The differences between British and American spellings can be complicated, but the best advice I can give is to use the spelling your audience knows. However British spellings are more commonly used. But our concern is to memorize both, because we want to be able to understand English.

Table of Common British and American spellings differences

British American
Aeroplane Airplane
Calibre Caliber
Centre Center
Colour Color
Defence Defense
Honour Honor
Litre Liter
Neighbour Neighbor
Traveller Traveler

Keep in mind these are spelling variants. Neither word in each pair is the one true correct choice in all situations; they are perfectly acceptable variants that both have a home in English. Like so much with language, context matters. Use the spelling that fits the place and audience.

Also, don’t worry about these particular spelling differences too much. For one thing, everyone will still understand what you mean if you use the wrong spelling. The spelling variants are mostly just one letter different.

For another, if you’re worried about slipping up and spelling the word as you learned it in your home country instead of in the country you’re visiting or studying in, just ask the locals, “How do you spell defence here?”

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