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МАН презентация American and Britain


Алматы облысы «Ескелді ауданы әкімдігінің Жетісу орта мектебі» МКМ

Theme: British and American English

Students: Bahatai Aidana, 11th grade

Teacher: Tulebayeva Ardak

Section: Linguistics

Ауыл 2015


The theme of the project: “British and American English ”

The aim of the project:

  • to show the difference of British and American English

  • to develop students’ cognitive interests,

  • to teach them to know the difference between British and American English.

The object of the project: British and American English

The tasks of the project:

  1. To study different literature describing British and American English ;

  2. To define the types of English language and etc;

  3. To make up conclusion.

The practical meaning of the project - the constant work helps students to get more information about British and American English.

Conclusion: There are a lot situations when we go to other country, we sometimes don`t understand their English. Because there are a lot of different words in British and American English. Knowledge of distinction between two languages helps us to enrich our vocabulary and makes us use them in the right situations. At the end we will be able to use American or Brititsh English and know their diffrences and understand American or British people in their native language.


  1. Introduction

    1. British English, American English

  1. Main part

Comparing Brititsh and American English

  1. Practical part

Making a social questionnaire

  1. Conclusion

  2. Literature

  3. Additional material

British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used in the United Kingdom.

American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used in the United States.

Written forms of British and American English as found in newspapers and textbooks vary little in their essential features, with only occasional noticeable differences in comparable media[1] (comparing American newspapers with British newspapers, for example). This kind of formal English, particularly written English, is often called "standard English".[2][3]

The spoken forms of British English vary considerably, reflecting a long history of dialect development amid isolated populations. In the United Kingdom, dialects, word use and accents vary not only between EnglandNorthern IrelandScotlandand Wales, but also within them. Received Pronunciation (RP) refers to a way of pronouncing standard English that is actually used by about two percent of the UK population.[4] It remains the accent upon which dictionary pronunciation guides are based, and for teaching English as a foreign language. It is referred to colloquially as "the Queen's English", "Oxford English" and "BBC English", although by no means do all graduates of the university speak with such an accent and the BBC no longer requires it or uses it exclusively.[5] The present monarch uses ahyperlect of the Queen's English.

An unofficial standard for spoken American English has also developed, as a result of mass media and geographic and social mobility, and broadly describes the English typically heard from network newscasters, commonly referred to as non-regional diction, although local newscasters tend toward more parochial forms of speech.[6] Despite this unofficial standard, regional variations of American English have not only persisted but have actually intensified, according to linguist William Labov.[citation needed]

Regional dialects in the United States typically reflect some elements of the language of the main immigrant groups in any particular region of the country, especially in terms of pronunciation and vernacular vocabulary. Scholars have mapped at least four major regional variations of spoken American English: Northern, SouthernMidland, and Western.[7] After theAmerican Civil War, the settlement of the western territories by migrants from the east led to dialect mixing and levelling, so that regional dialects are most strongly differentiated in the eastern parts of the country that were settled earlier. Localized dialects also exist with quite distinct variations, such as in Southern Appalachia, Boston and the New York City area.

British and American English are the reference norms for English as spoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world, excluding countries where English is spoken natively such as AustraliaCanadaIreland and New Zealand. In many former British Empire countries where English is not spoken natively, British English forms are closely followed, alongside numerous AmE usages which have become widespread throughout the Anglosphere.[8][9] Conversely, in many countries historically influenced by the United States where English is not spoken natively, American English forms are closely followed. Many of these countries, while retaining strong BrE or AmE influences, have developed their own unique dialects, which include Indian English and Philippine English.

Chief among other native English dialects are Canadian English and Australian English, which rank third and fourth in the number of native speakers. For the most part, Canadian English, while featuring numerous British forms alongside indigenous Canadianisms, shares vocabulary, phonology and syntax with American English, leading many to recognize North American English as an organic grouping of dialects.[10] Australian English likewise shares many American and British English usages alongside plentiful features unique to Australia, and retains a significantly higher degree of distinctiveness from both the larger varieties than does Canadian English. South African EnglishNew Zealand English and the Hiberno-English of Ireland are also distinctive and rank fifth, sixth and seventh in the number of native speakers.

The English language was first introduced to the Americas by British colonization, beginning in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. Similarly, the language spread to numerous other parts of the world as a result of British trade and colonization elsewhere and the spread of the former British Empire, which, by 1921, held sway over a population of 470–570 million people, approximately a quarter of the world's population at that time.

Over the past 400 years the form of the language used in the Americas—especially in the United States—and that used in the United Kingdom have diverged in a few minor ways, leading to the versions now occasionally referred to as American English and British English. Differences between the two include pronunciationgrammarvocabulary (lexis)spelling,punctuationidioms, and formatting of dates and numbers, although the differences in written and most spoken grammar structure tend to be much less than those of other aspects of the language in terms of mutual intelligibility. A small number of words have completely different meanings in the two versions or are even unknown or not used in one of the versions. One particular contribution towards formalizing these differences came from Noah Webster, who wrote the first American dictionary (published 1828) with the intention of showing that people in the United States spoke a different dialect from Britain, much like a regional accent.[11]

This divergence between American English and British English has provided opportunities for humorous comment, e.g.,George Bernard Shaw has a character say that the United States and United Kingdom are "two countries divided by a common language";[12] and Oscar Wilde that "We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, the language" (The Canterville Ghost, 1888). Henry Sweet incorrectly predicted in 1877 that within a century American English, Australian English and British English would be mutually unintelligible. It may be the case that increased worldwide communication through radio, television, the Internet and globalization has reduced the tendency towards regional variation. This can result either in some variations becoming extinct (for instance, the wireless, being progressively superseded by the radio) or in the acceptance of wide variations as "perfectly good English" everywhere.

Although spoken American and British English are generally mutually intelligible, there are occasional differences which might cause embarrassment—for example, in American English a rubber is usually interpreted as a condom rather than aneraser;[13] and a British fanny refers to the female pubic area, while the American fanny refers to an ass (US) or an arse(UK). Likewise the Australian root means to have sexual intercourse whilst in both British and American English it means to support someone for success.



Formal and notional agreement[edit]

In British English (BrE), collective nouns can take either singular (formal agreement) or plural (notional agreement) verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members respectively; compare a committee was appointed with the committee were unable to agree.[14][15] The term the Government always takes a plural verb in British civil service convention, perhaps to emphasise the principle of cabinet collective responsibility.[16] Compare also the following lines of Elvis Costello's song "Oliver's Army": Oliver's Army is here to stay / Oliver's Army are on their way. Some of these nouns, for example staff,[17] actually combine with plural verbs most of the time.

