American Vs British EnglishEdit

In this section, we are going to talk about the differences between American English and British English; that’s why the title of this section. We think everybody has noticed once, at least, the differences between these kinds of English; such as pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, etc.

American English as well as British English are almost the same in writing, the difference is in speaking due to dialects. Both American English and British English have different dialects into the countries. In one hand, England has Wales dialect, Scotlan dialect, London dialect and BBC (English of the Queen) as well. On the other hand United States have Nothern dialect, Southern dialect, Midland dialect and Western dialect. Among these dialects, the differences are focus on the way of pronunciation, idioms and vocabulary.

Let’s see some differences between these countries.

When we talk about collective nouns, they are singular as well as plural in British English, it depends the emphasitation that the speaker would like to give. In contrast with American English, they are generally singular. For example, committee can be plural as well as singular in BriEng, in AmerE committee is singular only.

Some verbs can be written as a regular verbs or irregular verbs in BriEng. For example, verbs like spoil and dream can be spoilt or dreamt as well as spoiled or dreamed in the past participle; British people have tendency to use the irregular way. In AmerEng, they do not almost follow their tendency, they rather use the regular way.

Talking about meaning of tenses, there are some differences among them. For example, in BriEng, the present perfect can talk about a recent action. In AmerEng, they can use the simple past as well.

The subjunctive mood can be seen in mandative clauses in AmerEng. In BriEng, the subjunctive is usually changed by a “should”. It is the same case with Shall is more used in BriEng than in AmerEng, AmerEng uses will as well as to going to.

There are differences in the transitivity of verbs; some verbs are transitive in one country, but in the other they are not. For example. We have the verb “agree” which is transitive and intransitive in BriEng. In contrast with AmerEng, it is transitive only.

Some verbs have tendency to be followed by a gerund in BriEng but some verb do not follow this tendency un US. For example, the verbs start, begin, enjoy are usually followed by a gerung in AmerEng and the verbs love and like are generally followed by a gerund in BriEng.

Prepositions in dates are more used in BriEng than in AmerEng. For example, I’ll come back on Sunday (BriEng) and I’ll come back Sunday (AmerEng), but both the first one and the second one are correct in AmerEng. In verbs like affiliate can be followed by with or to in BriEng whereas in AmerEng, it is followed by with only. It is the same thing with the verb “to talk”. In AmerEng is to talk with or to talk to whereas in BriEng is to talk to only.

The definite article is more used in AmerEng than in BriEng. AmerEng would say in the hospital, but in BriEng would say in hospital.

The word “through” in AmerEng express up to or including, but in BriEng “through” express to. For example, Walk through Watson Avenue (AmerEng) and Walk to Watson Avenue(in BriEng).

Giving directions are different in AmerEng and BriEng. For example, in AmerEng, the speaker would use on when someone else ask him the direction of a place. E.g. “The cinema is on Walnut Avenue”. In contrast with BriEng, the speaker would say “The cinema is in Walnut Avenue”. When some place is near, the speaker would say “ It is near to the Post Office” in BriEng whereas in AmerEng the speaker would say “It is near (Ø) Post Office” AmerEng omits the to.

When we want to phone someone, it is important to use the correct structure because in BriEng, one calls someone on his/her number whereas in AmerEng, one calls someone at his/her number.

When we talk about rivers, in AmerEng the river’s name is first and the world river after. For example, Colorado river. In contrast with BriEng, the word river is first and the name is after. For example, the river California.

The word also is placed at the end of the sentence in AmerEng whereas in BriEng, the place of also is not a problem. The suffix –er is usually attached to the noun. For example, football becomes footballer, but in AmerEng, this suffix is no longer used.

Compound nouns, AmerEng uses the infinitive form. For example: A race of car. In contrast with BriEng, they use the gerund. For example: A racing car.

Talking about the lexic, a lot of the british lexic is accepted in AmerEng and vice versa, but in AmerEng, they have tendency of avoiding using British words such as biscuit, AmerEng changes it by a cookie. The word bill in AmerEng means paper money, but in BriEng it means invoice. Another word is Football; in BriEng it means soccer whereas in AmerEng, it means American Football. The adverb quite in AmerEng means very, but in BriEng it means somewhat. The word fall is in AmerEng the season of the year. In contrast with BriEng, the season is called automn.

When we talk about prices, BriEng adds a “and”. For example, it costs two hundreds and twenty whereas in AmerEng, it is ok without the and. In AmerEng, it’s ok saing a dollar, but in BriEng they would say one dollar. In AmerEng, the pound sign is the # sign, but in BriEng tue pound sign is the £ sign.

Before talking about pronunciation, we would like to talk about figure speach, an example of it is the expression I don’t mind in BriEng. In contrast with AmerEng, they use it as well, but they rather use I don’t care. It is same wit the expression No fear! In BriEng whereas in AmerEng, they prefer to use No way!

Finally, talking about pronunciation, it is very easy to distinguish both the American dialect and the British dialect. To begin with, BriEng have tendence to pronounce the –er ending as /ә/ . For example, butcher is pronoun in AmerEng /bʊtchә/. In AmerEng, it is pronounce like /bʊtchEr/. In BriEng the letter t is more marked than in AmerEng where it is commonly pronounced as the letter r. For example, not at all is pronounced /notәtol/ whereas in AmerEng it is pronounced /norәrol/.

Now we are going to see the Spellings between British and American English:

British Spellings

American Spellings











Mum, mam or mom
















Many times we have heard both terms British and American English they are very common in our daily lives and there are more often if you are a language student. Those dialects of English are always mentioned in books, magazines, TV shows. They are the most famous in the world and very interesting too due to their differences.

They both are different in their : Outfits, traditions, traditional food, mentality, culture and everything and obviously in their vocabulary.

Coming up a list of difference in vocabulary between British and American English.

Here we have two videos that show us the different accents between British and American English.


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