Q12 – Correct-ish!?

This was a bit of trick question! Both phrases could be correct depending on whether you are using UK or US English

These findings are likely due to differences between UK and US English. Used in US English.

These findings are most likely due to differences between UK and US English. Used in UK English. In the UK, we almost always need a modifier on “likely”!

(I’m not sure what Australia, Canada, South Africa, or New Zealand do!)

So, which should you use?

Journals will tell you whether to use US or UK English or whether you can choose. In any case it is important that you stay consistent throughout. Most people think about the spelling of words when they consider these transatlantic differences but word choice and phrasing are a part of this too. In the exampe above both phrases would be understood by any audience but UK readers would feel like something was missing if you used the US construction.

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The answer

You want your message to be clear to all. Whenever you can, use phrasing that would work for all audiences:

“These findings are probably due to differences between UK and US English.”

Congratulations, you have reached the end of our quiz… now go edit some of your recent writing! Our writing guides might help you.

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I hope you enjoyed testing yourself and learned/cemented some old knowledge along the way. Any feedback would be appreciated.