW443543]



Hallo Torsten,

I don’t agree with you. It can’t be a good idea to mix up the two languages.

But I saw some artikels I couldn’t see from where they are. There were words from both countries used. I think sometimes it would be good to know if an Amercan or British person is speaking about something. The people of both countries do have diferent views of things and I think it could be interesting to know who thinks what exspecially of their different politics and live.

Kind regards
:twisted: teufelchen53



Hi Teufelchen, I think British and American English are very close - I wouldn’t regard them as two different languages. Of course there are some words such as ‘boot’ and ‘trunk’ or ‘lorry’ and ‘truck’ but especially thanks to the internet and globalization these differences become less and less. So, why not combine the best of both - British and American English and throw in some Irish, Scottish, Canadian, Australian and what have you version of English to make a good cocktail? Isn’t this how the US emerged and developed into the strongest nation - just taking the best of everything and re-arrange it?
People still can different views and opinions. People are individual and unique. And the English language is rich enough to provide sufficient resources for anyone to express their thoughts.
Even if the spelling of the words is the same, wouldn’t you agree? Also, I think the more people use English on the internet the smaller the differences in spelling…



In most of the points I agree with you, but sometimes I think we lose some things if we allways mixe up languages. That’s the same in German, where we have many English words in all day doings. We lose some ineresting words or ways to say something, if you know what I mean.

To mix up the different English languages could be a good idea for the world becomming closer, but the individuality fail. And I think that’s a little bit pity. :frowning:

Best wishes
:twisted: teufelchen53



Clearly there are many Englishes in the world and any speaker of English for whom English is not the mother tongue will use a mixture of words, phrases, constructions that they’ve learnt or heard. Great, wonderful - they are communicating and that is the most important factor. Two other factors however do impinge - appropriateness and consistency.
Very often it’s necessary to choose the right style for the right occasion and sometimes the ‘wrong’ style can jar. Recently ‘A’ level English Literature students were criticised for answering their questions about characters in a Shakespeare play in colloquial language.
Colloquial language is all very fine if the teacher is explaining something to students in order to make them understand the characters better but is it the sort of language you would use in a formal examination? Then there is consistency.
Naturally I write my stuff in so-called standard British English because that is most natural to me but I don’t get overheated if I read something in American English or ‘euro’ English as long as the meaning is clear. What I would get confused about is to read a hotch-potch of Englishes emanating from an ‘official’ or standard medium - and I would classify our English-test as a standard medium.
This seems to be common sense and is as practical as indicating that something is written in Text File / webpage HTML only in computing and not something else.



Personally I think: “Vive la diff?rence!”.

Of course it would be less complicated not to have two different ways of spelling and about a hundred options when it comes to putting something into words in English. But it wouldn’t be half as exciting, would it?

Teufelchen has used a good word: ‘individuality’. Let’s not lose it. We can still live in harmony while keeping our very own features, can’t we?

By the way, I’ve always meant to ask this:

Sometimes there seems to be a kind of British vs. American English competition. Do you think this only happens between learners or is there also a certain rivalry among natives?



Hi Jamie (K),

I get the impression that you have an axe to grind. On the one hand you give the impression in your lengthy contributions that you want to promote English as a language whatever its variations in different parts of the world but on the other hand you really want to indicate to the world that all that matters is, to use your own words,:

Can you not simply enjoy the international use and growth of the English language as it is at the moment?

What is the point of making oblique references like these about the British when on this site the language is the thing:


I must confess I found the last quote deeply ironic but I’ll resist the temptation to counter that remark.





A picture is emerging now, Jamie (K) as you describe your experience with these strange teachers you’ve met. Why not come clean and reveal who you really are? Most of us at least give some indication of who we are in a profile.




This is getting more and more thrilling. What suspense! I must admit both of you are doing a good job of sorting out a nearly ‘diplomatic incident’. I hope I’m not adding more fuel to the fire by making this little (and probably uncalled-for) contribution. However, and to come out in defence of Lederhosen, I’m sure the Brits would look as grand in them as they do in kilts (I swear I’m not being ironic). And while we’re at it, when are men in Western culture going to wear less boring clothes – or at least have a more varied choice, like women have?



Hi Conchita,

Well done - we need people like you on the forum!

