The three major differences between between American and British English are:

  • Pronunciation - differences in both vowel and consonants, as well as stress and intonation
  • Vocabulary - differences in nouns and verbs, especially phrasal verbusage
  • Spelling - differences are generally found in certain prefix and suffix forms


Speakers of American English generally use the present perfect tense (have/has + past participle) far less than speakers of British English. In spoken American English it is very common to use the simple past tense as an alternative in situations where the present perfect would usually have been used in British English.


In British English, the auxiliary do is often used as a substitute for a verb when replying to a question, e.g.:

  • A: Are you coming with us?
  • B: I might do.

In American English, do is not used in this way, e.g.:

  • A: Are you coming with us?
  • B: I might.


Spelling differences. Examples:

American: catalog, centimeter, center, color, favor, favorite, gray, meter, neighbor, organize, traveling etc

British: catalogue, centimeter, centre, colour, favour, favourite, grey, metre, neighbor, organize, travelling etc


There are many British words which are different to American words.

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