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2022-06-03 19:54:31

5 differences between American English and British English

5 differences between American English and British English

Despite the fact that American English is almost a copy of British and Americans will almost always understand english and vice versa, these dialects have many differences to keep in mind when learning each of them.

Different spelling of words

The first noticeable difference between British and American English is the spelling of many words. Residents of the United States decided to simplify their language as much as possible and began to ignore the double l before the suffix or ending in many words. For example, the British write travelling, and the Americans – traveling. In words where it is customary for the inhabitants of Britain to write the ending -our, in the USA they write simply -u (British humour, flavour, colour against American humor, flavor, color).

The British end some words in -re, and Americans write the same words with the ending -er. This difference is noticeable in the words "theater" and "center". The British spell these words as theatre and centre, while the Americans spell theatre and center.

The American ending -ise replaced the British -ize, for example, in the word apologize.

The British still use the word shall

In their writing and speech, Americans long ago abandoned the shall, considering this word obsolete and inappropriate. If a Briton called a classmate to drink soda, he would say: Shall we grab some soda? An American would say differently, replacing Shall we with Let's and turning the question into a statement.

Replacing Present Perfect with Past Simple in Americans

Americans often depart from classical grammar and can replace Present Perfect sentences with Past Simple even in sentences where there are words yet and already, which are peculiar only for the first time. When a Briton says that he has already seen a film, he will sternly pronounce or write I've already seen this film. Americans would most often apply a simplified construct and say I already saw this film.

Replacing British to have with American to take

In stable expressions, the British and Americans use a different verb, but this does not prevent them from understanding each other, since the meaning of the sentence does not change at all from replacing to have with to take . When an American told someone they had breakfast, they would use the phrase to take a breakfast, and a Briton would use to have a breakfast.

Numerous lexical differences

Words with the same pronunciation and spelling among the British and Americans may have a different meaning. When a resident of England hears the word subway, he will not think that we are not talking about the subway, but about sandwiches from a popular network. Americans call an apartment apartment, and the British - flat: a word that residents of the United States translate as flat.

The American translation of the words bachelorette and bachelor party is written as bachelor and bacheloretty party. For British citizens, the same words sound like this: stag night and hen party. It's funny that these phrases are literally translated as "night of male deer" and "party of chickens".

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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