Explain the differences between British English and American English?

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  1. Debby Bruck profile image65
    Debby Bruckposted 11 years ago

    Explain the differences between British English and American English?

    What are the most obvious differences between British English and American English that stand out to you? How do you respond to the different spellings in print, the accents, and the idioms or terms to describe common ideas and objects?


  2. Two Minute Review profile image59
    Two Minute Reviewposted 11 years ago

    Sheesh, there could be books written on this topic!! The most obvious from my perspective is the word "cheers". In the US, it is either a popular TV show from the 80s, or something you say as you raise a glass to toast someone. But in the UK, it is used as Americans would use "thanks". As far as spellings are concerned, the most distracting for me is "tyre" (instead of tire) and words like "colour" and "honour" (instead of color and honor). These are just examples, though. Bill Bryson is an American author who spent many years living in the UK, and he's written a couple books on the topic. They are quite entertaining when he isn't breaking down the etmylogical differences clinically....

    1. Debby Bruck profile image65
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly what I'm hoping, that someone will write a super Hubpages from this question. One spelling that bothers me is the use of "s" in place of "z" like in the word "realisation" as the British spelling for realization spelling in America.

  3. iantoPF profile image78
    iantoPFposted 11 years ago

    I tend to approach this from my personal perspective. born and raised on the island of Britain with my parents and ancestors as far back as I know all from the same island,  couldn't speak English with any fluency until I was 10 or 11. I'm from Wales and my natural language is Welsh. "Gwnewch popeth yn Cymraeg"
    So I'm from the island that invented English, but see it from an outsider's point of view and for the last twenty something years I've been living in America.
    Did I write a Hub about your question? Hell yeah!
    I wrote it a while back. It's called "Americanisms, English in America"

    1. Debby Bruck profile image65
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Very cool.. I hope everyone checks it out! Man, I'm sure I would not understand a blinking thing if it sounds anything like it looks in the "Welsh" language. Guess we need to attune our ears to a variety of accents.

  4. Little Nell profile image73
    Little Nellposted 11 years ago

    There are a lot of entertaining differences eg use of rubber which in England means an eraser and for you means something quite different! Sidewalk for pavement;  elevator for lift - though we are starting to use this one too;  trunk for boot of car.  I watch like a hawk for US spellings in my students' work because it is a surefire way of detecting plagiarism as they are prone to cutting and pasting from the internet and use so many US sites.  Center, fiber, color etc all are giveaways. 

    I did hear that the accent and way of speech around New England is close to 17th century English having evolved from the early settlers.  Is there any truth in this?

    1. Debby Bruck profile image65
      Debby Bruckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Very observant to catch those "lifts" from internet sites by your students who shortcut their assignments. The accents from New Englanders definitely has an ancestral basis.

  5. jadesmg profile image84
    jadesmgposted 11 years ago

    generally; spelling and pronunciation. also common usage of different terms e.g. the lift elevator. Spelling for example thru and through. Pronunciation for example herb - pronounced 'erb (America) and Herb (Britain). Little else though, it's quite easy to assimilate the two generally.


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