The difference between American and British English

Date : 10/02/2020 09:55 (JST) Category : Blog

I am presenting from London, UK.

It’s been 4 months since I joined Mamasan&Company. I started working here because of COVID-19, that has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate.

At the height of lockdown, my husband was working from home and my kids were attending school classes by taking full advantage of online tools and web services. Under such circumstances, I realized that I might be able to work online as well?! Then I found Mamasan&Company offering a variety of jobs to mothers who live in all over the world, like myself. I could quickly catch up with my tasks as Mamasan&Company provides useful manuals that help me understand what I need to do, and when I struggled with something, other senior members were always very supportive. Now I can manage a good work-life balance and I seem to be enjoying everyday in the new normal.

Differences between American and British English

Today, I would talk a little bit about the difference between American and British English. I remember that after I moved to the UK, it took a while to get myself used to British English, as I was taught American English in schools in Japan.
Apart from pronunciation, the most noticeable differences are vocabulary and spelling – whilst there are hundreds of everyday words that are different, the below are a few examples.

Vocabulary difference

American British
apartment flat
band-aid plaster
elevator lift
eraser rubber
french fries chips
gas station petrol station
pants trousers
potato chips crisps
sneakers trainers
soccer football
vacation holiday

You might say ‘sneakers’ for the sports shoes, but in British they say ‘trainers‘.

Americans go on ‘vacation’ while British take a ‘holiday’. Ask for ‘chips’ in the UK and you’ll get chunks of hot french fries, while in the US you’ll get a bag of what the British call ‘crisps’.

spelling differences

There are several differences in spelling as well. Some have patterns from historical backgrounds (e.g. -or/-our, -ize/-ise, -ce/-se), while some don’t seem to fall under any specific rule of thumb but just be helpful to know:

American British
airplane aeroplane
center centre
check cheque
color colour
counselor counseller
gray grey
jewelry jewellery
license licence
Mom Mum
realize realise
theater theatre

When I learned about these facts, I found it surprising and interesting that, despite how much the US and UK have in common, there are enough differences between the two most famous versions of the English language. Given the number of places that English is spoken, there should be many more varieties of English that are used around the world.

There are lots of mums working at Mamasan&Company in many countries who I look forward to working with. If someone have new findings, please just share – I am curious to hear about them.

From London Eye

Please read it ?
The Kids learn English at school
from elementary school!
2018年4月17日 国内ブログ

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