British versus American English

British and American English have far more similarities than differences. But it’s still good to know how the languages differ.
Listen to this audio clip discussing the differences. Did you know them all? I didn’t realise that the Americans don’t use “tag questions” as often as we Brits do. I use them a lot. Do you?

Writing a business letter

The Visual Communication Guy shows us what a formal American business letter can look like. I find it very clear to understand.

I don’t use a colon after the greeting. I learnt to use a comma, but now sometimes just leave it out! I would never end a letter with ‘Sincerely’. I would use ‘Yours sincerely’. However, I very rarely write letters now. Most of my correspondence is via email. I presume yours is to.

The differences continue …

The differences continue …

rubber wristbands with country names on them

Here are more words with different meanings in American and British English:

British                   American
film                         movie
ground floor           first floor
holiday                   vacation
lift                           elevator
lorry                        truck

Can you see how this can cause confusion? For a British person, the ‘Erdgeschoss’ is the ‘ground floor’. For an American, it’s the ‘first floor’. So sometimes, before anything dramatic happens, you might need to double check to make sure you’re both speaking about the same thing! 😉

Football versus soccer

The popular sport of kicking a round ball into a large net (called the ‘goal’) is called ‘football’ in Britain and ‘soccer’ in America. What the Americans call ‘football’ is played with an oval-shaped ball. British speakers call this ‘American football‘ (link to: wikipedia.org) which should not be confused with ‘rugby’.

If you’re interested, you’ll find a nice chart comparing American football and rugby here (link to: diffen.com).

 

And more differences …

And more differences …

rubber wristbands with country names on them

Here are yet more words with different meanings in American and British English:

British                   American
maths                     math
motorway               highway
pavement               sidewalk
petrol                     gas, gasoline
postcode               zip code