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Hello! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!
My students are always asking me:
What's the difference
between British English and American English?
Which one's the best?
Which one should I learn?
It's really confusing!
In my last lesson I talked about which type of English
you should learn.
You can watch that right here if you missed it.
But in this lesson
we are going to look at the main differences
between standard British English
and standard American English.
While it's incorrect to say that one type of English
is better than the other
or that one is more correct than the other,
it is important to be aware of the differences
between British and American English.
And focus on the type of English that is most
relevant for you.
And that is what this lesson is all about.
The main areas that you'll notice differences between
British and American English are
accent, obviously, spelling, vocabulary
and some areas of grammar including use of
prepositions and use of collective nouns.
Now if you are studying for an English exam,
applying for or studying at an English University
or using English professionally for your job
then this lesson is especially important for you!
Usually in all of these situations,
you need to pay attention to spelling and grammar rules
because it can affect your score or even your reputation.
Okay so let's talk about some of these differences.
Starting with accent.
It's probably the most obvious difference.
But the difference is not as simple as British
and American accents, right?
Regional accents
in both of these countries can differ dramatically.
Someone from South London sounds very different
than someone from Scotland.
And both sound very different from the Queen of England.
And it's the same in America,
the accent can vary significantly
depending on where you are in the country.
That said, if we compare standard British English
and standard American English accents,
there are a few clear differences.
There are differences in the way
that vowels are pronounced.
Okay so we would say hot. Hot.
We say ant.
Ant. Ant.
Leisure. Leisure. Leisure.
Americans tend to pronounce a flap T
when the letter T is between two vowel sounds.
Like in these words.
The flap T is a flatter sound
that actually sounds more like a D.
Water. Water.
Bottle. Bottle.
Little. Little.
Daughter. Daughter.
Hear that flap T sound?
Its also very common in my Australian accent as well.
Standard American English clearly pronounces
the R after a vowel sound
where most British English speakers don't.
So for example,
car, car.
Burger, burger.
And I just say burger.
Daughter, daughter.
You can hear some more of those examples
in this video right here.
Okay so accent is one difference.
But there are some more frustrating differences
that can actually get you into trouble, like spelling.
Americans spell English words differently
to the rest of us.
Some of you may actually think that the
American spelling is easier.
It was changed only a few hundred years ago
from the British way to a new American English way.
And the reason was to make words
look more phonetic.
So words are actually spelt more like they sound.
It makes a lot of sense right?
Words that end in -our in British English
so think about the words
colour, honour, neighbour.
They simply end in -or in American English.
In British English verbs that end in an L
after a short vowel sound
have a double L when -ed or -ing are added.
Travelled or modelling for example.
But in American English there is only one L.
Jewellery is another example of this
though even more changes were made to make jewellery
more phonetic.
Words ending in -ise in British English
end in -ize in American English.
Like realise, organise.
Words ending in -re in British English
end in -er in American English, most of the time.
Like in the word centre.
Words ending in -ence in British English
end in -ense in American English
like defence and license.
You'll also find some small differences with past forms
of regular verbs.
So the past tense of learn in American English is learned
but in British English learned or learnt is possible.
Though the -ed form is more common where I'm from.
Notice that the pronunciation is the same.
The same rule applies for dreamt and burnt.
As an extra hint make sure you're using a spellcheck tool
that is set to the type of English that you're learning,
so that it's correcting your spelling
with the right type of English.
The most frustrating difference between
British and American English is surely vocabulary
- even for native speakers!
There are hundreds of everyday words
that are just different.
And to make matters worse, Australian English
Canadian English, New Zealander English
South African English,
can also use different words for the same thing.
The difference is really obvious in nouns
especially food, where each type of English
has different nouns for the same thing.
So for example the herb coriander
is called cilantro in America, nothing alike!
And there are heaps of differences just like that.
I made a whole video about it right here.
These differences in vocabulary are something
that even native English speakers
have to try and understand too.
We don't always know exactly
what another English speaker is talking about
because we use different words for the same thing.