In American English (AmE), collective nouns are almost always singular in construction: the committee was unable to agree. However, when a speaker wishes to emphasize that the individuals are acting separately, a plural pronoun may be employed with a singular or plural verb: the team takes their seats, rather than the team takes its seats. Such a sentence would most likely be recast as the team members take their seats.[18] Despite exceptions such as usage in The New York Times, the names of sports teams are usually treated as plurals even if the form of the name is singular.[19]

The difference occurs for all nouns of multitude, both general terms such as team and company and proper nouns (for example where a place name is used to refer to a sports team). For instance,

BrE: SuperHeavy is a band that shouldn't work or First Aid Kit are a band full of contradictions;[20][21] AmE: The Clash is a well-known band.

BrE: FC Red Bull Salzburg is an Austrian association football club; AmE: The New York Red Bulls are an American soccer team.

Proper nouns that are plural in form take a plural verb in both AmE and BrE; for example, The Beatles are a well-known bandThe Seahawks are the champions, with one major exception: in American English, the United States is almost universally used with a singular verb. Although the construction the United States are was more common early in the history of the country, as the singular federal government exercised more authority and a singular national identity developed (especially following the American Civil War) it became standard to treat the United States as a singular noun.[22]


Verb morphology[edit]

See also: English irregular verbs

The past tense and past participle of the verbs learnspoilspellburndreamsmellspillleap, and others, can be either irregular (learntspoilt, etc.) or regular (learnedspoiled, etc.). In BrE, both irregular and regular forms are current, but for some words (such as smelt and leapt) there is a strong tendency towards the irregular forms, especially by users of Received Pronunciation. For other words (such as dreamedleaned, and learned[23]) the regular forms are somewhat more common. In most accents of AmE, the irregular forms are never or rarely used (except for burntleaptand dreamt).[24]
The tendings may be encountered frequently in older American texts, especially poetry. Usage may vary when the past participles are used as adjectives, as in burnt toast. (The two-syllable form learnèd /ˈlɜrnɪd/, usually written without the accent, is used as an adjective to mean "educated" or to refer to academic institutions in both BrE and AmE.) Finally, the past tense and past participle of dwell and kneel are more commonly dwelt and knelt in both standards, with dwelled and kneeled as common variants in the US but not in the UK.

The past tense of spit "expectorate" is spat in BrE, spit or spat in AmE.[27] AmE typically has spat in figurative contexts, for example, "He spat out the name with a sneer", or in the context of expectoration of an object that is not saliva, for example, "He spat out the foul-tasting fish" but spit for "expectorated" when it refers only to the expulsion of phlegm or saliva.

The past participle of saw is normally sawn in BrE and sawed in AmE (as in sawn-off/sawed-off shotgun).[28]

The past participle gotten is never used in modern BrE (apart from in dialects that retain the older form), which generally uses got, except in old expressions such as ill-gotten gains. According to the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, "The form gotten is not used in British English but is very common in North American English." The American dictionary Merriam-Webster, however, lists "gotten" as a standard past participle of "get." In AmE gotten emphasizes the action of acquiring and got tends to indicate simple possession (for example, Have you gotten it? versus Have you got it?).Gotten is also typically used in AmE as the past participle for phrasal verbs using get, such as get offget onget into,get up, and get aroundIf you hadn't gotten up so late, you might not have gotten into this mess. AmE, but not BrE, hasforgot as a less common alternative to forgotten for the past participle of forget.

In BrE, the past participle proved is strongly preferred to proven; in AmE, proven is now about as common as proved.[29](Both dialects use proven as an adjective, and in formulas such as not proven).[30]

AmE further allows other irregular verbs, such as dive (dove)[31][32] or sneak (snuck),[33][34] and often mixes the preteriteand past participle forms (springsprang, US also springsprung),[35][36] sometimes forcing verbs such as shrink(shrankshrunk) to have a further form, thus shrunkshrunken.[37][38] These uses are often considered nonstandard; the AP Stylebook in AmE treats some irregular verbs as colloquialisms, insisting on the regular forms for the past tense of diveplead and sneakDove and snuck are usually considered nonstandard in Britain, although dove exists in some British dialects and snuck is occasionally found in British speech.

By extension of the irregular verb pattern, verbs with irregular preterits in some variants of colloquial AmE also have a separate past participle, for example, "to buy": past tense bought spawns boughten. Such formations are highly irregular from speaker to speaker, or even within idiolects. This phenomenon is found chiefly in the northern US and other areas where immigrants of German descent are predominant and may have developed as a result of German influence.[39] Even in areas where the feature predominates, however, it has not gained widespread acceptance as standard usage.

Use of tenses[edit]

Traditionally, BrE uses the present perfect to talk about an event in the recent past and with the words alreadyjust andyet. In American usage these meanings can be expressed with the present perfect (to express a fact[citation needed]) or the simple past (to imply an expectation[citation needed]). This American style has become widespread only in the past 20 to 30 years; the British style is still in common use as well. Recently the American use of just with simple past has made inroads into BrE, most visibly in advertising slogans and headlines such as "Cable broadband just got faster".

BrE: "I have just arrived home" or "I've just arrived home." AmE: "I just arrived home."

BrE: "I have already eaten" or "I've already eaten." AmE: "I already ate."

Similarly AmE occasionally replaces the past perfect with the simple past.[citation needed]

In BrE, have got or have can be used for possession and have got to and have to can be used for the modal of necessity. The forms that include got are usually used in informal contexts and the forms without got in contexts that are more formal. In American speech the form without got is used more than in the UK, although the form with got is often used for emphasis. Colloquial AmE informally uses got as a verb for these meanings—for example, I got two carsI got to go.

In conditional sentences, US spoken usage often substitutes would and would have (usually shortened to [I]'d andwould've) for the simple past and for the pluperfect (If you'd leave now, you'd be on time. / If I would have [would've] cooked the pie we could have [could've] had it for lunch). This tends to be avoided in writing because it is often still considered non-standard although such use of would is widespread in spoken US English in all sectors of society. Some reliable sources now label this usage as acceptable US English and no longer label it as colloquial.[40][41] (There are situations where would is used in British English too in seemingly counterfactual conditions, but these can usually be interpreted as a modal use of wouldIf you would listen to me once in a while, you might learn something.)[42][43] In cases in which the action in the if clause takes place after that in the main clause, use of would in counterfactual conditions is, however, considered standard and correct usage in even formal UK and US usage: If it would make Bill happy, I'd [I would] give him the money.[42]

The subjunctive mood (morphologically identical with the bare infinitive) is regularly used in AmE in mandative clauses(as in They suggested that he apply for the job). In BrE, this usage declined in the 20th century in favor of constructions such as They suggested that he should apply for the job (or even, more ambiguously, They suggested that he applied for the job). However, the mandative subjunctive has always been used in BrE.[44]

Except in the negative, the initial pronoun may be omitted in informal speech.


