Know Your English Language

American or British English, the usage has always put people in dilemma… Here are some great ways to know what works best for you…

Since we are living in a global village, we need to understand our language needs better. There are many countries which have English as their preferred business or transactional language. English is also a favoured language across media. Therefore, from educational institutions to global corporates, there are many, who want to use correct and appropriate language, to ensure that their businesses are running well. As much as etiquette and sobriety is required for any business to look good. Effective communication, both written as well as verbal, also hold an important role and should be perfected.

Since the time English language has been formed, there have been two countries, which had the largest population of native English speakers, United States of America and Great Britain. Therefore, to talk about the origins of English language will be debatable. Today, in many publications, corporate communications, media, one of the two is followed. There are many countries in the world, which have adopted one of two and then made their own additions to them.

However, despite having the same language so to say, there are still notable differences between British English and American English in terms of syntax or basic grammar, vocabulary and even spellings.

Syntax or Basic Grammar
There is great between the structure of sentences between American English and British English. Among a few grammatical changes we have For example the tense: British English have sentences with more of present perfect tense than American English. Sometimes, for this reason, it may even be said that there is high use of colloquialism in American English.

ü  Did you do your exercise yet? (American English)

ü  Have you done your exercise yet? (British English)


Mostly, in British English, the possessive form of ‘have’ is ‘have got’ or ‘have got to’, which is not very common in American English.

ü  I have to be there in ten minutes. (American English)

ü  I’ve got to be there in ten minutes. (British English)


Obviously, there are many spelling rules that differ between the American form of English and the British form. We know of some spelling that end with ‘-tre’ in British English and the same words end with ‘-ter’ in American English like centre and center.

There are some common words that we use, ending with ‘-our’ in British English and ending with ‘-or’, like colour and color.

There some words, which are shorter in American English such as Program rather than programme or even catalog rather than catlaogue. Also, some words replace ‘s’ with ‘z’ such as, organization, rather than organisation.


There can be many differences between the words that are used in British English and the ones used in American English. Below are a few:

British  –  American

Aerial (Radio/Tv) – Antenna

Angry – Mad

Barrister/Soliciter – Attorney, Lawyer

Bath – Bathtub, tub

Car park – Parking Lot

Chap – Guy, Man, Boy

Chemist’s – Drugstore

Chemist – Pharmacist

Cinema – Movie theater

Cooker – Stove

Couch – Settee

Engine – Motor

Handbag – Purse

Holiday – Vacation

Rubber – Eraser

Row – Argument

Rubbish – Garbage

Queue – Line

Surname – Last name

Zebra Crossing – Pedestrian Crossing

However some of the words are used much in common but may have different meanings altogether. Nevertheless, there are many words, which the British or the Americans may not understand, from their respective languages.

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