Freelance Writing Jobs
Post a job

‘Totaled’ or ‘Totalled’: How to Spell it Correctly?

Shaun Connell
March 12, 2024

If you are confused about whether 'totaled' or 'totalled' is the correct spelling, this guide will help.

Here is the short answer in case you are in a rush:

  • 'Totaled' is the correct spelling in the United States.
  • 'Totalled' is a misspelling in U.S. English, but it is acceptable if you write in British English.

To learn more about why the first spelling is correct in America and the second is correct in other English-speaking countries, stick around!

Is 'Totaled' or 'Totalled' the Correct Spelling?

Technically, the correct spelling of 'totaled' depends on where you or your target audience lives. If you are a new freelance writer, you may be unaware that there are British and U.S. English styles.

However, some words are spelled differently between the two styles. So, it is important to pay attention to your audience and reference your style guide to ensure you are using the correct spelling.

Otherwise, your client may be unsatisfied with your work.

Examples of US and British English Words

To help familiarize yourself with the difference between these two English styles, take a look at the examples in the list below, with the US-style on the left and the British style on the right.

  • Favorite - Favourite
  • Color - Colour
  • Defense - Defence
  • Offense - Offence
  • License - Licence
  • Center - Centre
  • Favor - Favour
  • Counselor - Counsellor
  • Traveled - Travelled
  • Modeling - Modelling
  • Equaling - Equalling
  • Signaling - Signalling
  • Fueling - Fuelling
  • Flavor - Flavour
  • Honor - Honour

As you can see in the British English style, an is often added after an l before adding an ing or ed suffix.

Definition of 'Totaled': What Does 'Totaled' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'totaled' is the past-tense form of the verb total, which means:

  • To compute or add up
  • To amount to or number
  • To demolish or make a complete mess of

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Totaled'

  • Numbered
  • Comprised
  • Averaged
  • Measured
  • Aggregated
  • Equaled
  • Equaled
  • Amounted to
  • Summed
  • Came to
  • Added up to
  • Constituted
  • Subtracted
  • Divided
  • Added
  • Tallied
  • Totalized
  • Calculated
  • Wrecked
  • Destroyed
  • Ruined
  • Shattered
  • Demolished
  • Smashed
  • Damaged
  • Decimated
  • Broke
  • Ravaged
  • Pulverized
  • Vaporized
  • Blasted
  • Crushed

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Totaled' or 'Totalled'

When it comes to pronunciation, US and British spellings are rarely pronounced differently. For example, 'totaled' and 'totalled' sound the same.

Take a look at this pronunciation guide as a reference.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'totaled':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'totalled':


Tips: How and When to Use 'Totaled' vs. 'Totalled'

  • Use 'totaled' when you are speaking about a group of figures or items added together.

For example, you could say:

The cashier totaled our order. 

  • Use 'totaled' when you are talking about a vehicle or other item that has been completely destroyed.

As an example, I might say:

During the summer, I totaled my car. So, in my senior year of high school, I am going to have to ride the bus. 

  • Use 'totaled' when you are talking about items that are numbered or tallied.

For example, you could say:

The letters we received from happy customers totaled more than 980, which speaks volumes for the hard work we did to develop our superior products. 

  • Use 'totalled' if you are speaking to or writing for a British English-speaking audience about an accident resulting in a complete loss.

So, you could say:

He was so upset when he totalled the car his father bought him in his favourite colour for his 21st birthday. 

  • Use 'totalled' when referring to a figure that results from items or numbers you add while speaking or writing for a British English audience.

For example, I might say:

He totalled the figures in each of the coloured columns. 

Sample Sentences Using 'Totaled' and 'Totalled'

Now, here are some sample sentences using each spelling.


  • When the company totaled all of its orders over the past year, it exceeded everyone's expectations.
  • After I totaled my parent's car, I was more determined than ever to find high-paying writing jobs.
  • If you totaled the figures and you did not get ninety-two, your addition is incorrect.
  • When you have everything totaled, please submit your report for approval.
  • The project was totaled after Jillian dropped it in a mud puddle on her way to school. Needless to say, her teammates were not happy with her.
  • If you have totaled it, if the figure is 1,000 or more, just enter 999 because there is only room for three digits.
  • He spent more than a month in the hospital after he totaled his car.


  • He totalled his favourite car in the last race.
  • If you totalled it correctly, it should equal 1,543.
  • Despite receiving rave reviews and high honours on opening night, the crew totalled the show in their subsequent performances.
  • The totalled car parked outside of the school was supposed to be a wake-up call to the students.
  • You should have totalled all of the numbers and written the answer below.
  • We are not sure what it totalled to, but when I last looked the bill was over $1,000.
  • Janet totalled her car last year, but luckily, she was not seriously injured in the accident.

Final Thoughts: Is 'Totaled' or 'Totalled' the Correct Spelling

Finally, here is a review of what you learned about whether the correct spelling is 'totaled' or 'totalled':  

  • 'Totaled' is the correct spelling for US English style. 
  • 'Totalled' is the correct spelling if you are writing in British English style. 

Many writers who are just starting their writing careers are unaware that there is a difference between British and US English.

If you are a writer who is only familiar with US English, you may want to avoid taking projects from clients who require writing in British style until you brush up on your UK-style writing skills.

Luckily, if you have questions about which version of a spelling to use, you can look up the term here.

You can also learn about ways to pitch stories, how to create a writing portfolio, and many other useful topics here.

So, if you are interested in improving your writing or personal marketing skills, read a few other posts here before you go, and check back frequently to stay up-to-date on industry changes and best practices.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing Jobs Newsletter
Subscribe to receive information, free guides and tutorials