Thanks and best wishes




Hello Jamie (K), your posts are very interesting and valuable to your community. I think what Alan had in mind when he asked you about your profile was the fact that you always post your messages as a guest instead of registering with the forum.
When you register it will much easier for you to keep track of the discussions because you can opt for an email alert and then you simply click on the appropriate link. Also, when you log on to the forum as a user you can see immediately if and where are new posts because they are appear as orange.
Finally, as a forum user you can send and receive private messages.
Just some thoughts…



Hi Jamie (K),

Thanks for your interesting and detailed profile but as Andreana said, registering with the forum has its advantages. You seem pretty peeved about these cracks people make regarding British English and in the instances you quote, it must have been very galling. But you are not alone! There are also times when non-native English speakers tell me that what I’ve said/written is not correct English and it has happened on more than one occasion on this illustrious forum and then they say English people do not say that and when I assure them I am English and have spoken it now for the best part of 70 years, they still claim they are right. I find it mildly amusing when this happens. There is a famous example of a highly regarded British journalist (and I must admit his name has momentarily deserted me) who worked as a foreign correspondent in a country which diplomatically I can’t name but was a long, long way from home and he wanted to send a telegram to his family about a visit they were making to see him. At the post office the clerk told him his English was incorrect (which of course it wasn’t) and he refused to send it. Our journalist pleaded with him to send the telegram because it was urgent but the clerk was adamant and in the end the poor man agreed to send the telegram with the corrections made by the clerk because he was desperate to get in touch with his family.


PS: The journalist’s name is James Cameron and his material is well worth reading.



I recently went into town to buy new shoes. I walked into a shoe store in the city centre, went (upstairs) into the men’s section and stood in front of a shelf. I must have looked helpless because a shop assistant came over to me asking “Are you alright?” which is unusual since I live in Germany. I said “Thanks, I need new shoes.” The woman said “So what kind of shoes are you looking for?” And I said “Something to replace these here” while pointing at the shoes I was wearing. She looked at me all stunned, and I could see the other (female) shop assistants turning their heads into my direction. My amicus curiae looked a bit lost for a moment and said “So is it rather casual you’re going for?” to which I replied “I suppose so.” I tried on a a few models and eventually left the shop all puzzled because I couldn’t decide for a model.

The next day, I came back with my girlfriend. A big mistake. She let me try on all kinds of shoes, but nothing really convinced her. I got so annoyed after half an hour that I assured her that looking at just one more shoe would kill first her and then me. Acting under protest, we went for a coffee in the end.

I still have no new shoes, and I wish I had taken the first pair the shop assistant suggested. But now I’m in no mood for going back to what I call a field of abasement; the shopping centre. I’m sure that my missus would call it a field of perpetual joy.



I like going shopping with metrosexuals. They give really positive and constructive comments and they don’t mind even if I drag them to the make-up department.

You should try bringing them, Ralf.



I’m afraid I don’t have any. You can count yourself lucky if they’re shaved :?



To answer your question from 2006, Torsten, people from the US do stick to “practicing”. However, a Canadian is likely to use the British spelling and Joy Fielding is Canadian. As far as I know, Canadian spelling actually has a mix of British and American spellings, but I’ve heard that British spelling is predominant in Canada.



Hi Amy,

Many thanks for answering my question – I was not aware of the fact Joy Fielding is Canadian. This explains everything. It’s interesting but I didn’t notice the Canadian spelling in her book, as you said, Canadian spelling is a combination of both American and British.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A car accident[YSaerTTEW443543]



Here is something from what I learnt:
In British english, the word is spelt with a ‘c’ when used as a noun and ‘s’ when used as a verb. Hence:
We go to the court for tennis practice and once we reach there, we start practising.

I believe in American English, both forms of the word are spelt with an ‘s’.

Another example (British english again) would be ‘advice’ and ‘advising’.



The word ‘English’ is always capitalized in any variant of English. The word practice in American English can be the noun as well as the verb, while in British English it’s the noun. Advice is the noun and advise is the verb in any variant of English.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Negotiating the price for a used car[YSaerTTEW443543]



Ha ha. I knew ‘English’ should be capitalized - just being careless :oops:

Yes, like I said earlier, in British English, usually the noun form uses a ‘c’ while the verb uses ‘s’ - hence advice/advise and practice/practise and others.

Seems like American English is not as consistent. There seems to be no such word as ‘practise’. It is ‘practice’ for both forms (noun and verb). I just checked
Merriam Webster. But then ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ are distinguished.