English Difference between American and British

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  1. egiv profile image60
    egivposted 11 years ago

    I am a relatively new American ESL teacher and fell into crisis the other day teaching prepositions (ON Christmas, ON the weekend, AT noon) when my student looked at me like I was an idiot and pointed out that the (British) textbook said AT Christmas and AT the weekend. Despite feeling a little dumb to be contradicted by the book, "at Halloween" or "at Easter" just doesn't sound right. I haven't been able to find a good explanation of whether it is a difference between American and British English, or if I have just always said it wrong!

    So I ask both the Americans and British, what do you use? On or at??

    1. rebekahELLE profile image88
      rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      ON is used for specific days and special calendar days

      we are going to sallys ON christmas day.
      we are going to a show ON saturday.

      we will have fun AT christmastime.
      i will dress up ON halloween.

      tricky lil prepositions hmm

      1. egiv profile image60
        egivposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I totally agreed... until the textbook I was teaching out of said AT! Are you American? I'm now pretty sure it's a difference in British/American, I usually try and explain all different ways of saying things when I teach. Live and learn! Thanks for the help.

        PS I figured out what a queue is after being asked "Are you queuing?" about 20 times in one day and giving 20 blank stares haha.

  2. EmpressFelicity profile image77
    EmpressFelicityposted 11 years ago

    I use "at" and I'm British.

  3. wrenfrost56 profile image82
    wrenfrost56posted 11 years ago

    Me too, I'm a brit and I use "at" too! smile

  4. Jonathan Janco profile image61
    Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years ago

    I use ON Christmas if I'm referring to the date.
    I use AT Christmas if I'm referring to the event of celebrating.

    1. Ivorwen profile image75
      Ivorwenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Just what I was thinking.

  5. Paraglider profile image88
    Paragliderposted 11 years ago

    I'm British (Scottish) and would say 'at Christmas' but would say 'on Christmas Day'

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image77
      EmpressFelicityposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ooh yeah, good point.  Same here.

  6. egiv profile image60
    egivposted 11 years ago

    Thank you!

    I also would say "at Christmas time," yet "on Christmas day." I am pretty sure that it is a difference between American and British English because I have found grammar guides on the internet that say both (individually, not either/or) are correct.

    1. profile image0
      Justine76posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Im American and I say it that way too. I used to get into trouble at school, they would insist I was saying it wrong. Stuff like colour instead of color would be marked as wrong as well.

  7. Pearldiver profile image76
    Pearldiverposted 11 years ago

    I am from New Zealand and this is a very good question. lol

    When referring to the Weekend.... we use 'On'
    When referring to Noon...... we use 'At'
    Paraglider is correct with the Christmas variations.

  8. profile image0
    ralwusposted 11 years ago

    Well you people drive on the wrong side too. LOL

  9. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 11 years ago

    and lift is elevator

    queue is line,

    humour is humor

    My English is structured, am a Filipina so when i read books, I am quite confused at times, whether I speak or write correctly..., American or British..

  10. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    really? yes, I'm American and use the Scott,Foreman handbook for writers. also in the teaching profession. it could be a difference as there are many between English and British.

    interesting. smile


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