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British English and American English seem both versions of the language have the same roots, the last 400-odd years have produced some pretty strong variation in the English language that can seem worlds apart. Depending on the region, American and British English have large differences in spelling, pronunciation, vocabulary, punctuation, and tenses. Here are just a few:


1) Spelling:

Many differences between American and British English stem from Latin-derived spellings and Greek-derived spellings. Those differences are seen in the unstressed endings to words such as:

Latin-derived spellings:

American English British English
Color Colour
Behavior Behaviour
Honor Honour

Greek-derived spellings:

American English British English
Organize Organise
Dialogue Dialog
Analyze Analyse


2) Pronunciation:


There are some words that are spelled the same in both dialects, but that are pronounced with a distinct stress on difference syllables: controversy and schedule are just a few. The word ‘aluminium’ in Britain and the English colonies has a curious extra letter and syllable added, to make it ‘alumini-EE-um.’ Then there are words that have both differing spelling and pronunciation: defense (British version: Defence) and axe (British version: ax).



3) Vocabulary:


Some words in one dialect may have a completely different meaning in the other, or vice versa. A ‘boot’ to an American would be a pair of shoes, but to a Brit, the boot would refer to the trunk of a car, as in: ‘just getting my tire out of the boot’. So to keep your miscommunications to a minimum, here are some helpful translations:

American English –> British English

Cookie –> Biscuit

Pharmacy –> Chemist’s

French Fries –> Chips

Highway –> Carriageway

Trash –> Dustbin


4) Dates:


In the UK, dates are usually written differently in the short (numerical) form. Valentines Day 2015, for example, is 14/2/15, with the day preceding the month. On the contrary in American English it’s written 2/14/15. This way can be quite confusing, when writing letters or arranging a meetings. In fact British refer to the day/month/year structure, the Americans prefer to write in the style of month/day/year. So make sure that you know with whom you communicating in order to avoid misunderstandings.

5) Punctuation:

The most common form of differing punctuation is seen through titles. In American English titles such as Dr., Mrs., Ms., Mr., are spelled with the use of a period, while its not uncommon for the British version will omit the period altogether.

All in all, you’ll find that written forms of British and American English vary surprisingly little, while the most noticeable differences will be in the spoken form of British English. Winston Churchill once said: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” True then, true now, but perhaps we can make the gap a little bit smaller. Or, as the Brits might say, make it teeny.


© Kamyar Adl

1. You replace your coffee machine with a kettle for tea, and you’re sorted.

2. Whether it’s healthy or not, drinking tea with milk becomes natural.

3. You start having serious discussions on the way to make “proper tea” (Tea first, than milk – Never ever milk before tea)

4. You have an opinion about which biscuits are best for dunking in your tea.

5. You start calling everyone by their first name; your boss, your banker, your doctor…

6. Apologizing replaces complaining; even when people bump into you on the street.

7. Weekends turn into pub crawls and are dominated by football.

8. After work = pub time

9. The sun comes out for 5 minutes and you drop everything to phone your friends and organise a BBQ.

10. You bet on dog and horse racing.

11. You wear flip flops and shorts on sunny days, even when temperature are less than 15 degrees.

12. Talking about the weather turns into a daily habit.

13. You never make eye contact with anyone on public transport.

14. You order your next pint before you finish your first – you must NEVER EVER EVER have an empty glass.

15. You’d rather spend Christmas in England than in your home country — they have crackers!

16. Alcohol oils the wheels of your social life – from a traditional wedding to the conviviality of a night out at the local pub or after a day at work.

17. Dinner must be eaten between 17h30 and 18h30 (at the latest!), otherwise you miss pub time.

18. You are great at queuing; even in front of the fridge at the supermarket.

19. Packing an umbrella is a must – just in case the weather turns.

20. You drink your first beer of the holiday at the airport, whatever the time it is.

21. Putting chips or potato crisps in a sandwich are common side dishes.

22. You start losing sensitivity for cold, especially on a Friday or Saturday out

23. You get used to drink your beer warm, especially Ale.

24. Even if your hairdressers shaved off all of your hair, you still say “thank you – it looks fine” in order to be polite.



As the lively capital city of the UK, London is one of our most popular locations in which to learn English. London is the place where the historic past and the vibrant present come alive. A merge of history, innovative architecture and culture has created a wonderful and constantly growing city. Its population is cosmopolitan, represented by a wide range of peoples, cultures and religions.

Linguaenglish London is a family-run English language school and has been teaching English courses in London for over 10 years. Our team of high qualified teachers is very enthusiastic and, together with our administration staff, we will provide a comfortable and inspiring environment where you receive a high standard of courses and services. After class students can study in the Study Lounge or relax with free tea and coffee and practice their English. We also have a roof terrace where students hang out with their fellow colleagues.


At our school in London we treat every student as an individual, and we are committed to helping you:

  • develop your ability to speak and understand practical, realistic English
  • build your confidence in using English through controlled communication activities in the classroom
  • extend your grammatical knowledge
  • improve your ability to read and write English more effectively
  • increase your vocabulary
  • help your pronunciation, intonation and range of expressiveness in English
  • develop your ability to become a more independent learner of English by using the self-study facilities in our study lounge.
  • by providing a practical, reliable and quality service
  • by listening  to and valuing your feedback by responding to it and improving our school whenever we can.

Our aim is to deliver quality lessons and maintain consistently high standards – we want to give you a real sense of progress and to ensure that the courses represent value for money.

We will test your level both with a pre-arrival test and an interview on arrival to choose the most suitable class for you. When it is time to change your level I will test your level outside class time and give you the results the next day.

Linguaenglish classes do not follow an individual course book. Instead, teachers follow a detailed and comprehensive syllabus, and select the best and most appropriate materials for your class. We often ask our students to tell us what they want to learn, and what they think about their classes.  We try to meet these needs and interests to ensure that personal learning objectives are met.

You will also receive copies of study materials to take home and review. We will help you to develop good study skills, which include guidance on how to organize your worksheets and keep vocabulary books, and we will monitor your progress via regular in-class testing, and counselling whenever you need it.



The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across...