14 June 2014 by Diane
American English is the form of English used in the United States. You might be familiar with this form of English from American movies and music.
British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom, and some other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa...
American and British English have some differences in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and idioms.
Let’s learn about some of the differences...
- Most words ending in –our in British English (such as: colour, flavuor, harbour, honour, humour, labour, neighbor, rumour) end in –or in American English (color, flavor, harbor, honor, humor, labor, neighbor, rumor)
- In British English some words end in –re, while in American English these words end in –er. For example, centre, litre, metre, theatre all end in –er in American English.
- British spelling often uses –ise or -se when American spelling uses –ize or -ce (ex. Organise / organize, realise / realize, recognise / recognize, licence / license, practise / practice, etc..)
- British English doubles consonants more often than American English (ex. Cancelled, counsellor, labelled, modelling, travelling, traveller…). American English does not always double the consonant (ex. Canceled, counselor, cruelest, labeled, modeling, traveling, traveler, etc…)
- British english sometimes keeps the letter “e” when adding suffixes to words, while American English does not (ex. likeable / likable, liveable / livable, sizeable / sizable, loveable / lovable)
- The British play IN a team, while Americans play ON a team.
- The British go out AT the weekend, while Americans go out ON the weekend.
- The British spend time with their families AT Christmas, while Americans spend time with their families ON Christmas.
- In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an affect on the present moment. For example: I've lost my wallet.
In American English, the use of the past tense can be used in this situation: I lost my wallet.
- In American English, collective nouns are almost always singular (ex. The team IS, The government WAS, The committee HAS…). In British English, collective nouns can be followed by either singular or plural verb forms.
PHRASAL VERB DIFFERENCES
American: GET ALONG WITH
British: GET ON
* Have or establish a friendly relationship with someone.
American: RAINED OUT
British: RAINED OFF
* When an outdoor event is postponed or interrupted by rain.
American: to engage in sexual activity—usually implies more than kissing or “making out.”
British: to meet or begin to work with another person or other people
American: to impregnate (make pregnant)
British: to wake someone with a knock on the door; to warm up before a tennis match
American: wash hands and face
British: wash dishes after a meal
cinema / film
pram / push chair