Analyse or Analyze: What’s the Difference?

The disparity of standardization between American and British English has left many common words with multiple accepted spellings.

In most cases, one form is standard in American English but unacceptable in British English, while the other is standard in British English, but considered an error in American English.

It can be difficult for beginning writers and language learners to remember which spelling is appropriate for which audience, which leads to easily avoidable mistakes, and confused readers.

Analyse and analyze are two variants of the same verb. One is standard in American English, while users of British English prefer the other. Continue reading to find out which is which, as well as to learn whether you should use analyse or analyze, depending on your expected audience.

What is the Difference Between Analyse and Analyze?

In this article, I will compare analyse vs. analyze. I will use each in a sentence and outline when it is appropriate to use each spelling. Then, I will tell you a helpful trick to use in times of indecision regarding whether to use analyze or analyse for your writing.

When to Use Analyse

analyse versus analyzeWhat does analyse mean? Analyse is a verb meaning to examine in detail. It is the British spelling of this verb. Here are some examples.

  • Phil, I need you to analyse this data set and get me a report by next Monday.
  • The psychiatrist will analyse the results of your tests.
  • Troy, analyse the problem and find a solution.
  • But if you really want to analyse Corbyn’s achievements, it is important not to fall for the cliche that we have transformed the party but failed at “grown-up” conventional politics. –The Guardian

When to Use Analyze

What does analyze mean? Analyze is the American spelling of the same word. It is a verb, and can be used in all the same contexts as analyse.

You can see in the following graphs that analyse is much more common in British English, whereas analyze is much more widely used in American English.

Definition of analyze definition of analyse definition

This graph charts analyse vs. analyze in British English, and, as you can see, analyse is the preferred spelling in British books.

Define analyze and define analyse

This graph charts analyse vs. analyze in America English, and, as you can see, analyze is the preferred spelling in American books.

These charts aren’t meant to be scientific or exhaustive. They only count books written in English since 1800, ignoring other print sources like academic journals or engineering reports. Still, they are useful because they are able to illustrate a clear, long-term trend.

Trick to Remember the Difference

Here is a helpful trick to remember analyze vs. analyse.

Analyse and analyze are two spelling variations of the same verb. Users of British English prefer analyse, while American English users have standardized around analyze.

You should use analyse with primarily British audiences, and analyze with primarily American audiences. Using the nonstandard variant will be distracting to your readers, and detract from your writing.

You can remember that analyse is the preferred variant in British English since analyse and British are both spelled with an S.

Summary

Is it analyse or analyze? Analyse and analyze are two alternate spellings of the same verb, which means to examine in detail.

  • Analyse is the standard spelling in British English.
  • In American English, analyze is standard.

If you’re having trouble remembering which version of this word to use with which audience, notice that analyse and British are both spelled with an S. This shared letter should help put an end to any confusion.

You can also refer back to this article any time you find yourself in need of additional help.