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Know your English: British Vs American

Are you an American English speaker or a British English speaker?

In case you had no idea, well this is a list of a few terms that differ between British and American English.

A few terms to differentiate between British and American English.

A few terms to differentiate between British and American English.

Check the ones that you usually use and you will be able to identify whether your English has a British or an American influence.

As far as I’m concerned, I used to use terms from both, up until I made an effort to focus solely on using American English just to avoid confusion. I would still use British English on very rare occasions; it depends on the person I am talking to.

If you know any other British Vs American English words, please share them in the comments section below! Also, I’d love to know what English you speak 🙂

Rania

rania@transpremium.com

<p>I AM RANIA MERCHAK ANDRAOS, A CAREER MOM WITH A PASSION FOR WORDS, FITNESS & HEALTH, AND FOOD! STICK AROUND AND ENJOY THE RIDE AS YOU GET A GLIMPSE OF MY WORLD!</p>

13 Comments
  • unpeudetout2016

    I ll share with the teachers!

    April 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm Reply
    • Rania

      Please do! 🙂

      April 27, 2016 at 5:38 am Reply
  • Andrea Moore

    Nice one- thank you for sharing!! There are, of course, many, many more examples, both in the vernacular, in business and in technical terminology. I think George Bernard Shaw captured it quite brilliantly with his statement that “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” As a native German, I was taught British English (then called Oxford English) in the German school, starting in 5th grade. That was a long time ago. Nowadays, my nieces begin English studies in 3rd grade (of form ;). Moving the the U.S. in my 20s for graduate school required some “remedial BE-AE vocabulary enhancement.” I believe the discussion about America’s cultural and linguistic imperialism is ongoing…

    April 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm Reply
  • Jean Bouchard

    And what about Canadian English? Color or colour? Behavior or behaviour? Etc.

    April 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm Reply
    • Rania

      Thank you for your comment, Jean.

      I believe “colour”, “behaviour” and other similar words are also used in British English. Anyway, this is how I found the graphic. I simply shared it with my readers 🙂 If I happen to find any other interesting examples, I will surely share them, too!

      April 28, 2016 at 8:27 pm Reply
    • lagatta à montréal

      Behaviour, centre, colour. However, we write tire, not tyre. “Canadian Tire Centre”. And I knew all those word pairs.

      April 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm Reply
  • francine tolron

    thanx
    Il y a aussi “purse” (US) & “handbag” ( GB) et plusieurs autres. A suivre…
    les Australiens écrivent “color” mais plutôt “neighbours” et les Neo-Zelandais, leurs voisins, “colour” …

    April 29, 2016 at 11:01 am Reply
  • Deborah Spector

    Thank you, Rania, this is a good reference. And yes, many words that we (in the US) write with the “or” ending are written with “our” in British usage. A fun one that was missing from the graphic is “pants” in British usage; in American English that would be men’s undershorts. Also to “knock someone up” in the US means to get them pregnant; in British usage it means to knock on their door!

    There are also a couple in the graphic that may be confusing. US English speakers use both “curtains” and “drapes.” Floor-length curtains are called drapes, and ones that just cover the windows are curtains. “Autumn” is also used in the US, not just Britain, but “Fall” is a more informal term.

    April 29, 2016 at 10:05 pm Reply
    • Rania

      Thank you, Deborah.

      I agree with everything you said.

      Thank you again for your comment!

      Cheers

      Rania

      April 30, 2016 at 5:53 am Reply
  • Amar Sellam

    what about the British expression ‘looking out of the window’ vs its US counterpart ‘looking out the window’?

    May 4, 2016 at 1:45 pm Reply
    • Rania

      There are way more expressions and words. The graphic only shows a few. This is simply how I found it and shared it.

      May 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm Reply
  • In Cognito

    You got the US – pants vs. UK – trousers, but missed the US – trousers vs. UK – pants.

    May 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm Reply
    • Rania

      This is just how I found the graphic 🙂

      May 23, 2016 at 3:09 pm Reply

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