GRAMMAR • Differences • Between• American and British • English
IntroductionSpeakers of American English generally use thepresent perfect tense less than speakers ofBritish English. In spoken American English it isvery common to use the simple past tense as analternative in situations where the present perfectwould usually have been used in British English.The two situations where this is especially likelyare
1.1In sentences which talk about an action in the past that has an effect in the present• Jenny feels ill. She ate too much.• American English• Jenny feels ill. Shes eaten too much• British English
1.2In sentences which contain the words already, just or yet• A: Are they going to the show tonight?• B: No. They already saw it.• American English• A: Are they going to the show tonight?• B: No. Theyve already seen it.• British English
2 Verb agreement with collective nouns• In British English collective nouns can be followed by a singular or plural verb depending on whether the group is thought of as one idea, or as many individuals• My team is winning.• The other team are all sitting down.• In American English collective nouns are always followed by a singular verb, so an American would usually say:• Which team is losing?• whereas in British English both plural and singular forms of the verb are possible, as in:• Which team is/are losing?