Program or Programme?
Program or Programme?What is the difference between "program" and "programme"?
For American English:
- Use "program" for everything.
- Use "program" for anything to do with computers.
- Use "program" when you need a verb.
- Use "programme" for a noun meaning itinerary, TV or radio show, or a collection of work projects.
A Video SummaryHere is a short video summarizing this lesson on "program" and "programme."
The Difference between "Program" and "Programme"Writers are often unsure whether to use "program" or "programme." Those following US writing conventions don't need to worry about this. They can use the word "program" for everything. However, those following UK writing conventions are not so fortunate. They do need to make a distinction between "program" and "programme." (This is because the English were influenced by the French word "programme," but Americans weren't.)
Use "Program" for Anything Relating to ComputersFor anything to do with a computer, use "program." For example:
- It's a useful computer program. () () (In this example, program is a noun.)
- Do you know how to program the computer? () () (In this example, program is a verb.)
Use "Program" If It's a VerbAs in the second example above, the word "program" is the only one that can be used as a verb (i.e., "programme" is never used as a verb). For example:
- Do you know how to program the alarm? () () (Usually, this will have something to do with computers.)
- Please program the team-building exercises before the lunch. () () (Be aware that it's not always about computers.)
- A box of crayons and a big sheet of paper provide a more expressive medium for kids than computerized paint programs. (Clifford Stoll) () ()
- My virus checker keeps rejecting your programme. () ()
If You're British, Use "Programme" to Mean Agenda, TV Show, or Collection of ProjectsIn the UK, "programme" is used for an itinerary, a show (typically, on the TV or radio), or a collection of work projects. For example:
- It looks like an entertaining programme tonight. () ()
- Family Guy is one of my favourite programmes. () () (Family Guy is one of my favorite programs. ())
- The person who leaked the secret programme is hiding in Hong Kong. () () (Here, "programme" means a collection of work projects.)
- I'm glad the President finally found an economic development program. I'm just sad that it's only in Baghdad. (Politician John Kerry) () ()