If you are having a hard time telling tire apart from tyre, don’t worry. You’re not the only one! The difference between tire and tyre can be confusing for people all over the world.
Tire is the preferred spelling in the United States and Canada, while tyre is more common in other varieties of English outside of North America. Grammatically, both spellings are correct, although where you live will determine which spelling is appropriate. In this article, we will help you confidently decide which spelling is right for you.
Tire Versus Tyre
The rubber wheel-covering that the British call a tyre is called a tire by Americans. There is not one particular profound, meaningful reason behind this difference. Separate parts of the world simply decided to spell it differently.
Two Different Spellings for The Same Word
The word ‘tyre’ in Britain refers to an automobile or motorcycle, whereas Americans use “tire” for this purpose and as the general term for all sorts of other types of tires (such as bicycle tires). The reason why both countries use different words seems more related to spelling than anything else.
Theories Behind The Origin of Each Word
Many theories exist about where the use of “tyre” originated. However, the most plausible explanation is that the word tyre, based on attire, means dressings for wheels.
The North American Version of Tyre
In today’s world, Americans are typically less invested in tradition than their British counterparts. For example, many North American dialects do not have the letter “u” and simply replace it with an “i.” Examples of this trend in American English are shortened words like harbor (“haurbor”) and color (colour). North Americans believe these spellings are more compatible with modern speech patterns.
Knowing how to spell tire and tyre may seem insignificant, but it is essential to use the grammatically correct spelling for your region and audience. The answer hasn’t always been clear-cut, which is why we have provided you with the theory behind each spelling. When considering which spelling to use, simply think about the three W’s. Who are you addressing, what are you offering, and where are you located.