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British English vs. American English

  • The best known feature of American English as opposed to British English is the simplified spelling of suffixes
    American English (AmE) British English (BE)
    -er (theater,...) -re (theatre,...)
    -or (neighbor,...) -our (neighbour,..)
    -og (dialog,...) -ogue (dialogue,..)
    -ize (symbolize,...) -ise (symbolise,...)

  • There are some differences in stress and pronunciation
    American English (AmE) British English (BE)
    address address
    controversy controversy

  • Obviously, vocabulary sometimes deviates:
    American English (AmE) British English (BE)
    elevator lift
    apartment flat
    bar pub

    Due to mass media this divergence seems to be decreasing!

  • Grammar
    Americans tend to neglect the use of present perfect. It is totally possible to use "I just ate." instead of "I have just eaten."

Is this a problem for learning English?

As mentioned above, we are talking about standard varieties, not regional dialects. Dialects and slang can be strong and difficult to understand, no matter where you are going. However, standard varieties are hardly ever mutually incomprehensible and are all totally acceptable in official context and examinations!

In all recommended language schools you are taught standard English. Acquiring some local slang and dialectal vocabulary is fun and adds excitement to your English learning experience. However, your main activities will be centered around standard English!

International English courses in the United States or Great Britain!

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