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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is it en suite or ensuite?

I checked these two words quite some time ago but I have to admit, I’d forgotten which one is the preferred spelling. My free online tool Word Check (which provides the preferred Australian English spelling), does give “ensuite” as the preferred spelling, but when I type “ensuite” in a Microsoft application it comes up as a spelling error. I decided to recheck the word.

The Australian Oxford lists “en suite” and has “ensuite” as a secondary spelling. The Macquarie dictionary provides both words, but the spelling we’re interested in is “ensuite”. That is the spelling for the small utility room which adjoins a bedroom. The word “en suite” in the Macquarie dictionary is listed as a French word and thus is not the spelling we’d use in Australia.

It is not unusual for the Oxford and the Macquarie to differ in the preferred spelling. When this happens I then see what the general usage is in Australia using the search engines and only including pages from Australia. Often one spelling will have much greater use than another. In general the search engines return “ensuite” at roughly a ratio of four to one.

For this reason I accept the Macquarie’s entry over the Oxford this time.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.


  1. Thanks, just helped my daughter's exam study.

    1. Thanks Charmaine for taking the time to write. It really is pleasing to hear what I do in some way helps others.

  2. Thank you for putting your research in aid of all... very helpful.

    1. Thank you Aaron for stopping by and your kind words. Appreciated.

  3. Thank you, Kevin, that was helpful. It's good to get these things right. :)


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