Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Differences between American English & British English

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Differences between American English & British English"— Presentation transcript:

1 Differences between American English & British English
Lily Chang English Department

2 Outline A. Differences between A.E. and B.E.
Spelling Vocabulary Grammar Pronunciation & accent Speech B. Backgrounds leading to the differences Geographic separation National identity Spelling reform C. Conclusion & future development

3 Differences between A.E. and B.E.

4 “The Americans are identical to the British in all respects except, of course, .” ~ Oscar Wilde

5 Differences: spelling
Examples (A.E. / B.E.): color / colour traveling / travelling theater / theatre check / cheque tire / tyre  AE is more economically and phonetically spelled. Exception (A.E. / B.E.): skillful / skilful

6 Differences: vocabulary -1
Examples: potato chips / crisps gasoline (gas) / petrol elevator / lift first floor / ground floor / panda car / nappy / coach / rubber police patrol car diaper intercity bus eraser

7 Differences: vocabulary -2
The differences can sometimes cause embarrassment and even misunderstanding! Examples: “pants” – “trousers” in A.E. BUT “underwear” in B.E. Date: A.E.12/21/2012 B.E.21/12/2012 Number: “billion” A.E. a thousand million B.E. a million million Expiration: 9/1/2013

8 Differences: vocabulary -3
Slangs & Dialogue One day, a blighter called Tom went to a noshery to have a nosh-up with his parents because the nosh there was fantastic. Because he liked to have banger very much, he argued to his parents. Tom: “I’d like to try all kinds of banger in this noshery!” Parents: “Don’t talk balls! It’s too expensive to do that!” Tom: “Why not? It’s not cricket! My friend, Tony, has tried all of them! Not cricket, not cricket, not cricket!!!” Parents: “(narked) Belt up! I’ve heard that, too. But do you know that contributed a lot to his weight, too?” annoying boy restaurant meal food sausage sausage restaurant nonsense fair fair fair fair annoyed Shut up

9 Differences: grammar Use of subjunctive
AE: It is important that she be told. BE: It is important that she is told. Quotation marks AE: “Do you want to have lunch together in the new cafe called ‘Light House’ with me?” BE: ‘Do you want to have lunch together in the new café called “Light House” with me?’

10 Differences: pronunciation & accent -1
Stress: stress on different syllables (A.E. / B.E.): garage / garage advertisement / advertisement stress on different vowels (A.E. / B.E.): vase [veɪs]/ vase [vɑːz] leisure [ˈliː.ʒɚ] / leisure [ˈleʒ.ər] Retroflex (A.E. / B.E.): clerk [klɑːk] / clerk [klɜːrk]

11 Differences: pronunciation & accent -1
Accent:” How British People Sound to Americans”

12 Differences: speech A.E.: more general
B.E.: care about nuances of meaning Reason: British people’s emphasis on social status A.E.: more hyperbole B.E.: more understatement Example: A.E. grab some food Reason: Americans are more influenced by exaggerations of the media. A.E.: disobey grammatical rules more often B.E.: obey grammatical rules Example: AE: “author” a book

13 Backgrounds leading to the differences

14 Background: geographic separation
The populations in the US and UK are divided. Americans and British people have interactions with different people. Noah Webster: “These causes will produce in the course of time a language in North America as different from the future language of England as the modern Dutch, Danish and Swedish are from German or from one another.”

15 Background: National identity
Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” Purpose: to have cultural independence from Britain Principle: Words should be spelled more like they sound. Reform of English spelling: 10 classes "-our" to "-or" (colour  color) "-re" to "-er" (centre  center) dropping final "k" (publick  public) changing "-ence" to "-ense" (defence  defense) use single "l" in inflected forms (travelled  traveled) use double "l" in some words (fulfil  fulfill) "-or" to "-er" (visiter  visitor) drop final "e" (axe  ax) use single "f" at the end (plaintiff  plaintif) ~ failed "-ise" to "-ize" (realise  realize)

16 Background: spelling reform
Background: start from the mid-1870s The American Philosophical Association adopted 11 new spellings. ar, catalog, definit, gard, giv, hav, infinit, liv, tho, thru, wisht Advocators: Noah Webster Benjamin Franklin Andrew Carnegie President Theodore Roosevelt

17 Background: spelling reform
Opposition to the spelling reform Mark Twain: “For example, in Year 1 that useless letter c would be dropped to be replased either by k or s, and likewise x would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which c would be retained would be the ch formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform w spelling, so that which and one would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish y replasing it with i and Iear 4 might fiks the g/j anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez c,y and x — bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez — tu riplaisch, sh, and th rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.”

18 Conclusion

19 Conclusion Difference: spelling, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation & accent, speech Be careful of the differences when talking with English speakers. Future development: Difference between A.E. and B.E. will decrease. Increasing transatlantic travel and trade Mass media: TV, Hollywood films American GIs during WWII

20 References
m english-differences.aspx thru.aspx

21 Thank you for your attention!

Download ppt "Differences between American English & British English"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google