Difference between UK English and US English

Key difference: UK English is the form of British English used within the United Kingdoms; while US English is the form of American English used within the United States. These forms differ in their grammar, pronunciation vocabulary (lexis), spelling, punctuation, idioms, and formatting of dates and numbers.

Today, the most practiced and observed English formats are the British means the UK and American means the US forms; these are followed in various countries. Both are two different dialects which differ in ascent and spelling formats, especially in their grammar versions. Hence, these are deep literature concepts within themselves.

History:

Americans were introduced to the English language by the British colonization in the early 17th century. Due, to the British Empire the language got flourished in several countries of the world. As years passed out, the spoken English language got changed in both the American and Britain countries. This gave rise to the two different dialect forms, viz. the UK and US English respectively.

Accent:

During the revolutionary period, both the UK and US English accents were similar to each other, people used same accent in their languages. Both were rhotic i.e. speakers pronounced the letter R in hard. But after 1776, the accents got changed, especially the UK English accent. From then the Britain public started using the non-rhotic accent in their pronunciation and since is followed from then up till today. While, in case of Americans, they remained with their previous rhotic pronunciations. Today, both UK and US English have several types of accents and there is no one true UK or US accent.

Tenses:

Both UK and US English’s greatly differ ion their tense usages; i.e. the UK English implements the use of present perfect tense in their sentences,

For example: I've misplaced my novel. Can you help me find it?

While, the US English implements the use of past tense in their sentences,

For example: I misplaced my novel. Can you help me find it?

Generally, the usage of past tense in the UK English is considered to be incorrect. Along with this, the other major difference lies in the usages of the words like ‘already’, ‘just’ and ‘yet’.

For example:

UK EnglishI've just had a drink.

                    I’ve already eaten

US English:I just had a drink.

                   I already ate.

Vocabulary:

Same words in UK English may differ in their meanings in US English; For example: the word, Athlete in UK English is one who participates in track and field events whereas, Athlete in US English is one who participates in sports in general. And similarly there are many such words with different meanings in both US and UK English.

Also, there are some common words in US English like AC, Airplane, bro, catsup, cell phone etc, which are not used in common in the UK English. Similarly, the words used common in UK English but not common in US English are, advert, anti clockwise, barrister, cat's eye.

Spellings:

There are several words that are spelt differently in both forms of English.

A majority of the spelling differences between UK and US English fall into the following categories:

Latin-derived spellings:

  • -our (UK) and -or (US). E.g. colour vs color
  • -re (UK) and -er (US). E.g. centre vs center
  • -ce (UK) and -se (US). E.g. defence vs defense

Greek-derived spellings:

  • -ise (UK) and -ize (US). E.g. centralise vs centralize
  • -yse (UK) and -yze (US). E.g. analyse vs analyze
  • -ogue (UK) and -og (US). E.g. dialogue vs dialog

Simplification of ‘ae’ and ‘oe’ in US English

  • E.g. gynaecology vs gynecology

Prepositions:

Both, forms of English differ in preposition and their usage formats:

For example:

UK English: While the British would play in a team.

US English: Americans would play on a team.

Time Format:

Both languages follow different time formats; viz. UK follows something, like quarter past ten to denote 10:15, which is uncommon in US, hence they would follow something quarter after or even a quarter after ten. The Britons, (UK English) often use a point after the digital time, i.e. 6.00, thus 6:00; whereas, the Americans (US English) always write digital times with a colon.

Comparison between UK English and US English:

 

UK English

US English

They are

UK English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. It is also used in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other Commonwealth regions.

US English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America.

Spellings

flavour, honour, analyse, colour etc.

flavor, honor, analyze, color etc.

Verb usage; for example, ‘to dream’

dreamt in past tense

dreamed in past tense

Pronunciation and Spellings

Some of the words are pronounced differently, for example: methane, interpol, axe, defence, etc.

Some of the words are pronounced differently, for example: methane, interpol, ax, defense, etc.

Standard Punctuation

Mr, Mrs, Dr,

Mr., Mrs., Dr.

Image Courtesy: picaroworld.com

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