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Differences Between British English & American English

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1 Differences Between British English & American English
Group5: 杜霞、刘文苗、汤成之、张烨

2 Outline Reasons for the Research &Potential Readers
Introduction & Background Major Differences Conclusion

3 Reasons for the Research
To identify the differences between these two kinds of English, as to acquire pure English, but not half-breed broken English. To distinguish and dig deeper into cultural differences through learning differences in languages.

4 Potential Readers English-major students ( especially those who are puzzled at the differences between British English and American English) The ones dedicated to English studies or English-related careers.

5 Introduction British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America.

6 Background English and Americans are ‘two nations separated by a common language’. The English language was first introduced to the Americas by British colonization, beginning in the early 17th century. Over the past 400 years, the form of the language used in the United States have diverged in a few minor ways, leading to the dialects now occasionally referred to as American English and British English. Differences between the two include pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary (lexis), spelling, punctuation, idioms, formatting of dates and numbers, and so on.

7 Difference in Spelling
Difference in Pronunciation Difference in Punctuation Difference in Grammar

8 Difference in Spelling

9 American English British English Color colour Center centre Organize organise Analyze analyse Jewelry jewellry Disk disc Check checque Plow plough

10 Reasons of Different Spelling
British English has many traces of the original languages they derived from, while American English hasn’t. Americans take the chance of spelling reform to show their independence from Britain. American is a less formal nation.

11 Difference in Pronunciation

12 Different Pronunciation of the Same Word
BrE AmE Words /iː/ /ɛ/ aesthete, lever, penalize /ɑː/ /æ/ banana, morale, soprano /ɪ/ /aɪ/ dynasty, privacy, vitamin

13 Different Stress of the Same Word
BrE AmE `salon sa`lon `debut de`but `buffet bu`ffet

14 Different pronunciation of -ary,-ery or -ory
Word BrE AmE military /'mɪlɪtəriː/ or /'mɪlɪtriː/ /'mɪlɪtɛriː/ library /'laɪbɛri/ /'laɪbrɛri/ strawberry /'strɔːbəriː/ /'strɔbɛri/

15 Reasons for Pronunciation Difference
Regional and national pride Changing ideas about what sounded like "proper" speech.

16 Difference in Punctuation

17 Periods in Abbreviations
AmE Mr Mr. St St. Dr Dr. Prof Prof.

18 Quotation marks with periods and commas
For Example: Carefree means "free from care or anxiety." (American style) Carefree means "free from care or anxiety". (British style)

19 Reasons for Different Position of Punctuation Marks
The reason for this difference begins with the introduction of movable type. Americans found that the periods and commas were more stable when they were placed inside closing quotation marks, while British people didn’t.

20 Differences in Grammar

21 1.Use of the present perfect
In British English, the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English. Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include already, just and yet. For example: British English: I've just had lunch I've already seen that film. American English: I just had lunch Or I've just had lunch I've already seen that film Or I already saw that film.

22 2. Forms of Past Simple/Past Participles
The following verbs have two acceptable forms of the past simple/past participle in both American and British English, however, the irregular form is generally more common in British English (the first form of the two), and the regular form is more common to American English. For example: 1). burn: burnt (BrE) burned (AmE) 2). dream: dreamt (BrE) dreamed (AmE) 3). learn: Leant (BrE) Leaned (AmE)

23 3. Formal and notional agreement
In BrE, collective nouns can take either singular or plural verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is, respectively, on the body as a whole or on the individual members In AmE, collective nouns are usually singular in construction The difference occurs for all nouns of multitude, both general terms such as team and company and proper nouns (for example, a sports team). For example 1) BrE: The Clash are a well-known band. AmE: The Clash is a well-known band 2) BrE: Pittsburgh are the champions AmE: Pittsburgh is the champion.

