Are you wondering whether to spell the word ‘litre’ or ‘liter’? And what is the difference between the two? We’ll clear that up in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct one in a sentence.
The short answer is:
There’s no difference between these words except the spelling. They both mean ‘a metric unit of measurement.’
There’s no real difference between ‘liter’ and ‘litre.’ They’re two versions of the same word. In other words, the former is the American English spelling of the word. The other version is used all over the world.
As you just learned, there’s no real difference between these two words other than the spelling. They mean the exact same thing, which means they can be used interchangeably. Therefore, they don't qualify as homophones.
The Merriam-Webster definition of these words is: “a metric unit of capacity equal to one cubic decimeter.”
The Cambridge dictionary defines the word as: “a unit for measuring the volume of a liquid or a gas, equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters.”
The first known use of the word was in 1797, and it comes from the French word litre, the Medieval Latin word litra (meaning a measure), which comes from the Greek word litra, meaning ‘a weight’ or ‘pound.’
This is apparently from the same Sicilian Italic sources as the Latin word libra.
To pronounce the word correctly, the phonetic spelling is: LEE-TUH.
It also sounds like the word ‘leader,’ especially with the soft pronunciation of the ‘d.’
Now that we know what the words mean and how to pronounce them let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence.
Remember that both words mean the same thing. Therefore, you can swap the American version out for the other version if your audience happens to change.
To recap, we learned that these words both mean the same exact thing. They can be used interchangeably when your audience changes. The only difference is that ‘liter’ is the American English version of the word. The other version is used all over the world.
Think you might get stuck again? We’ve got an entire library of content on confusing words and phrases that you might have trouble with while learning the language.