Totaled or Totalled: What’s the Difference?

Totaled or Totalled

When we talk about cars and accidents, we often hear the word “totaled” or “totalled”. But which is the correct spelling? Let’s dive into this topic and make it super simple to understand.

What does it mean?

First, let’s understand what this word means. When a car is “totaled” or “totalled”, it means the car is so badly damaged from an accident that fixing it would cost more than what the car is worth. It’s like saying the car is a total loss.

The Difference is in the Spelling

The main difference between “totaled” and “totalled” is the spelling, which depends on where you are in the world.

  • Totaled: This is the spelling you’ll see in American English. So, if you’re in the United States or you’re writing for an American audience, this is the way to go.
  • Totalled: This version is used in British English. If you’re in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or other places where British English is the norm, you’ll likely see this spelling.

When to Use Which?

The words “totaled” and “totalled” are both correct, but their usage depends on the variant of English you are following.

  • “Totaled” is the preferred spelling in American English. It’s used in various contexts, such as when referring to the act of adding up to a total (“The bill totaled $100”) or when describing a vehicle so severely damaged in an accident that it is considered a total loss (“The car was totaled”).
  • “Totalled” is the preferred spelling in British English and other forms of English outside the United States. It is used in the same contexts as “totaled,” just with an extra ‘l’ in the spelling.

Both spellings are understood globally, but it’s generally best to stick with one variant of English for consistency in your writing.

Tips to Remember

  • If you’re unsure about your audience, try to find out which form of English they prefer. When in doubt, go with the version you’re most comfortable with.
  • You can use tools like spell checkers that are set to either American or British English to help you stay consistent.
  • Remember that this difference isn’t just about “totaled” and “totalled.” American and British English have several spelling differences, so keep an eye out for others, like “color” (American) vs. “colour” (British).

Example Sentences

  • A fallen power line during the storm totaled several vehicles on the street.
  • A wild animal collision on the rural road left his car totaled.
  • After the accident, my car was totaled. It was so damaged, it couldn’t be fixed.
  • After the joyride, the teenagers returned with a totaled sports utility vehicle.
  • After the landslide, the rescue team found several totalled vehicles.
  • After the rear-end collision, her compact car was surprisingly not totaled.
  • After the storm, many cars in the neighborhood were totalled by falling trees.
  • Her car was totalled in the crash, and she had to look for a new one.
  • Her vintage vehicle was totalled in the flood, a complete loss.
  • His jeep was totalled when it rolled down the embankment.
  • His totalled bicycle, caught under the truck’s wheels, was a sad sight.
  • In the parking lot mishap, her new sedan was surprisingly totalled.
  • Insurance adjusters totaled her car after assessing the undercarriage damage.
  • The classic car, though totalled, was going to be restored by its dedicated owner.
  • The family’s van was totaled in the multi-car pileup on the interstate.
  • The fire totaled his truck, leaving nothing salvageable.
  • The floodwaters rose so quickly, many cars in the area were totalled.
  • The hailstorm was so severe that it totalled most cars parked outside.
  • The insurance claim for the totaled station wagon was quickly approved.
  • The insurance company declared the car totaled after the highway collision.
  • The mechanic shook his head and confirmed the car was totaled.
  • The repair shop estimated the damages, and unfortunately, the SUV was totaled.
  • The totaled boat, washed ashore by the storm, was beyond repair.
  • The totaled convertible, once a prized possession, was now junk.
  • The totaled delivery van meant a significant setback for the small business.
  • The totaled motorcycle lay on the side of the road, a sad sight for the owner.
  • The totaled pickup truck was a total loss, despite looking relatively intact.
  • The totaled sports car was towed away, beyond repair.
  • The totaled taxi was a stark reminder of the city’s chaotic traffic.
  • Their totalled camper van was a heartbreaking loss from the road trip.
  • Totalled in a parking lot fender-bender, the irony wasn’t lost on the car owner.
  • Witnesses were shocked at how the minor incident had totalled the car.

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