The words judgment and judgement can cause a bit of confusion and unease in people’s writing because not many of writers are sure when to use which one. Are they just variants of the same word? Do they have different meanings or different functions within a sentence? Which spelling is correct?
In today’s post, I want to address all of these questions so that you will never again have to second-guess yourself while writing either of these words. So, what is the difference between judgement vs. judgment?
Judgment as noun:
The word judgment is used as a noun in English language where it means the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. A judgment or judgement can be the formation of an opinion, the mental ability to perceive or discern, or a legal determination from a court of law.
Errors of judgment lead us here.
Use of judgment:
Even though the only thing separating these two words is a dialectical difference, it is still important to keep your audience in mind when picking which word to use and when. Judgment (without the extra “e”) is the preferred word choice in American English (see below). If you find yourself writing to a predominately American audience or for an American newspaper, “judgment” is the correct word choice.
Use of judgement:
Judgement (with the extra “e”) is the preferred choice in British English. Judgement is almost the invariable choice in British English. Should you use judgment instead, it will be viewed as incorrect (even though it isn’t). In English legal proceedings, judgment is actually the preferred choice, but in everyday usage, judgement is much more common. This, again, is why it is important to keep your audience in mind when you are writing.
Judgement or judgment:
While these two words are not different in meaning, judgment vs. judgement have important dialectical considerations to keep in mind. Judgment is the best choice to use in North America. Judgement is the best choice when writing in Great Britain. As is the case with other American English, British English differences, there is a great and easy way to keep track of when to use judgement or judgment. Judgement has an extra “e” in the word. Think of this “E” as standing for England and you will be able to remember which word to use. Unless you are in England, you don’t need the extra “e.”