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American English

In: English and Literature

Submitted By angebug
Words 1100
Pages 5
American English / British English * Jenny feels ill. She ate too much. * Jenny feels ill. She's eaten too much. * I can't find my keys. Did you see them anywhere? * I can't find my keys. Have you seen them anywhere?
(ii) In sentences which contain the words already, just or yet:
American English / British English * A: Are they going to the show tonight? * B: No. They already saw it. * A: Are they going to the show tonight? * B: No. They've already seen it. * A: Is Samantha here? * B: No, she just left. * A: Is Samantha here? * B: No, she's just left. * A: Can I borrow your book? * B: No, I didn't read it yet. * A: Can I borrow your book? * B: No, I haven't read it yet.

1. Verb agreement with collective nouns
In British English collective nouns, (i.e. nouns referring to particular groups of people or things), (e.g. staff , government, class, team) can be followed by a singular or plural verb depending on whether the group is thought of as one idea, or as many individuals, e.g.:
My team is winning.
The other team are all sitting down.
In American English collective nouns are always followed by a singular verb, so an American would usually say:
Which team is losing? whereas in British English both plural and singular forms of the verb are possible, as in:
Which team is/are losing?

2. Use of delexical verbs have and take
In British English, the verb have frequently functions as what is technically referred to as a delexical verb, i.e. it is used in contexts where it has very little meaning in itself but occurs with an object noun which describes an action, e.g.:
I'd like to have a bath.
Have is frequently used in this way with nouns referring to common activities such as washing or resting, e.g.:
She's having a little nap.
I'll just have a quick shower before we go out.
In American English, the verb take, rather than have, is used in these contexts, e.g.:
Joe's taking a shower.
I'd like to take a bath.
Let's take a short vacation.
Why don't you take a rest now?

3. Use of auxiliaries and modals
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.
In British English needn't is often used instead of don't need to, e.g.:
They needn't come to school today.
They don't need to come to school today.
In American English needn't is very unusual and the usual form is don't need to, i.e.:
They don't need to come to school today.
In British English, shall is sometimes used as an alternative to will to talk about the future, e.g.:
I shall/will be there later.
In American English, shall is unusual and will is normally used.
In British English shall I / we is often used to ask for advice or an opinion, e.g.:
Shall we ask him to come with us?
In American English should is often used instead of shall, i.e.:
Should we ask him to come with us?

4. Use of prepositions
In British English, at is used with many time expressions, e.g.: at Christmas/five 'o' clock at the weekend
In American English, on is always used when talking about the weekend, not at, e.g.:
Will they still be there on the weekend?
She'll be coming home on weekends.
In British English, at is often used when talking about universities or other institutions, e.g.:
She studied chemistry at university.
In American English, in is often used, e.g.:
She studied French in high school.
In British English, to and from are used with the adjective different, e.g.:
This place is different from/to anything I've seen before.
In American English from and than are used with different, e.g.:
This place is different from/than anything I've seen before.
In British English to is always used after the verb write, e.g.:
I promised to write to her every day.
In American English, to can be omitted after write, i.e.:
I promised to write her every day. anti-clockwise | counter-clockwise | articulated lorry | trailer truck | autumn | autumn, fall | barrister | attorney | bill (restaurant) | bill, check | biscuit | cookie | block of flats | apartment building | bonnet (clothing) | hat | bonnet (car) | hood | boot | trunk | bumper (car) | bumper, fender | caravan | trailer | car park | parking lot | chemist's shop | drugstore, pharmacy | chest of drawers | dresser, chest of drawers, bureau | chips | fries, French fries | the cinema | the movies | clothes peg | clothespin | coffin | coffin, casket | crisps | potato chips | crossroads | intersection; crossroads (rural) | cupboard | cupboard (in kitchen); closet (for clothes etc) | diversion | detour | drawing-pin | thumbtack | drink-driving | drunk driving | driving licence | driver's license | dual carriageway | divided highway | dummy (for baby) | pacifier | dustbin | garbage can, trash can | dustman | garbage collector | engine | engine, motor | estate agent | real estate agent | estate car | station wagon | film | film, movie | flat | apartment, flat, studio | flat tyre | flat tire | flyover | overpass | gearbox (car) | transmission | gear-lever | gearshift | Girl Guide | Girl Scout | ground floor | ground/first floor | handbag | handbag, purse, shoulder bag | high street | main street | holiday | vacation | hood (car) | convertible top | jam | jam, preserves | jug | jug, pitcher | juggernaut | 18-wheeler | lift | elevator | lorry | truck, semi, tractor | mad | crazy, insane | main road | highway | maize | corn | maths | math | motorbike | motorcycle | motorway | freeway, expressway | motorway | highway, freeway, expressway, interstate highway, interstate | nappy | diaper | naughts and crosses | tic-tack-toe | pants, underpants | underpants, drawers | pavement | sidewalk | pet hate | pet peeve | petrol | gas, gasoline | The Plough | Big Dipper | pocket money | allowance | post | mail | postbox | mailbox | postcode | zip code | postman | mailman, mail carrier, letter carrier | pub | bar | public toilet | rest room, public bathroom | railway | railroad | return (ticket) | round-trip | reverse charge | collect call | ring road | beltway, freeway/highway loop | road surface | pavement, blacktop | roundabout | traffic circle, roundabout | rubber | eraser | rubbish | garbage, trash | rubbish-bin | garbage can, trashcan | saloon (car) | sedan | shop | shop, store | silencer (car) | muffler | single (ticket) | one-way | solicitor | lawyer, attorney | spanner | wrench | sweets | candy | taxi | taxi, taxi cab | tea towel | dish towel | telly (informal), TV | television, TV | third-party insurance | liability insurance | timetable | schedule | tin | can | toll motorway | toll road, turnpike | torch | flashlight | trousers | pants, trousers | tube (train) | subway | underground (train) | subway | vest | undershirt | waistcoat | vest | wallet | wallet, billfold | wellington boots | rubber boots, rain boots | whisky | whiskey, scotch | windscreen | windshield | zip | zipper |

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