Emphasise vs Emphasize

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What’s the difference between them?



to give special emphasis, importance, or significance to something; to stress or accentuate.


1. His speech emphasised the importance of unity.

2. She emphasised the need for more research before making a decision.

3. He emphasised that his priority was to promote the welfare of his employees.



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


1. She emphasized the importance of paying attention to detail.

2. The teacher emphasized the need to complete the homework on time.

3. His speech emphasized the need for greater collaboration among team members.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Highlight

2. Stress

3. Underscore

4. Draw attention to

5. Mark up

1. Downplay

2. Underscore

3. Understate

4. Minimise

5. De-emphasise


1. Highlight

2. Stress

3. Underscore

4. Draw attention to

5. Mark up

1. Downplay

2. Understate

3. De-emphasize

4. Minimize

5. Diminish

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Emphasise", "Emphasize".

1. 'Emphasise' is British English.

2. 'Empasize' is American English.

3. A helpful mnemonic phrase to remember this difference is 's' for England and 'z' for the USA.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the word 'emphasise' be used?

The word 'emphasise' should be used in British English to draw attention to something or to stress its importance. For example, you might emphasise an important point during a presentation or emphasise a particular emotion in a piece of writing.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'emphasize'?

The word 'emphasize' should be used in American English to draw attention to something or to stress its importance.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

Yes, the words 'emphasise' and 'emphasize' have the same pronunciation. Both words are pronounced with an emphasis on the second syllable ('em-FAH-size').

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake when using these two words is spelling one of them incorrectly in British English and vice versRemember, 'emphasise' is a British spelling and 'emphasize' is an American spelling of the same word.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. When writing essays in American universities, its important to ________ your main arguments clearly.

2. British students are often taught to ________ their points by using relevant examples.

3. The professor wants to ________ the importance of punctuality in submitting assignments.

4. In her speech at Oxford University, the lecturer tried to ________ the role of youth in todays society.

5. To make a point stand out, you should ________ it in your presentation.

6. Reading materials from New York often ________ the need for proactive measures in environmental conservation.

1. Emphasize

Explanation: The mention of American universities indicates an American context, making emphasize the correct choice.

2. Emphasise

Explanation: The use of British students provides a clear context pointing to British English, so emphasise is appropriate.

3. Emphasize/Emphasise

Explanation: This sentence lacks a specific geographical or cultural context, so both emphasize and emphasise are correct.

4. Emphasise

Explanation: The reference to Oxford University indicates a British setting, making emphasise the appropriate choice.

5. Emphasize/Emphasise

Explanation: Theres no clear context pointing to either British or American English, so both spellings are correct.

6. Emphasize

Explanation: The phrase Reading materials from New York suggests an American context, so emphasize is the correct choice.

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