Differences Between British and American English

Updated on December 13, 2017
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Paul is a retired American expat living in Thailand. Besides being an English teacher and translator, Paul likes languages and most sports.

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Dealing with Differences Between British and American English

One of the problems English language learners face is dealing with the differences between British and American English. This was especially true at the school in Thailand where I taught. Students are constantly exposed to both British and American English in the classrooms. British and American nationals teach English classes, and both British and American textbooks are used by the students.

Although the two forms of English may seem similar on the surface, there are contrasts in vocabulary, grammar, spelling, punctuation, telling dates, and other differences which the students must continually bear in mind. In this hub, I detail the differences between British and American English based on the following: first, my six year experience of interacting with British teachers at a Thailand school; second, nine years of living in Thailand which has been heavily influenced by British English; and third, my use of both British and American English textbooks in the classroom.

Vocabulary Differences

Other than slight differences between British and American English pronunciation and accent, contrasts in vocabulary have been most striking for me in the past nine years. These differences have been most evident in my daily interactions with British teachers and in school announcements. On any given day, my colleagues will greet me with, "How's it going, mate?" They'll express their gratitude by saying cheers, and then talk about going on a long holiday during our school summer break. Next, my fellow Brits will talk about watching their favorite footballers like David Beckham, and then chat about an English breakfast and fish and chips for lunch.

While traveling around Bangkok, I'll see words not encountered in America. I'll have to buy petrol for auto fuel, and then use the motorway if I want to make time getting somewhere. After I get to my destination, I should put my car in the car park and then mind the traffic when crossing the street.

Back in the classroom, students will ask for a rubber to erase the board, and then tell me I should use a question mark instead of a full stop. Some kids will be doing their maths homework when they should be doing English revision in preparation for the test. Before the day is over, school administration will announce that teachers must invigilate on the days students are testing.

In the table below, I have listed a few differences in British and American vocabulary.

British and American English Vocabulary Differences

(click column header to sort results)
American English  
British English  
   
elevator
lift
 
eraser
rubber
 
band aid
plaster
 
review
revision
 
period
full stop
 
proctor
invigilate
 
cafeteria
canteen
 
sneakers
trainers
 
math
maths
 
pants
trousers
 
soccer
football
 
thanks
cheers
 
friend
mate
 
French fries
chips
 
apartment
flat
 
vacation
holiday
 
soccer player
footballer
 
gasoline
petrol
 
freeway
motorway
 
watch out for
mind
 
parking lot
car park
 
transportation
transport
 
somewhat like
quite like
 
mail
post
 
truck
lorry
 
package
parcel
 
flash light
torch
 
hood (of a car)
bonnet
 
trunk (of a car)
boot
 
cookies
biscuits
 
toilet
loo
 
gambler
punter
 
streetcar
tram
 
damn
bloody
 
drunk
pissed
 
male or friend
chap
 
college or university
uni
 
cord
lead
 
sausages
bangers
 
vest
waistcoat
 
closet
cupboard
 
injections
jabs
 
carpenter
joiner
 
oatmeal
porridge
 
cotton candy
fairy floss
 
prison guard
screw
 
shopping cart
shopping trolley
 
to have sex
shag
 

Differences Between British and American English

Differences Between British and American English

Grammar Differences

Another problem many students encounter is grammar differences between British and American English. Although there aren't that many, pupils must account for the following disparities:

1. Use of Certain Prepositions

In British English, you say that athletes play in a team. Americans, however, claim that athletes play on a team. The English say that students enroll on a university course, but Yankees say the students enroll in a course. In British English, one would say that Tom and Jerry work in Oxford Street at the weekends, but in American English, we state that Tom and Jerry work on Oxford Street on the weekends. In addition, the British say they will ring someone on a phone number while Americans say they will call someone at a phone number. Another example is towards the lake as written in British English and toward the lake in American English. These are just some of the most glaring differences in use of prepositions.

2. Use of Some Irregular Verbs

British English sometimes forms the past and past participle of verbs by adding "t" instead of "ed" to the infinitive of the verb. For example, the past and past participles of learned, spelled, and burned in American English are written as learnt, spellt, and burnt in British English.

