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Formulas vs. Formulae: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 8, 2024
"Formulas" and "Formulae" are both plural forms of "formula," with "formulas" being more common in American English and "formulae" in British English.
Formulas vs. Formulae

Key Differences

"Formulas" is the plural form of "formula" predominantly used in American English. It signifies a set of rules or principles, often in a scientific or mathematical context. "Formulae," on the other hand, is the traditional Latin plural, used more commonly in British English, maintaining the original Latin root.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
In academic and professional settings, "formulas" is widely accepted in American publications and discourse. This usage reflects a general trend in American English to simplify linguistic structures. Conversely, "formulae" is often preferred in classical and academic contexts in British English, reflecting a tendency to preserve traditional forms.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
The usage of "formulas" can be observed in modern textbooks, scientific articles, and general media in the United States. It aligns with the American English practice of streamlining language. "Formulae," however, is frequently found in British literature and scholarly works, especially where Latin terms are prevalent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
"Formulas" resonates with a contemporary, simplified approach to language, making it more accessible to a broader audience. "Formulae," with its classical roots, often appears in historical, philosophical, or traditional scientific texts, emphasizing a connection to the linguistic past.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
In summary, while "formulas" is more common in American English, reflecting a modern and simplified approach, "formulae" is preferred in British English contexts that emphasize traditional linguistic heritage and in academic circles that retain a strong connection to Latin terminology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

Predominantly used in American English
Commonly used in British English
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Linguistic Origin

Modern, simplified English form
Traditional Latin plural form
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Common Contexts

Scientific, educational, and media in the USA
Academic and classical contexts in the UK
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Linguistic Trend

Reflects American English’s trend towards simplification
Indicates preservation of traditional forms
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Examples

"The physics book contains various formulas for energy."
"In her thesis, she referenced several mathematical formulae."
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
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Formulas and Formulae Definitions

Formulas

A fixed form of words, especially one used in particular contexts.
The lawyer used legal formulas in the contract.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

Established forms or templates, especially in artistic or creative works.
The artist experimented with different formulae in her paintings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A set of rules or principles, often in mathematics or science.
The chemist explained the formulas for different chemical compounds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

Specific methods or procedures for doing something.
The book on leadership contained various formulae for effective management.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A prescribed or set form, especially in ceremonial contexts.
The priest recited the traditional formulas during the ceremony.
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Jan 14, 2024
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Formulae

Conventional or set forms of words used in ceremonies or rituals.
Ancient texts often include traditional formulae for rituals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A method or procedure for achieving something.
His formulas for success were surprisingly simple.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

A set of mathematical or scientific rules or principles.
The professor discussed different mathematical formulae in the lecture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

An established form of words or symbols for use in a ceremony or procedure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

An established form of words or symbols for use in a ceremony or procedure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

An utterance of conventional notions or beliefs; a hackneyed expression.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

An utterance of conventional notions or beliefs; a hackneyed expression.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A method of doing or treating something that relies on an established, uncontroversial model or approach
A new situation comedy that simply uses an old formula.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

A method of doing or treating something that relies on an established, uncontroversial model or approach
A new situation comedy that simply uses an old formula.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A symbolic representation of the composition or of the composition and structure of a compound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

A symbolic representation of the composition or of the composition and structure of a compound.
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Formulas

The compound so represented.
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Formulae

The compound so represented.
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Formulas

A prescription of ingredients in fixed proportion; a recipe.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

A prescription of ingredients in fixed proportion; a recipe.
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Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A liquid food for infants, containing most of the nutrients in human milk.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

A liquid food for infants, containing most of the nutrients in human milk.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

(Mathematics) A statement, especially an equation, of a fact, rule, principle, or other logical relation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

(Mathematics) A statement, especially an equation, of a fact, rule, principle, or other logical relation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

Formula(Sports) A set of specifications, including engine displacement, fuel capacity, and weight, that determine a class of racing car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulae

Formula(Sports) A set of specifications, including engine displacement, fuel capacity, and weight, that determine a class of racing car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

Inflection of formula
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Formulae

Lists of ingredients or components, especially in a scientific context.
Her research focused on formulae for medicinal compounds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Formulas

A list of ingredients for or constituents of something.
The cookbook included formulas for various sauces.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are "formulas" and "formulae" interchangeable?

Yes, they are interchangeable but their usage depends on regional preferences—American (formulas) vs. British English (formulae).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Where is "formulae" more common?

"Formulae" is more common in British English, especially in classical, academic, and traditional scientific settings.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

What is "formulae"?

"Formulae" is the traditional Latin plural form of "formula," frequently used in British English and academic contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

What is "formulas"?

"Formulas" is the plural form of "formula," commonly used in American English for multiple sets of rules or principles, especially in science or math.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Where is "formulas" primarily used?

"Formulas" is predominantly used in American English, in scientific, educational, and general media contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Do "formulas" and "formulae" have the same meaning?

Yes, both words have the same meaning and refer to the plural of "formula."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Is one form more correct than the other?

Neither is more correct; it depends on the regional language preference and context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Which industries commonly use "formulas"?

"Formulas" is commonly used in industries like chemistry, physics, mathematics, and even in culinary arts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Can "formulas" be used in academic writing?

Yes, "formulas" is widely accepted in academic writing, particularly in American English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Is "formulae" outdated?

No, "formulae" is not outdated; it's still used, especially in contexts that retain a strong connection to Latin terminology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Can "formulas" be used in British English?

Yes, "formulas" can be used in British English, but "formulae" is more traditional.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Is "formulae" more formal than "formulas"?

"Formulae" can be considered more formal or traditional, especially in academic circles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Are "formulas" and "formulae" used differently in education?

Yes, their usage can vary in educational materials based on regional language standards, with "formulas" common in the U.S. and "formulae" in British or classical education systems.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

In what contexts is "formulae" preferred?

"Formulae" is preferred in scholarly, historical, and classical contexts, particularly in the UK.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Do scientific journals prefer "formulas" or "formulae"?

The preference varies; American journals tend to use "formulas," while European or British journals may prefer "formulae."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Why do some people still use "formulae"?

Some people use "formulae" to maintain a connection to the word's Latin roots or due to traditional academic conventions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Does the field of mathematics use "formulas" or "formulae"?

Both "formulas" and "formulae" are used in mathematics, depending on the regional language conventions of the authors or publishers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Is the usage of "formulas" a modern trend?

Yes, the usage of "formulas" reflects a modern trend in American English towards linguistic simplification.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Are there differences in pronunciation between "formulas" and "formulae"?

Yes, there are slight pronunciation differences, with "formulae" often pronounced with an emphasis on the 'ae' ending.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

How has the use of "formulas" evolved over time?

The use of "formulas" has become more prevalent, particularly in American English, as a reflection of linguistic evolution and simplification.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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