Difference between British and American English

Learn about the differences between American English and British English. This article will help you to know the commonly confused words in British and American English. A discussion of the differences between standard American and British English.

Difference between British and American English

Here are some of the main differences in vocabulary between British and American English. Here is a collection of some commonly used words translated from British English to American English. American and British English spelling differences are one aspect of American and British English differences. It is very useful to people who visit both countries more frequently than others to convert commonly used words from British English to American English. There are many British words which are different from American words. It is an effort to provide information about the Commonly confused words in British and American English.

British English vs American English

British English American English
Aerial Antenna
Angry Mad
Anywhere Anyplace
Autumn Fall
Bank note Bill
Barrister, Solicitor Attorney
Biscuit Cookie
Bonnet Hood
Boot Trunk
Braces Suspenders
Caretaker Janitor
Chemist Drug store
Chips French fries
Cinema Movie
Condom Rubber
Constable Patrolman
Cooker Stove
Cot Crib
Cotton Thread
Crash Wreck
Crossroads Intersection
Curtains Drapes
Draughts Checkers
Drawing pin Thumb tack
Dual carriageway Divided highway
Dummy Pacifier
Dust bin, Rubbish bin Trash can, Garbage can
Dustman Garbage collector
Dynamo Generator
Engine Motor
Film Movie
Flat Apartment
Flyover Overpass
Garden Yard
Gear lever Gear shift
Graduate Alumnus
Grill Boiler
Ground floor First floor
Gym shoes, Tennis shoes Sneakers
Hand bag Purse
Hoarding Billboard
Holiday Vacation
Hoover Vacuum cleaner
Ill Sick
Interval Intermission
Jersey, Jumper, Pull over, Sweater Sweater
Jug Pitcher
Lift Elevator
Lorry truck
Luggage Baggage
Mad Crazy
Main road Highway
Maize Corn
Maths Math
Mean Stingy
Motorway Freeway
Nappy Diaper
Nasty Vicious, Mean
Nowhere No place
Nursing home Private hospital
Occultist, Optician Optometrist
Paraffin Kerosene
Pavement Sidewalk
Peep Peek
Petrol Gas, Gasoline
Post Mail
Postbox Mailbox
Postman Mailman, Mail carrier
Potato crisps Potato chips
Pram Baby carriage
Pub Bar
Public toilet Rest room
Puncture Blowout
Push chair Stroller
Queue Line
Railway Railroad
Railway carriage Railway car
Reel of cotton Reel of thread
Return ticket Round trip
Reverse charges Call collect
Rise in salary Raise
Road surface Pavement
Roundabout Traffic circle
Rubber Eraser
Saloon Sedan
Sellotape Scotch tape
Shop Store
Silencer Muffler
Single ticket One way
Somewhere Someplace
Spanner Wrench
Staff of a university Faculty
Sump Oil pan
Sweet Dessert
Sweets Candy
Tap Faucet
Tap (outdoor) Spigot
Taxi Cab
Tea towel Dish towel
Term Semester
Tights Pantyhose
Timetable Schedule
Tin Can
Toll motorway Turnpike
Torch Flashlight
Tramp Hobo
Trousers Pants
Turn ups Cuffs
Underground railway Subway
Underpants Shorts
Verge of road Shoulder of road
Waistcoat Vest
Wardrobe Closet
Wash your hands Wash up
Windscreen Windshield
Wing Fender
Zip Zipper

In British English, words that end in -l preceded by a vowel usually double the -l when a suffix is added, while in American English the letter is not doubled. The letter will double in the stress is on the second syllable.

Base Word American English British English
counsel counse ling counse lling
equal equa ling equa lling
model mode ling mode lling
quarrel quarre ling quarre lling
signal signa ling signa lling
travel trave ling trave lling
excel exce lling exce lling
propel prope lling prope lling

Difference between British and American Spellings of Verbs

For the spellings of verbs, Generally the rule is that if there is a verb form with -ed, American English will use it, and if there is a form with -t, British English uses it. However, these forms do not exist for every verb and there is variation. For example, both American and British English would use the word ’worked’ for the past form of ’to work’. So what does tall his mean for learners of English? In the beginning, unfortunately, it means a lot of memorization (or memorisation) and of course, a few mistakes. For spoken English, the differences are barely audible, so forge ahead and don’t be too concerned with whether a word is spelled ’dreamed’ or ’dreamt’. With written English, however, if you are unsure about the spelling, better to ask your teacher or look the word up in the dictionary and see what the experts say.

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