The following verbs show differences in transitivity between BrE and AmE:

agree: Transitive or intransitive in BrE, usually intransitive in AmE (agree a contract/agree to or on a contract). However, in formal AmE and BrE legal writing one often sees constructions such as as may be agreed between the parties (rather than as may be agreed upon between the parties).

appeal (as a decision): Usually intransitive in BrE (used with against) and transitive in AmE (appeal against the decision to the Court/appeal the decision to the Court).[50]

catch up ("to reach and overtake"): Transitive or intransitive in BrE, strictly intransitive in AmE (to catch somebody up/to catch up with somebody). A transitive form exists in AmE, with a different meaning: to catch somebody up means that the subject will help the object catch up, rather the opposite of the BrE transitive meaning.

cater ("to provide food and service"): Intransitive in BrE, transitive or intransitive in AmE (to cater for a banquet/to cater a banquet).

cater to ("to allow for a possibility"): to cater to the speaker not turning up. A British speaker would probably recast the sentence.

claim: Sometimes intransitive in BrE (used with for), strictly transitive in AmE.

meet: AmE uses intransitively meet followed by with to mean "to have a meeting with", as for business purposes (Yesterday we met with the CEO), and reserves transitive meet for the meanings "to be introduced to" (I want you to meet the CEO; she is such a fine lady), "to come together with (someone, somewhere)" (Meet the CEO at the train station), and "to have a casual encounter with". BrE uses transitive meet also to mean "to have a meeting with"; the construction meet with, which actually dates back to Middle English, appears to be coming back into use in Britain, despite some commentators who preferred to avoid confusion with meet with meaning "receive, undergo" (the proposal was met with disapproval). The construction meet up with (as in to meet up with someone), which originated in the US,[51] has long been standard in both dialects.

provide: Strictly monotransitive in BrE, monotransitive or ditransitive in AmE (provide somebody with something/provide somebody something).

protest: In sense "oppose", intransitive in BrE, transitive in AmE (The workers protested against the decision/The workers protested the decision). The intransitive protest against in AmE means "to hold or participate in a demonstration against". The older sense "proclaim" is always transitive (protest one's innocence).

write: In BrE, the indirect object of this verb usually requires the preposition to, for example, I'll write to my MP or I'll writeto her (although it is not required in some situations, for example when an indirect object pronoun comes before a direct object noun, for example, I'll write her a letter). In AmE, write can be used monotransitively (I'll write my congressman;I'll write him).


The verbs prevent and stop can be found in two different constructions: "prevent/stop someone from doing something" and "prevent/stop someone doing something". The latter is well established in BrE, but not in AmE.

Some verbs can take either a to+infinitive construction or a gerund construction (for example, to start to do something/to start doing something). For example, the gerund is more common:

In AmE than BrE, with start,[52] begin,[53] omit,[54] enjoy;[55]

In BrE than AmE, with love,[56] like,[57] intend.[58]

Presence or absence of syntactic elements[edit]

Where a statement of intention involves two separate activities, it is acceptable for speakers of AmE to use to go plus bare infinitive. Speakers of BrE would instead use to go and plus bare infinitive. Thus, where a speaker of AmE may sayI'll go take a bath, BrE speakers would say I'll go and have a bath. (Both can also use the form to go to instead to suggest that the action may fail, as in He went to take/have a bath, but the tub was full of children.) Similarly, to comeplus bare infinitive is acceptable to speakers of AmE, where speakers of BrE would instead use to come and plus bare infinitive. Thus, where a speaker of AmE may say come see what I bought, BrE speakers would say come and see what I've bought (notice the present perfect: a common British preference).[59]

Use of prepositions before days denoted by a single word. Where British people would say She resigned on Thursday, Americans often say She resigned Thursday, but both forms are common in American usage. Occasionally the preposition is also absent when referring to months: I'll be here December (although this usage is generally limited to colloquial speech). The prepositions which are omitted in the original American text are supplied before it is re-published in most British publications. In teaching English lessons to children while they grow older the prepositions are almost always required in oral and written answers.

In the UK, from is used with single dates and times more often than in the United States. Where British speakers and writers may say the new museum will be open from Tuesday, Americans most likely say the new museum will be open starting or on Tuesday. (This difference does not apply to phrases of the pattern from A to B, which are used in both BrE and AmE.) A variation or alternative of this is the mostly American the play opens Tuesday and the mostly Britishthe play opens on Tuesday.

American legislators and lawyers always use the preposition of between the name of a legislative act and the year it was passed; their British counterparts do not. Compare Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The year preceding the short title is also common (e.g. 19xx ) in both systems when citing laws, but not widespread.

Definite article[edit]

A few 'institutional' nouns take no definite article when a certain role is implied: for example, at sea (as a sailor), in prison (as a convict), and at/in college (for students). Among this group, BrE has in hospital (as a patient) and at university (as a student), where AmE requires in the hospital and at the university (though AmE does allow in collegeand in school). When the implied roles of patient or student do not apply, the definite article is used in both dialects. However, both variations drop the definite article with rush hourat rush hour (BrE)/in rush hour (AmE).

BrE distinguishes in future ("from now on") from in the future ("at some future time"); AmE uses in the future for both senses.

AmE omits, and BrE requires, the definite article in a few expressions[clarification needed] such as tell (the) timeplay (the) piano.

In BrE, numbered highways usually take the definite article (for example, "the M25", "the A14"); in America, they usually do not ("I-495", "Route 66"). Upstate New York, southern California English, and Arizona are exceptions, where "the 33", "the 5", or "the 10" are the standard. A similar pattern is followed for named roads (for example, Strand in London is almost always referred to as the Strand), but in America, there are local variations, and older American highways tend to follow the British pattern ("the Boston Post Road").

AmE distinguishes in back of [behind] from in the back of; the former is unknown in the UK and liable to misinterpretation as the latter. Both, however, distinguish in front of from in the front of.

Dates often include a definite article in UK spoken English, such as "the eleventh of July", or "July the eleventh"; American speakers most commonly say "July eleventh" and the form "July eleven" is now occasionally used by American speakers. However, the UK variants are also found in the US, even in formal contexts, perhaps influenced by other English variants.

Prepositions and adverbs[edit]

In the United States, the word through can mean "up to and including" as in Monday through Friday. In the UK (and for many Americans) Monday to Friday, or Monday to Friday inclusive is used instead; Monday through to Friday is also sometimes used. (In some parts of Northern England, mainly parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the term while can be used in the same way, as in Monday while Friday, whereas in Ireland[citation needed] and other parts of northern EnglandMonday till Friday would be more natural.)

Differences between British and American English[edit]

Main article: Comparison of American and British English

American English and British English (BrE) often differ at the levels of phonology, phonetics, vocabulary, and, to a much lesser extent, grammar and orthography. The first large American dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, was written by Noah Webster in 1828, codifying several of these spellings.

