what is the difference between cancel and cancelled


Have you ever been confused about whether to use “cancel” or “cancelled” in a sentence? These two words may seem similar, but there is actually a key difference between them. In this article, I will explain the distinction between “cancel” and “cancelled” in the English language.

Cancel vs. Cancelled

When it comes to the difference between “cancel” and “cancelled,” it all comes down to their usage:


The word “cancel” is a verb that means to call off, revoke, or annul something. It is used in the present tense, indicating an action that is happening or has happened recently.

Example sentence using “cancel”:

I have to cancel my appointment because I am feeling sick.


“Cancelled” is the past tense and past participle of the verb “cancel.” It is used to indicate that an action has already taken place in the past.

Example sentence using “cancelled”:

The flight was cancelled due to bad weather conditions.

When to Use “Cancel” vs. “Cancelled”

Now that we understand the difference between “cancel” and “cancelled,” let’s look at when to use each term:

Use “Cancel” when:

  • The action is happening now or in the present.
  • You are talking about canceling something in the future.

Use “Cancelled” when:

  • The action has already taken place in the past.
  • You want to describe an event that has been canceled.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake people make is using “canceled” instead of “cancelled” in British English. In American English, “canceled” is the preferred spelling, while in British English, “cancelled” is correct. Remember to use the appropriate spelling based on the English variant you are using.


Understanding the difference between “cancel” and “cancelled” is essential for using these words correctly in your writing. By remembering the key distinctions and when to use each term, you can effectively communicate your message without confusion or errors.


1. Is “cancel” a regular or irregular verb?

“Cancel” is considered a regular verb since its past tense and past participle form is “cancelled.”

2. Can “cancel” be used as a noun?

Yes, “cancel” can also be used as a noun, referring to an act of canceling or an event that has been canceled.

3. Are there any other synonyms for “cancel”?

Some synonyms for “cancel” include “call off,” “abort,” “revoke,” and “nullify.”

4. How can I remember when to use “cancel” vs. “cancelled”?

One tip is to think of “cancel” as the present action and “cancelled” as the completed action in the past.

5. Why is it important to use the correct spelling of “cancelled”?

Using the correct spelling of “cancelled” ensures clear and accurate communication in written text, avoiding confusion for the reader.

ALSO READ:  Can you Netflix and FaceTime at the same time?