3. Collective Nouns' Use of Singular or Plural Verb Forms

In British English, collective nouns take either singular or plural verb forms. Hence, the British will say and write that Oliver's army are on their way. In American English, all collective nouns take the singular verb form. Therefore, we say that the army is on the way. Another example is "Spain are the champions," said by the British, and "Spain is the champ." rendered by the Americans.

4. Use of Shall and Will

For the first person singular, the British like to use "shall" whereas Americans prefer "will." Hence in British English, you say, "I shall go tomorrow," while in American English we say, "I will go tomorrow."

5. Use of Got and Have

"Got" and "have" have the same meanings; however, in sentences, the British will say, "Have you got a book," while Americans will say, "Do you have a book?"

These are the main types of grammar differences I have noticed in using British and American textbooks and in my conversations with British teachers.

Spelling Differences

In my American English textbooks, they talk about red color, whereas in British textbooks it is spelled as red colour. In England, people go to a sports centre, but in America, they go to a sports center. United States students practice soccer, but British students practise football. In one of my classes, a student asked me what programme meant in the British text we were using. I explained that it was the same as program spelled in an American textbook.

Some differences in spelling between British and American English can be seen in the table below.

Spelling Differences Between British and American English

American English
British English
 
color
colour
 
flavor
flavour
 
neighbor
neighbour
 
center
centre
 
liter
litre
 
theater
theatre
 
offense
offence
 
defense
defence
 
pediatric
paediatric
 
airplane
aeroplane
 
modeling
modelling
 
traveling
travelling
 
fulfill
fulfil
 
enrollment
enrolment
 
sizable
sizeable
 
realize
realise
 
dialog
dialogue
 
ton
tonne
 
program
programme
 
mustache
moustache
 
donut
doughnut
 
gray
grey
 
tire
tyre
 
check
cheque
 
meter
metre
 

Punctuation Differences

Minor differences in punctuation are seen in the following:

1. Abbreviations

In American English, Mister, Misses, and Street are abbreviated Mr., Mrs., and St. with a period following the abbreviation. In British English, there is no period following the abbreviations.

2. Use of Quotation Marks

In American English, double quotation marks (") are always used for representing direct speech and highlighting meanings. In British English, single quotation marks (') are very often used. For example, in American English, we would write the following sentence as:

Carefree means "free from care or anxiety." In British English, it would be written as:

Carefree means 'free from care or anxiety'.

Note that in American English the period is within the quotation marks, while in British English it is outside of the quotation mark.

Finally, there are different terms of punctuation marks in American and British English. Please see the table below.

Punctuation Differences Between British and American English

Punctuation
American English
British English
.
period
full stop
( )
parentheses
brackets
[ ]
brackets
square brackets
{ }
curly braces
curly brackets

Miscellaneous Differences

Finally, there are some miscellaneous differences between British and American English as follow:

1. Rendering of Dates

In American English, the convention of having the month preceding the date is followed. Hence, April 16, 2013, is written and abbreviated as 4/16/13. In British English, however, the date precedes the month. Thus, April 16, 2013, is written and abbreviated as 16/4/13.

2. Telling of Time

There are some minor differences in the telling of time. Whereas I would usually say "half past five," my British colleagues will say, "half five."

The differences between British and American English as seen by me at school and in Thailand are reflected in use of vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Although they may seem minor to a native English speaker, they are still challenging for the English language learner.

3. Pronunciation

The pronunciation differences between American and British English deal with the pronunciation of certain vowels. You probably have noticed that British pronounce "can" as "con". Just recently my British friend was saying what sounded like "shight". I finally figured out from the context that he was referring to the word "shit."

Differences Between British and American English

Where do you find the greatest differences between British and American English?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Paul Richard Kuehn

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      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        I am very pleased that you find my article useful. Why do you want me to put it in PDF form?

      • profile image

        Yahia Abekker Khalid 

        5 months ago

        Thank you Mr. Paul Richard, it's so useful article I hope that you put it on the PDF form.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thanks for reading. I am happy you found this article helpful.

      • profile image

        Hany Amgad 

        5 months ago

        Thank you very much .. it`s very helpful

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        6 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for this information.

