20 Words which are different in the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Fabiola Esposito
 


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You may think that learning the English language is the same in all English-speaking countries, but there are always exceptions to the rules. There are many varieties of English spoken throughout the world but in general those taught in most programs are British English and American English.

As well as the never-ending list of cultural differences between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, there are many language differences. There is obviously no way of determining which the “correct” version is, as no version is incorrect, just different, and in addition to this the regional differences and generation differences within the countries themselves make this a very complex subject. As well as spelling and pronunciation differences, there are also variations in vocabulary. Below is a short list of 20 words which are commonly confused between each other and some common mistakes between British English and American English:

(On the Left are British English and on the right are American English)

American Football = Football

Car Park = Parking Lot

Chips = French Fries

Crisps = Potato Chips

Football = Soccer

Headmaster / Headmistress = Principal

Jam = Jelly

Jelly = Jello

Lift = Elevator

Pants = Underpants

Pavement = Sidewalk

Petrol = Gas

Porridge = Oatmeal

Return Ticket = Round-trip Ticket

Rubber = Eraser

Subway = Pedestrian Tunnel

Sweets = Candy

Toilet = Bathroom

Trousers = Pants

Underground = Subway

The full list of differences between the two main variations of English can continue for many pages however do not worry as thanks to the development in communication and the media, people will more than likely understand what you are trying to say. Today the influence of the media has led us to develop a mixture of both languages in particular with colloquial phrases; however in general when learning English try to maintain the usage of one version where possible. English is an exciting language to learn and will open doors to many opportunities and experiences which you never thought were possible, so wherever you go to study English, whether it be the Big Apple of New York or the beautiful countryside of Oxford, make the most of your time learning english abroad as it will be the experience of a lifetime.

Find the best language courses and schools all around the world in www.StudentSphere.com.

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