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Suspense Vs Suspence: Which Should You Use In Writing?

Suspense Vs Suspence: Which Should You Use In Writing?

The number of English speakers worldwide continues to grow, but we cannot assume that no one is making mistakes, especially when it comes to spelling. For instance, a thought on suspense vs suspence will have some people confused because they do not know what to use in sentences. So, what do these words mean, and which is the correct spelling?

Suspense is anxiety or apprehension resulting from an uncertain, mysterious, misunderstood, or undecided situation. In art and performance, it is a quality that causes the audience to experience pleasurable anticipation of the outcome. In contrast, suspence is the obsolete spelling of suspense.

The visible variation between the words suspense and suspence is one letter. However, the question in this post is, which spelling is correct? Read on to find out this and more things about the two words.

suspense popcorn

Definitions Of Suspense And Suspence

Suspense is among the most common words in English. Most people wonder whether the correct spelling ends with “ce” or “se.” Luckily, the dictionary answers most questions in English. For instance, it will help you understand the meaning and part of speech to which a word belongs. Furthermore, the dictionary will help you differentiate words.

If a word is not present in the latest dictionary versions, that is an indication that it does not exist. So, this section will answer the question of which word is correct by checking out their definitions. Here are the comprehensive definitions of suspence and suspense:

Definitions Of Suspense

Suspense refers to “anxiety, nervousness or apprehension from an unpredictable, undecided, uncertain, or unresolved situation or issue.” An example sentence is, “The suspense as the teacher announced the winner of the best essay was painful.”

Another source defines suspense as a state of mental indecision. For example, “The suspense in the room is deafening.”

In entertainment and art, the word suspense refers to “quality in narrative art like a film, play, novel, or podcast, that causes pleasurable excitement or anticipation among the audience regarding the preceding course of events or outcome.” An example sentence is, “The suspense during the last few minutes of the play was exhilarating.”

In law, suspense is “a temporary cessation of a person’s right.” For example, “The perfect example of legal suspense is when the rent of land ceases by unity because of a legal dispute.” That is the suspense of rent.

An archaic definition of suspense is “The state or quality of being unsure, hesitant, uncertain, or indecisive. An example sentence is, “The suspense of judgment in this court is too much for anyone.”

Another definition is the state or condition of being suspended. Suspended means “to hang by attachment to something raised, like a ceiling” or “to attach to something to allow free movement.” So, in this context, suspense is the condition of hanging onto something raised by attachment.” An example sentence is, “The suspense of the chandelier from the ceiling is quite attractive.”

Definitions Of Suspence

According to reliable sources, suspense is an “obsolete spelling of suspense.” While this word was formerly accepted in English, it is now an incorrect word, and you should not embrace it.

How To Properly Use Suspense And Suspence In A Sentence

You have probably heard many people use this word to refer to a state of uncertainty or undecidedness, or you might have used this word in a sentence a few times. But have you been doing so correctly?

Again, do you use this word in the proper context or as the right part of speech? Find out the best way to use the words and the guidelines to follow in your sentences in the sections below:

How To Use The Word Suspense

First, you need to know that this word is a noun. So, when using it as a noun, you should bare the following critical notes in mind:

  • You can use this word as a subject in your sentence. For example, “The suspense in the play is exciting.”
  • You can use it as a subject complement. For example, “The play’s suspense is exciting.”
  • You can replace it with a pronoun to avoid repetition in a passage. For example, “The suspense was uncalled for. It was not as exciting as the writers expected.” “It” is the pronoun replacing suspense as a noun.
  • In general contexts, suspense is an uncountable noun. So it does not have a plural form.
  • In specific contexts, like when referring to types of suspense, you can use suspenses as the plural form of suspense. However, this is uncommon.

Here are the contexts where you can use the word suspense as a noun:

  • Unpleasant anxiety or apprehension in a state of uncertainty
  • Pleasant anticipation or excitement for something undecided or uncertain
  • A state of temporary inactivity, especially regarding the law
  • A break between two sessions
  • A condition of suspension

How To Use The Word Suspence

Suspence is an obsolete spelling for suspense. You should avoid using this spelling when writing. For this reason, we will not discuss tips for using this word in sentences, as it is not a valid word.

Suspense Vs Suspence: What Are The Differences?

The confusion between these spellings stems from the difference being so small that most people do not recognize it. Also, suspence is not just an incorrect spelling or a mistake; it is a formerly accepted spelling. So, this was a valid word at one point. In addition to the fact that one word is wrong and the other is not, let’s look at another difference between these words:

History Of The Words

The word suspense comes from the Anglo-French word “suspens,” meaning “abeyance, temporary cessation, or a state of being carried out.” It also has root in the Old French “sospense,” meaning “delay, deferment of judgment, an act of suspending.”

The Old French “suspense” is a derivative from the Latin “suspensus, which is the past participle of “suspendere,” meaning “to interject or hang up.” In the mid-15th century, the word took on its legal meaning.

The spelling spelling “suspence” was accepted in the early 14th century. However, by the mid-15th century, it became obsolete.

List Of Examples Of Suspense And Suspence Use In Sentences

Now you know the correct word to use in writing: suspense and not suspence. You can also master the correct spelling from the pronunciation. When you pronounce this word, you say the first two “s” letters the same way as the last part. This alone should remind you that the word has the letter “s” throughout and not “c.” Let us not look at some sentences with both words:

suspence book

Example sentences of the word suspense

  1. The suspense in the studio during the play was worth it.
  2. The students did not appreciate the suspense of waiting for the result announcement.
  3. The play used suspense to entice the crowd and retain their attention.
  4. Jane did not like the suspense, so she left the room and did not return.
  5. The teacher asked the students to create suspense in their essays for better grades.

Example sentences of the word suspence

  1. Suspence is not an appealing feeling. (INCORRECT)
  2. The doctor explained that Jane’s anxiety was a result of suspence. (INCORRECT)
  3. The suspence in the play was more annoying than pleasurable. (INCORRECT)
  4. The suspence of the judgment was anxiety-triggering. (INCORRECT)
  5. How I wish I could ignore the intense suspence in the room. (INCORRECT)

More Great Word Vs Word Posts


The anxiety from an undecided situation is “suspense,” and not “suspence.” So, when writing, you should be keen on the correct spelling. Several other English words are as confusing as suspense and suspence, and it will help to have a look at them. Feel free to share with your loved ones about these words so that they appreciate what you have learned from our articles.

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