Travelling vs. Traveling: Unraveling the Spelling Mystery

When considering the variance between ‘travelling’ and ‘traveling’, it’s key to recognize that the divergence primarily stems from the variant of English in use. Essentially, this difference is rooted in the linguistic choice between American English and British English. Terms such as ‘travel’, ‘traveled’, ‘traveling’, and similar ones adhere to a straightforward spelling principle that mirrors the English dialect in question. This variation is not about grammatical or semantic distinctions but about the spelling norms of different regions.

The Main Difference between Travelling and Traveling

Travelling vs. Traveling: Unraveling the Spelling Mystery Pin

Travelling vs. Traveling: Key Takeaways

  • ‘Travelling’ and ‘traveling’ have the same meaning, differing only in regional spelling conventions.
  • American English prefers the spelling with one ‘l’, while British English uses two ‘l’s.
  • Awareness of the audience’s form of English can guide the correct usage of these terms.

Travelling vs. Traveling: The Definition

What Does Travelling Mean?

Travelling is the preferred spelling in British English. It refers to the act of moving from one place to another, often for pleasure, business, or other purposes. This variant aligns with other British English spellings that include a double consonant, like ‘cancelled’.

What Does Traveling Mean?

In contrast, Traveling is the standard spelling in American English. The meaning is identical: it denotes the process of journeying from one location to another. American English typically uses a single consonant in such words, hence ‘canceled’ instead of ‘cancelled’.

Travelling vs. Traveling: Usage and Examples

When we discuss the terms “travelling” and “traveling,” we’re really talking about the difference between British and American English spelling. In British English, the word is typically spelled with two ‘l’s—travelling. On the other hand, American English prefers one ‘l,’ thus it’s spelled traveling.

Let’s take a look at some examples to see how each variant is used in a sentence:

  • British English: “We have been travelling throughout Europe for a month.”
  • American English: “Our favorite pastime is traveling across the United States in our RV.”

Tips to Remember the Difference

When we come across the words “traveling” and “travelling,” it can be a bit puzzling to figure out which one to use. Let’s break down an easy way to remember:

American English primarily uses one ‘l’:

  • Traveling
  • Traveled
  • Traveler

British English favors two ‘l’s:

  • Travelling
  • Travelled
  • Traveller

Travelling vs. Traveling: Examples

Example Sentences Using Travelling

  1. We are currently travelling through the Scottish Highlands and encountering breathtaking scenery.
  2. Our family enjoys travelling; it’s become an integral part of our lives.
  3. She will be travelling to several countries as part of her gap year.
  4. They recommend travelling light to save space for souvenirs and new purchases.
  5. Due to his job, John is often travelling and has little time to relax at home.

Example Sentences Using Traveling

  1. We love traveling across the United States in our RV during the summers.
  2. She is currently traveling on business for a week in New York.
  3. Our team is traveling to Los Angeles for a conference next month.
  4. Are you traveling with anyone on your trip to the Grand Canyon?
  5. His job requires a lot of traveling, mostly to different states for client meetings.

Related Confused Words 

Cancelled or Canceled

  • Like “travelling,” the British English version doubles the consonant, “cancelled,” while American English uses the singular consonant, “canceled.”

Fulfilling or Fulfilling

  • British English doubles the ‘l’, hence “fulfilling,” whereas American English goes with “fulfilling” with one ‘l’.

Labelled or Labeled

  • Again, British English doubles the ‘l’ to make “labelled,” while American English prefers “labeled.”

Ageing or Aging

  • In British English, it remains “ageing,” with the ‘e’ intact, while American English drops the ‘e’, turning it to “aging.”

Jewellery or Jewelry

  • A slightly different change occurs here. “Jewellery” is the British form, with an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’, whereas “jewelry” is the American variant, shorter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some people spell ‘traveling’ with one ‘l’ and others with two?

The spelling difference is primarily due to regional variations. In American English, ‘traveling’ is spelled with one ‘l’, while in British English, it is spelled with two ‘ls’ as ‘travelling’.

Is there a difference in meaning between ‘travelling’ and ‘traveling’ or is it just a matter of spelling?

There is no difference in meaning between ‘travelling’ and ‘traveling’. The difference is strictly in spelling, with ‘traveling’ preferred in American English and ‘travelling’ in British English.

Can you give examples of when to use ‘travelling’ or ‘traveling’ in a sentence?

Certainly! In American English, you would write, “She loves traveling across the country.” In British English, it would be, “She loves travelling across the country.”

How do the British and American English spelling conventions differ for the word ‘travel’?

In addition to ‘traveling/travelling’, British English often doubles the ‘l’ in the words ‘traveled/travelled’ and ‘traveler/traveller’. American English typically uses the single ‘l’ version in these words.

What is the correct pronunciation of ‘travelling/traveling’, and does it differ by region?

The pronunciation of ‘travelling’ and ‘traveling’ is the same in both British and American English. Regional accents and dialects may cause slight variations in pronunciation, but the standard is consistent.

How can I remember whether to use ‘travelling’ or ‘traveling’ when writing an essay or formal document?

A helpful tip is to associate the single ‘l’ in ‘traveling’ with the United States, which also has one ‘l’. For British English, remember the double ‘ll’ in ‘travelling’ as commonly seen in other British spellings.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2024

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