Lesson 79 — ENGLISH

Lesson 79 — BRITISH and AMERICAN ENGLISH

HOPE COVE South Devon (UK)

You know the world of English is a fun and exciting place to be.

I’m so glad you could join me for another lesson.

LESSON 52 FIFTY TWO

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England.

How are you today?

Are you OK?.. I hope so!

Are you happy?.. I hope so!

In today’s lesson, we will look at one of the most varying parts

of the English language which seems to cause a great deal of confusion

for those who are in the process of learning it.

Today we will look at the differences between …British and American English.

Do you want to go out to night?

When we say British English, what we are actually referring to 

is the way in which English is spoken to in the United Kingdom.

This includes Wales, Scotland, and Nothern Ireland where English is spoken widly.

For some people the term ‘British English’ is a misleading one.

But the fact remains that this terminology is the usual one

When it comes to decribing the way in which English is spoken

here in the UK.

These days the term ‘Standard English’  is slowly being used less and less.

Mainly due to the realisation that there is no real standard way of speaking English.

The basic academic rules of English tend to be the same,

Wherever in the world it is being used.

It is a common question and one of which is often posed to me.

What are the differences between the way English is spoken in England (&UK)

and the way it is used in the USA?

Well, this is not an easy question to answer quickly.

It would be better to break the differences down into sections

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NOUNS

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPELLING and GRAMMAR

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRONUNCIATION

When it comes to word ‘usage’, there are quite a large number of words which differ between

British and American English.

Now we will take a look at some of these words.

This list is not exhaustive, but many of the words here are in common use.

GENERAL WORDS:

UK            USA

Flat = Apartment

Building = Block

Pavement = Sidewalk

Road = Route

Motorway = Freeway

Junction = Fork

Roundabout = Traffic Circle

Phone Box = Phone Booth

These days, payphone is used in both British and American English.

Film = Movie

Headmaster = Principal

Caretaker = Janitor

Photo = Snap-shot

Public School = Private School

State School = Public School

Marks (exam) = Grades

Term = Semester

When it comes to actually speaking English, then the slight differences between

British and American English become more obvious.

American English tend to put more emphasis on the consonant sounds,

especially the letter ‘R’.

This is very apparent in words beginning with ‘R’ such as

Red, Really, Robert and Rich.

VOWEL SOUNDS such as those made by the letter ‘A’ are also emphasised.

The letter ‘T’ is a good one to look closely at.

Occasionally in American English the ‘T’ sound is not pronounced the same

as it is in British English.

For example…LETTER, BETTER, BOTTLE, THROTTLE, METAL.

More general words:

UK                         USA

(water) tap   =    faucet

Power Socket = Power Outlet

(Electricity Loss) Power Cut = (Blackout) Outage

Tin = Can

Shopping Trolley = Shopping Cart

Shop = Store

Food Shop = Grocery Store

Corner Shop = Convenience Store

Sellotape = Scotch Tape

Tippex = White-Out

Settee/Sofa = Couch

Holiday = Vacation

Maths = Math

Iced Lolly = Popsicle

Crisps = Potato Chips

Sweets = Candy

Candy Floss = Cotton Candy

Cashpoint = ATM

Till = Cash Register

Estate Agent = Realtor

There are many ways of finding out the differences between American and British English.

Most English dictionaries now point out these variations within their word definition listings,

normally within the alternative spelling being placed next to whichever word is being defined.

PARTS OF A CAR or AN AUTOMOBILE:

Bonnet = Hood

Boot = Trunk

Petrol = Gas

Windscreen = Windshield

Number Plate = License Plate

(Gear Stick) Gear Lever = (Stick) Gear Shift

Exhaust Pipe = Tail Pipe

(HGV) Lorry = Truck

Fire Engine = Fire Truck

Caravan = Trailer

Police Car = (Squad Car) Patrol Car

Estate Car = Station Wagon

Car Park = Parking Lot

Car Journey = Road Trip

(Movement) Overtake (v) = Pass

CLOTHING:

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