Curb or Kerb?
Curb or Kerb?What is the difference between "curb" and "kerb"?
In North America, the "curb" is the stone edging of the sidewalk. Outside North America (where the sidewalk is called the pavement), the spelling is "kerb." This, however, is not the end of the story because "to curb" (meaning "to control" or "to limit") has the same spelling in American English and British English.
Here are some examples with the noun "curb/kerb":
- When walking on the sidewalk, keep away from the curb. ()
- When walking on the pavement, keep away from the kerb. ()
- We must curb our spending. ( and )
- We must kerb our spending. ( and ) ("Kerb" is never a verb.)
CurbThe verb "to curb" means "to control" or "to limit."
- Try to curb your enthusiasm.
- The US will curb its influence over the next decade.
- There will be a curb on spending. (Here, "curb" is a noun.)
- We can't all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by. (American actor Will Rogers)
KerbAmericans don't need to worry about the word "kerb." It doesn't exist in American English. However, for Brits, "kerb" is the stone edging of a pavement. For example:
- She tripped over the curb. () ()
- She tripped over the kerb. () ()