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Published by at March 21st, 2024 , Revised On March 26, 2024

Realise Vs Realize: Differences & Examples

The English language, in all its glory, can sometimes throw curveballs at even the most seasoned writers. One such instance is the debate between “realise” and “realize.” Are they interchangeable? Which one is correct? Let’s explore this in the blog. 

Verb FormPresent tense: realisePresent tense: realize
Past tense: realisedPast tense: realized
Present participle: realisingPresent participle: realizing
Past participle: realisedPast participle: realized
DefinitionTo become aware of something.To become aware of something.
Examples1. She realised she had forgotten her keys.1. He realized he had made a mistake.
2. They realised the importance of teamwork.2. She realized her dream of becoming a doctor.


Before dissecting the spellings, let’s establish the meaning of this versatile verb. “Realise” or “realize” can mean two things:

  1. To become aware of something: This is the most common usage. We use it when someone understands a situation, fact, or feeling.
    • Example: “She finally realized she had left the oven on.”
    • Example: “He didn’t realise his mistake until it was too late.”
  1. To make something happen or become a reality: This meaning emphasises bringing an idea, dream, or plan to fruition.
    • Example: “The company is working hard to realize its vision for a sustainable future.”
    • Example: “They hope to realise their dream of travelling the world.”

As you can see, the core meaning remains the same – it’s all about understanding and achieving. Now, let’s unveil the spelling differences.

US Vs Australia

The key distinction lies in regional preferences. Here’s the breakdown:

  • US English: In the United States and Canada, “realize” (with a “z”) reigns supreme. It’s the standard and expected spelling.
  • Australian English: Across the pond, “realise” (with an “s”) takes centre stage. This is the preferred spelling in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and many other Commonwealth countries.

Why The Difference?

This spelling divergence has historical roots. Early American dictionaries favoured “realize,” while their British counterparts leaned towards “realise.” Over time, these preferences solidified, leading to the regional variations we see today.

Other Variations

The variations of realise vs realize follow a similar rule. Here are examples to showcase the differences. 

Realising Vs Realizing

  1. She was realising the importance of time management as she struggled to meet deadlines.
  2. Realising her dream of traveling the world, she saved up for years to embark on her journey.
  3. After years of hard work, she was finally realizing her ambition to become a successful entrepreneur.
  4. He was realizing the impact of his actions on others, prompting him to change his behaviour.

Realisation Vs Realization

  1. Her realisation of the truth about her past brought her a sense of closure.
  2. The realisation that she had been lied to shook her to the core.
  3. His realization of the potential risks involved made him rethink his strategy.
  4. The realization of her lifelong dream brought tears of joy to her eyes.

Realised Vs Realized

  1. She realised her mistake before it was too late.
  2. He realized he had left his keys at home as he reached for the door.

When To Use Which

Knowing the preferred spelling in your target audience’s region is crucial for clear and consistent communication. Here’s a handy guide:

  • Writing for a US audience: Use “realize.”
  • Writing for a UK, Australian, or Commonwealth audience: Use “realise.”
  • Unsure of the audience: If the target audience is unclear, “realize” is a safer bet due to its wider acceptance.

Remember: Consistency is key! Whichever spelling you choose, stick with it throughout your writing.

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Examples Of Realise Vs Realize 

She didn’t realize the impact of her words until it was too late.
He realised that he had forgotten his wallet at home.
The company needs to realize the importance of sustainability in today’s market.
I realized that I had been pronouncing her name wrong all this time.
She realised her dream of becoming a published author.
After years of hard work, he finally realized his ambition of owning his own business.
It took me a while to realize the true extent of his kindness.
He realised he had a humorous side and began stand-up comedy.
She realised she had left her phone on the kitchen counter.
The team needs to realize the potential of their new product.

Frequently Asked Questions

Americans typically spell it “realize” with a ‘z’, while British and Canadian English tend to use “realise” with an ‘s’.

Yes, “realised” is correct. It is the past tense of the verb “realize,” meaning to become aware of something or to make something real or tangible.

In British English, “realized” is spelled with an “s” instead of a “z,” making it “realised.” This spelling difference aligns with typical British English usage and reflects the variation in spelling conventions between British and American English.

A synonym for “realize” is “comprehend,” meaning to understand or grasp something mentally. Both words convey the idea of becoming aware of something or understanding it, albeit “comprehend” tends to emphasise a deeper level of understanding.

Three synonyms of “realise” are:

  1. Recognise
  2. Understand
  3. Appreciate