UK English & USA English

UK English & USA English


UK English & USA EnglishThe English language was first taken to the North American continent in the early part of the 17th century. At this time North America was a colony of the British Empire and therefore English will have been enforced as the official language. However in the 400 years or so that followed the evolution of the language has been very different in both countries. As a result there are now some very big differences between the English that is spoken in the UK and the English of the USA.

Despite these differences British and American people can always understand each other. In today’s society with ultra-fast communication methods and global entertainment through TV and film people in Both the UK and USA are exposed to one anothers language and at times utilise both methods of expression.

Here are some examples of linguistic difference


Americans use the present perfect tense less than speakers of British English and a British teacher might mark wrong some things that an American teacher would say are correct.

  • US Did you do your homework yet?
  • Brit. Have you done your homework yet?
  • US I already ate.
  • Brit. I’ve already eaten.

In British English, ‘have got’ is often used for the possessive sense of ‘have’ and ‘have got to’ is informally used for ‘have to’. This is much less common in American English.

  • Brit. I’ve got two sisters.
  • US I have two sisters.
  • Brit. I’ve got to go now.
  • US I have to go now.







Here are some differences in the use of certain common nouns


Angry Mad
Autumn Fall
Boot (of a car) Trunk
Bonnet (of a car) Hood
Pavement Sidewalk
Tick Check
Chemist (shop) Drug store
Cupboard Closet
Flat Apartment
Nappy Diaper
Tap Faucet
Lift Elevator
Petrol Gasoline/gas
Rubbish Trash
Football Soccer
Holiday Vacation
Rubber Eraser
Queue Line
Motorway Highway
Sweets Candy
Trainers Sneakers
Shop Store
Torch Flashlight


It is important of course to remember that most of these differences are understood by all native speakers. To confuse these words is not making a mistake and you will be speaking correct English whichever version of the language that you choose.

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