Hi Everyone... Could anyone tell me what is the main difference between American and British English? and Please Give me some Examples...

Some of the examples are:

Gas Petrol

Some American English words are shorter and easier than the original English.

If you don't know which one to use, it is better to follow the English scheme applied in your country.
My country uses the British English.


There are differences in accent, grammar and words. British accent needs no explanation if you've ever heard it. It is SO different from American.

The main grammatical difference is Perfect Tenses.

The Americans would say I just had a breakfast and Did you ever go to Spain. The British would stick to I've just had a breakfast and Have you ever been to Spain. There are some minor differences in preposition use and structure of sentences as well, but are really not important.

There are lists of words used differently in USA and UK. Some are just spelt differently, others have different meaning (rubber would be understood as an eraser in USA but as condom in UK).

By the way, the double negation is ungrammatical in English, but not necessarily in other languages. In my native Slovenian, we don't just use the double negation but even the triple and more. (Nihce nikoli nicesar ne ve -- English word by word translation would be: Nobody never not knows nothing.Emotion: wink

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Here are a few jokes to understand both the types of english better:

An American lady on the side of the road is very concerned when the nice Englishman calls out from under her car, "I can't quite see where the petrol is leaking out. Would you hand me a torch? 

Torch means a lighted flame in US english

2) An English exchange student asks someone “do you have a rubber?". Taken aback she says, “but I don’t even know you”. A bit confused, he assures her, “I’ll only be a minute. I’ll bring it right back”. 

Rubber means condom in US english


1. Use of present perfect tense and simple past tense

Speakers of American English generally use the present perfect tense (have/has + past participle) far less than speakers of British English. In spoken American English it is very common to use the simple past tense as an alternative in situations where the present perfect would usually have been used in British English. The two situations where this is especially likely are:

(i) In sentences which talk about an action in the past that has an effect in the present:

American English British/American English

Jenny feels ill. She ate too much. Jenny feels ill. She's eaten too much. 

I can't find my keys. Did you see them anywhere? I can't find my keys. Have you
seen them anywhere?

(ii) In sentences which contain the words already, just or yet:

American English British/American English

A: Are they going to the show tonight? 
B: No. They already saw it. A: Are they going to the show tonight?
B: No. They've already seen it.

A: Is Samantha here?
B: No, she just left. A: Is Samantha here?
B: No, she's just left.

A: Can I borrow your book?
B: No, I didn't read it yet. A: Can I borrow your book?
B: No, I haven't read it yet.

2. Verb agreement with collective nouns

In British English collective nouns, (i.e. nouns referring to particular groups of people or things), (e.g. staff , government, class, team) can be followed by a singular or plural verb depending on whether the group is thought of as one idea, or as many individuals , e.g.:

My team is winning. 
The other team are all sitting down.

In American English collective nouns are always followed by a singular verb, so an American would usually say:

Which team is losing? 

whereas in British English both plural and singular forms of the verb are possible, as in:

Which team is/are losing? 

3. Use of delexical verbs have and take

In British English, the verb have frequently functions as what is technically referred to as a delexical verb, i.e. it is used in contexts where it has very little meaning in itself but occurs with an object noun which describes an action, e.g.:

I'd like to have a bath. 
Have is frequently used in this way with nouns referring to common activities such as washing or resting, e.g.:
She's having a little nap.
I'll just have a quick shower before we go out.

In American English, the verb take, rather than have, is used in these contexts, e.g.:

Joe's taking a shower. 
I'd like to take a bath.
Let's take a short vacation.
Why don't you take a rest now?

4. Use of auxiliaries and modals

In British English, the auxiliary do is often used as a substitute for a verb when replying to a question, e.g.:

A: Are you coming with us? 
B: I might do.

In American English, do is not used in this way, e.g.:

A: Are you coming with us? 
B: I might.

In British English needn't is often used instead of don't need to, e.g.:

They needn't come to school today. 
They don't need to come to school today.

In American English needn't is very unusual and the usual form is don't need to, i.e.:

They don't need to come to school today. 

In British English, shall is sometimes used as an alternative to will to talk about the future, e.g.:

I shall/will be there later. 

In American English, shall is unusual and will is normally used.
In British English shall I/we is often used to ask for advice or an opinion, e.g.:

Shall we ask him to come with us? 

In American English should is often used instead of shall, i.e.:

Should we ask him to come with us?

