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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 WORD BRITISH WORD
fries chips
diaper nappy
sweater jumper
vest waistcoat
stroller push chair
shorts underpants
schedule timetable
trunk boot
suspenders braces
elevator lift
mailbox postbox

Prepositions:

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

AMERICAN USE BRITISH USE
on the weekend at the weekend
on a team in a team
write me write 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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