What are the main differences between British and American English? - The Readers' Issue 1

1.Use of the Present Perfect

In American English the past simple can be used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past.

I lost my keys. (American)
I've lost my keys. (British) 


The Britts express possession with have got

Do you have a car? (American)
Have you got a car? (British) 

3.The Verb Get

The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English.

He's gotten much better at playing tennis. (American)
He's got much better at playing tennis. (British) 


Some words change in the two varieties, for example:

An elevator in the US is a  lift in the UK

Apartment = Flat
Band-aid = Plaster
Can = Tin
Cookie  Biscuit
Fall = Autumn
Gas = Petrol
Guy = Bloke
Highway = Motorway
Line = Queue
Pants = Trousers


Two general differences between British and American spellings:

Words ending in -or (American) -our (British)
color, colour, humor, humour, flavor, flavour etc.

Words ending in -ize (American) -ise (British) recognize, recognise, patronize, patronise etc.

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