British English vs American English There are many forms of the English

There are many forms of the English language throughout the world and we will look at two of them ' the British English and the American English.

British English - the term is used to describe the form of the English Language used in the British Isles. It includes English used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This term is mostly used by people outside the British Isles and by linguists. British people generally use the term 'Standard English' or just 'English'.

American English is the term used to describe the form of English spoken in the United States of America.

History of the AE

The use of English language in the USA has been inherited from British colonisation and dates from the end of the 16th century. Over the past 400 years the language in the USA changed in small ways in pronunciation and grammar but extensively in vocabulary and in the attitude of it's speakers.

The American dialect also served as the route of introduction for many native American words into the English language. Most often, these were place names like Mississippi, Roanoke, and Iowa. But, names for other things besides places were also common. Raccoon, tomato, canoe, barbecue, savanna, and hickory have native American roots, although in many cases the original Indian words were mangled almost beyond recognition.

Spanish has also been great influence on American English. Mustang, canyon, ranch, stampede, and vigilante are all examples of Spanish words that made their way into English through the settlement of the American West.

A lesser number of words have entered American English from French and West African languages. Grammar Singular and plural for nouns

In British English, singular nouns that describe multiple people are often treated as plural, especially where one is concerned with the people constituting the team, rather than with the team as an entity. The singular form is usually used in American English. Proper nouns which are plural in form take a plural verb in both American English and British English. Examples:

'British English: "The Clash are a well-known band." American English: "The Clash is a well-known band." Both: 'The Beatles are a well-known band."

'British English: "Pittsburgh are the champions." American English: "Pittsburgh is the champion." Both: "The Steelers are the champions".

Use of the singular verb is not wrong in such instances in British English. The verb form may be chosen according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members - for example, "A committee was appointed'' but "the committee were unable to agree''

Different prepositions in certain contexts

'In the United States, the word through can mean "up to and including" as in Monday through Friday. In the UK Monday to Friday, or Monday to Friday inclusive is used instead; Monday through to Friday is also sometimes used. British athletes play in a team; American athletes play on a team.

'The word heat meaning 'oestrus' is used with on in the UK and with in in the U.S.

'After talk American can use the preposition with but British always uses to that is, "I´ll talk with Dave / I´ll talk to Dave".

'In the U.S., forms are invariably filled out, but in Britain they can also be filled in. However, in reference to individual parts of a form, Americans may also use in ("fill in the blanks").

'British thugs will beat someone up, while their American counterparts will also beat on or beat up on their victim. While the use of American expressions in the UK is often noted, movement in the opposite direction is less common.


The difference in short-form date order can lead to misunderstanding. For example, 06/04/05 could mean either 4 June 2005 (U.S.) or 6 April 2005 (UK).


Americans always write digital times with a colon, thus 6:00, whereas Britons often use a full stop, 6.00. Also, the 24-hour clock (18:00 or 1800), which in the UK would be considered normal in some applications (for example, air/rail/bus timetables) although unusual in informal contexts, is largely unused in North America outside of military or medical applications.

Spoken American and British English have enough differences to cause occasional misunderstandings or embarrasment.