program and programme

For American English: For British English:

Program and Programme

Writers are often unsure whether to use program or programme. Those following US writing conventions don't need to worry about this. They can use the word program for everything. However, those following UK writing conventions are not so fortunate. They do need to make a distinction between program and programme. (This is because the English were influenced by the French word programme, but Americans weren't.)

Use Program for Anything Relating to Computers

For anything to do with a computer, use program. For example:

Use Program If It's a Verb

As in the second example above, the word program is the only one that can be used as a verb (i.e., programme is never used as a verb). For example:

If You're British, Use Programme to Mean Agenda, TV Show or Collection of Projects

In the UK, programme is used to denote an itinerary, a show (typically, on the TV or radio), or a collection of work projects. For example:

Programmed and Programming

In UK and US English, you should use programmed for the past tense and past participle of the verb to program, and you should use programming for the present participle and gerund. However, in the US, you can also use programed and programing, which are acceptable alternatives.


Americans do not need to worry about the word programme. Just use program. The noun programme comes from the French, and only those following UK writing conventions need to make a distinction between program and programme.

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See Also

What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words