Correct spelling, explanation: expense is a word of Latin origin as it comes from the word expensa. In the process of assimilation to the English language, the word lost the characteristic Latin a at the end which changed to e. Besides that, the form did not change much, so expense remains the only correct form.
Definition of expense:
1. The number of means (usually financial) required to do something
The company paid all expenses of the office party.
The expense of living alone is higher than I ever thought.
Idioms with expense:
at the expense of – at the cost of (figurative and literal), usually implying negative experiences/consequences.
He used to eat a lot of fast food at the expense of his health.
The country could improve the healthcare sector, but only at the expense of underfunding other sectors.
Incorrect spelling, explanation:
expence would be pronounced the same as expense which may lead to errors. This is not the correct word, because of the origin of the correct version – expense. Because of its Latin origin (expensa), the word does not need a change of s to c.
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5 thoughts on “Expense or expence”?
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The spelling expence is acceptable in English. American English might demand it is spelt with an S, but spelling it with a C is just as acceptable. In fact, it’s more acceptable as it is the correct spelling. That fashions change is irrelevant. Class is permanent, form is temporary 🙂
Our site is focused on modern English and based on official dictionaries which do not accept spelling “expence”.
Expence is the old 18th Century spelling of the modern day word “Expense”. After looking at the original spelling, it almost makes more sense why it should be spelled that way. It is wrong to say that the spelling of the word as “Expence” is wrong because both are correct. Use whichever form you like!
I never realized I was not correct all my times in the high school, even my teachers didn’t notice.
Very good to know this.