“Favorite” and “favourite” are different spellings of the same word. So, does it matter if you write about your favourite t-shirt or your favorite one? Many people (especially proofreaders) would say, “Yes, it does.” In this post, we’ll explain when you should use these two spellings.
Favorite / Favourite: An Adjective and a Noun
“Favorite” (or “favourite”) is usually used as an adjective that means most preferred:
Apple pie is my favorite / favourite dessert.
It can also be used as a noun to describe the thing that’s most preferred:
This dessert is my favorite / favourite.
American English vs. British English: Favorite or Favourite?
Choosing the right spelling depends on the audience you’re writing for. If your readers are mostly Americans, you should use “favorite.” For the rest of the English-speaking world, though, the correct spelling is “favourite.”
This rule applies whether you’re using the word as an adjective or a noun:
● US English:My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys.
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● Other English dialects (including UK and Australian):My favourite team is Manchester United.
● US English:Rock music is my favorite.
● Other English dialects:Folk music is my favourite.
So, why does US English drop the “u”? The simplified spelling was popularized by Noah Webster, who published The American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828. Webster is also credited with the Americanized spellings of “color,” “candor,” “humor,” etc.
Summary: Favorite or Favourite?
“Favorite” and “favourite” are different spellings of the same word. The spelling you should choose depends on the dialect you’re writing in. Most English dialects use “favourite” with a “u.” The only exception is US English, which omits the “u” to give “favorite.”
Hopefully, you now feel confident in using the right spelling of this word in your writing. If you’d like one of our experts to double check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, you can send us a free trial document for proofreading today.