Justin asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

What's the difference between American English and British English?

16 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    There are several variations, none important, in spelling and vocabulary.

    The one major grammatical difference that I notice over and over again is that Americans use the Perfect tenses (I have done / I had done) far less than British speakers do, preferring the Past simple (I did).

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There are no grammatical differences between Standard British and Standard American English. The differences are largely a matter of some vocabulary and some spelling.

  • 2 months ago

    British English is the original dialect of English. American English is a more "unnatural" form of English.

    • Lôn
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      There are many dialects of British English.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You would need a book to list every minor difference. It is when the same word is used with different meaning that problems can arise.

    For instance, British pedestrians walk on the pavement, but American drivers drive cars etc on the pavement - when walking they do so on the sidewalk..

    Americans use "this" more than "that", Britons the other way round. In Britain the first floor in a building is the floor above the ground floor, but in the USA the first floor is the ground floor.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      John P, the first floor / ground floor divide is common in Europe too, though not everywhere.

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  • 2 months ago

    That difference is largely a myth.Everywhere where English is spoken it is the same language as taught in the schools and in print.Sure everywhere you will find people who speak their English badly.

    • Killmouseky
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      There are many regional & dialectic variations, differences & spellings. There are numerous differences in spelling. These differences aren't as drastic as can be seen in some of the German or French dialects, but can be vexing to many.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Pronunciation, spelling, some words.

    • M.
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Some pronunciation, some spelling and some words.

  • 2 months ago

    Besides the accent, there are many words that mean different things. One such example is.... the word FAG in Britain means cigarette. But it means homosexual in American.

    And there are differences in spelling. Such as Americans use the word COLOR. But Britains spell the word COLOUR

    • M.
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      "Fag" meant cigarette here in USA also, when I was a child (50+ years ago). "Gay" at that time meant happy.

      Plenty of USA English has changed in the past few decades.

      In elementary (primary) school we read plenty of ENGLISH literature (from England) that was 100, 200 or more years old.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There are many differences - in pronunciation, use of certain words, some words are peculiar to one country.

    Some of the grammar is different too.

  • Michze
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    In the US it's Color TV, Tire. In the UK it's Colour TV, Tyre.

  • 2 months ago

    The difference is the English language IS the English language but the Americans have basically adopted it but made a right mess up of a wonderful language.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Poseidon, Lili is right about standard British English. There are many dialects, but most people are capable of switching to a form of standard English when necessary that is in use all over the UK.

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