Analyse vs. analyze

Analyze is preferred in American and Canadian English. Analyse is the preferred spelling outside North America. There are no other differences between analyze and analyse. The s/z distinction extends to the participles, analyse/analyze and analysing/analyzing, as well as to other derivatives such as analyser/analyzer and analysable/analyzable, but analysis is the corresponding noun in all varieties of English.


For example, these British and Australian spell analyse with an s:

She then started to analyse the link between the wearing of sunglasses and the broader phenomenon of “what it is to be cool”.  [Guardian]

Training during the day limited work possibilities but it did allow time to prepare, analyse and train more. [Sydney Morning Herald]

There is a problem when data are gathered, trends analysed and reports produced, but business leaders are still unwilling to change course. [Financial Times]

One way of knowing how your favourite politician is viewed by the public is through opinion polls, but another way is by analysing their faces. [The Age]

And these American and Canadian publications prefer analyze:

Here I will present an unusual metric that will help you analyze that risk. [Forbes]

For its study, the center analyzed spending and achievement data from the 2007-08 school year for about 9,000 school systems. [Washington Post]

By analyzing data on a player’s in-game behavior, the goal of the position will be to make gaming an increasingly interactive experience. [Financial Post]

15 thoughts on “Analyse vs. analyze”

  1. “Z” spellings and “S” spellings make no difference. It’s pretty random if you ask me. For example, in American English they don’t spell ‘compromise’ as ‘compromize’ and in British English, they don’t spell ‘amazing’ as ‘amasing’. Both would be correct, in my opinion. They should eventually make a rule for all variants of English for this.

  2. Yes, I’m Canadian too and I normally see ‘analyse’. I’d also like to point out that the three ‘American and Canadian publications’ are in fact all American.

  3. Typical case of American corruption of a word. Sorry. Am not British nor American. I just run into this all the time. For me the solution is to see the origin. It is Analysis from latin, and if it has any one form that is NOT with z, that should make you wonder already. So with other word it should be analysis with an S only it was corrupted, and it is so widely used that it was accepted. Does not make it any less wrong, just now it is an applied wrong. And as for the remarks of the Canadian people in this thread, not surprised at all since Canada has a larger British/French heritage, you still use more proper standard English as opposed to American. I was quite surprised to see that Canadians would use analyzis and glad to see comments on that from you!

    • It appears you dislike America or Americans in general with the reference:
      “And as for the remarks of the Canadian people in this thread, not surprised at all since Canada has a larger British/French heritage, you still use more proper standard English as opposed to American.”
      How about the way you started the sentence off with And? I am not American, I am Texan………

  4. Analyse has always been acceptable in Canadian English, especially in the Eastern and maritime provinces until fairly recently. Western Canada has always gone with American style spelling, excepting “colour”, “neighbour”, etc. As with the loss of all Canadian spelling oddities, I blame US-defaulted auto-correct and spell-checking. In the western provinces, I suspect it also has a lot to do with early migration to the area from the United States for homesteading, along with recent influxes from the US to support various oil-booms.

    • I think you’ll be happy to know that I’m American and I came to this site to figure out why my Microsoft Word spell-check is auto-correcting my learned “analyze” to my previously unknown word “analyse”.

  5. This was surely a result of Noah Webster’s spelling reform. The failure of his edits to reach across the Atlantic serves to this day as a monument to the perils of prescriptionism. But, I will say, I just can’t get used to “gaol”…


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