Spelling and Grammar

Center or Centre: Which Should You Use?

In our last article on spelling and grammar, we examined onsite vs on-site and determined that the current trend was to eliminate the hyphen. This article compares center and centre.

According to Merriam Webster, centre is simply the British spelling for the word center. England, Canada, and many other English speaking countries use centre. In the United States, it’s spelled center. The two words share the same meaning.

Center describes the point in the middle of a geographic shape or a source from which something originates. It can also describe the point, area, person, or thing of the most importance.

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Here are a couple of sentences that use center (and centre).

Example #1: Jean works at the new shopping centre. (British)

Example #2: Robert Ray Redfield Jr. served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2018 to 2021. (American)

As you can see, example #1 uses the British spelling, the second example uses American spelling.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.