Labor vs Labour

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What’s the difference between them?

Labor

Meaning:

Labor refers to physical or mental work done to achieve a purpose or result.

Examples:

1. She spent countless hours of labor to finish her project.

2. His labor earned him a promotion.

3. The workers went on strike to protest unfair labor practices.

Labour

Meaning:

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

Examples:

1. The construction workers put in many hours of labour to complete the project on time.

2. The labour union negotiated a higher salary for its members.

3. The labour of love that went into renovating the family home was evident in the end result.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Labor

Work

toil

Rest

Labour

Work

toil

Rest

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Labor", "Labour".

1. 'Labor' is used in American English.

2. 'Labour' is used in British English (and also in other regions that use British English conventions, like Canada and Australia).

3. 'Labor': Think of other American spellings that use 'or,' like 'color' or 'favor.'

4. 'Labour': Think of other British spellings that use 'our,' like 'colour' or 'favour.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word 'Labor'?

Labor should be used when referring to physical or mental work, such as in the phrase 'She is doing manual labor.' It is also used in the United States to refer to a group of workers (e.g. 'the labor union'). Labor is also used to refer to the childbirth process.

When to use the second word 'Labour'?

Labour should be used when referring to the workers as a political or economic force, such as in the phrase 'The Labour Party.' In British English, labour is also used to refer to physical or mental work, as opposed to the American English usage of labor.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

The words have a slightly different pronunciation. Labor is pronounced as 'lay-ber,' whereas Labour is pronounced as 'lay-buhr.'

What are common mistakes associated with words 'Labor' and 'Labour'?

A common mistake is to use labor when the intended meaning is labour, or vice versThis is especially true in British and American English, where the words have different meanings and pronunciations. Another mistake is to spell labour as 'labor' in British English, or 'labour' in American English. Both words should be spelled according to the conventions of the language being used.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The construction project required a lot of manual ______.

2. In the United States, the Department of ______ oversees employment regulations.

3. The ______ Party is a major political party in the United Kingdom.

4. The farmers were looking to hire seasonal ______ for the harvest.

5. In American English, color and ______ are spelled without a u.

6. The workers were protesting for better ______ conditions and higher wages.

1. Answer: labour or labor

Explanation: There is no specific clue in the sentence to indicate whether American or British English should be used, so both labour and labor are acceptable answers.

2. Answer: Labor

Explanation: The sentence provides a clue by mentioning the United States, which indicates that the American English spelling, Labor, should be used.

3. Answer: Labour

Explanation: The sentence provides a clue by mentioning the United Kingdom, which indicates that the British English spelling, Labour, should be used.

4. Answer: labour or labor

Explanation: There is no specific clue in the sentence to indicate whether American or British English should be used, so both labour and labor are acceptable answers.

5. Answer: labor

Explanation: The sentence provides a clue by discussing American English spelling and giving an example (color), indicating that labor, which is American English spelling, should be used.

6. Answer: labour or labor

Explanation: There is no specific clue in the sentence to indicate whether American or British English should be used, so both labour and labor are acceptable answers.

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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.