4. Use of prepositions

In British English, at is used with many time expressions, e.g.:

at Christmas/five 'o' clock 
at the weekend

In American English, on is always used when talking about the weekend, not at, e.g.:

Will they still be there on the weekend? She'll be coming home on weekends.

In British English, at is often used when talking about universities or other institutions, e.g.:

She studied chemistry at university.

In American English, in is often used, e.g.:

She studied French in high school.

In British English, to and from are used with the adjective different, e.g.:

This place is different from/to anything I've seen before.

In American English from and than are used with different, e.g.:

This place is different from/than anything I've seen before.

In British English to is always used after the verb write, e.g.:

I promised to write to her every day.

In American English, to can be omitted after write, i.e.:

I promised to write her every day.

5. Past tense forms

Below is a table showing verbs which have different simple past and past participle forms in American and British English. Note that the irregular past forms burnt, dreamt and spoilt are possible in American English, but less common than the forms ending in -ed.

infinitive simple past (Br) simple past (Am) past participle (Br) past participle (Am) 
burn burned/burnt burned/burnt burned/burnt burned/burnt
bust bust busted bust busted
dive dived dove/dived dived dived
dream dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt
get got got got gotten
lean leaned/leant leaned leaned/leant leaned
learn learned/learnt learned learned/learnt learned
plead pleaded pleaded/pled pleaded pleaded/pled
prove proved proved proved proved/proven
saw sawed sawed sawn sawn/sawed
smell smelled/smelt smelled smelled/smelt smelled
spell spelled/spelt spelled spelled/spelt spelled
spill spilled/spilt spilled spilled/spilt spilled
spit spat spat/spit spat spat/spit
spoil spoiled/spoilt spoiled/spoilt spoiled/spoilt spoiled/spoilt
stink stank stank/stunk stunk stunk
wake woke woke/waked woken woken

Note that have got is possible in American English, but is used with the meaning 'have', gotten is the usual past participle of get, e.g.:

American English British English 
You've got two brothers. (= you have two brothers) You've got two brothers.
You've gotten taller this year You've got taller this year
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Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I'm currently learning english too. I've seen a few differences besides the mentioned here:


cab/taxi "i heard people hailing taxis/cabs"
fall/autumn (i guess you don't need an instance to understand the seasons)
elevator/lift (the machine you step in in order to move upward a building avoiding stairs)
bathroom/toilet (need explanation?)

I've a tutorial where i read dozen of them...
I'll reply this message once again to jot down more differences...

See ya!
The main difference between British English and American English is that in the former there is perfect grammar even in the spoken form. But in the latter, there is no grammar at all and everybody can speak as they like.

The next unappropiate thing is the double negation which is ungrammatical.
For example... I don't know nothing.
 M. Hus's reply was promoted to an answer.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
A rubber would be understood as a condom in the US. Back in more innocent times, they would have been understood as galoshes.

Here's a partial list from Modern English Usage by Fowler, although some may be out of date:

English *** American

nappy *** diaper
waistcoat *** vest
chemist *** pharmacist
ironmonger *** hardware dealer
men's hairdresser *** barber
post *** mail
biscuits and small *** crackers and cookies
corn *** grain
maize *** corn
scone *** biscuit
sweets *** candy
treacle *** molasses
undercut *** tenderloin
cooker *** oven
dustbin *** garbage can
flat *** apartment
paraffin *** kerosene
tap *** faucet
veranda *** porch
draughts *** checkers
touch-lines *** sidelines
pack (of cards) *** deck
bonnet (of car) *** hood
Boot (of car) *** trunk
goods train *** freight train
lorry *** truck
pavement *** sidewalk
return ticket *** round-trip ticket
roundabout *** traffic circle
single ticket *** one-way ticket
silencer (of car) *** muffler
wing (of car) *** fender
aluminium *** aluminum
caretaker *** janitor
council school *** public school
dust cart *** garbage truck
perambulator *** baby carriage
public school *** private school
queue *** line
scribbling-block *** scratch-pad
A difference I found quite amusing when I heard it was the word "***". I had only heard as an insult, so I was very suprised to hear someone calmly say "I am going out for a ***". Emotion: tongue tied
"***" what is it mean? ... is it smoking?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
In UK English *** or faggot means a homo. In US English it means smoking.

Some other differences in Grammar are

write her write to her

lets go see a movie lets go and see a movie

look forward to meet you looking forward to meeting you

meet with you meet you

look out the window look out of the window

come on in come in
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