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English Difference between American and British

  1. egiv profile image68
    egivposted 8 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 8 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 image68
        egivposted 8 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 image76
    EmpressFelicityposted 8 years ago

    I use "at" and I'm British.

  3. wrenfrost56 profile image82
    wrenfrost56posted 8 years ago

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

  4. Jonathan Janco profile image67
    Jonathan Jancoposted 8 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 image74
      Ivorwenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Just what I was thinking.

  5. Paraglider profile image94
    Paragliderposted 8 years ago

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

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image76
      EmpressFelicityposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Ooh yeah, good point.  Same here.

  6. egiv profile image68
    egivposted 8 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 8 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 image81
    Pearldiverposted 8 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 8 years ago

    Well you people drive on the wrong side too. LOL

  9. prettydarkhorse profile image64
    prettydarkhorseposted 8 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 8 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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