Difference between American and British English – Part 2

If spellings had us baffled last time, then this one would be a killer.

American and British English differ greatly, even in terms of sentence structures and use of tense. What may be standard in British English might not be correct in American English.

Following are a few more differences which you should take note of.

Use of Present Perfect:

British English

I’ve lost my key. Can you look for it?

American:

I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?

(Americans generally avoid using present perfect tense)

Use of Already, Just and Yet

British:

I’ve just had lunch
I’ve already seen that film
Have you finished your homework yet?

American:

I just had lunch
I already saw that film
Have you finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?

Generally have and has are preferred in British English and do and does in American English. However, both are accepted in American and British English. For instance:

British – She has a beautiful home

American – She’s got a beautiful home

The verb get is also used as gotten in American English, for instance,

She has gotten used to the brutality inflicted upon her

Difference in Use of Prepositions

American

on the weekend
on a team
please write me soon
Monday through Friday
out the door
Figure Out
Children are at the School
Lay off

British

at the weekend
in a team
please write to me soon
Monday to Friday
out of the door
Work Out
Children are in the School
make redundant

There are different versions of idioms in American and British English

American

not touch something with a ten-foot pole
sweep under the rug
knock on wood
see the forest for the trees
a home away from home
blow (or toot ) one’s horn
a drop in the bucket
Tempest in a teapot
beating a dead horse
a new lease on life

British

not touch something with a bargepole
sweep under the carpet
touch wood
see the woods for the trees
a home from home
blow one’s trumpet
drop in the ocean
storm in a teacup
flogging a dead horse
a new lease of life

Knowing Americanisms is very useful, when creating a copy for American readers.

So remember that and will easily suffice, where additionally should have been and one will respectfully make for you.

Want to Know more or tell us something. Feel Free to contact us or leave a comment.

About Nosheen

I am a writer, reader, and a part time adventure and travel enthusiast. The other three things that vie for my mind share are dark chocolate, coffee, and photography. I am highly motivated by user perspectives and addressing the common human experience when I write.
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