Apologise vs. Apologize: Two Ways to Express Regret

, Staff Writer
Updated November 29, 2021
Man and Woman After Argument Apologise vs Apologize definition
    Man and Woman After Argument Apologise vs Apologize definition
    Couple: PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images / Flags: sldesign78 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

When you make a mistake, you want to apologise for it. Or, depending on where you live, apologize for it. Discover when and how to use each spelling and the meaning and origins of apologise and apologize.

The Difference Between Apologise and Apologize

Depending on where you are in the world, you will need to use either the -ise or -ize ending or suffix as the standard for all words with these endings. This also applies to apologise and apologize. For example, if you use British or Commonwealth English, you should use the -ise ending. However, when it comes to writing for periodicals or documents for international institutions, you may be advised to use -ize. American English always uses the -ize spelling.

  • apologise (British English) - to express repentance or regret for something

  • apologize (American English) - to express repentance or regret for something


Using Apologise and Apologize in a Sentence

Since apologise and apologize have the same meaning, they can be used in the same contexts. The difference ultimately comes down to American vs. British English.

  • My mom told me I had to apologise/apologize for my rudeness.

  • Why am I always the one to apologise/apologize?

  • I apologise/apologize in advance for my tardiness.

Apologise and Apologize vs. Apologies

At first glance, one could also mistake the verbs apologise or apologize (uh-PAH-luh-jize) with the noun apologies. Apologies (uh-PAH-luh-jeez) means "to express remorse for a fault or offense." You would use this in instances where you have made a mistake or offended someone.

  • I offered apologies for my tardiness.

  • My apologies for this late reply.

  • Apologies in advance for what I am about to say.


The Difference between -ise and -ize Suffixes

The suffixes -ise and -ize mean “cause to become like something else” or “treat like a certain thing.” The -ize ending actually predates the -ise ending. The ending -ise did not become popular until after 1875, but it never became the standard in the United States or in international documents or periodicals.

American vs. British Spelling Standards

The same rules that dictate whether to use apologise or apologize also apply to realise and realize. Other differences between American and British English include whether to use one "l" or two as in the case of cancelled and canceled or travelled and traveled.