Páginas: 6 (1347 palavras) Publicado: 9 de outubro de 2012
Etec Zona Sul


Differences between American and British English


Cássia Oliveira n°04
Jennifer Quinteiro Melo n°13
Disciplina: Língua Inglesa
Professora: Juliana


While there are certainly many more varieties of English, American and British English are the two varieties that aretaught in the most . Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct" however, there are certainly preferences in use. The most important rule of thumb is to try to be consistent in your usage. If you decide that you want to use American English spellings then be consistent in your spelling (i.e. The color of the orange is also its flavour - color is American spelling and flavour is British),this is of course not always easy - or possible. The following texts is meant to point out the principal differences between these two varieties of English.



Probably the major differences between British and American English lies in the choice of vocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties for example:Mean: (American English - angry, bad humored, British English - not generous, tight fisted)

Rubber: (American English - condom, British English - tool used to erase pencil markings)

There are many more examples (too many for me to list here). If there is a difference in usage, your dictionary will note the different meanings in its definition of the term. Many vocabulary items are alsoused in one form and not in the other. One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles.

• American English - hood
British English - bonnet

• American English - trunk
British English - boot

• American English - truck
British English – lorry



Use of the Present Perfect

In British English the present perfect is used toexpress an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example:

I've lost my key. Can you help me look for it?
In American English the following is also possible:
I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?

In British English the above would be considered incorrect. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English.Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include already, just and yet.

British English:

I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film
Have you finished your homework yet?

American English:

I just had lunch OR I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film OR I already saw that film.
Haveyour finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?


There are two forms to express possession in English. Have or Have got

Do you have a car?
Have you got a car?

He hasn't got any friends.
He doesn't have any friends.

She has a beautiful new home.
She's got a beautiful new home.

While both formsare correct (and accepted in both British and American English), have got (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ the have (do you have, he doesn't have etc.)

The Verb Get

The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English.


He's gotten much better atplaying tennis. British English - He's got much better at playing tennis.


There are also a few differences in preposition use including the following:

• American English - on the weekend
British English - at the weekend

• American English - on a team
British English - in a team

• American English - please write me soon
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