programs or programmes

Programm, Program or Programme? Which is Correct?

Program is correct in American English and Programme is correct in British English. Programm is incorrect in English and should not be used.  

Program and programme are very similar words with just about the same meaning, but the correct use of them depends on where you are at in the world. In the United States, it is not often that we see the word programme, but it is actually proper in other countries.

Program is most commonly used in American English, Canadian English, and Australian English. When thinking about Australian English, programme is also acceptable, but it is less common. It is up to personal preference if which spelling to use.


Programme is the British English spelling of the word program. It refers to an agenda of events, like a playbill at the theater. The word is a noun that is the preferred spelling in British English and acceptable in Australian English.

Programme can refer to plans of activities, procedures, or actions, most commonly for a specified purpose. It can also be a list formed of acts and performers of an event, such as a concert, play, or football match.

There is one exception to the programme spelling in British English. The exception is with computers and technologies. This is the only instance you won’t see programme being used.

The programme for the theater let me know which actor played which part, so I could put a name to a face.

The beach is the number one thing on my programme for my holiday weekend.

Affirmative action programmes can help people get back on the right track.

Are you going to watch the special programme that is on tonight?


Program has several different meanings in the English language. Most of the definitions refer to an outline of something or a system that needs to be followed in a certain order. Just like above, a program would be considered what you are handed at the beginning of a play with the cast and acts on it.

Program also refers to what we watch on television. When you are watching a TV show, you are watching a program. This is because it is on a schedule ran by the television network.

More recently, program refers to a set of commands that a computer is supposed to follow. The spelling of program when referring to technology is the same in English and British English.

Program can also be used as a verb when referring to a computer. You program a computer when you download something to change the setting of your computer.

He closed the program on the computer to stop it from running.

I completed my program with the college and graduated.

The new program is running tonight, and I can’t wait to watch it.

As I entered the theater, I grabbed a program as a souvenir.

Nurses have to go through a specific training program.

Program vs. Programme

When it comes to programme and program, it is most common to use program unless you are writing for a British audience. Even Australia and Canada have adapted the version of program that is used in the United States.

It seems that the only other place that programme is preferred over program is New Zealand. Programme originally comes from the French language, and it is surprisingly newer than the word program.

How to Remember the Difference

It is pretty easy to remember when to use program and when to use programme. It is easy to see that programme ends with an E, which is the same letter that England starts with. When you are writing to an audience of people in England, you will always use programme unless discussing technology.