      • profile image

        Limpet 

        6 months ago

        English people have a peculiar habit of saying 'sorry' when in actual fact they mean 'excuse me'.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        6 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you for commenting!

      • profile image

        Mary 

        6 months ago

        I love American English!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        6 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for sharing a very funny play on words, Don.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        6 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        After re-reading my previous comments I recall a favorite thing from the Edgar Bergin radio show. One American wants to make fun of an Englisman. So he tells the Englishmman "We Americans have a very interesting custom. When we have a surplus of food 'We eat what we can, and what we can't we can"' The Englisman got on an elevator and thought he would tell the joke to the operator. "These Americans have a really unique custom,"he says. "When they have a surplus of food they eat what they are able to and put the surplus up in tins."

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        6 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        As a Brit, I really appreciate your input. Thank you very much for your comments and explanation of certain words.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        6 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        Paul, Many years ago whenI was taing my first college English courses in America I read several English writers for recreational reading. As a result I inadvertently picked up on british vocabulary and was giged on what the teacher thought were mispellings.

      • profile image

        MS 

        6 months ago

        Interesting article- differences between language are fascinating.

        As a Brit I feel I should point out that 'friend', 'to have sex' 'toilet' and 'drunk' are all part of British English too... mate, pissed, shag and loo are slang/less formal words.

        I don't think people say "I shall" anymore- it's very old fashioned.

        Also I think shit is pronounced the same way in the US, but the pronunciation "shight" is another version of the same word spelt with an -e on the end commonly used in Ireland.

        Hope this is helpful. Enjoyed the article.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thanks for reading this article.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for your comments, Glenn. I plan to edit this hub more in the future. I'm happy you liked this article and found it useful!

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 

        2 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Paul, I knew many of these differences but not all and I found your hub very enlightening. There were times when I would read something and think how strange the grammar was.

        You cleared up my misconception with the ones I didn't know about. For example, I found it strange when a writer would use plural for collective nouns. But now I realize that's the British way.

        I will have a better appreciation now when I read content written by a British writer.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        @limpet Thank you very much for the lessons about cricket, a sport I know very little about. I will add the term "googly: to my list.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        A curved throw from a pitcher in baseball has in English cricket the similarity of a bowler's over arm throw but is called a 'googly'. It is possibly of Indian origin where cricket is just as popular. Of Indian origin is 'sundries' meaning extra's, also a cricketing term.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Limpet, Thank you very much for your comment. I will add these terms to my list in the hub.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        What Americans refer to as 'cotton candy' we happen to call it 'fairy floss'.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for this term. I will add it to my hub.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        Going to the doctor in England for an injection they are referred to as 'jabs' eg. a flu jab, whilst in U.S. i think they are called 'shots'.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for the comments about "graft" and "punter." I will update my hub with this information.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        Here in Blighty the term 'graft' is used to describe gain by hard work whilst in Australia it means obtaining something by deception. A punter here is another name for a customer whilst in Australia that word only refers to some one who bets on race horses.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for your comment.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        Guilty or Not guilty (In Scottish courts - not proven)

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &limpet , If the phrase 'plea-bargaining' is not found in English courts of law, how is this idea expressed in British English? Thanks for commenting.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 years ago from London England

        In English courts of law there is no such a phrase as 'plea-bargaining!'

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &Delores Monet Thank you for your comments. Yes, I have noticed the obvious differences while reading the books of the Bronte sisters.

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        3 years ago from East Coast, United States

        The differences are so obvious when we read English novels. I love that little difference and I can 'hear' the English accent when I read British books.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for your comments and I'm happy you liked this hub. After I read your language mapping hub, I will definitely comment on it.

      • teresapelka profile image

        Teresa Pelka 

        3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

        Hi, I've read your survival advice on Thailand. I taught in Poland, where you often cannot decide, in the classroom, if to follow American or British. You'd have people interested in both, the same room.

        I simply never prescribed, if the student should follow British or American. I did not correct British spellings or pronunciation. The two have a few things in common, however. I'd be curious about your view of my Language Mapping.

        https://hubpages.com/education/language-hub

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Kathleen, the food item that still gets me is "fish and chips." As Americans we are expecting fish with potato chips. The Brits, however, call French fries "chips." Thanks again for the comments.

