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Difference Between UK and US English

english-dictionary-pdUK vs US English

English, as we all know, is considered as the universal language. It is spoken all over the world. However, you will also notice that people all over the world are using different types of English. Let’s take a closer look at these two popular types: UK and US English.
Even if both types of English are widely used, there are some differences that will be worth knowing to identify the type of English that you are using.

US English is what we know as the American English which is widely used in the United States. UK English, on the other hand, is known as the British English. Some also call it the BBC English since it is the English used by British reporters, and another name for it is the Queen’s English.
In terms of vocabulary, some words in US English may mean something different in UK English. For example, the word biscuit for the British means baked sweet or savoury cake that is hard when baked and softens over time; while in the US it is a quick bread served with savoury foods.
With regards to pronunciation, American English is more nasal. Stress is also another difference to consider. Just like in the word princess, British stress the second syllable while Americans stressed the first.

Spelling is another area of difference. American English spelling is more simplified. Example of which includes, color for the US and colour for the UK, same goes with honor and honour. The doubling of letters in words is another good example. It will be traveler in the US and traveller in the UK. The use of ‘“og instead of ‘“ogue in word such as dialog and dialogue or catalog and catalogue.

Grammar approach also poses some difference between the two. US English makes use of simple past tense in situations where British will use the present perfect tense. This sometimes creates confusion since the rules and use of grammar is different between the two.
Whether you prefer to use US or UK English, you have to familiarize yourself with how each one is used to ensure that messages are sent clearly.
Summary:
1.US English is identified as American English while UK English is more popularly known as British English.

2.US English may stress a word on the first syllable while UK English will normally put stress on the second syllable.
3.US English adopts the ‘“og on some word endings instead of the ‘“ogue that UK English prefers.

4.US English make use of simple past tense in sentences while UK English will use present perfect tense.


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2 Comments

  1. 1. Syllable, or tonic stress depends on the word length (amount of syllables) rather than which English is spoken.

    2. One reason the spelling is different as Webster, the first American dictionary author believed British English to be corrupt – too much foreign influence e.g. French and German. He wished American English be more ‘pure’. However American English today is probably way more ‘corrupt’ – the irony:)

    3. American English has less monophthongs, single vowel sounds than British English, with a couple of different vowel sounds e.g. rhotic r – British people tend not to pronounce the r sound in the middle or at the end of a word whereas Americans do.

    4. Grammar-wise it’s pretty much the same, though yes the Present Perfect usage is slightly different e.g. British English prefers ‘have been’, rather than ‘have gone’.

  2. No, my friend. The one that developed American English did a terrific job. You should be grateful for that. American English is quite easy in comparison to other english languages.

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