Favour or Favor – Which Spelling to Use?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

As a Canadian writer and author, I run into this all the time. Like a few other English-speaking countries, we add in a U with a lot of words, creating confusion with American spellings that usually don’t have the U. Most of the time, the two spellings hold the same meaning, like with favor and favour. I’ll break down the details of these two particular words, so you won’t get them mixed up again.

Meaning of Favor

Favour or Favor Which Spelling to Use

Favor, or favour, as a noun, refers to an act of kindness or goodwill toward another person. It’s often given out of affection or loyalty. It can also be an act that’s owed rather than given.

  • He did a favor for me.
  • He owes me a favor because I helped him build a fence.

Also, the term can be used in the form of a verb that means to treat someone or something with a preference.

  • He favors one kid over the other.

Is It Favour or Favor?

Okay, so this will wholly depend on what regional audience you’re dealing with. Writing for Canadians or the UK? Use “favour.” If writing for an American audience, the preferred spelling is “favor.” Just remember that the American spelling will always be the shorter version.

Favor vs. Favour Ngram
Favor and favour usage trend.

Fun fact: “Favour” was once the dominating spelling choice of the two, but in recent years, “favor” rose to popularity.

Is It Spelled Favor or Favour in the UK?

British English Favor vs. Favour Ngram
British English favor and favour usage trend.

Just like here in Canada, British English will prefer the “our” version of words like this. So, in the UK, “favour” will be more acceptable, although you’d be fine with either, as both are correct. Also, Australia and New Zealand use the spelling of “favour.”

The same goes for words like favorite and favourite, color and colour, labor and labour, and rumor and rumour.

What Is Another Word for Favor/Favour?

Here is a list of synonyms for the term “favour” or “favor” that you can choose from.

  • Kindness
  • Goodwill
  • Support
  • Approval
  • Endorsement
  • Preference
  • Benefit
  • Patronage

Favor and Favour Examples in a Sentence

Favour or Favor Which Spelling to Use 1
  • Karen asked her neighbor for a favor when she needed help with her garden while she was away.
  • James did me a favour by proofreading my history essay before I submitted it.
  • The soccer coach always seemed like he favored the more experienced players during every game.
  • The company director showed favouritism toward his niece and gave her far more opportunities than the others.
  • The Supreme judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding them compensation for what was done.
  • At the last town hall meeting, public opinion seemed to be in favour of the new policy about parks.
  • Growing up, my mother always favored my brother over me and still does to this day.

Do Yourself a Favor

I hope my guide and tips on remembering the difference between favor and favour have helped iron out the details for you. The trick is to always think that the shorter version of two words will usually be the American spelling, and the other will be Canadian or British spelling. If you want to learn more about regional spelling preferences, I’ve got oodles of guides and tips!

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