British English vs American English There are several differences between


There are several differences between British English and American English. The two forms of English differ in ways such as grammar, vocabulary usage and meaning, and spelling.

There are many ways that British and American English differ in grammatical means. Generally both forms of grammar are accepted in American English, however in British English the American English version is often considered incorrect. The biggest differences in grammar occur with possession and the present perfect form. An example of the difference in possession between British and American English would be, 'Have you got money'' The British often use the word 'got' when dealing with possession, while in American English they would more commonly say something such as, 'Do you have money'' American English often uses 'do you have' instead of 'have you got'. An example for the difference in present perfect form would be, in British English 'I have lost my wallet', while in American English it would more commonly be 'I lost my wallet.' (ABOUT)

Another major difference between British and American English is the meaning or use of vocabulary words. For example, in British English 'trousers' are 'pants' in American English. 'Pants' in British English is underwear. (ABOUT)

The other major difference between British and American English is the spelling. There are many words which have the same meaning and pronunciation in both British and American English, yet vary in spelling. There are several ways in which the spelling difference between the two forms of English occur, which are listed below along with an example of both the British and American spelling for the word.

British EnglishAmerican English

'our' vs. 'or'ColourColor 'se' vs. 'ze'Criticise Criticize 'l' vs. 'll'Enrolment Enrollment 're' vs. 'er'Centre Center 'ogue' vs. 'og'CatalogueCatalog 'ae' or 'oe' vs. 'e'Encyclopaedia ManoeuvreEncyclopedia Maneuver 'que' vs 'ck' or 'k' Banque Cheque Bank Check 'dge' or 'dg' JudgementJudgment 'ence' vs 'ense'Defence Defense



British and American English also differ in spelling for verbs. For example when attaching 'ing' to a verb that ends with 'l', in British English you will add an extra 'l' while in American English you will generally not add an extra 'l'. For example the word travel in British English would become 'travelling', while in American English it would become 'traveling'. Another example would be the British English 'ing' form of signal would be 'signalling' while in American English it would simply be, 'signaling'. (Jones)

There are also differences in verbs in the past simple form. Often when Americans add 'ed' to the end of verbs the British add 't' to the end. For example, to dream in American English becomes 'dreamed' while in British English it becomes 'dreamt'. Another difference is that when Americans use the base form of a verb, they often drop the 'to', while the British will drop the 'to' and add an 'ed' to the end. For example, to fit in American English becomes 'fit' while in British English it becomes 'fitted'. The final difference between verbs deals with irregular verbs in the past simple. In British English they will add 'ed' to the end of the verb, while in American English they will not. For example, to light in American English will become 'lit' while in British English it becomes 'lighted'. (Jones)

In conclusion, there are many differences between British English and American English. The most obvious differences are found in certain grammatical rules, vocabulary usage and meaning, and spelling.