British and American English


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British and American English

  1. 1. 1British and AmericanEnglishEnglish Language I09/05/131UniversidadNacionalde La PampaFacultad deCiencias Humanas
  2. 2. ComparisonBritish English (BrE)… American English (AmE) …… is the form of English usedin the United Kingdom, andincludes all English dialectsused within the UnitedKingdom.… is the form of English usedin the United States, andincludes all English dialectsused within the United States.09/05/132
  3. 3. General information09/05/133British and American English are the reference norms for English asspoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world.The English-speaking members of the Commonwealth often closelyfollow British English forms while many new American Englishforms quickly become familiar outside of the United States.Although most dialects of English used in the former British Empireoutside of North America are, to various extents, based on BritishEnglish, most of the countries concerned have developed their ownunique dialects, particularly with respect to pronunciation, idiomsand vocabulary. Chief among other English dialects are CanadianEnglish, based on the English of United Empire Loyalists who leftthe 13 Colonies, and Australian English, which rank third and fourthin number of native speakers.
  4. 4. Be consistent in your usage!Generally, it is agreed that no one version is “correct”. However,there are certainly preferences in use. The most important rule isto try to be consistent in your usage.If you decide that you want to use American English spellingsthen be consistent in your spellingi.e. The color of the orange is also its flavour. color is American spelling and flavour is BritishThe following guide is meant to point out the principal differencesbetween these two varieties of English.09/05/134
  5. 5. Use of the Present PerfectIn BrE the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred inthe recent past and that has an effect on the present moment. Ive lost my key. Can you help me look for it?In AmE the following is also possible: I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?In BrE the above would be considered incorrect. However,both forms are generally accepted in standard AmE.Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in BrEand simple past in AmE include already, just and yet.09/05/135
  6. 6. Use of the Present PerfectBrE: Ive just had lunch. Ive already seen that film. Have you finished your homework yet?AmE: I just had lunch OR Ive just had lunch Ive already seen that film OR I already saw that film. Have your finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?09/05/136
  7. 7. PossessionThere are two forms to express possession in English: Have or Have got Do you have a car? Have you got a car? He hasnt got any friends. He doesnt have any friends. She has a beautiful new home. Shes got a beautiful new home.While both forms are correct and accepted in both BrE and AmE,have got (have you got, he hasnt got) is the preferred form in BrE, whilemost speakers of AmE employ the have (do you have, he doesnt have). The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English: Hes gotten much better at playing tennis.09/05/137
  8. 8. VocabularyThe major differences between BrE and AmE lie in the choice ofvocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties: Mean: BrE - not generous, tight fisted; AmE - angry, bad humored. Rubber: BrE - tool used to erase pencil markings; AmE – condom.Many vocabulary items are also used in one form and not in the other.One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles:09/05/138BrE AmEbonnet hoodboot trunklorry truckhandbag purse/pocketbookholiday vacation
  9. 9. Vocabulary09/05/139BrE AmEanti-clockwise counter-clockwisearticulated lorry trailer truckAutumn Autumn, fallbarrister attorneybill (restaurant) bill, checkbiscuit cookieblock of flats apartment buildingbonnet (clothing) hatbumper (car) bumper, fendercaravan trailercar park parking lot
  10. 10. Vocabulary09/05/1310BrE AmEchemists shop drugstore, pharmacychest of drawers dresser, chest of drawerschips fries, French friesthe cinema the moviescoffin coffin, casketcrossroads intersection; crossroadscupboardcupboard (in kitchen)closet (for clothes etc)driving licence drivers licensedummy (for baby) pacifierdustbin garbage can, trash can
  11. 11. Vocabulary09/05/1311BrE AmEdustman garbage collectorestate agent real estate agentengine engine, motorground floor ground/first floorgearbox (car) transmissiongear-lever gearshiftGirl Guide Girl Scoutjam jam, preservesjug jug, pitcherlift elevator
  12. 12. Vocabulary09/05/1312BrE AmEmad crazy, insanemaize cornmaths mathmotorbike motorcyclemotorway freeway, expresswaymotorwayhighway, freeway, expressway,interstatenappy diaperpavement sidewalkpetrol gas, gasoline
  13. 13. Vocabulary09/05/1313BrE AmEpocket money allowancepost mailpostbox mailboxpostcode zip codepostmanmailman, mail carrier, lettercarrierpub barpublic toilet rest room, public bathroomrailway railroadreturn (ticket) round-trip
  14. 14. Vocabulary09/05/1314BrE AmEreverse charge collect callring roadbeltway, freeway/highwaylooproad surface pavement, blacktoproundabout traffic circle, roundaboutrubber erasersaloon (car) sedanshop shop, storesingle (ticket) one-waysolicitor lawyer, attorney
  15. 15. Vocabulary09/05/1315BrE AmEsweets candytaxi taxi, taxi cabtea towel dish toweltelly (informal), TV television, TVtimetable scheduletin cantoll motorway toll road, turnpiketorch flashlighttrousers pants, trouserstube (train) subway
  16. 16. Vocabulary09/05/1316BrE AmEunderground (train) subwayvest undershirtwaistcoat vestwallet wallet, billfoldwellington boots rubber boots, rain bootswhisky whiskey, scotchwindscreen windshieldzip zipper
  17. 17. PrepositionsThere are also a few differences in preposition use including the following:09/05/1317BrE AmEat the weekend on the weekendin a team on a teamplease write to me soon please write me soon
  18. 18. Past Simple/Past ParticiplesThe following verbs have two acceptable forms of the past simple/pastparticiple in both AmE and BrE. However, the irregular form is generallymore common in BrE and the regular form is more common to AmE. Burn: burnt or burned Dream: dreamt or dreamed Lean: leant or leaned Learn: learnt or learned Smell: smelt or smelled Spell: spelt or spelled Spill: spilt or spilled Spoil: spoilt or spoiled09/05/1318
  19. 19. Spelling09/05/1319Words ending in -our(British)Words ending in -or(American)colour colorhumour humorflavour flavorWords ending in -ise(British)Words ending in -ize(American)recognise Recognizepatronise patronizerealise realize
  20. 20. Spelling09/05/1320British Americancentre centerlitre litertheatre theatertravelling travelingmarvellous marvelouscatalogue catalogcheque checkPlough plowpyjamas pajamaskerb curbtyre (for a wheel) tire
  21. 21. The Pronoun  one / NumbersAmericans do not often use one to mean "people in general",nor do they use ones or oneself. BrE: One should look after ones health. AmE: You should look after your health.People should look after their health.The British use and between hundred and the rest of the number.The Americans leave it out. BrE: Two hundred and twenty. AmE: Two hundred twenty.09/05/1321
  22. 22. DatesThere are differences in the way dates are said and written.09/05/1322British American4th July - the fourth of July July 4 - July four - July fourth6/12/99 means the 6th ofDecember 19996/12/99 means the 12th of June1999
  23. 23. ReferencesWebsites visited: accessed 24/06/12Adapted by Prof. Graciela ObertOther interesting sites: