Persue vs Pursue? Which is correct?

The correct speeling is “Pursue”. Persue is an incorrect spelling of the word.

To many people, as you pronounce it, it’s easy to assume that the correct spelling is ‘persue’. However, this is only because the correct pronunciation has been altered so much throughout the English language, largely due to accents and native slang. In fact, the correct pronunciation should sound like ‘puh syoo’, but slightly exaggerated.

In this article, we are going to be clearing up any misconceptions between the two, and help you decipher the correct word from the incorrect.

Meaning of ‘pursue’

To pursue is to follow or chase something/someone, with the aim of reaching it/him/her at the end. This could be used for ambitions or goals, or it could be used to ‘track down someone’, potentially with harmful intent.

Example sentences;

He wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.

The hike was so difficult that I didn’t think I’d be able to finish, but I pursued it.

Her rival pursued her all the way to where she was hiding.

I was asked to pursue the red lorry.

Meaning of ‘persue’

An old-fashioned way of spelling ‘pursue’, which is now no longer used or recognized in the English language. Pursue is now purely a misspelling of ‘pursue’.

Pursue is also often confused with peruse, meaning to quickly scan something e.g images or scripts, but without putting too much focus or intent into the task.

How to identify each

It can be confusing to differentiate between the two as it’s really only a switch between using an ‘e’ and using a ‘u’. The best way to identify the correct version is simply by learning the spelling and correct pronunciation.

If you’re writing using a laptop or smartphone, it should be pretty easy to identify your mistake as it will generally be automatically corrected. Either that or a red line will show up underneath the word to indicate misspelling.

If after reading this you’re still having difficulties figuring out the correct spelling of ‘pursue’, practice writing it and pronouncing it whenever you get some free time. Once it’s lodged into your memory you should stop using the incorrect version, ‘persue’.