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Published by at March 18th, 2024 , Revised On July 18, 2024

Fulfil Vs Fulfill: Differences & Examples

The English language is filled with words that have variations in use across the globe. One such pair of words is “fulfil vs fulfill.” Before discussing the specifics and differences in spelling, let’s explore the meaning behind “fulfil” and “fulfill.” 

Fulfil and fulfill are the same words and have the same meaning. There are two ways of spelling the same verb. Both words mean “to achieve something” or “to carry out a duty as required.” The spelling usage depends on whether you use the British English version or American English.

  • In British English: “fulfil” (with a single “l”) is correct.
  • In American English: “fulfill” (with a double “l”) is most common.

What is the Difference Between Fulfil and Fulfill

Fulfil and fulfill have the same meanings, but their usage and selection of correct words depend on the dialects and the region. It is necessary to use the same word with consistency and choose the correct spelling based on your audience and the dialect. Let’s explore more about their difference in detail.

Fulfil Fulfill
Spelling UK and Australia US
Meaning To satisfy or meet a requirement or expectation To satisfy or meet a requirement or expectation
Pronunciation [FUUL] + [FIL] [FUUL] + [FIL]
Other Phrases Perform, Achieve, Satisfy, Complete, Accomplish Capital punishment, Effect, Carry out, Attain, Perform
Antonym Neglect Neglect
  • John fulfilled his promise to help.
  • Aina fulfilled her dream of travelling abroad.
  • The company failed to fulfil its obligations.
  • The organisation aims to fulfill its mission.
  • Why Do We Use Different Spellings for the Same Word?

    Verb usage that differs from that of other English-speaking countries can appear throughout the U.S. 

    Reason for Using Different Spellings

    Two factors explain this

    • The first is that North America is separated from geography and other parts of the world.  This dominance can be attributed to Noah Webster’s influential dictionary, which favoured spellings that streamlined American English. The people who arrived speaking English and French combined themselves with other languages, such as Latin and Greek, and developed their speech-language. They also gained other words from native populations and different cultures.
    • On the other side of the Atlantic, “fulfil” (with a single “l”) reigns supreme. Irregular verbs are more common in English. This spelling aligns with the broader preference in the UK and Australia for maintaining a closer connection to Latin roots, where “fulfil” derives from “implere” (to fill). 

    You may also be confused, in other words, whether offense or offence is correct. When you are stuck in these questions of American spelling, the best way through them is to become increasingly familiar with the language’s irregular verbs. You can accomplish this by reading and writing American English and referring to resources for irregular verbs when you think you’ve encountered one.

    Why is it Necessary to Choose The Right Word 

    It is necessary to understand the regional preference for selecting the right word and remain consistent all over the document. When making your choice, consider the context of your writing:

    • Formal Writing: If you are crafting a formal document or catering to a global audience, opting for the more widely recognised “fulfill” is generally a safe bet.
    • British English Audience: When your target audience is primarily British readers, publications, or institutions, sticking to “fulfil” demonstrates an awareness of their dialect.
    • Consistency is Key: Whichever spelling you choose, ensure consistency throughout your writing. Mixing and matching can be interesting for the reader.

    Other Variations of fulfill vs fulfil

    Although “fulfill” and “fulfil” are the main words, their grammatical family has other possibilities as well:

    Fulfilment Vs Fulfillment

    These nouns indicate the state of being fulfilled or the act of fulfilling something. The verb form and spelling both belong to the same dialect-based pattern.

    Unfulfilled/ Unfulfilment

    These words denote the opposite – something that remains incomplete or unachieved.

    Fullfill (Incorrect)

    This spelling is incorrect, and it is a common mistake that combines elements of both “fulfil” and “fulfill.”

    Is there any Difference between Fulfilment or Fulfillment

    Fulfilment and fulfillment are the related nouns of fulfilment or fulfillment with same spelling distinction. Both refer to the achievement of something.

    • In British English, “fulfilment” (with one “l”) is correct.
    • In American English, “fulfillment” (with a double “l”) is most common.

    Examples: Fulfilment or fulfillment in a sentence

    Fulfillment (British English) Fulfillment (American English)
  • Achieving his goals brought him a deep sense of fulfilment.
  • Achieving his goals brought him a deep sense of fulfillment.
  • She found fulfilment in her career as a teacher.
  • She found fulfillment in her career as a teacher.
  • The company’s focus is on the fulfilment of customer orders.
  • The company’s focus is on the fulfillment of customer orders.
  • His work provides him with a great deal of personal fulfilment.
  • His work provides him with a great deal of personal fulfillment.
  • The fulfilment of their dreams made them very happy.
  • The fulfillment of their dreams made them very happy.
  • “Fulfil” or “Fulfill” in the “-ing” Form

    • In both British/Australian and American English, “fulfilling” is the correct spelling of the verb “fulfil/fulfill” when it is used in its “-ing” form.
    • British English: “Fulfilling”
    • American English: “Fulfilling”

    Here are some examples that illustrate the use of the word “fulfilling.”

    • Learning new skills can be very fulfilling.
    • Volunteering at the animal shelter is fulfilling for him.
    • Helping others makes his job fulfilling.
    • She finds teaching children very fulfilling.
    • Traveling around the world was a fulfilling experience for her.

    Tricks to Remember the Difference

    Since fulfill and fulfil are the same word, using either variant with the wrong audience would be distracting and might exploit the quality of your writing. Remembering and choosing the right word might be difficult. So, with this trick, you can remember the main difference while selecting the suitable word according to your audience.

    • Remember that one letter ‘L’ always indicates British spelling, and two letters ‘L’ indicate American spelling. This rule is similar for other words like traveling and traveling.
    • The word London starts with a single “l,” just like Fulfil does. The single L serves as an indication of where you should use ‘fulfil’ in your document because London is located in England, a country that uses British English.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, both words are pronounced as: ‘ful-fill’.

    ‘Contentment’ is a positive feeling about a condition or object, typically unambitious and resigned. ‘Fulfillment’ is the feeling of contentment resulting from the pursuit of goals and activities that are in harmony with personal beliefs and values, leading to a higher level of engagement and perceived purpose in life.

    “Fulfill” is a verb used to refer to satisfy or to perform the obligation or a promise, an act for instance. “Fulfillment” is the noun that means satisfaction or realisation of one’s aims, goals or expectations or the feeling that comes with the achievement of the above.

    Yes, the word ‘fulfill’ is spelt correctly with two L’s. This word is widely used in both British and American English to refer to the act of completing or meeting something. The usage of the spelling “fulfil” is also correct in the British variant of the English language while the use of “fulfill” is more common in American English.

    The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘fulfill’ as a verb for satisfying or meeting a requirement, need, or condition. It also relates to completing (a task or obligation) or accomplishing (a mission or aspiration), with the result being the feeling of contentment or fulfillment. Furthermore, it can refer to the fulfillment of an action, a promise or obligation.

    Some synonyms and near synonyms of fulfill include:

    • Accomplish
    • Achieve
    • Complete
    • Realise

    Fulfil and fulfill are two spellings of the same verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

    • In American English, you use “fulfill” (with a double “l”).
    • In British English, you use “fulfil” (with one “l”).
    • While Canadian English mostly follows British English guidelines, both forms of the word are commonly used.

    The correct spelling of “fulfilling” is the same in both American English and British English. It is spelled F-U-L-F-I-L-L-I-N-G in both varieties.