Spelling exercises: "or" vs "our"
Many words that are pronounced /ər/ are spelled with "our" in British English and with "or" in American English. Other words are spelled with "or" under both conventions. If "or" or "our" are stressed, the word is also spelled the same.
- The following words are always spelled with "our" in British English and with "or" in American English.
- behaviour - colour - endeavour /ɪnˈdevər/ - favour - favourite - flavour - harbour - honour - honourable - humour (but humorist) - labour (but laboratory) - neighbour - rigour (but rigorous) - rumour - saviour (someone who rescues) - tumour - vapour (but vaporous) - vigor (but vigorous)
- glamour - Saviour (Jesus Christ)
- Pearl Harbor
- Always "our"
- courageous - Endeavour (space shuttle) - Labour Party (or Labour party) - Labourist (supporter of the Labour Party) - Under Armour®
- Always "or"
- at the end: actor - author - competitor - director - doctor - editor - error - factor - governor - interior - investor - major - mayor /ˈmeɪər,AmE meərBrE/ - minor - mirror - monitor - motor - operator - prior - professor - sector - senior - sponsor - Technicolor™ - visitor
- not at the end: Colorado - effort - history - humorist - humorous (but humourBrE) - information - opportunity - rigorous (but rigourBrE) - vaporous (but vapourBrE) - vigorous (but vigourBrE)
- course - court - resource - source
- before - California - divorce - Ecuador - El Salvador - force - form - forward - important - more - morning - Norway - order - Oregon - record (v.) - report - short - sort - story - support - York
See also Decoding exercises: "orV" and "orrV"
/ʌr/ or /ɜːr/
The following words are pronounced with /ʌr/ in British English and /ɜːr/ in American English.
- "our": courage - flourish - nourish
- "or": thorough
- "or": word - work - world - worm - worse - worst - worth
- "our": journalist - journey
/ʊər/ or /ɔːr/
The following words are pronounced with /ʊər/ or /ɔːr/ in British English and /ʊər/ or /ʊr/ in American English.
- tour, tourism, tourist
- your (unstressed /jər/)