- 兩個孩的爸Lv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
American English and British English (BrE) differ at the levels of phonology, phonetics, vocabulary, and, to a lesser extent, grammar and orthography. The first large American dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, was written by Noah Webster in 1828; Webster intended to show that the United States, which was a relatively new country at the time, spoke a different dialect from Britain.
Differences in grammar are relatively minor, and normally do not affect mutual intelligibility; these include, but are not limited to: different use of some verbal auxiliaries; formal (rather than notional) agreement with collective nouns; different preferences for the past forms of a few verbs (e.g. learn, burn, sneak, dive, get); different prepositions and adverbs in certain contexts (e.g. AmE in school, BrE at school). Often, these differences are a matter of relative preferences rather than absolute rules; and most are not stable, since the two varieties are constantly influencing each other.
Differences in orthography are also fairly trivial. Some of the forms that now serve to distinguish American from British spelling (color for colour, center for centre, traveler for traveller, etc.) were introduced by Noah Webster himself; others are due to spelling tendencies in Britain from the 17th century until the present day (e.g. -ise for -ize, programme for program, skilful for skillful, chequered for checkered, etc.), in some cases favored by the francophile tastes of 19th century Victorian England, which had little effect on AmE.
The most noticeable differences between AmE and BrE are at the levels of pronunciation and vocabulary.
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