Difference Between Emphasize and Emphasise (With Table)

Emphasize and Emphasise are the two words that are not different in their meaning but their spelling. However, they are both correct and usable, and highly used words in the dictionary. Along with the meaning, they are very similar in their pronunciation. The difference is generated due to the French influence.

Despite being similar words, they do have some distinct differences which we tend to overlook. The use of the spelling depends on the region where they are used in spite of having the same meaning. However, the majority of countries prefer the usage of Emphasize.

Emphasize vs Emphasise

The main difference between Emphasize and Emphasise is that Emphasize is mainly used or preferred in the states of the United Kingdom, whereas, Emphasise is mainly used or preferred in the United States and Canada. They are used in different regions of the world and that explains the difference in their spelling.

The word Emphasize is the verb form of the commonly used noun Emphasis. It means to highlight something with importance. It is also spelled as Emphasise in several countries. Both are correct and have similar forms of words. They are universally recognized in the dictionary as a popular definition.

On the other hand, the word Emphasise is also the verb form of the commonly used noun Emphasis. However, its spelling differs from that of the word Emphasize. However, it must be noted that both the words have the same pronunciation as well as meaning. It is the less preferred form of spelling as compared to Emphasize.

Comparison Table Between Emphasize and Emphasise

Parameters of differenceEmphasizeEmphasise
OriginTheir origin is Greece. They are mainly used for the Greek words.Their origin is France. They are mainly used for the French words.
SuffixThe word Emphasize is used with the suffix-izeThe word Emphasise is used with the suffix-ise
UsageEmphasize is widely used in Canada and the United States of America. It is the verb form of the commonly used noun Emphasis.Emphasize is widely used in the United Kingdom or we can say the British countries. It is also the verb form of the commonly used noun Emphasis
PreferenceIt is the more preferred form of spelling as compared to EmphasiseIt is the less preferred form of spelling as compared to Emphasize
SpellingAlthough the pronunciation is the same, it is spelled with a Z.Although the pronunciation is the same, it is spelled with an S.

What is Emphasize?

Emphasize is the verb form of the commonly used word Emphasis. The meaning of the word is to give importance to a particular thing while speaking of it. To emphasize, we mean to put extra importance or focus on a certain portion of a sentence.

It is been spelled with the letter Z. It is used with the suffix-ize. However, it has the same pronunciation when spelled with the suffix-ise. This particular spelling is being preferred by Americans for over 200 years and is being used ever since. However, in the British language, the criteria differ.

The word Emphasis came from Greek. Initially, it was spelled in British English. It is mainly used in the United States of America and Canada.

For an easy idea, Emphasize is a modern word as compared to Emphasise. If we have a modern writing style, that is the word which we should prefer.
For any contemporary English writing, this is the suggested formal word.

It is preferred over the spelling Emphasise, especially while writing, and is used throughout the world. However few countries, such as the British countries, only use the spelling Emphasise.

What is Emphasise?

The meaning of Emphasise is a greater level of importance. It is also considered as a correct form of a word in the UK. It is as well a correct form of a word and is universally defined in the dictionary.

It is been spelled with the letter S. It is used with the suffix-ise. The suffix-ise. was usually used in French words. It is less used as compared to the word Emphasize. Its use has decreased much more since the year 1920. However, the spelling is correct.

It is the verb form of the commonly used word Emphasis. It is recognized as a correct definition in the dictionary. Although Emphasise is used widely, the spelling Emphasize is preferred over it.

Before the nineteenth century, its pronunciation was different from that of Emphasize. Over time, the French influence led to this diversity. However, British English still follows the particular spelling of Emphasise. With various changes around, it is now considered as the predominant spelling as compared to Emphasize. Well but is never considered outdated.

Main Differences Between Emphasize and Emphasise

  1. The main difference between the words Emphasize and Emphasise is their origin. The word Emphasize was generated in the United States of America whereas the word Emphasise was generated in the British countries.
  2. Next comes the suffix. The suffix “ize” is being used in the case of Emphasize. On the other hand, the suffix “ise” is used in the case of Emphasise. This leads to a change in spelling.The spelling is the basic difference between the words Emphasize and Emphasise. Even though it is pronounced the same worldwide, it differs in spelling, depending on the country.
  3. To make it clear and easy, Emphasize is the modern word used for contemporary English writing. It is a word from American English. Whereas, Emphasise is the British form of a word and does not suit the modern writing style.
  4. In terms of importance, the spelling “Emphasize” is preferred over the spelling “Emphasise” and is used throughout the world. However, in some countries, it is restricted to the word Emphasise.
  5. The word Emphasize is used in terms of Greek words whereas the term Emphasise is used in the term of French words.

Conclusion

Interestingly, there are two words with the perfectly same meaning and pronunciation yet different spelling. What is more interesting is that history influenced it. Also, before the 1920s, these two terms had a slight difference in their pronunciation. However, both are correct. Besides, both Emphasize and Emphasise are correct forms of verbs and are very commonly used. They are a well-known definition in the dictionary.

The spelling Emphasize is preferred over the spelling Emphasise. The use of Emphasise while writing has been gradually decreased since the 1920s. The French influence is responsible for it. Emphasis is the noun form of these two words. They both have a mutual noun with a single spelling. When we emphasize something in a sentence, we conventionally highlight them. It might be done by highlighting the portion in italics font or making the font bold. This eventually directs the importance of the sentence.

References

  1. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/ielapa.423684742673962
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ana-Santos-234/publication/343666446_Digital_Society_and_Social_Dynamics/links/5f5f7620299bf1d43c02254a/Digital-Society-and-Social-Dynamics.pdf#page=51
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