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    #1

    Smile british or american english

    hi you all
    may i disturb for a moment with my silly questions
    first, is there any grammatical striking difference between british and american english.
    second, or is it only in writing such as colour (british) color (us)
    Thanks for your respond in answering my silly quetion


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    #2

    Re: british or american english

    Not a teacher.

    There are some with far more experience in this area than I have, and I'm sure they will eventually gravitate over this way. In my dealings with the British there have been mostly difference in pronunciation, spelling, and phrasing.

    The pronunciation is the most obvious part, and it makes it seem incredible that they and I are actually speaking the same language sometimes (especially Scottish accents!). We pronounce our R's a lot more than the British do, which is what most Americans notice first. Most Americans consider the British accent to sound more sophisticated and "superior" to our own. Sometimes I get the image of a snobby aristocrat looking down his nose through his monocle, as he strokes his thick mustache when I hear some British accents.

    The spelling isn't that different, mostly just some E's and U's that the Americans have taken out for whatever reason and some letter switching. Like you pointed out: colour instead of color, armour instead of armor, theatre instead of theater, and the use of other useless letters.

    The British do have a great number of different phrases than the Americans do. Lots of words mean different things in either accent. Some British idiomatic expressions are as foreign to me as most English idiomatic expressions are to you! I learned just the other day that "jammy" means "lucky." Some guy called me a "jammy bugger" and I had no clue what he was saying. I've never had English "pudding" either.

    I wonder why it is that Americans and Canadians (pretty similar) formed fairly different accents when compared with Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa? I would even say that Australia and New Zealand are more remote than the US, but the accents are still close to British (at least to an American). Is it the time periods the different areas were colonized? (Question directed at anyone who knows.)

  1. SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: british or american english

    Also keep in mind that USA welcomed the immigrants from Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Africans and various other parts of world. They formed a melting pot. Also, due to geographical reasons and climatic conditions, many parts of USA have developed a distinct nasal twang. Also, USA being more democratic and new country, you could always move away from the conservative attitude towards anything and everything, and it was accepted by others easily.
    Australia, Cananda, New Zealand and India etc. i.e., more commonly known as Commonwealth countries, maintained their connections with British Empire and tried to follow Britishers in their Political and Sociological thought for a long period of time. Thus they developed a pronounciation and language which is more similar to Britain.


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    #4

    Re: british or american english

    Nuharani, (not a teacher)

    If you are interested in the differences between British and American English or differences between other pairs of English-speaking countries (such as U.S./Canada, Australia/New Zealand), there is a lot of information available on the web-look up "American English" or "differences between American and British English." I believe the wikipedia entry on the English language links to many of these sites.

    As I understand it, many of the spelling differences were introduced by Noah Webster when he was compiling an early American dictionary as an effort to assert linguistic independence. Because many of the new spellings involved words ending in an "r" sound (colour/color; honour/honor; theatre/theater), they weren't pronounced the same to begin with so the changes probably had minor impact.

    GF

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: british or american english

    Quote Originally Posted by nuharani View Post
    hi you all
    may i disturb for a moment with my silly questions
    first, is there any grammatical striking difference between british and american english.
    second, or is it only in writing such as colour (british) color (us)
    Thanks for your respond in answering my silly quetion
    First of all, there is no such thing as a "silly" question. We don't learn if we don't ask questions!

    One striking grammatical difference between BrE and AmE (and I'm sure there are more) is the use of a plural verb with a collective noun. For example:

    BrE: Queen are planning their first tour since the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury.
    AmE: Queen is planning its first tour since the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury.

    BrE: The football team are planning their strategy in the locker room.
    AmE: The football team is planning its strategy in the locker room.

  3. Offroad's Avatar
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    #6

    Smile Re: british or american english


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    #7

    Re: british or american english

    [quote=Ouisch;378228]

    One striking grammatical difference between BrE and AmE (and I'm sure there are more) is the use of a plural verb with a collective noun.[/quote]

    A couple that I have noticed AmE speakers thinking were strange or incorrect are:


    • want/need + gerund (with a passive meaning): The room needs cleaning.
    • the use of will have + past participle for something we believe or assume has already been completed: It's OK to phone because he will have got home by now.


  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: british or american english

    The differnces in prepositions always catches me by surprise.
    At the weekend (BrE) and On the weekend (AmE)
    In the street (BrE and On the street (AmE)
    are just a couple.

    And of course, there's the vocabulary: boot, bonnet, lift, jumper, trainers, rug vs trunk, hood, elevator, sweater, sneakers, blanket.

    And there's this weird thing with got/has got/has that I can never figure out.

    (By the way, Tdol, I would find your examples incorrect too.)

  5. Offroad's Avatar
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    #9

    Smile Re: british or american english

    The room needs cleaning.
    It's OK to phone because he will have got home by now.

    The first one sounds good, I am sure I heard it somewhere, is it grammatically OK?

    Thanks


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    #10

    Re: british or american english

    I am not sure you can be overly prescriptive as to what usage is found in either country. It seems to me that in many cases usages are the same, or are controlled by context.

    At the weekend we are going to Cornwall.
    On the weekend, we visited Tintagel Castle.
    During the weekend we drove 500 miles.


    All are acceptable and used in BrE. I would suspect you will find them used in AmE too.

    Spellings on the other hand have been deliberately changed and implemented, and are subject to prescription. Such changes can lose the history of the word.

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