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There are many different versions of the English language. It is spoken in many countries including The United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and more. Just as Mexican Spanish differs from Spanish spoken in Spain, there are differences in the English language depending on where it is being spoken.

The biggest and most comparable differences exist between American English and British English. Differences exist in more than just the pronunciation or accent. Spelling and meaning of words differ as well. For instance biscuit to Americans is a flaky bread made of shortening, but biscuit to a Britain is what an American would call a cookie or a cracker. What Americans call the hood of the car, British call the bonnie. The following list is just a few of the differences between the two versions of the English language.

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Spelling Differences:

 or vs.  our

American English: color, favor, honor

British English: colour, favour, honour

 ck or  k vs.  que

American English: check, bank, checker

British English: cheque, banque, chequer

 ze vs.  se

American English: analyze, organize, memorize

British English: analyse, organise, memorise

There are many other spelling differences too many to list. Dictionaries will specify different spellings if you need them.

Vocabulary:

As I mentioned above, one of the major differences between American English and British English lies in the choice of words. Following are just a few examples of some differences in vocabulary, but the list could go on and on.

AMERICAN WORDBRITISH WORD
frieschips
diapernappy
sweaterjumper
vestwaistcoat
strollerpush chair
shortsunderpants
scheduletimetable
trunkboot
suspendersbraces
elevatorlift
mailboxpostbox

Prepositions:

Speakers of British English sometimes use different prepositions than Americans as well.

AMERICAN USEBRITISH USE
on the weekendat the weekend
on a teamin a team
write mewrite to me

References

 

  • Longman, Bruce A guide on the differences between American and English culture . Retrieved July 6, 2006, from US2UK Web site: http://us2uk.tripod.com/index.html
  • Beare, Kenneth Differences Between American and British English . Retrieved July 6, 2006, from About Web site: http://esl.about.com/library/weekly/aa110698.htm
  • Spelling differences between American and British English. Retrieved July 6, 2006, Web site: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm

 

 

 

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