Americans orient, Britons orientate. Both amputate when performing an amputation. In a conversation, one converses but doesn't conversate. But both Americans and Brits merely compute, rather than computate. And in a confrontation, both confront, rather than confrontate.

What are these rules determined by?

  • 4
    "Britons conversate"...do we? I can't say I've ever heard anyone use that word. Jan 9, 2022 at 21:40
  • 3
    I never heard or saw the word conversate in Britain. Not in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland. We converse. Your question needs editing to remove this fallacy.
    – Anton
    Jan 9, 2022 at 22:12
  • 3
    There are no rules. They are preferences and the usage through history determines them. They are not always stable and sometimes both versions can be used in AmE or BrE, but one version might be more common in one of them. These are often created through back-formation. For example, orient is earlier than orientate, and it is from French orienter. Orientate is created through back-formation from orientation or orientator and the earliest usages appear in ecclesiological (church architecture and adornment) texts in BrE, and early works in this area could be a big influence.
    – ermanen
    Jan 10, 2022 at 3:46
  • 1
    'AmE' and 'BrE' can be extremely unhelpful terms, as they are obviously ill-defined yet seem to imply that they are fixed canons. '... sometimes both versions can be found in the US and the UK, but one version might be more common in one of the regions.' Jan 10, 2022 at 12:11
  • 2
    Does this answer your main question? "Object oriented" vs. "object orientated" The broader issues can be researched at say Etymon. Jan 10, 2022 at 12:18


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