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        When we lived in the middle east, we got tickled at Arabs saying "take-away" food instead of "take-out" food. Then we visited London, and there was "take-away" food everywhere.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &fpherj48 Paula, yes it has been a long time that I have been away from Hubpages. Over the past year, I have been writing mostly on Bubblews. It's a different animal than HP because it is mainly a social media site. I'm very happy you liked this hub and really will get back to hubbing more now that I am retired from formal classroom teaching.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Paul...Hello! Long time no see.....How would the British say that horrible, unacceptable non-sentence? LOL

        I love this hub. So fascinating and educational. It has also answered some questions (and concerns) I've had since reading so many hubs by so many individuals from a huge number of different places! For instance, I did wonder where burnt and learnt came from and even looked them up in my dictionary.

        I positively love the British accent and still contend no matter what they say at any time...it just sounds so much better than the way we speak.

        Really enjoyable reading, Paul. Thanks so much. ...Up+++

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for your comments and I'm happy you found this hub interesting.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        4 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Great hub Paul. I found it very interesting , and being Australian on Hub Pages, am often caught between the two. I find myself writing a mixture of British and American English at times, even though Australia generally follows the former. We have the added difficulty of Australian slang thrown into the mix. Voted up.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &limpet Thanks for commenting! Yes, it is hard to pronounce these words from the way they are spelled.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        4 years ago from London England

        It's just the pronounciation of two words - aluminium & rennaisance.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &srsddn Thank you very much for your comments. I'm glad you found this hub useful.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &Blond Logic Thank you for your great comments. I'm very happy you liked this hub!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &jainismus I know that Indian English differs from both American and British English; therefore, I would appreciate any kind of hub you could write on this subject!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &Padamyar Thank you very much for your comment.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &Good Guy, Thank you very much for your comments and praise of this hub. I really appreciate it.

      • srsddn profile image

        srsddn 

        4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

        paulkuehn, There are confusions about spellings and intonations are quite different between the two. Very useful information with illustrations. In India it is mostly British English but many a times one has to cope with both. Thanks for sharing even some minor details.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        4 years ago from Brazil

        I am an American but lived in the UK for 20 years. Some of the differences I didn't even realize until I read them here such as the use of prepositions.

        I am pleased you mentioned, the difference between 'got and have'. As an American, using the word 'got' sounded like poor grammar to me.

        Well written and informative hub.

      • jainismus profile image

        Mahaveer Sanglikar 

        4 years ago from Pune, India

        Interesting Hub.

        Apart from the differences between American and British English, Indian English differs in a great degree from both the languages you have discussed above.

      • Padamyar profile image

        Padamyar 

        4 years ago

        Great hub!

      • Good Guy profile image

        Justin Choo 

        4 years ago from Malaysia

        Good afternoon Paul,

        Fantastic and very detailed write-up, especially from an American. I was English educated in the British system. Along the years, I gradually pick up many differences between US and UK English. Some as you said I didn't even know the difference of whether UK or US terms. I got this feeling that you Americans did the opposite for everything British on purpose from the beginning just to get at those Brits and Redcoats. LOL!

        I personally like to use UK English especially in spelling because of sentimental feeling. However, in Hubpages I try my best to spell the US way.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        AK, Thank you very much for your comments. I'm glad you found this hub interesting. Also, I appreciate your encouragement!

      • profile image

        AK Chenoweth 

        4 years ago

        As one who is adjusting to the challenges of 'English' US style I found this really interesting and helpful! Keep hubbing...AK

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Pinto,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm happy you liked this hub and found it interesting.

      • pinto2011 profile image

        Subhas 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Hi Paul! Very interesting hub. English is the real international language which every area in this earth has changed according to its convenience, be it America, Britain, Australia, or some other nations.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        ParadigmEnacted,

        I appreciate you reading and commenting on this hub.

      • ParadigmEnacted profile image

        ParadigmEnacted 

        5 years ago

        Very interesting! These are helpful translations. I'm surprised to learn that certain words are spelled differently.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        pandula77,

        Thank you very much for commenting on this hub. I'm very happy that you find it interesting and useful!

