Home > Free British Accent Training > Video 13: British English vs American English

Video 13: British English vs American English

In this lesson I discuss some of the differences between British English and American English, with many examples.





English spoken in the UK is often called “British English”, whereas that spoken in the US is sometimes known as “American English”.

Many words and expressions from each are used interchangeably and I think most Britons should understand almost everything Americans say, but there are some differences and it would really help you to understand them if you are coming to the UK, to avoid confusion.


British English                                               American English

Autumn                                                           Fall

Motorway / main road                                                Highway

Railway                                                           Railroad

Tube / underground                                        Subway

Car park                                                          Parking lot

Lift                                                                  Elevator

Post code                                                        Zip code

Post                                                                 Mail

Trousers                                                           Pants

Chips                                                               Fries / French fries

Pissed off (“pissed” means “drunk”)              Pissed

Joking                                                              Kidding

z: “zed”                                                           z: “zee”

Tap                                                                  Faucet

Organisation                                                    Organization

Realise                                                             Realize

Licence (noun)                                                License (noun)

Whilst                                                              While

Amongst                                                         Among

Burnt   (past simple tense)                               Burned

Learnt  (past simple tense)                               Learned


Article on influence of American English in Britain (past simple tense): http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer/page50.shtml

British English vs American English spelling quiz: https://learnbritishenglish.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/british-english-vs-american-english-spelling-quiz-via-cambridge-esol/

A big difference is the accent. My video lessons (free on Youtube) can help you learn the British accent: http://www.youtube.com/user/CJWorkman17?feature=mhee

American accent training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf-Q8PAj_RQ

British accent vs American accent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua7nyAaf3pE


English club’s list of vocabulary: http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/british-american.htm

Effingpot’s guide to speaking British English for Americans: http://www.effingpot.com/

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