Behavior vs Behaviour

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What’s the difference between them?



Behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.


1. His behavior at the party was inappropriate.

2. We must learn how to modify our behavior in order to be successful.

3. She is always rewarded for her positive behavior in school.



Meaning is the same, but such spelling is mostly used in British English.


1. Her teacher was impressed by her mature behaviour in the classroom.

2. The children were scolded for their unacceptable behaviour.

3. His behaviour at the party was inappropriate.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference






bad manners




bad manners

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Behavior", "Behaviour".

1. Remember that behavior is the American spelling and behaviour is the British spelling.

2. Memorize the mnemonic 'Add 'u' to behave like a Brit.'

3. Take note that the American spelling ends with 'or' whereas the British spelling ends with 'our'.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word 'Behavior'?

The word 'behavior' is primarily used in American English, although some British English speakers also use it. It is used to describe the way someone or something acts or operates. For example, 'His behavior is unacceptable' or 'The dog’s behavior has been unpredictable lately'.

When to use the second word 'Behaviour'?

The word 'behaviour' is primarily used in British English. It has the same meaning as 'behavior' but it is used in a more formal or technical context. For example, 'The experiment was designed to measure the behaviour of the mice' or 'He was given a warning for his inappropriate behaviour'.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

Yes, both words have the same pronunciation.

What are common mistakes associated with words 'Behavior' and 'Behaviour'?

The most common mistakes associated with these words are using the incorrect spelling or using the wrong word for the given context. For example, if you are writing in British English, you should use the word 'behaviour' instead of 'behavior'. Additionally, it is important to remember that the word 'behavior' is used in American English while 'behaviour' is primarily used in British English.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. In the UK, they teach children about appropriate ___ from a young age.

2. The psychologist from New York analyzed the ___ patterns of the test subjects.

3. Its essential for pet owners to understand their animals ___ in various situations.

4. At Oxford University, the study of human ___ is a crucial part of the psychology curriculum.

5. The self-help book from Los Angeles offers tips to change negative ___ habits.

6. Without proper guidance, a child might adopt undesirable ___ over time.

1. behaviour

Explanation: The clue In the UK indicates that British English should be used, and the British spelling is behaviour.

2. behavior

Explanation: The psychologist from New York gives a clue that American English is being used, and the American spelling is behavior.

3. behaviour/behavior

Explanation: Theres no specific clue given about British or American English, so both spellings are accepted.

4. behaviour

Explanation: At Oxford University provides a clue about British English being used, so the correct spelling is behaviour.

5. behavior

Explanation: The clue from Los Angeles indicates American English, which means the spelling should be behavior.

6. behaviour/behavior

Explanation: Again, theres no specific clue in the sentence regarding British or American English, so both variants are acceptable.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.