Differences in grammar are relatively minor, and normally do not affect mutual intelligibility; these include: different use of some verbal auxiliaries; formal (rather than notional) agreement with collective nouns; different preferences for the past forms of a few verbs (for example, AmE/BrE: learned/learntburned/burntsnuck/sneakeddove/dived) although the purportedly "British" forms can occasionally be seen in American English writing as well; different prepositions and adverbs in certain contexts (for example, AmE in school, BrE at school); and whether or not a definite article is used, in very few cases (AmE to the hospital, BrE to hospital; contrast, however, AmE actress Elizabeth Taylor, BrE the actress Elizabeth Taylor). Often, these differences are a matter of relative preferences rather than absolute rules; and most are not stable, since the two varieties are constantly influencing each other,[48] and American English is not a standardized set of dialects.

Differences in orthography are also minor. The main differences are that American English usually uses spellings such asflavor for British flavourfiber for fibredefense for defenceanalyze for analysecatalog for catalogue and traveling fortravelling. Noah Webster popularized such spellings in America, but he did not invent most of them. Rather, "he chose already existing options [...] on such grounds as simplicity, analogy or etymology".[49] Other differences are due to thefrancophile tastes of 19th century Victorian England (for example they preferred programme for programmanoeuvre formaneuvercheque for check, etc.).[50] AmE almost always uses -ize in words like realize. BrE prefers -ise, but also uses -ize(see Oxford spelling).

There are a few differences in punctuation rules. British English is more tolerant of run-on sentences, called "comma splices" in American English, and American English requires that periods and commas be placed inside closing quotation marks even in cases in which British rules would place them outside. American English also favors the double quotation mark over single.[51]

AmE sometimes favors words that are morphologically more complex, whereas BrE uses clipped forms, such as AmEtransportation and BrE transport or where the British form is a back-formation, such as AmE burglarize and BrE burgle(from burglar). However, while individuals usually use one or the other, both forms will be widely understood and mostly used alongside each other within the two systems.

British athletes play in a team; American athletes play on a team. (Both may play for a particular team.)

In AmE, the use of the function word out as a preposition in out the door and out the window is standard to mean "out through". For example, in AmE, one jumps "out of a boat" by jumping "out the porthole," and it would be incorrect in standard AmE to "jump out the boat" or climb "out of the porthole" (although "out of the porthole" is used in certain Northeastern American dialects.) In BrE, out of is preferred in writing for both meanings, but out is common in some speech dialects.[60] Several other uses of out of are peculiarly British (out of all recognitionout of the team; cf. above);[61]

In the New York City area, "on line" (two words) refers to the state of waiting in a line or queue; for example, standing on a sidewalk waiting for a table at a restaurant. Elsewhere in AmE, one waits "in line". In BrE and AmE, going "online" (one word) refers to using the Internet. Usage of "queue" among Americans has increased in the last twenty years.[62] In BrE,queue is the universal term and no variants of line are used in relation to waiting in turn. In BrE, people talk of standing in a queue, queuing up, joining the queue, sitting in a queue (for example, when driving) and simply queuing; Britons may be confused by the expression "in line", thinking that a row rather than a column of people is meant.

In AmE, the opposite of clockwise is counterclockwise. This usage is not seen in BrE, which invariably usesanticlockwise.

To refer to an animal's sexually receptive time, the phrase on heat is heard in the UK (Regional Variation) but in heat in the US.

The intransitive verb affiliate can take either with or to in BrE, but only with, or, in the case that "affiliate" is used as a noun, "of" (as in the phrase "Microsoft is an affiliate of my company") in AmE.

The verb enrol(l) usually takes on in BrE and in in AmE (as in "to enrol(l) on/in a course") and the on/in difference is used when enrolled is dropped (as in "I am (enrolled) on the course that studies....").

In AmE, one always speaks of the street on which an address is located, whereas in BrE in can also be used in some contexts. In suggests an address on a city street, so a service station (or a tourist attraction or indeed a village) would always be on a major road, but a department store might be in Oxford Street. Moreover if a particular place on the street is specified then the preposition used is whichever is idiomatic to the place, thus "at the end of Churchill Road."

BrE favours the preposition at with weekend ("at (the) weekend(s)"); the constructions onover and during (the) weekend(s) are found in both varieties but are all more common in AmE than BrE.[63] See also Word derivation and compounds.

Adding at to the end of a question requesting a location is common in the southern states of the U.S, for example, "where are you at?", but is not considered correct in standard American English and would be considered superfluous or humorous in standard BrE (though not in some dialects). However, some south-western British dialects use to in the same context; for example "where are you to?", to mean "where are you on your journey?".

After talk or chat American can also use the preposition with but British always[citation needed] uses to (that is, I'll talk with Dave / I'll talk to Dave). The former form is sometimes seen as more politically correct in British organizations, inducing the ideal of discussing (with) as opposed to lecturing (to). This is unless talk is being used as a noun; for example: "I'll have a talk with him" in which case this is acceptable in both BrE and AmE.

In both dialects, from is the preposition prescribed for use after the word differentAmerican English is different from British English in several respects. However, different than is also commonly heard in the US, and is often considered standard when followed by a clause[citation needed] (American English is different than it used to be), whereas different tois a common alternative in BrE, despite its informality.[64][65]

It is common in BrE to say opposite to as an alternative to opposite of when used as a noun, the only form normally found in AmE. The use of opposite as a preposition (opposite the post office) has long been established in both dialects but appears to be more common in British usage.

The noun opportunity can be followed by a verb in two different ways: opportunity plus to-infinitive ("the opportunity to do something") or opportunity plus of plus gerund ("the opportunity of doing something"). The first construction is the most common in both dialects but the second has almost disappeared in AmE and is often regarded as a Briticism.

Both British and Americans may say (for example) that a river is named after a state, but "named for a state" would rightly be regarded as an Americanism.[citation needed]

BrE sometimes uses to with near (we live near to the university); AmE avoids the preposition in most usages dealing with literal, physical proximity (we live near the university), although the to reappears in AmE (as in BrE) when neartakes the comparative or superlative form, as in she lives nearer/nearest to the deranged axe murderer's house.

In BrE, one rings someone on his or her telephone number; in AmE, one calls someone at his or her telephone number.

When referring to the constituency of an American legislator, the preposition "from" is usually used: "Senator from New York," whereas British MPs are "for" their constituency: "MP for East Cleveland."In AmE, the phrases aside from and apart from are used about equally; in BrE, apart from is far more common.[66]

In AmE, the compound "off of" may be used where BrE almost always uses "off", and "off of" is considered slang. Compare AmE "He jumped off of the box" and BrE "He jumped off the box". Even in AmE the "of" is best omitted for simplicity.

