DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH

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					  DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH

                                   By Tatjana Glušac

British and American English differ with respect to: pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary
and spelling. The following activities aim at helping you familiarise yourself with some of
those differences. Whichever of the two variants you choose, it is important to use it
consistently, especially in a single piece of writing so as not to have words spelt both in
British and American English in a single text. The same goes for the rules of grammar.

GRAMMAR

      The British use present perfect where the Americans use simple past (e.g. He
       has just come (BE) vs. He just came (AE).).
      The British use have got whereas the Americans use have ( e.g. Have you got a
       problem ? (BE) vs. Do you have a problem? (AE)).
      The British past participle of get is got and the American gotten (e.g. I’ve never
       got to talk to him. (BE) vs. I’ve never gotten to talk to him. (AE)).
      Differences in the use of prepositions:

                British English                                  American English
                 stay at home                                      stay home
                meet somebody                                    meet with somebody


SPELLING

Group the given words with respect to how they are spelt in British and American
English.
       British English                                        American English




   1) color/colour, 2) organise/organize, 3) traveling/travelling, 4) center/centre, 5)
      catalog/catalogue, 6) defence/defense, 7) check/cheque, 8) programme/program,
      9) jewelry/jewellery, 10) pyjamas/pajamas.
VOCABULARY

Group the following words according to whether they are used in British or American
English.

       British English                                         American English




1) fall/autumn, 2) petrol/gas, 3) faculty/college, 4) maths/math, 5) underground/subway,
6) motorway/freeway, 7) flat/apartment, 8) cinema/movies, 9) vacation/holiday, 10)
shop/store.
Answers:

SPELLING
             British English                             American English
                   colour                                       color
                 organise                                   organize
                travelling                                  traveling
                   centre                                      center
                catalogue                                    catalog
                  defence                                    defense
                  cheque                                       Check
               programme                                     program
                 jewellery                                    jewelry
                 pyjamas                                    pajamas


VOCABULARY
            British English                              American English
fall                                         autumn
petrol                                       gas
maths                                        math
faculty                                      college
underground                                  subway
motorway                                     freeway
flat                                         apartment
cinema                                       movies
holiday                                      vacation
shop                                         store




Tatjana Glušac has been teaching ESP at the Faculty of Sports and Tourism in Novi
Sad. She is also a teacher-trainer, and was the recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey
Fellowship for 2006/2007 that enabled her to spend the academic year in the U.S. doing
her professional development primarily in the fields of writing and classroom supervision
and coaching. Ms. Glušac is a newly appointed ELTA Vice-President and a
Newsletter/MELT Editor.