In those situations,
we usually try to use the context of the sentence
to understand what this new word is.
And if we still don't know, we just have to ask.
If you know what type of English you need,
then I highly recommend
finding a native English teacher
who can help you to learn and understand
the English vocabulary that is used in that place.
Cambly is a really great place for you to do that
because they've got native English teachers from
all English-speaking countries.
So if you're travelling to Canada,
you can find a Canadian teacher to help you.
If you're applying for a university in the United Kingdom,
then find a teacher who uses the accent, the vocabulary
and the spelling rules
that will get you really great results in your exams.
It will just make it so much easier for you
once you arrive.
And you can try a free 15-minute lesson with Cambly
by using the link in the description just below this video.
I've had a chat to a few different teachers there
and they've been super friendly and helpful
so I really recommend it!
Now, prepositions are confusing enough
without me telling you that sometimes
American and British English
use prepositions differently.
But don't worry.
Most of them are exactly the same
but there's just a few that you need to be aware of
because they're used differently.
"What are you doing on the weekend"
is common in American English
whereas "What are you doing at the weekend"
is more commonly used in the UK.
In Australia we mostly use 'on'.
When talking about a period in a week,
'through' is really common in American English.
My brother works Monday through Friday
whereas 'to' is more common in British English
and also Australian English.
My brother works Monday to Friday.
These mean exactly the same thing.
The good news is that native English speakers
will understand you no matter what
whichever one you choose.
So it's not a major problem,
it's just something that you need to be aware of.
When describing something that has recently occurred
that affects the present moment,
I would use the present perfect, probably.
But my American friends would likely use
the past simple tense instead.
So let me explain with an example.
If I've just eaten a big meal and someone asked
if I wanted dessert,
I'd say "No thanks, I've eaten too much!"
But an American would probably choose
the past simple and simply say,
"No thanks, I ate too much!"
Someone speaking British English would probably
choose to use the present perfect tense in this situation
Collective nouns, which are nouns that refer
to a group of things.
Like a group of students is called a class
or a group of colleagues working on the same project
is a team.
Or a group of cows is called a herd.
A family, an audience, a crowd.
These are all examples of collective nouns.
And British English and American English
treat these nouns
differently in English sentences.
In American English, collective nouns are singular
so they're treated in the same way as other
singular nouns are.
The team has asked for more resources.
The band is really good!
The class is meeting at the library after lunch.
So even though there are many individuals
that make up the class, grammatically, they're treated
as a single thing, as one.
In British English, collective nouns can be singular
but they can also be plural nouns as well.
So someone using British English could say
either of these different options.
The class is meeting at the library after lunch.
So referring to the class as a whole.
Or the class are meeting at the library after lunch.
And that refers to
all of the individuals that are part of the class.
The difference is simply about whether the group
is being referred to as a whole, as a single unit,
or as a collection of individuals inside the group.
Then it's treated as plural.
The team has asked for more resources.
So that's the team as one unit.
The team have asked for more resources.
The team as a group of individuals
and the meaning is identical.
The band is really good.
Or the band are too tired!
The individual members of the band are too tired.
While this lesson makes it seem like
there are lots of differences between
American and British English,
they are really only a tiny, tiny percent of English.
With the grammar and prepositions,
the differences are less serious and less obvious
because people will still understand you
The vocabulary and the spelling are the two main areas
that you need to pay attention to.
On the whole, American English and British English
are mostly very similar,
we watch each other's TV shows,
we read each other's books.
We're used to it.
So really,
the two types of English are not so different at all.
If you've got any questions about this lesson
then pop them in the comments box below this video
so that I can get back to you.
Make sure that you subscribe to my channel
by clicking that red button right there.
And if you want, you can watch these two lessons
right here, to learn
more about the differences
between British and American English.
Thanks for watching and I'll see you next week.
Bye for now!


美式英文和英式英文的差別是?(What's the difference between American & British English?)

5763 分類 收藏
Samuel 發佈於 2018 年 4 月 19 日    Sandy 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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