In AmE absent is sometimes used as a preposition to introduce a prepositional phrase[67] (Absent any objections, the proposal was approved.). The traditional equivalent in BrE would be In the absence of any objections, the proposal was approved; this form is also common in AmE. In legal usage in BrE the shorter form has become more common, specially among lawyers with a Scots background.

Phrasal verbs[edit]

Influenced by the German "ausfüllen", in the US forms are usually but not invariably filled out but in Britain they are usually filled in. However, in reference to individual parts of a form Americans may also use in (fill in the blanks). In AmE the direction fill it all in (referring to the form as a collection of blanks, perhaps) is as common as fill it all out.

Britons facing extortionate prices may have no option but to fork out, whereas Americans are more likely to fork (it) overor sometimes up; however, the out usage is found in both dialects.

In both countries, thugs will beat up their victim; AmE also allows beat on (as both would for an inanimate object, such as a drum) or beat up on, which are often considered slang.

When an outdoor event is postponed or interrupted by rain, it is rained off in the UK and rained out in the US.

Miscellaneous grammatical differences[edit]

In names of American rivers the word river usually comes after the name (for example, Colorado River) whereas for British rivers it comes before (as in the River Thames). Exceptions in BrE include the Fleet River, which is rarely called the River Fleet by Londoners outside official documentation, and also where the river name is an adjective (the Yellow River). Exceptions in the US are the River Rouge and the River Raisin, both in Michigan and named by the French. The American convention is used in Australia, while convention is mixed in some Commonwealth nations, where both arrangements are often seen.

In BrE speech, some descriptions of offices do not become titles (Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister and Mr Jones, the team's coach), while they do in AmE (Prime Minister Thatcher and Coach Jones). However the AmE pattern is sometimes found in BrE, usually in journalism.

In BrE the word sat is often colloquially used to cover satsitting, and seatedI've been sat here waiting for half an hour. The bride's family will be sat on the right-hand side of the church. This construction is not often heard outside the UK. In the 1960s, its use would mark a speaker as coming from the north of England but by the turn of the 21st century this form had spread to the south. Its use often conveys lighthearted informality, when many speakers intentionally use a dialect or colloquial construction they would probably not use in formal written English. This colloquial usage is widely understood by British speakers. Similarly stood can be used instead of standing. To an American and still to many Britons these usages are passive and may imply that the subject had been involuntarily forced to sit or stand or directed to hold that location.

In a few areas of the Upper Midwest of the United States, the word with is also used as an adverb: I'll come with instead of I'll come along, although it is rarely used in writing. Come with is used as an abbreviation of come with me, as in I'm going to the office – come with by speakers in Minnesota and parts of the adjoining states. These parts of the United States have high concentrations of both Scandinavian and German American populations (German mitkommen). It is similar to South African English, where the expression comes from Dutch, and is used by Afrikaans speakers when speaking English. These contractions are rarely used by native BrE speakers.

The word also is used at the end of a sentence in AmE (just as as well and too are in both dialects) but not so commonly in BrE, although it is encountered in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the sentence-ending as well is more formal in AmE than in BrE.

Before some words beginning with a pronounced (not silent) h in an unstressed first syllable, such as hallucination,hilarioushistoric(al)horrendous and horrific, some (especially older) British writers prefer to use an over a (an historical event, etc.).[68] An is also preferred before hotel by some writers of BrE (probably reflecting the relatively recent adoption of the word from French, where the h is not pronounced, though it also fits the stress rule described—it is the second syllable that is stressed).[69] The use of "an" before words beginning with an unstressed "h" is more common generally in BrE than American.[69] Such usage would now be seen as affected or incorrect in AmE.[70]American writers normally use a in all these cases, although there are occasional uses of an historic(al) in AmE.[71]According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English, such use is increasingly rare in BrE too.[68] Unlike BrE, AmE typically uses an before herb, since the h in this word is silent for most Americans.

Word derivation and compounds[edit]

Directional suffix -ward(s): British forwardstowardsrightwards, etc.; American forwardtowardrightward. In both dialects distribution varies somewhat: afterwardstowards, and backwards are not unusual in America; while in Britainforward is common, and standard in phrasal verbs such as look forward to. The forms with -s may be used as adverbs (or preposition towards) but rarely as adjectives: in Britain as in America, one says "an upward motion". The Oxford English Dictionary in 1897 suggested a semantic distinction for adverbs, with -wards having a more definite directional sense than -ward; subsequent authorities such as Fowler have disputed this contention.

AmE freely adds the suffix -s to daynighteveningweekendMonday, etc. to form adverbs denoting repeated or customary action: I used to stay out eveningsthe library is closed Saturdays. This usage has its roots in Old English but many of these constructions are now regarded as American (for example, the OED labels nights "now chiefly N. Amer. colloq." in constructions such as to sleep nights, but to work nights is standard in BrE).

In BrE, the agentive -er suffix is commonly attached to football (also cricket; often netball; occasionally basketball andvolleyball). AmE usually uses football player. Where the sport's name is usable as a verb, the suffixation is standard in both dialects: for example, golferbowler (in Ten-pin bowling and in Lawn Bowls), and shooter. AmE appears sometimes to use the BrE form in baller as slang for a basketball player, as in the video game NBA Ballers. However, this is derived from slang use of to ball as a verb meaning to play basketball.

English writers everywhere occasionally (and from time immemorial) make new compound words from common phrases; for example, health care is now being replaced by healthcare on both sides of the Atlantic. However, AmE has made certain words in this fashion that are still treated as phrases in BrE.

In compound nouns of the form , sometimes AmE favours the bare infinitive where BrE favours thegerund. Examples include (AmE first): jump rope/skipping roperacecar/racing carrowboat/rowing boatsailboat/sailing boatfile cabinet/filing cabinetdial tone/dialling tonedrainboard/draining board.

Generally AmE has a tendency to drop inflectional suffixes, thus favouring clipped forms: compare cookbook v. cookery bookSmith, age 40 v. Smith, aged 40skim milk v. skimmed milkdollhouse v. dolls' housebarbershop v. barber's shop.[72] This has recently been extended to appear on professionally printed commercial signage and some boxes themselves (not mere greengrocers' chalkboards): can vegetables and mash potatoes appear in the US.

Singular attributives in one country may be plural in the other, and vice versa. For example the UK has a drugs problem, while the United States has a drug problem (although the singular usage is also commonly heard in the UK); Americans read the sports section of a newspaper; the British are more likely to read the sport section. However, BrE maths is singular, just as AmE math is: both are abbreviations of mathematics.

Some British English words come from French roots, while American English finds its words from other places. For example, in the UK, one would say aubergine while in the USA, they would say eggplant. Another similar confusing vegetable is zucchini in the USA and is courgette in the UK.


