Differences between American & British English

AJ   Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 22:29 GMT
I love how you guys think you know nearly everything about American vocabulary and pronunciation. Here I am scrolling through this forum, thinking to myself: Nope we don't say it like that, nuh-uh we don't spell it like that, and hey we use some of those too!

But then you have to remember, Britain is a fairly small area in comparison to the whole of the US. If Britain has so many dialects and different pronunciations, just imagine how many we would have. Any comments directed at America as a whole are very difficult to pin on all of us.
Clark   Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 23:33 GMT
Hmm, you obviously do not know that there are a huge number of accents in Britain. In Britain, one can go from one town with one accent, and then go to the next town which has a different accent. There are a lot of accents!!!!!!

Now in America, there are not as many accents. NOt even half as many as there are in Britain.

Maybe you should read up on something before you say that the people on antimoon no little about the English language. For some of us, the English language is a hobby, so we kno a thing or two about it.
David Bosch   Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 23:43 GMT

Te size of a country does not determine at all the number and variety of dialects in it.

Britain has by far more accents than the US. Every County in Britain has several different accents, no matter how large or small it is.

On the other hand, the US has 1 accent per state. Or even determined by North, East, South and West.

I've been enough time in both countries, and I've heard thousands of people from both.
Ryan   Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 01:07 GMT
That's not quite accurate to say there is only one accent in each state. Many states have completely different accents depending upon where you travel within them. The difference between northern and southern Indiana comes to mind. However, we don't have one accent per town or city like they do in most places in Britain. Or if we do, the differences are so minute to be unrecognizable to all but the most trained ear.

David Bosch   Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 01:26 GMT
well, it's aprox. obviously.

But if we get very technical; for instance, if a country has 200 million inhabitants, it has 200 million accents, doesn't it?

The point is that what AJ said is entirely wrong, the US certainly hasn't got more accents than Britain, but the opposite.
Julian   Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 01:33 GMT

In this forum, when someone explains how a certain word is pronounced or which word is used in American vocabulary, it is generally understood that there are variances depending on region and social standing. Also, it has already been established in this forum that when we speak of an American accent, we are basing this on American Standard English.

So please keep that in mind the next time you point out the error of our ways.
Clark   Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 05:30 GMT
I would say that there are lots of states who have exactly the same accents.

I would write more, but I just do not feel like getting into it right now.
Guofei Ma   Friday, August 01, 2003, 23:03 GMT
Hello, Ryan:

No, I have never been laughed at in the U.S. for the way I pronounce words, though it's quite obvious to all that I am not an American. My Chemistry teacher (in California) has a very strong RP accent and therefore, it's more obvious that he's British but still, few people mock him and some pupils even claim that his accent is "cool" (which is quite a general and all-encompassing term in California, indeed).
Clark   Friday, August 01, 2003, 23:08 GMT
I think Americans have this thing about British accents. For some reason they think British English sounds "proper." Maybe it is just how I was raised, but British English just sounds like English to me, just as American English sounds like "English" to me.

When people say that British English sounds proper, it makes me laugh because American English is just as proper as British English. What I am tying to say is that American English is the standard language for Americans, and therefore, it should be just as proper as British English is in Britain.
Anomi   Saturday, August 02, 2003, 23:46 GMT
True true.
Guofei Ma   Sunday, August 03, 2003, 00:08 GMT
There's no "proper" English.
To Guofei Ma   Sunday, August 03, 2003, 05:10 GMT
Clark   Sunday, August 03, 2003, 07:42 GMT
How so Guofei Ma?
Guofei Ma   Sunday, August 03, 2003, 17:15 GMT
Greetings, old chap Clark:

We're actually of the same opinion: in your words, "all English dialects are proper" whilst in my words, "none of them are proper". In a sense, we both believe that all dialects, accents, and regional variations are equal.
vinnie   Sunday, August 03, 2003, 22:54 GMT
there are some differences in british english and american english , for example and accent in england was (still?? ) used to disitinguish upper calss and the working class , in american films you usually hear the posh which i think most of the population don't talk likeeven the so called upper class.

The difference in words are usually meaning of various slang words and spelling of certain words.Though this is not the norm in North America as Candaians spell like the British .Some people in new england especially Boston still have some british slang in their language , of course this also depends on place a person fro new york and boston have different slang that someone form L.A as it is some one form manchester, birmingham speaks a bit diffrently than people from london and coventry. For example it's called flap jacks in some parts of the states and pancakes in others.

The reason the spelling of england is used more widely is because all english speakign countries and those that have it as an official language were colonies or were spheres of influence(heavily influenced by )of the former british empire , so all of them use the smae words and spellings (albeit various accents and slang peculiar to those regions) ex. Canada, Australia , South Africa, old colonial british Africa, India ,Pakistan , Bangladesh , English carreibein etc which all form the british common wealth

some synonyms ( words which mean the same for you lot which slept through english class)

Words might be used in parts of America nad Britain which in my opinion is due to the media , and the telecommunication industry whihc has shortened the distance between the Atlantic

American : mad = angry but both mad and angry are used ex. i am mad , meaning i am angry

British : mad = crazy ex he is mad , meaning he is crazy

American : French fries/fries

British : Chips ex. fish n chips

American: Chips

British :crisps

American:restroom / can (slang)

British: toilet (at home bathroom) /bog,loo (slang)

American: Kiss

British : snog

American : sex

British : shag (used as a verb i should think ) ex. he shagged her


British :pub

American :elevator

British :lift

Americans: Asians = mostly chinese and people of far east having mongloid features ex . japanese, chinese, koreans etc.

British: Asian = mostly people of indian (from india) origin and people of the south east asia (indian sub continent) ex, indians, pakistanis, bangladeshis

Americans:Indians , usually refers to native americans of north america (mistake on part of christopher coloumbus)

British : Indians , people from india

Americans:Flash light

British : Torch

Americans: Cookies

British : biscuits

Americans: Candy

British : chocolate (choccies is also used)

Americans:First Floor , the americans call teh bottom floor of a building the first floor

British : ground floor , the british call the bottom floor of a builfing the gorund floor

Americans : second floor

British: First floor

Americans : bum = a home less person or someone who is not very useful /productive ,lazy ex he's a bum

British : bum = your bottom

Americans= butt

Brtitish : bum


British =arse ( i don't think this is still used and has been replaced by ass)


British:billion (obsolete) billion is now equal to an american billion

I'm sure there are other words as well but not as many as i can think of yet

they also vary in spellign like


British: colour




British:gramme (also gram)




British: maths


British: aubergine





American: realize( all such words end with "ize" with a z)
British :realise (all such words end with "ise" with a s)

well that's all i have to add i' sure i've written alot already and i don't want to sound like a bore and i hope this was soem what helpful

P.S "Two countries divided by a common language" Gorge Bernard Shaw