Select any word on this page to check its defini­tion and pronun­ci­ation in a dic­tionary.

Click brown words for a pop-up expla­na­tion.

British English

['bri tiS 'iN gliS] = /ˈbrɪtɪʃ ˈɪŋglɪʃ/

British English is a kind of the English language which is used in Great Britain. It is one of the two most popular kinds of English in the world (the other one is American English).

The biggest difference between British English and American English is in pronunciation. Differences in vocabulary and grammar are quite small. People who speak British and American English can easily understand each other.

British English consists of many regional kinds of English. For example, people in London, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Manchester speak English in different ways.

When people talk about teaching or learning British English, they usually think of a standard form of British English called the Queen’s English. The pronunciation (accent) of the Queen’s English is called Received Pronunciation (RP). Received Pronunciation is the pronunciation of the British upper class. RP is the pronunciation model taught to foreigners, described in English dictionaries, and used at the oldest universities (such as Oxford and Cambridge).

Who speaks RP? Apart from the British upper class, most educated people in the southeast of England, actors, TV personalities, politicians and English teachers speak something similar to RP.

When an English dictionary gives a British word or a British pronunciation of a word, it usually uses BrE, Br, GB, or UK, instead of “British English”.