See also: Lists of words having different meanings in American and British English

Most of the differences in lexis or vocabulary between British and American English are in connection with concepts originating from the 19th century to the mid 20th century, when new words were coined independently.[citation needed] Almost the entire vocabularies of the car/automobile and railway/railroad industries (see Rail terminology) are different between the UK and US, for example. Other sources of difference are slang or vulgar terms (where frequent new coinage occurs) and idiomatic phrases, including phrasal verbs. The differences most likely to create confusion are those where the same word or phrase is used for two different concepts. Regional variations, even within the US or the UK, can create the same problems. From the mid-20th century, movies and television have spread new words in both countries, usually from the US to the UK.

It is not a straightforward matter to classify differences of vocabulary. David Crystal identifies some of the problems of classification on the facing page to his list of American English/British English lexical variation and states "this should be enough to suggest caution when working through an apparently simple list of equivalents".[73]

Overview of lexical differences[edit]

Note: A lexicon is not made up of different words but different "units of meaning" (lexical units or lexical items e.g., "fly ball" in baseball), including idioms and figures of speech.[citation needed] This makes it easier to compare the dialects.

Though the influence of cross-culture media has done much to familiarize BrE and AmE speakers with each other's regional words and terms, many words are still recognized as part of a single form of English. Though the use of a British word would be acceptable in AmE (and vice versa), most listeners would recognize the word as coming from the other form of English and treat it much the same as a word borrowed from any other language.

Words and phrases that have their origins in BrE[edit]

Most speakers of AmE are aware of some BrE terms, although they may not generally use them or may be confused as to whether someone intends the American or British meaning (such as for biscuit). It is generally very easy to guess what some words, such as "driving licence", mean. However, use of many other British words such as naff (slang but commonly used to mean "not very good") are unheard of in American English.

Words and phrases that have their origins in AmE[edit]

Speakers of BrE are likely to understand most common AmE terms, examples such as "sidewalk" (pavement), "gas (gasoline/petrol)", "counterclockwise" (anticlockwise) or "elevator (lift)", without any problem, thanks in part to considerable exposure to American popular culture and literature. Certain terms that are heard less frequently, especially those likely to be absent or rare in American popular culture, e.g., "copacetic (satisfactory)", are unlikely to be understood by most BrE speakers.


Words and phrases with different meanings

Words such as bill and biscuit are used regularly in both AmE and BrE but mean different things in each form. In AmE a bill is usually paper money (as in "dollar bill") though it can mean the same as in BrE, an invoice (as in "the repair bill was £250"). In AmE a biscuit is what in BrE is called a scone. In BrE a biscuit is what AmE calls a cookie. As chronicled byWinston Churchill, the opposite meanings of the verb to table created a misunderstanding during a meeting of the Allied forces; in BrE to table an item on an agenda means to open it up for discussion whereas in AmE, it means to remove it from discussion, or at times, to suspend or delay discussion.

Other ambiguity (complex cases)

Words with completely different meanings are relatively few; most of the time there are either (1) words with one or more shared meanings and one or more meanings unique to one variety (for example, bathroom and toilet) or (2) words the meanings of which are actually common to both BrE and AmE but that show differences in frequency, connotation or denotation (for example, smartclevermad).

Some differences in usage and/or meaning can cause confusion or embarrassment. For example the word fanny is a slang word for vulva in BrE but means buttocks in AmE—the AmE phrase fanny pack is bum bag in BrE. In AmE the word fag(short for faggot) is a highly offensive term for a homosexual male but in BrE it is a normal and well-used term for a cigarette, for hard work, or for a chore, while a faggot itself is a sort of meatball. In AmE the word pissed means being annoyed whereas in BrE it is a coarse word for being drunk (in both varieties, pissed off means irritated).

Similarly, in AmE the word pants is the common word for the BrE trousers and knickers refers to a variety of half-length trousers, while the majority of BrE speakers would understand pants to mean underpants and knickers to mean female underpants.


In the UK the word whilst is historically acceptable as a conjunction (as an alternative to while, especially prevalent in some dialects). In AmE only while is used in both contexts.[citation needed] Other conjunctions with the -st ending are also found even in AmE as much as in BrE, despite being old-fashioned or an affection. Whilst tends to appear in non-temporal senses, as when used to point up a contrast.

In the UK generally the term fall meaning "autumn" is obsolete. Although found often from Elizabethan literature toVictorian literature, continued understanding of the word is usually ascribed to its continued use in America.[citation needed]

In the UK the term period for a full stop is not used; in AmE the term full stop is rarely, if ever, used for the punctuation mark. For example, Tony Blair said,


The 24-hour clock (18:0018.00 or 1800) is considered normal in the UK and Europe in many applications including air, rail and bus timetables; it is largely unused in the US outside of military, police, aviation and medical applications. British English tends to use the full stop or period (.) when telling time, compared to American English which uses Colons (:) (i.e., 11:15 PM or 23:15 for AmE and 11.15 pm or 23.15 for BrE).[93] Usually in the military (and sometimes in the police, aviation and medical) applications on both sides of the Atlantic 0800 and 1800 are read as (oh/zero) eight hundred and eighteen hundred hours respectively.

Fifteen minutes after the hour is called quarter past in British usage and a quarter after or, less commonly, a quarter past in American usage. Fifteen minutes before the hour is usually called quarter to in British usage and a quarter ofa quarter toor a quarter 'til in American usage; the form a quarter to is associated with parts of the Northern United States, while a quarter 'til is found chiefly in the Appalachian region.[citation needed] Thirty minutes after the hour is commonly called half pastin both BrE and AmE; half after used to be more common in the US. In informal British speech, the preposition is sometimes omitted, so that 5:30 may be referred to as half five. The AmE formations top of the hour and bottom of the hour are not used in BrE. Forms such as eleven forty are common in both dialects. To be simple and direct in telling time, no terms relating to fifteen or thirty minutes before/after the hour are used; rather the time is told exactly as for example nine fifteen,ten forty-five.


In British usage, human body mass is colloquially expressed in stones (equal to 14 pounds). People normally describe themselves as weighing, for example, "11 stone 4" (11 stones and 4 pounds) and not "158 pounds" (the conventional way of expressing the same weight in the United States). Stones are never used in the United States, and most Americans are unfamiliar with the term. Kilogrammes (note the difference from the U.S. spelling, kilograms) are the official measurement in the United Kingdom, although very few people know their weight in kilogrammes. This is rarely noticed by the British (one such occasion might be a weight measurement at a hospital).

When used as the unit of measurement the plural form of stone is correctly stone (as in "11 stone"). When describing the units, the correct plural is stones (as in "Please enter your weight in stones and pounds").


Besides the differences between the shorthand word for the subject itself (i.e., Maths for BrE and Math for AmE), there are also differences in terms within the subject.

