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Spelling Tips: “Labelled” or “Labeled”?

“Label” is pronounced with only one letter, “l,” in American English. The preferred forms in Canada, Britain, and other English dialects from outside of North America are “labelled” and “labelling,” with an extra “l.”

Nina Stankovic
Nina Stankovic

“Label” is pronounced with only one letter, “l,” in American English. The preferred forms in Canada, Britain, and other English dialects from outside of North America are “labelled” and “labelling,” with an extra “l.”

“Labelers” and “labellers” fall under many categories. There are no exceptions to be concerned about because “label” does not have any other lexically accepted derivatives.

How to Recall the Variation

Here’s a handy tip for keeping “labeled” vs. “labelled” in mind.

“Labeled/labeling” should only be used with American audiences, whereas “labelled/labelling” should only be used with the British public.

Consider that the “labelled” has a double L, just like the British locations “Cullompton,” “Ellesmere,” and “Ferryhill,” to help you remember to use it with British audiences.

Examples

Since there is no difference in the meaning of this word, you can use it in a sentence as you wish. But here are some examples of how to use it in different dialects.

Sentences in Noth American English

  1. This evening Maria was cleaning the kitchen, and she tossed the can of soup without first looking at the label to check the expiration date.
  2. A vitamin combination supplement's label, for instance, should claim that the vitamin prevents scurvy.
  3. The lower right quadrant of the base label has a 40 mm by 40 mm label attached to it as the component label.

Sentences in other English dialects

  1. When the scientists are unsure what this material is that they are studying, they place it in a jar labelled “unknown sample” and add a number next to it.
  2. There is no way to overstate the significance of correctly labelling manufacturers.
  3. Prof. Morgan informed his coworkers that he was labelling their latest article as an option.

In all these examples, we see that the word’s meaning is the same, but only the spelling changes. You can add one more “L” to the first three examples, and nothing will change. You can also remove the “L” in the last examples without losing the meaning.

Labelled vs. Labeled—Summary

The word “label” can be used as a noun or a verb, but it always refers to a distinguishing marking (or the process of "labeling" someone). The word is usually written “label” with a “-el” at the end, even though it rhymes with terms like “table” and “cable.”

In American English, the word is spelled with one “L,” while in British English label has two “L.” In both dialects, the word “label” has the same meaning. They are both ultimately correct. “Labelling” is how it’s spelled in Britain; “labeling” is how it’s spelled in America.

EnglishWhich is correct

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