AMERICAN ENGLISH – History & Concept

Whether American English is an independent variety or an offshoot of British English has been a subject of debate, but there is no doubt that American English has established itself as an independent variable. It differs from British English from the point of view of its :

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Grammar
  3. Pronunciation
  4. Spelling
  5. Punctuation.

1. Vocabulary :

   AmE                             BrE

Apartment                       Flat
Baggage                            Luggage
Bookstore                        Bookshop
Vocation                           Holiday
Sweater                             Jumper
Math                                   Maths
Mail                                    Post

2. Grammar : 

> AmE: Do you have a book like this?
BrE: Have you got a book like this?

> AmE: I am late, ain’t I?
BrE: I am late, aren’t I?

> AmE: She looked out the window.
BrE: She looked out of the window.

3. Pronunciation

4. Spelling :
There are a large number of words which have one spelling in British English and other spelling in American English. Whereas words like colour, favour, honour, labour, valour are written with the letter ‘U’ in them, they are written without this letter in American English. There are a large number of words which have one spelling in British English and different in American English :

 AmE                               BrE 

Center                              Centre
Meter                               Metre
Airplane                          Aeroplane
Traveled                          Travelled
Practice                           Practise (v)
Pyjamas                          Pajamas
License                           Licence

5. Punctuation : 

  • In American English, commas and full stop are placed inside the quotation marks but in British English, they are placed outside.
  • For quotations, double inverted commas are used more of in American English than in British English. 
  • In British English, the colon and dash are not used as frequently now as it was earlier but it is seldom used in American English. 
  • In British English, 2/8/2012 will be taken as 2nd August 2012 but in American English, this will be interpreted as 8th February 2012. In British English, half past seven will be written as 7:30 but in American English, it would usually be written as 7:30.

Thanks for Reading

Enjoyed this post? Share it with your networks.

Leave a Feedback!