If you’re wondering whether to write persue or pursue, you’re not alone. Many words in the English language are tricky to spell, including this one.
So, which spelling should you use?
The correct spelling is pursue, with two Us.
Read on to learn more about what pursue means and how to use this word correctly.
How Do You Spell Pursue?
Pursue is spelled with two Us, one in the first syllable and one in the second.
Persue is an obsolete form of pursue, which is no longer considered a correct spelling in English dictionaries.
Quick Definition and Meaning of Pursue
The word pursue means “to follow urgently.” You can use this word to describe the act of chasing someone or something, often with a harmful intent.
You might use the word pursue literally, when you’re running after something. For example, you might say a police officer pursued a criminal. You might also say your rival pursued you in a race.
You can also use this word metaphorically when talking about chasing your ambitions. For example, you might say you’re pursuing your dream of becoming a writer if you’re actively chasing this dream and hoping to reach it.
Similarly, the American Declaration of Independence uses this definition of pursue in their statement that every individual has the right to pursue their own happiness.
The noun form of pursue is pursuit. If you’re actively pursuing something, that means you’re in pursuit.
Pursue Examples Used in Sentences
Let’s look at some examples of how to use pursue in a sentence.
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”—J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
“Pursue what catches your heart, not what catches your eyes.”—Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is.”—Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them.”—Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind
“And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
“A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.”—Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
How to Remember the Correct Spelling of Pursue
The easiest way to remember the correct spelling of pursue is simply to practice. Once you’ve seen it in writing often enough, your brain will naturally remember that the word should be spelled with a U, not the old-fashioned E.
If you’re worried about spelling errors, you can always run your work through ProWritingAid, which will highlight all misspellings and guide you toward the correct solution.