In geometry, what is referred to as a trapezoid (a quadrilateral with exactly 1 pair of parallel sides) in US textbooks is atrapezium in its UK counterparts. The slope of the line in AmE is said to be the gradient of a line in BrE. The skill of factoringpolynomials in AmE is called factorisation in BrE; likewise, the words factor and factorise, respectively refer to their present tense forms.

In BrE the term mathematics is not commonly used for simple arithmetic. 2 + 2 = 4 is referred as arithmetic, not mathematics.

Holiday greetings

When people greet one another at Christmas in North America they say “Merry Christmas!”, whereas, in the UK, “Happy Christmas!” is an exceptionally common greeting. However, there are still a wide number of Britons who alternatively say "Merry Christmas!" to greet each other. It is increasingly common for Americans to say "Happy holidays", referring to all, or at least multiple, winter holidays (Christmas, HanukkahWinter solsticeKwanzaa, etc.) especially when the subject's religious observances are not known; the phrase is rarely heard in the U.K. In Britain, the phrases "holiday season" and "holiday period" refer to the period in the summer when most people take time off from work, and travel; AmE does not use holiday in this sense, instead using vacation for recreational excursions.

Lexical items that reflect separate social and cultural development.



Main articles: Primary educationSecondary education in the United Kingdom and Secondary education in the United States

The US does not have a uniform nationwide system of schooling, with variations in division of grades between states and even between local school districts. For example, elementary school often includes kindergarten, and may include sixth grade, with middle school including only two grades or extending to ninth grade.

In the UK the US equivalent of a high school is often referred to as a "secondary school" regardless of whether it is state funded or private. Secondary education in the United States also includes middle school or junior high school, a two- or three-year transitional school between elementary school and high school. "Middle school" is sometimes used in the UK as a synonym for the younger junior school, covering the second half of the primary curriculum—current years four to six in some areas. However, in Dorset (South England) it is used to describe the second school in the three-tier system, which is normally from year five to year eight. In other regions, such as Evesham and the surrounding area in Worcestershire, the second tier goes from year six to year eight, and both starting secondary school in year nine. In Kirklees, West Yorkshire in the villages of the Dearne Valley there is a three tier system: first schools year reception to year five, middle school (Scissett/Kirkburton Middle School) year six to year eight and high school ([78])year 9 to year 13.

public school has opposite meanings in the two countries. In AmE this is a government-owned institution open to all students, supported by public funding. The BrE use of the term is in contrast with "private" education, i.e., to be educated privately with a tutor.[79] In England and Wales the term strictly refers to an ill-defined group of prestigious private independent schools funded by students' fees, although it is often more loosely used to refer to any independent school. Independent schools are also known as "private schools", and the latter is the term used in Scotland and Northern Irelandfor all such fee-funded schools. Strictly, the term public school is not used in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the same sense as in England, but nevertheless Gordonstoun, the Scottish private school, is sometimes referred to as a public school, as are some other Scottish private schools. Government-funded schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland are properly referred to as "state schools"—but are sometimes confusingly referred to as "public schools" (with the same meaning as in the US); whereas in the US, where most public schools are administered by local governments, a state school is typically a college or university run by one of the states.


In the UK a university student is said to "study", to "read" or, informally, simply to "do" a subject. In the recent past the expression 'to read a subject' was more common at the older universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. In the US a student studies or majors in a subject (although concentration or emphasis is also used in some US colleges or universities to refer to the major subject of study). To major in something refers to the student's principal course of study; to study may refer to any class being taken.


"She read biology at Cambridge."

"She studied biology at Cambridge."

"She did biology at Cambridge." (informal)


"She majored in biology at Harvard."

"She studied biology at Harvard."

"She concentrated in biology at Harvard."

At university level in BrE, each module is taught or facilitated by a lecturer or tutorprofessor is the job-title of a senior academic. (In AmE, at some universities, the equivalent of the BrE lecturer is instructor, especially when the teacher has a lesser degree or no university degree, though the usage may become confusing according to whether the subject being taught is considered technical or not. Also, it is different from adjunct instructor/professor.) In AmE each class is generally taught by a professor (although some US tertiary educational institutions follow the BrE usage), while the position of lectureris occasionally given to individuals hired on a temporary basis to teach one or more classes and who may or may not have a doctoral degree.

dissertation in AmE refers to the final written product of a doctoral student to fulfil the requirement of that program. In BrE, the same word refers to the final written product of a student in an undergraduate or taught master's programme. A dissertation in the AmE sense would be a thesis in BrE, though dissertation is also used.

In both the US and UK college can refer to some division within a university that comprises related academic departments such as the "college of business and economics" though in the UK "faculty" is more often used. Institutions in the US that offer two to four years of post-high school education often have the word college as part of their name, while those offering more advanced degrees are called a university. (There are exceptions: Boston CollegeDartmouth College and the College of William & Mary are examples of colleges that offer advanced degrees, while Vincennes University is an unusual example of a "university" that offers only associate degrees in the vast majority of its academic programs.) American students who pursue a bachelor's degree (four years of higher education) or an associate degree (two years of higher education) arecollege students regardless of whether they attend a college or a university and refer to their educational institutions informally as colleges. A student who pursues a master's degree or a doctorate degree in the arts and sciences is in AmE agraduate student; in BrE a postgraduate student although graduate student is also sometimes used. Students of advanced professional programs are known by their field (business studentlaw studentmedical student). Some universities also have a residential college system, the details of which may vary but generally involve common living and dining spaces as well as college-organized activities. Nonetheless, when it comes to the level of education, AmE generally uses the wordcollege (e.g., going to college) whereas BrE generally uses the word university (e.g., going to university) regardless of the institution's official designation/status in both countries.

In the context of higher education, the word school is used slightly differently in BrE and AmE. In BrE, except for the University of London, the word school is used to refer to an academic department in a university. In AmE, the word school is used to refer to a collection of related academic departments and is headed by a dean. When referring to a division of a university, school is practically synonymous to a college.

General terms[edit]

In both the US and the UK, a student takes an exam, but in BrE a student can also be said to sit an exam. The expressionhe sits for an exam also arises in BrE but only rarely in AmE; American lawyers-to-be sit for their bar exams and American master's and doctoral students may sit for their comprehensive exams, but in nearly all other instances, Americans taketheir exams. When preparing for an exam students revise (BrE)/review (AmE) what they have studied; the BrE idiom to revise for has the equivalent to review for in AmE.

Examinations are supervised by invigilators in the UK and proctors (or (exam) supervisors) in the US (a proctor in the UK is an official responsible for student discipline at the University of Oxford or Cambridge). In the UK a teacher sets an exam, while in the US, a teacher writes (prepares) and then gives (administers) an exam.


"I sat my Spanish exam yesterday."

"I plan to set a difficult exam for my students, but I don't have it ready yet."


