American British Flag
Here are several other points wherein British English and American English differ.

Possession
This is another area wherein there are marked differences between American and British English. You would normally hear an American say “I don’t have much time.” while an Briton would say “I haven’t got much time.” For the question form, Americans would ask “Do you have a minute?” while Britons would say “Have you got a minute?” Both forms are correct but different speakers would prefer different ways of showing possession.

Spelling
Perhaps one of the most obvious differences between written American and British English would be the spelling. Take these examples:

Color vs. colour
Recognize vs. recognize
Center vs. centre.

Which spelling is the right one? It depends – if you’re leaning towards British English then the second version is for you. The first version is American.

Vocabulary
Another very obvious difference between British and American English is in the choice of words. It is basically the same language but with different word usage. Here are some examples:

Apartment (Am.) – flat (Brit.)
Truck (Am.) – lorry (Brit.)
Elevator (Am.) – lift (Brit.)

These are only a few of the differences between the two varieties of the same language. Despite these differences, though, there really is no problem communicating with one another. There should be no debate as to who is right or wrong as both are right in their own way. The important thing is to be consistent as to which variety you are using. If you are more comfortable with British English then by all means speak it.


One Response to “British English and American English (Part 2)”

  1. Jon_Roland on August 27, 2008 7:08 pm

    I am looking for scholarly articles on the common English idiom, especially in the 18th century, of using the same word for an activity and those engaged in it. Some examples include:
    service
    assembly
    movement
    wedding
    viking
    congregation
    aggregation
    delegation
    march
    ministry
    court
    militia
    hunt
    police
    hospital
    university

    Indeed, it appears that in the 18th century almost any word for an activity was commonly also used to refer to those engaged in it. It seems that this should have been thoroughly investigated, but would like cites to such studies.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.