Teach English in Fanji Zhen - Huai'an Shi

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There are some differences between American English and British English that can be interesting for many people who are learning English as a foreign language. While there are more varieties of English, American English and British English are mostly taught in language schools. The major difference is vocabulary. Although the majority of vocabularies in both American and British English are the same, there are some vocabularies which are completely different. There are some examples here: American English- apartment/ British English- flat American English- chips/ British English- crisps American English- vacation/ British English- holiday American English- sneakers/ British English- trainers American English- sweater/ British English- jumper American English- soda/ British English- fizzy drink American English- drugstore/ British English- chemist American English- cookie/ British English- biscuit American English- French fries/ British English- chips Spelling is another difference which can be confusing for language learners. Here are some common spelling differences. American English- or (e.g. color, honor, humor)/ British English- our (e.g. colour, honour, humour) American English- ize (e.g. organize, recognize)/ British English- ise (e.g. organise, recognise) American English- og (e.g. catalog, analog)/ British English- ogue (e.g. analogue, catalogue) American English- ll (e.g. skillful, fulfill, enroll)/ British English- l (e.g. skilful, fulfil, enrol) American English- er (e.g. meter, center)/ British English- re (e.g. metre, centre) There are also some preferences to use forms of possession. There are two ways to say you own a car. “I have a car” or “I have got a car”. Both of the sentences are grammatically correct. In British English it is mostly preferred to use “have got” and in American English using of “have” is more accepted. There are some minor grammar differences which aren’t sometimes noticeable for language learners. For example how to treat collective noun is different in American English and British English as you see below. American English- The audience is really lively. British English- The audience are really lively. There are some differences in regular and irregular verbs between British English and American English. Some verbs are regular in American English but irregular in British English. Here are some examples: American English: burn/ burned/ burned, spoil/ spoiled/ spoiled, learn/ learned/ learned, dream/ dreamed/ dreamed, lean/ leaned/ leaned British English: burn/ burnt/ burnt, spoil/ spoilt/ spoilt, learn/ learnt/ learnt, dream/ dreamt/ dreamt, lean/ leant/ leant There are also some verbs which are regular in British English but irregular in American English as you can see below. American English: fit/ fit/ fit, quit/ quit/ quit, wet/ wet/ wet British English: fit/ fitted/ fitted, quit/ quitted/ quitted, wet/ wetted/ wetted In British English, the past participle of “get” is “got” but in American it can be “gotten” or “got”. Present perfect is another difference between American English and British English. In general, present perfect is used for actions which have happened in the past and they have an effect on the present moment. In British English, present perfect should be used in this situation and simple past is considered incorrect. But in American English, both present perfect and simple past can be used for actions in the past which have an effect on the present moment. American English: I just had dinner. I’m full. / I’ve just had dinner. I’m full. She already saw that movie. / She has already seen that movie. British English: I’ve just had dinner. I’m full. She has already seen that movie. Pronunciation is also different and the most obvious difference is how to pronounce ‘R’ letter in British English and American English. In British English it is not pronounced when it comes after a vowel in the same syllable. But in American English ‘R’ is pronounced. ( e.g. car, summer). There are also many words with different pronunciation and stress in American and British English (e.g. mobile, often, either, tomato). While there are some differences in vocabularies, pronunciation, accent, grammar and spelling, American English and British English have more similarities. So it is possible for people who have learned American English or British English to communicate with each other easily. But it is good to know the differences to communicate better. Sources: Beare, Kenneth. “Differences Between American and British English.”