American English And British English


If you are seriously and permanently engaged in the study of the English language, it is important to know that there are two basic types of English: American and British. It goes without saying that the Americans and the British speak differently. American English – English is spoken in the United States. This category includes all the dialects that exist in this country. British English – English is spoken in the United Kingdom. This category includes the dialects that exist in the United Kingdom.

There are differences in pronunciation, lexis and grammar.

Let’s look at the distinctive features of the two variants of the English language.

Pronunciation (some details):

When using the American English people pronounce the letter “r” in the words in which the British version of the letter “r” is pronounced when it comes after a vowel.

For example: card [ka:rd] (American English) and [ka:d] (British English).

All the words in the American English pronounced with the sound [u:], in the British English – with the sound of [ju:].

For example: new [nu:] (American English) and [nju:] (British English).


The lexis in American English and British English are very different. Many words, though spelled the same, have completely different meanings. Let us consider some examples.

Typically English word “football” Americans will mean a totally different sport – an American football. And familiar to us sport in the United States will be called “soccer”.

In the USA, the word “subway” is “метро, and in the UK “subway” means “подземный переход.”

The British version of the word “каникулы” is “holiday”, but in American English “каникулы” is “vacation”.

If the Englishman says “cannot”, the Americans – “must not”.

Besides, different words are used to describe the same phenomenon or object.


Americans do not like the time aspects of the “Perfect: group, they prefer to use the Past Simple instead.

Kate has not finished school yet. It is British English.

Kate did not finish school yet. It is American English.

Americans use the subjunctive mood «was», while the British use «were».

In American English with collective nouns it is accepted to use a singular noun, the British version is the plural form.

The team is not very well trained. It is American English.

The team are not very well trained. It is British English.


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