24 4. Possessions There are two forms to express possession in English. Have & Have got. While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), “have got” (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ “have” (do you have, he doesn't have etc.). For example: 1). AmE: Do you have a car? BrE: Have you got a car? 2). AmE; He doesn't have any friends. BrE: He hasn't got any friends.

25 5. Prepositions There are also a few differences in preposition use including the following: 1) AmE - on the weekend BrE - at the weekend 2) AmE - on a team BrE - in a team 3) AmE - please write (/) me soon BrE - please write to me soon

26 6. The definite article A few 'institutional' nouns take no definite article when a certain role is implied: for example, “at sea” (as a sailor), “in prison” (as a convict), while AmE requires “in the hospital” and “at the university” (though AmE does allow at college and in school). When the implied roles of patient or student do not apply, the definite article is used in both dialects. Likewise, BrE distinguishes “in future” ("from now on") from “in the future” ("at some future time"); AmE uses “in the future” for both senses. AmE omits, and BrE requires, the definite article in a few standard expression such as “tell (the) time”.

27 In BrE, numbered highways and named roads usually take the definite article, while in America they usually do not (except Southern California and Arizona). AmE distinguishes “in back of” [behind] from “in the back of”; the former is unknown in the UK. Both, however, distinguish “in front of” from “in the front of”. Dates usually include a definite article in UK spoken English, while American speakers most commonly emit the definite article.

28 Why there are so many differences?
Politics and economy Culture Nature Social living style

29 Politics and Economy Language can cause an acutely change after a political events. In America, after the famous “9.11”, a lot of new words have been created in American English. For example, the word “ground zero” is used to describe the ruins of the World Trade Center after the attack. And even the word “9.11” become to has its own special meaning.

30 In Britain, after Tony Blair became the leader, we can also find some new words which are related to him, such as “Blairism, Blairist, Blairistas, Blairification, Blairite” and so on. Since the world’s economy has developed, some economic words are created. A typical example is the suffix “nomics”, such as “Bushnomics, Blairnomics, Bogernomics”. These words mean “somebody’s economic policy”.

31 Culture America is a country which is founded by immigrates, and “From the many one” is the nation’s admonition. The "united” in the name of “the United States of America” not only means the people who are united, but also means the cultures which are united. Britain is a monarchism country with a long history. It has its own system: Duke/Duchess (公爵),Marquis/Marchionesses (侯爵),Earl/Countess (伯爵),Viscount/Viscountness (子爵)和Baron/Baroness (男爵).

32 Nature Because of some differences in natural environment, British English and American English have some unavoidable differences. For example, America covers a variety of landforms, so words like “caribou(北美的驯鹿),sagebrush(北美艾灌丛),sequoia(红杉),the Everglades(美国佛罗里达州南部大沼泽地) can only be found in American English. However, Britain is surrounded by the sea, and its development has much to do with the sea. For example: “plain sailing (一帆风顺),go with the stream (随波逐流),on the rocks (触礁)” in British English.

33 Social living Style As an active material, language, especially English, can reflect a nation’s social living style. For example: In the 1960s of America, there were a group of young people who were unsatisfied with the society and tried to break the mould, and we called them hippies. Some other similar words such as “baby boomer, baby buster, lost generation, generation X, generation Y”, are the records of those young Americans’ social living style.

34 American English VS British English
Nowadays, with the development of the high-tech industries, our earth seems to be as small as a village. Because of the globalization, people from different countries become to more and more close in spite of the differences in the economy or political aspect. We have to admit that since America has took over the world NO.1 from Britain, American English has made a great influence in British English and become more and more popular.

35 However, although British English and American English have a lot of differences, people from these two countries can understand each other without difficulties in most situations. Actually, British English has changed its role from “export” to “import”. According to a survey conducted by the local Britain people, it shows clearly that the British people began to learn to use some simple American English, and other English speaking countries also prefer to use American English rather use British English. With the character of getting close to American English, British English will gradually be assimilated by American English.

36 Thank You for Your Attention!

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