      • pandula77 profile image

        Dr Pandula 

        5 years ago from Norway

        This is a cool hub and perhaps one of the most useful for my work. Thanks for sharing!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Rich, Although he does resemble me in some ways, he also has Asian features since his mom is a native Taiwanese. As far as I know, he hasn't been on a TV chat show. I'll have to ask him.

      • Rich W2K profile image

        Rich 

        5 years ago from Gold Coast

        Oh really? That's great. I've been to Zhanghua a few times. He must be very popular here looking like you and being able to speak the local language. Has he ever been on a TV chat show?

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Rich,

        Thank you for the interesting information. Did I tell you that I have a son who is teaching English in Changhua? His Taiwanese is better than Glotticus, because he was born in Taiwan and grew up bilingual.

      • Rich W2K profile image

        Rich 

        5 years ago from Gold Coast

        I'm not 100% sure but I reckon it's pretty hard for someone without a US or UK passport to get an English teaching job in Taiwan. I have heard recently that a lot of schools in Japan are only looking to hire British teachers. So I have met a few Americans who have come to Taiwan first until they are able to get a job in Japan.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Rich,

        It's great that you find this hub interesting and useful. You should be working in Thailand where British English appears preferred to American English. Believe it or not, I am currently the only American English teacher at my school. The rest are either British nationals or Europeans who have learned English as a second language. Then, too, there are a lot of Filipina teachers who also have English as a second language. Is it as easy for a European with English as a second language to get a job now in Taiwan teaching English?

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        dahoglund,

        I really appreciate the background information about Chesterton and Edgar Bergen. It is very helpful.

      • Rich W2K profile image

        Rich 

        5 years ago from Gold Coast

        Very interesting hub. Being from Scotland, I only ever used British English. Now that I'm in Taiwan, my company demands that I use American English so it's great to have this hub as a quick and useful resource to answer any problems with spelling, vocab, etc. that I'm not sure of. Your daily interactions in Thailand are very amusing.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        Chesterton was an English journalist and author of the Father Brown detective stories. He wrote in the 1920s and wrote a number of essays about America. Edgar Bergen was a radio personality in the days before TV. (a ventriloquist on the radio) Candice Bergen is his daughter, ft that helps.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        dahoglund,

        Thanks for reading this hub and your very interesting comments. Since I am not familiar with G.K. Chesterson and the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, I will definitely check out what they have to say about the differences between British and American English. I'm happy you liked this hub and am grateful for you sharing it.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        In some ways regional differences in the United States are equally challenging. However, I have had some favorites in the American/British English usage. Foremost was G.K. Chesterton who had a bit of fun with the way Americans use the language. Another was the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen who had skits on his show concerning the subject, usually making a bit of fun of the Englishmen. up votes and sharing

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        georgescifo,

        Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm glad this hub can help you understand the differences between British English and American English.

      • georgescifo profile image

        georgescifo 

        5 years ago from India

        The British and American English are something that has confused me a lot and still does the same to me. Thanks for sharing this valuable hub, which can really help in understanding a good amount about the difference between the two.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Vellur,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm happy you like it, and I sincerely appreciate the good comments and sharing.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        5 years ago from Dubai

        Great hub, useful and informative. Very clearly explained. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Que Scout,

        This is really very interesting reading. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

      • Que Scout profile image

        Stephen Hodgkinson 

        5 years ago from Sydney Australia

        Woops a daisy, it was not 13 letters. Benjamin tossed out 6 letters and added a few more to make it phonetic.

        See http://www.omniglot.com/writing/franklin.htm or Wikipedia.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Que Scout,

        I never knew that Benjamin Franklin had a 13 letter alphabet. I will definitely have to read about this. Thanks for your interesting comments. I really appreciate them!

      • Que Scout profile image

        Stephen Hodgkinson 

        5 years ago from Sydney Australia

        Hi Paul

        Australians use the English spelling and pronunciations.

        American history is one of the most interesting. What made the country great, why so many ascents, what were the long term affects of the Boston Tea Party and so on.

