'Analyse' vs Analyze': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on December 13, 2022

Is it ‘analyse’ or ‘analyze’? Wondering what the correct spelling is? And what is the difference? We’ll answer that in this article. Plus, you’ll learn how to use the word correctly in a sentence.

The quick answer is that ‘analyse’ is the preferred British American spelling of the word, and ‘analyze’ is the preferred American English spelling of the word.

‘Analyse’ or ‘Analyze’ – How to Use Each Correctly

In order to use both words correctly, you have to keep your audience in mind. Writing for an American audience means using ‘analyze’ and writing for a British audience means using ‘analyse.’

‘Analyse’ or ‘Analyze’ – What’s the Difference?

As you learned above, the only difference between the words is that the version spelled with an ‘s’ is chiefly British, while the other spelling is the American spelling of the word.

Now, let’s quickly define the word, so we know how to use it in a sentence later.

Definition and Meaning

The Merriam-Webster definition of the American spelling of the word is: “to study or determine the nature and relationship of the parts of (something) by analysis,” “to subject to scientific or grammatical analysis,” and “psychoanalyze.”

Check out a few synonyms of the word:

  • Anatomize
  • Cut
  • Assay
  • Deconstruct
  • Break down
  • Dissect

The definition of ‘analyse’ is: “chiefly British spelling of analyze.”

A Brief History

The first known use of the word was in 1587, and the meaning has remained unchanged. 

Plural of ‘Analyze’ and ‘Analyse’

The plural of ‘analyze’ is ‘analyzes,’ and the plural of ‘analyse’ is ‘analyses.’ This word follows the standard rules for making words plural in the English language. The rule is to make a word plural, and you add an ‘s’ or ‘es.’

Take a look at a few examples:

  • Roof > Roofs
  • Chair > Chairs
  • Hat > Hats
  • Buffalo > Buffalos/Buffaloes
  • Catch > Catches
  • Rush > Rushes

Now that we know a little bit more about the word and how to pluralize it, let’s take a look at how to use it in a sentence correctly.

How to Use ‘Analyze’ and ‘Analyse’ in a Sentence

Using the word in a sentence isn’t difficult since we know what the word means. Let’s see some examples.

  • We need to take this to the lab and analyze it. Get everything set up.
  • The lab had to analyze every piece of evidence from the crime scene.
  • She might have to do an analysis of the bones to determine the gender.
  • The detective wanted to analyze the case from every angle.
  • My mom had to analyze every text I got in order for me to have a phone.
  • We have to analyze the reason the majority of the student body scored so high on these tests.

Final Thoughts on ‘Analyse’ and ‘Analyze’

To recap, we’ve learned that ‘analyse’ is the British American spelling of the word, and ‘analyze’ is the U.S. American spelling of the word. Therefore, if you’re writing for an American audience, use the version with the ‘z.’ However, if you’re writing for a British audience, use the version spelled with an ‘s.’

If you ever get stuck on this, you can always come back here and get a refresher. We’ve also got a ton of other content that helps in explaining difficult or confusing words in the English language you might come across throughout the course of your studies.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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