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Favour or Favor (Which is Correct?)

Is it favour or favor?

Favour vs. favor

“Favor” and “favour” are both correct spellings of the verb that means to prefer something or someone, or ask another for help or support.

  • UK English spelling is “favour” (including the “u”).

  • US English spelling is “favor” (without the “u”).

*Note: Most English speaking countries in the world, apart from the US, use UK English; namely, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and some Caribbean countries.

Other “-our”/”-or” words

Other words that share the “-our” / “-or” suffix follow the same spelling conventions as favour/favor:

UK EnglishUS English

Other forms of favour/favor

Other verb/noun forms of favour/favor follow the same spelling conventions based on US/UK English:

US Englishfavor, favored, favoring, favors
UK Englishfavour, favoured, favouring, favours

Sentences with the noun favour/favor

Meaning to ask someone for help or to do something for you:

Could you do me a favour/favor and pick up my dog from the vet?

I would never ask Susan for any favours/favors.

Over the years, I realised that my mother did me a big favour/favor by Christening me Tim.

Why Boring Names Are Best | Justin Green | March 4, 2013 The Daily Beast

Sentences with the verb favour/favor

Meaning prefer or being partial towards something or someone:

Another solution, which I strongly favour/favor, is lower taxes for everyone.

With make-up I favour/favor a minimalist and natural approach.

Although his own son is on the hockey team that he coaches, Mr. Watkins conscientiously avoids any show of favour/favor.

She favours/favors hugs over handshakes.

Synonyms of favour

As in to offer or receive help doing something:

  • service
  • aid
  • assistance
  • help
  • support

As in being partial towards something, or having a preference:

  • partiality
  • penchant
  • preference
  • bias
  • tendency
  • inclination
  • leaning
  • prejudgment
  • preconception

Phrases with the word favour/favor

a fair field and no favourAn antiquated expression meaning, “Environments in which all who are present or participate are afforded equal conditions and opportunities, having neither disadvantage nor advantage compared to their peers.”
do someone a favourA way to ask someone to do something for you, and vice versa.
to stack the deck in someone’s (or something’s) favourA common phrase that means an outcome or result has been unfairly manipulated to protect the interests of some rather than others.
fortune favours the boldThose who are willing to take risks are more likely to succeed.
to go out of favour with someone or somethingTo go out of trend, style or regard from the perspective of other people, or culturally.
to curry favour (with someone) To give someone special attention or appreciation in hopes that they think highly of you.

Origin of the word favour/favor

Etymonline on favour/favor:

c. 1300, “attractiveness, beauty, charm” (archaic), from Old French favor “a favor; approval, praise; applause; partiality”, from Latin favorem (nominative favor) “good will, inclination, partiality, support,” coined by Cicero from stem of favere “to show kindness to”.

—Etymonline, favour.

Learn more about US English vs. UK English


  1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of favor.” Online Etymology Dictionary, Accessed 16 January, 2024.

  2. “A fair field and no favor.” Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. 2015. Farlex, Inc 17 Jan. 2024

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