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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH
 

1. Spelling of words ending in "our" in British English are "or" in American English.
A representative list of such words is:

 

British American British American
arbour arbor armour armor
ardour ardor clamour clamor
favour favor fervour fervor
harbour harbor honour honor
odour odor parlour parlor
tumour tumor valour valor

 

British American British American
candour candor colour color
enamour enamor behaviour behavior
flavour flavor fervour fervor
humour humor labour labor
rancour rancor rumour rumor

 

2. Many American words ending in "or" also end in "or" in British English.
Some examples of this are:

 

actor anchor captor censor debtor decor donor
error factor jailor manor minor pallor pastor
razor sector terror tremor tutor victor visitor

 

3. The spelling of some American words ending in "er" such as center are spelled with "re" such as "centre." Some examples of this are:

 

British American
fibre fiber
metre meter
sabre saber

 

British American
centre center
louvre louver

 

British American
theatre theater
lustre luster

 

British American
calibre caliber
litre liter

 

4. But beware of some French words that end in "re" that are the same in both British and American English. Some examples of these are:

 

genre Notre Entrée émigré cadre lucre

 

 

 

5. Also beware of some Spanish words such as "hombre" and "padre" which are also exceptions to the rule.

6. The French word "cadre" requires special attention. It is a word that means the nucleus of a group that is intended to form a larger group. For many years the Chinese have pronounced it a "cotter." It is correctly pronounced as "ka dray."

7. One word that deletes the "o" and changes and the "re" is "manoeuvre" in British English and "maneuver" in American English.
 
8. Some other spelling differences are as follows:

 

British American British American British American British American
cheque check plough plow storey story behove behoove

 

9. The use of articles is different in the two languages. The American rules for the use of the articles "a," "an" and "the" and British English is somewhat different and allows the following "The man went to hospital to see nurse." American English would require the following "The man went to a/the hospital to see a/the nurse." The choice of "a" and "the" would depend on whether he wanted to see a particular nurse at a particular hospital or any nurse at any hospital.

 

10. Many British words ending in "ize" also appear as ending as "ise."
Both are accepted as correct in British English while the "ize" is only acceptable in American English.
A small representative sample is shown below.
I have only included a small sample starting with the letters "a" through "g."

 

apologize atomize authorize barbarize bastardize
carbonize categorize cauterize centralize characterize
containerize emphasize epitomize equalize familiarize

 

brutalize cannibalize canonize capitalize
civilize collectivize colonize conceptualize
finalize formalize fossilize galvanize

 

 
11. British English has some vocabulary differences from American English.
Some representative examples are:

 

British American British American British American
lorry truck lift elevator biscuit cookie
post mail ring call packet present
holiday vacation hired rented waggon wagon
billy tin pan barrister lawyer bonnet hood
reck care pub bar nil nothing

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

British American British American
petrol gasoline flat apartment
pillion seat crisp potato chip
aeroplane airplane chaff tease
football soccer handbarrow wheelbarrow
tyre tire snigger snicker