        Frankly, I think the changes the new Americans made were just plain sensible. I mean, why spell harbor as harbour? Maybe the USA could have gone as far as using Benjamin Franklin's 13 letter alphabet. That was pretty slick.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Que Scout,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. It's interesting how American spelling has evolved and is different from British spelling. What about Australian English spelling? Is it the same as British spelling? I appreciate your great comments!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Rose,

        I appreciate you reading and commenting on this hub. It can be troublesome when programs that you use won't recognize spellings. Thanks for your favorable review of this hub.

      • Que Scout profile image

        Stephen Hodgkinson 

        5 years ago from Sydney Australia

        Absolutely an excellent hub. Thank you.

        I sometimes wonder if the American spelling was lost because text books were't available during the pilgrimage to the the new land. Or, it might even be the other way around for pronunciation; Plenty of text books but no teachers.

        :)

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        mercuryservices,

        Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I really appreciate your comments.

      • rose-the planner profile image

        rose-the planner 

        5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

        Excellent hub! Being Canadian, we tend to use more of the British English. I find it interesting when certain programs I use do not recognize some of the spellings of the words I input such as colour versus color. Thanks for posting.

      • mercuryservices profile image

        Alex Munkachy 

        5 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

        Fascinating, well written hub. Thanks!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Educateurself,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm happy that I was able to highlight some of the differences between British and American English for you. It's great that you liked this hub.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        NMLady,

        Thank you very much for your interest in this hub. No, I haven't read Bryson's book yet, but after hearing about it from you, I must read it. Your story about getting food to go in London is really funny. I really appreciate all of your insightful comments.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thelma,

        Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting on this hub. It's great that you are able to use British English and American English equally well. I appreciate your great comments and hope you have a great day, too!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        vertualit,

        Thank you very much for your nice inspiring comments. I really appreciate them.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        jainismus,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I really appreciate your favorable comments.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Brett,

        As a speaker of British English, I really appreciate your comments. In Thailand, at least at the school where I teach, British English is preferred just as much as American English. Thanks for sharing, pinning, and tweeting this hub.

      • profile image

        Educateurself 

        5 years ago

        Hi Paul,

        First of all I really don't know such things about english differences of british and american, but I get some knowledge about the real difference of this two.

        Thanks for the hub.

      • NMLady profile image

        NMLady 

        5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

        Loved this article....Have you read Bill Bryson's Stranger in a Strange Land? (I think that is the name of the book) He is an American who married and lived in GB then after MANY years moved his fam to USA. He found he did not know the name of half the things in the hardware store in the USA as he only knew the GB name...

        My fav was when after a looooong plane trip to London, I was trying to get some food to take back to my hotel room and then collapse....the food server kept asking me "Will that be take away miss?" Btwn his accent and my exhaustion it took a few times for me to realize he was asking me if the food was 'to go' as we say in the USA!!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        5 years ago from Germany

        Very useful and informative hub. Philippines schools are using American English so I have used this often at schools. Since I married a German who's English is British and I have been traveling to England and Ireland since then, so I tend to use both American and British English. It is really very helpful to know the differences.

        Thanks for sharing Paul. Have a great day!

      • vertualit profile image

        Abdus Salam 

        5 years ago from Bangladesh

        Great 100 :). very informative. thanks for posting..

      • jainismus profile image

        Mahaveer Sanglikar 

        5 years ago from Pune, India

        Great information, thank you for sharing it.

      • Brett.Tesol profile image

        Brett Caulton 

        5 years ago from Thailand

        I've had to teach US English for a while, as it is the preferred version in Asia. However, I also try to make students aware of differences. Often we have the same phrases too, but with very different meanings.

        Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and useful.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Michelle,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm still learning differences between the two vernaculars when I talk with my British colleagues. Thanks for sharing this hub.

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        5 years ago from Singapore

        Singapore being a British Colony, I was raised to speak British English. So switching between vernaculars is quite a challenge at times! Yes, it is quite a problem! Sharing!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Jaye Wisdom,

        I'm really happy you enjoyed this hub, and I appreciate your praise of it. Your insights from reading UK writers are great. Thank you so much for sharing this hub.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Second Language,

        Thanks for your interesting comments on this hub. Yes, I can understand how you can feel embarrassed by referring to "pants." This is almost as funny as a female student at my school asking her American teacher where the "rubber" was for erasing the board!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Tom,

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm happy you liked this hub, and I thank you for voting it up.

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