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LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE

American and British English Differences

American and British English Differences 


American and British English Differences

Spelling

1. Spelling of words ending in "our" in British English are "or" in American English.

A representative list of such words is:

 

British

American

British

American

British

American

arbour

arbor

armour

armor

candour

candor

ardour

ardor

clamour

clamor

enamour

enamor

favour

favor

fervour

fervor

flavour

flavor

harbour

harbor

honour

honor

humour

humor

behaviour

behavior

fervour

fervor

labour

labor

odour

odor

parlour

parlor

rancour

rancor

tumour

tumor

valour

valor

colour

color

 

2. Many American words ending in "or" also end in "or" in British English.

Some examples of this are:

 

actor

anchor

captor

censor

debtor

decor

Donor

error

factor

jailor

manor

minor

pallor

pastor

razor

sector

terror

tremor

tutor

victor

visitor

 

3. The spelling of some American words ending in "er" such as center are spelled with "re" such as "centre."

Some examples of this are:

 

British

American

British

American

British

American

fibre

fiber

centre

center

lustre

luster

metre

meter

louvre

louver

caliber

calibre

sabre

saber

theatre

theater

liter

litre

 

4. But beware of some French words that end in "re" that are the same in both British and American English.

Some examples of these are:

 

genre

Notre

Entrée

émigré

cadre

lucre

 

5. Also beware of some Spanish words such as "hombre" and "padre" which are also exceptions to the rule.


6. The French word "cadre" requires special attention. It is a word that means the nucleus of a group that is intended to form a larger group. For many years the Chinese have pronounced it a "cotter." It is correctly pronounced as "ka dray."


7. One word that deletes the "o" and changes and the "re" is "
manoeuvre" in British English and "maneuver" in American English.

8. Some other spelling differences are as follows:

 

British

American

British

American

British

American

British

American

cheque

check

plough

plow

storey

story

behove

behoove

 

9. The use of articles is different in the two languages. The American rules for the use of the articles "a," "an" and "the" and British English is somewhat different and allows the following "The man went to hospital to see nurse." American English would require the following "The man went to a/the hospital to see a/the nurse." The choice of "a" and "the" would depend on whether he wanted to see a particular nurse at a particular hospital or any nurse at any hospital.

10. Many British words ending in "ize" also appear as ending as "ise." 
Both are accepted as correct in British English while the "ize" is only acceptable in American English.

A small representative sample is shown below.

 

apologize

atomize

authorize

barbarize

bastardize

brutalize

cannibalize

canonize

carbonize

categorize

cauterize

centralize

characterize

civilize

collectivize

colonize

containerize

emphasize

epitomize

equalize

familiarize

finalize

formalize

fossilize

 

11. British English has some vocabulary differences from American English.

Some representative examples are:

 

British

American

British

American

British

American

British

American

lorry

truck

billy

tin pan

ring

call

pub

bar

post

mail

reck

care

hired

rented

biscuit

cookie

holiday

vacation

lift

elevator

barrister

lawyer

packet

present

waggon

wagon

bonnet

hood

nil

nothing

petrol

gasoline

pillion

seat

aeroplane

airplane

football

soccer

tyre

tire

flat

apartment

snigger

snicker

chaff

tease

handbarrow

wheelbarrow

 

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