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The Differences Between British English and American English

If you've read any British writer's work, you've probably noticed certain differences. They don't spell everything quite the same way we do. You might be curious to know how it works. Well, fear not; I'm here to help.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is words that end in "-or" tend to end in "-our" in British English. "Color" becomes "colour," "neighbor" becomes "neighbour," "favor" becomes "favour," etc. There are, however, exceptions to this rule: "Contour," "velour," "paramour," and "troubadour" are spelled the same everywhere.

Let's look at another rule. Words that end in "-ise" in Britain tend to be changed to "-ize" in America. "Organise" becomes "organize," "recognise" becomes "recognize," "polarise" becomes "polarize," etc.

Hey, do you see those "Rs" and "Es"? We're boorish Americans, so let's swap them. "Centre" in British English becomes "center," "theatre" becomes "theater," "calibre" becomes "caliber," etc.

But what about words that end in "-ce"? Americans like to use one word for both noun and verb, while the British use slightly different words. For example, we use "service" to indicate both a service and to service. But those Brits use "servise" as the verb and "service" as the noun.

In regards to punctuation and grammar, the British enjoy a single quotation mark for quotes, while we former colonists double it. In addition, we use brands and collective nouns as singular things. For example: "Amazon has added a new feature." As opposed to "Amazon have added a new feature," which you would hear in Britain.

Special thanks to TheWriter for their insightful article. If you want to learn more, head on over there. http://www.thewriter.com/what-we-think/style-guide/british-vs-american-english/