Today it’s possible to see hundreds of varieties in English language. But big language programs only accept two big varieties as formal. They are British English and American English. It’s true that any of two varieties are original. In the 50s, while some schools were focusing in British English some of them are were working only on American English. But today it’s only a few schools focus on the one variety. Also cultural exchanges left fewer differences than ever. How many differences are there British English and American English?
There are three main differences between British English and American English. They are differences in pronunciation, differences in vocabulary and differences in spelling.
One of the biggest differences between two varieties is usage of “Present Perfect”. In British English it’s very general to use present perfect time for expressing events happened in recent past. While British people are using “I’ve lost my book. Can you help me look for it?”, Americans mostly use “I lost my book. Can you help me look for it?”. Americans prefer to use words like yet, just and already for expressing recent past.
Differences in possession usage are also possible between British English and American English. Both varieties use “Do you have a car?” and “Have you got a car?” but while British English speakers use got on nearly all sentences, Americans use it rarely. It’s possible to hear that when an English is saying “He hasn’t got any friends.”, it’s “He doesn’t have any friends.” in American English.
Americans like to use “get” in their sentences. If an American can’t remember the verb, he use “get” instead of it. It’s also possible to see that past form of of “get” in American English is different than British English. A person using American English says “He’s gotten much better at playing squash” while a person who use British English says “He’s got much better at playing squash”
Differences in vocabulary are one of the biggest separations between British English and American English. Americans like to use slang dictionary more than British people. For example while American English use hood, British English use Bonnet. Also while American English use truck, British English use lorry for same item.
On is the main proposition using in American English. British English uses “at” and “in.” While American English uses “on the weekend”, British English uses “at the weekend”. Also it’s possible to see that while American English use “please write me soon”, British English use “please write to me soon.”
Regular and irregular form usage of verbs is another difference between two varieties. British English uses irregular forms of verbs mostly while American English use regular forms. For example while British English use Burnt, smelt, spoilt and spelt, American English use burned, dreamed, learned and spoiled.
Spelling is a main difference between British English and American English. While some words with same meaning finishes with –or in American English, they finish with –our in British English. For example while it’s color in American English, it’s colour in British English. Also there’s a difference between same meaning words which ends with –ize and –ise. Some words in American English finishes with –ize while same words finishes with –ize in British English.
Differences between British English and American English mainly come from cultural aspects. It’s also possible to see effect of Spanish and some other languages in American English. Difference between two varieties were more than today in 1900s but cultural transaction shortened the differences and today it’s only a little difference between two varieties are possible compared to past.