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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Please help with British English

    I am an American teaching English to Chinese people. I need help understanding British English in order to differentiate between Chinese people making mistakes vs. Chinese people using British English and my misunderstanding this as mistakes. Are there any British English speakers who can help me out?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Please help with British English

    Welcome to the forum.

    There are plenty of BrE speakers on the forum. Simply post your specific questions about usage and we will be able to comment on whether what you're hearing from your students is natural BrE or not.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: Please help with British English

    Fire away.

  4. Junior Member
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    #4

    Re: Please help with British English

    Hi everybody!

    I have a question about "holiday". Do speakers of British English always say "holiday" or do they sometimes say "vacation"?

  5. Moderator
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    #5

    Re: Please help with British English

    Start by clicking here and scrolling down to the fifth entry.

    You can read lots of similar threads on the same topic.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: Please help with British English

    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaTurtle View Post
    I have a question about "holiday". Do speakers of British English always say "holiday" or do they sometimes say "vacation"?
    We generally say holiday. We are familiar with the term vacation, and may use it occasionally, so it would be hard to say always. However, vacation is, I think, a very minor term for most speakers.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Please help with British English

    I would say it's close to always.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Please help with British English

    I only use "vacation" if I'm speaking to an American. Even then, I would probably only use it if I didn't think the person had had much exposure to BrE and wouldn't know what "I'm going on holiday" or "I'll be there for the school holidays" meant.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. Key Member
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    #9

    Re: Please help with British English

    NinjaTurtle: I don't worry too much about differences in English, and I recommend you don't either. You can point out to your students that Chinese people from different parts of China also speak the same language in noticeably different ways. By far, most exposure to English in China is from (ultimately) Hong Kong-trained teachers which means BrE. The only area where this causes any difficulty is in understanding popular culture which is heavily influenced by AmE.

    The only significant difference between BrE and AmE other than usage is in the pronunciation of the long and short 'O' sounds and the loss of 'r' sounds in BrE. I talk about this with my students. I do not correct the difference in 'o' sounds, but I do force them to reinsert the 'r' sound. I have to work hard to get them to pronounce final consonant sounds at all, so I include the 'r'.
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