Many countries around the world have concocted new languages which are a hybrid of English and the native language. English words and phrases are blended in to their everyday speech. There are many varieties of English but the American and British English are probably the most common globally. British English probably owes its popularity to the colonization of different countries of the world by the British. American English on the other hand owes its popularity to the great political and economic clout that the U.S. exerts on the rest of the world. American culture popularized by Hollywood movies and American soaps televised all over the world has only served to increase the popularity of American English.
However American and British English are both variations of World English. Hence, they are more similar than different. That said, it is their differences that set them apart. While no version can be considered as “correct” there definitely are preferences in use. The most important thing is to avoid mixing and matching. If you decide that you prefer to use American English spellings then be consistent in your usage. The man’s favorite colour is orange and his favorite fruit is orange as well.
Favorite is American spelling and colour is British spelling. With globalization it is becoming increasingly difficult to stick to one kind of English. The English used by an Indian is a good example of how fatal a concoction English can be. An Indian from the state of Kerala speaks English with a Malyalee accent because Malyalam is his mother tongue.
His grammar is British as he studies British English in school. He picks up American slang from television and Microsoft’s spell check makes sure that his British grammar is spelled with American spelling. The following guide is meant to point out the principal differences between these two varieties of English. 1. The usage of Present Perfect: Present Perfect is used in British English to express an action that has taken place in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment.
For example: I’ve lost my purse. Can you help me look for it? In American English you could say it in the following manner: I lost my purse. Can you help me look for it? This would be incorrect in British English. American English accepts both these forms. Already, just and yet are other words that use the present Perfect in British English and simple past in American English. British English I’ve just seen the movie. I’ve already had lunch.
Have you finished your schoolwork yet? American English for the same would be I just saw the movie or I’ve seen the movie. I had lunch or I already had lunch. Have you finished your schoolwork yet? OR Did you finish your schoolwork yet? 2. Forms of Possession: There are two forms used to express possession in English- Have or Have got Do you have a house? Have you got a house? She hasn’t got any clothes.
She doesn’t have any clothes. He has a melodious voice. He’s got a melodious voice. Both forms are correct and are accepted in both British and American English. However, have got (have you got, he hasn’t got, etc.
) is generally preferred by those who speak British English and have (do you have, he doesn’t have etc.) is preferred by those who spoke American English. 3. Verb usage The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English. Example: American English: She’s gotten better since she started taking medication. British English: She’s got much better since she started taking medication.
4. The use of Prepositions Example: British English: They get paid at the month end. American English: They get paid on the month end.
British English: They have to work Monday to Friday. American English: They have to work Monday through Friday. British English: Please mail to me soon American English: Please mail me soon.
5. The usage of Past Simple/ Past Participles It is acceptable in both British and American English to use both forms- past simple and past participle for some verbs. However, British English prefers the irregular form of the verb and American English prefers the usage of the regular form. Example British English: He burnt his finger. American English: He burned his finger. British English: He dreamt that he was in heaven. American English: He dreamed that he was in heaven. 6.
The usage of idioms: Several English idioms that have the same meaning show marked differences between the British English and the American English version. Example British English: I wouldn’t touch that animal with a bargepole American English: I wouldn’t touch that animal with a ten-feet pole. British English; He tried in vain to sweep the evidence under the carpet. American English: He tried in vain to sweep the evidence under the rug. British English: Despite his attempt to throw a spanner in the works the project was completed before the deadline. American English: Despite his attempt to throw a wrench in the works the project was completed before the deadline. British English: He often can’t see the wood for the trees and has to have the relevant points explained to him.
American English: He often can’t see the forest for the trees and has to have the relevant points explained to him. 7. The writing of dates: Dates are written differently in the short form in British English and American English.
Christmas Day 2000, is 25/12/2000 in British English and 12/25/2000 in American English. 8. The writing of time: Users of American English always write digital times with a colon, thus 9:00 whereas the users of British English often use a point, 6.00.