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The Differences Between British English and American English -- Part 2

Last time, I talked about some of the more basic differences between British English and American English. This time, I want to delve deeper, so here are more differences.

The British use the word “Whilst” while we use “While.” For example, they would say “Whilst the cat is away, the mice will play.”

In regards to quotation marks, the Brits place punctuation marks that are not part of the quote after the quotation marks, whereas we do the opposite. Also, we use double quotation marks for quotes and single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. But our neighbors across the pond do it the opposite way. Them: ‘Joel said “Help me”’. Us: “Joel said ‘Help me.’”

Hey, you like putting periods after titles such as Mr., Mrs., etc.? Well, the Brits don’t. They omit them.

In regards to time, they use a period to separate hours and minutes, while we use a colon. “4.25” VS. “4:25.” Dates contain another difference. While we put the month first, followed by day and year, they put the day first, followed by the month. So, they would write March 6,1984 as 6/3/1984.

Now, let’s talk about past tense. The UK likes to end some past-tense verbs with a “t.” Examples: “Dreamt,” “Learnt,” “Burnt.”

Finally, some words are simply different in British and American English. They say “Lift” instead of “Elevator,” “Aeroplane” instead of “Airplane,” “Arse” instead of “Ass,” “Moustache” instead of “Mustache,” “Lorry” instead of “Truck,” and the list goes on. Try typing the English versions of these words on your American computer. They’re flagged as misspelled here.

Scott Kinkade