Sulphur and sulfur both refer to the same chemical element with the atomic number 16 and the symbol S.
However, the spelling “sulphur” is more commonly used in British English, while “sulfur” is the preferred spelling in American English. Both spellings are correct and acceptable, but it is important to be consistent in using one spelling or the other.
Which Is Correct Sulfur or Sulphur?
What is the correct way to spell sulphur? How do you spell sulfur in the UK and in US? Is it sulphur or sulfur in British English? Why is it sulfur and not sulphur? What is the correct spelling sulfur or sulphur?
Both “sulfur” and “sulphur” are correct spellings of the chemical element with the atomic number 16 and the symbol S.
- “Sulfur” is the preferred spelling in American English
- “sulphur” is more commonly used in British English
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) uses “sulfur” as the official spelling in its publications.
However, both spellings are widely used and accepted, so it’s mostly a matter of personal preference or following the conventions of a particular region or organization.
When Did Sulphur Become Sulfur?
The spelling of “sulphur” with a “ph” was commonly used in British English and other forms of English until the late 19th century. However, in the United States, the spelling “sulfur” with an “f” has been used since the early 1800s.
In 1892, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) was established to standardize the nomenclature of chemicals. As part of this effort, IUPAC recommended the use of “sulfur” as the standard spelling in all English-language scientific publications.
Today, “sulfur” with an “f” is the standard spelling in both American and British English, although “sulphur” is still used in some countries and contexts, particularly in British English.