"I took my exams at Yale."

"I spent the entire day yesterday writing the exam. I'm almost ready to give it to my students."

In BrE, students are awarded marks as credit for requirements (e.g., tests, projects) while in AmE, students are awardedpoints or "grades" for the same. Similarly, in BrE, a candidate's work is being marked, while in AmE it is said to be graded to determine what mark or grade is given.

The names of individual institutions can be confusing. There are several "University High Schools" in the United States that are not affiliated with any post-secondary institutions and cannot grant degrees, and there is one public high school, Central High School of Philadelphia, which does grant bachelor's degrees to the top ten per cent of graduating seniors. British secondary schools occasionally have the word "college" in their names.




gas [pedal], accelerator





mudguard, wheel arch, wing


hood, soft/hard top

convertible top

car park

parking lot[85]

driving licence

driver's license

dual carriageway

divided highway[82]

estate car

station wagon[85]



Units and measurement[edit]


See also: Names of numbers in English

When saying or writing out numbers, the British insert an and before the tens and units, as in one hundred and sixty-two ortwo thousand and three.[88][89] In the United States it is considered correct to drop the and, as in one hundred sixty-two ortwo thousand three. However, the and is also retained even in AmE speech, for emphasis.

Some American and Canadian schools teach students to pronounce decimally written fractions (for example, .5) as though they were longhand fractions (five tenths), such as thirteen and seven tenths for 13.7. This formality is often dropped in common speech and is steadily disappearing in instruction in mathematics and science as well as in international American schools. In the UK, and among most Americans, 13.7 would be read thirteen point seven.

In the case of years, however, twelve thirty-four would be the norm on both sides of the Atlantic for the year 1234. Theyears 2000 to 2009 are most often read as two thousand, two thousand (and) one and the like by both British and American speakers. For years after 2009, twenty eleven, twenty fourteen, etc. are more common, even in years earlier than 2009 BC/BCE. Likewise, the years after 1009 (until 1099) are also read in the same manner (e.g. 1015 is either ten fifteen or one thousand fifteen). Some Britons read years within the 1000s to 9000s BC/BCE in the American manner, that is, 1234 BC is read as twelve (hundred and) thirty-four BC, while 2400 BC can be read as either two thousand four hundred or twenty four hundred BC.

Many people have no direct experience of manipulating numbers this large, and many non-American readers may interpretbillion as 1012 (even if they are young enough to have been taught otherwise at school); moreover, usage of the "long" billion is standard in some non-English speaking countries. For these reasons, defining the word may be advisable when writing for the public. See long and short scales for a more detailed discussion of the evolution of these terms in English and other languages.


Dates are usually written differently in the short (numerical) form. Christmas Day 2000, for example, is 25/12/00 or 25.12.00 in the UK and 12/25/00 in the US, although the formats 25/12/2000, 25.12.2000, and 12/25/2000 now have more currency than they had before the Year 2000 problem. Occasionally other formats are encountered, such as the ISO 8601 2000-12-25, popular among programmers, scientists and others seeking to avoid ambiguity, and to make alphanumerical order coincide with chronological order. The difference in short-form date order can lead to misunderstanding. For example 06/04/05 could mean either June 4, 2005 (if read as US format), 6 April 2005 (if seen as in UK format) or even 5 April 2006 if taken to be an older ISO 8601-style format where 2-digit years were allowed.

Phrases such as the following are common in Britain but are generally unknown in the US: "A week today", "a week tomorrow", "a week Tuesday" and "Tuesday week"; these all refer to a day more than a week in the future. "A fortnight Friday" and "Friday fortnight" refer to a day two weeks after the coming Friday). "A week on Tuesday" and "a fortnight on Friday" could refer either to a day in the past ("it's a week on Tuesday, you need to get another one") or in the future ("see you a week on Tuesday"), depending on context. In the US the standard construction is "a week from today", "a week from tomorrow", etc. BrE speakers may also say "Thursday last" or "Thursday gone" where AmE would prefer "last Thursday". "I'll see you (on) Thursday coming" or "let's meet this coming Thursday" in BrE refer to a meeting later this week, while "not until Thursday next" would refer to next week.

Practical part

3.1 Social questionnaire

In our project work we decided to know more about students’ and teachers opinion about differences between British and American English.


  • Do you know that there are a lot of difference words in British and American English? (Yes, No, Do not Know)

  • Should you learn and know American English?

  • Do you know the difference between «car park» and «parking lot»?

  • Do you know the meaning of the cookie and biscuits?

The questionnaire showed that 33% of our schools 7th and 8th grade students and 90% of teachers know answers to the questions.



The theoretical value of work is to find differences between British English and American English which can be the main task of the project. Introduction is about some differences between BrE and AmE. The first Chapter gives the historical background of the English language and its link with other languages. The second Chapter speaks about peculiarities of British and American variants in the English language.is the summary of our paper. In Appendix, we have included some examples. The appearance of the American variant of the English language is the result of a long process of independent development of the people who settled in a new place to arrange a new way of life. They didn’t give new names to old things, but very often they filled old words with new meanings and borrowed new words from their native languages, that’s why today for the British and Americans the same words can have different connotations and implications even if they denote the same things or phenomena. Oscar Wilde wrote, `The English have really everything in common with the Americans, except a course of language.


Algeo, John (2006). British or American English?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37993-8.

Hargraves, Orin (2003). Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515704-4

McArthur, Tom (2002). The Oxford Guide to World English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866248-3.

Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X.

Trudgill, Peter and Jean Hannah. (2002). International English: A Guide to the Varieties of Standard English, 4th ed. London: Arnold. ISBN 0-340-80834-9

David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of The English Language. 2nd Edition. (Cambridge University Press, 2003

Internet resources


Осы жобада 11 Ә сынып оқушысы Бахатай Айдана Британия мен Америка мемелекеттерінің ағылшынын зерттеді. Ол Британияның және Американың ағылшын сөздерін зерттеп көрді. Жобаның тақырыбы Британия мен Америка ағылшын тілінің ерекшелігі. Бірақ тәжірибе нәтижесінде әлі де зерттейтін сөздер өте көп.


В этом проекте, ученица 11Ә класса Бахатай Айдана изучала Британский и Американский английский. Она изучала схожие и различные слова Британского и Американского английского языка. Но практика показала, что существуют еще много слов которые мы должны знать и изучать.


In this project the pupil of the 11th form Bahatai Aidana searched British and American English. She tried to compare them and find some similarity.

The theme of the project is Peculiarities of British and American variants in the English Language. Purpose of the project is to investigate peculiarities of British and American variants in the English Language. But as the practice showed there were a lot of words that we should know and learn.

Дата добавления 18.12.2015
Раздел Иностранные языки
Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
Номер материала ДВ-268630
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