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Grammar US/UK - World Englishes - Language
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Back to US/UK Englishes Back to US/UK Englishes - CHECK THIS !

Generally speaking, US English retains older spellings (it's more similar to how it actually sounds, like in the far past), morphology and syntax, like the Spanish spoken in Latin American does as compared to the Spanish spoken in Spain. However, US English creates a lot of words (though very often from Latin & Greek, neologisms).

US UK
Spelling
color, neighbor,
program
analyze, recognize
traveling
learned
licence (n & v); practice (n & v)
center, centre; theater, theatre
fullfill
dialog, monolog
check (n)
jewelry
pajamas
judgment
colour, neighbour,
programme
analyse, analyze, recognise, recognize
travelling
learnt
licence (n), license (v); practice (n), practise (v)
centre, theatre
fulfill
dialogue, monologue
cheque (n)
jewellery
pyjamas
judgement
Grammar
Names

football player

In compound nouns "verb" + "noun" sometimes favors the bare infinitive: jump rope, racecar, rowboat, sailboat, file cabinet, dial tone

Tendency to drop inflectional suffixes, favoring clipped forms: cookbook; Ford, age 40; skim milk.

transportation; means of transportation
first floor (or less common, ground floor), second floor
a quarter before / to; a quarter after / past

footballer - but it's likely the US name prevails, for it's easier to understand

In compound nouns "verb" + "noun" favours the gerund: skipping rope; racing car; rowing boat; sailing boat; filing cabinet; dialling tone

cookery book; Smith, aged 40; skimmed milk.


transport; means of transport
ground floor, first floor
a quarter to, a quarter past

Prepositions

write her; write her a letter
Forms are invariably filled out, but in reference to individual parts of a form, "fill in" is also used ("fill in the blanks")

look out the window

through can mean "up to and including" as in Monday through Friday

enroll in a course

talk (v.) with
I'll have a talk (n.) with her


meet with (let's meet with them at 5pm) = to have a meeting with sb Let's meet them at 5pm = we'll be introduced to them


meet up with (as in "to meet up with someone")


(different than), different from
bracketed form regarded as incorrect but widely spread

came over

to be on a team

on the street

to be in a sale

agree to a contract, agree on a contract

write to her; write her (I.O.) a letter (D.O.)
Forms can also be filled in and recently filled out, too

look out of the window

Monday to Friday, or Monday to Friday inclusive; Monday through to Friday is also sometimes used

enrol on a course

talk (v.) to, talk (v.) with (feeling: "to" sounds as if you were lecturing to sb and "with" sounds nicer, as if you were discussing sth with sb)
I'll have a talk (n.) with her

meet: let's meet them at 5pm
(meet with actually dates back to Middle English and appears is coming back into use in the UK)

meet up with (originated in the USA, but has long been standard in both varieties of English)

different from, (different to)
bracketed form regarded as incorrect but widely spread

came round

to be in a team

in the street

to be on sale

agree a contract

Verbs

I learned English when I was a little girl
Some past tenses and past participles of verbs can be either irregular (learnt, spoilt, etc.) or regular (learned, spoiled, etc.). US English prefers the regular forms

Have for possession
I have a lovely friend in Canada (very common)
I've got a lovely friend ...
I got a lovely friend ... (spoken, very informal)
Sorry, I don't have any time just now!
Do you have any siblings / brothers and sisters?

gotten for the past participle of Have for possession
but also got, especially if we need to make a difference between general poss. Have you gotten it? (acquired) & Have you got it? (general poss.)

Have to for obligation
I have to go now
Gotta go now (spoken, informal writing)
You don't have to bring anything to the party
Do we have to wait much longer?
You don't have to, but it'd be nice if you did

"A la gallega" past simple, or The Past Simple "americano"
Recent past & verbs with already, just and yet › in past simple (but more careful writers can use the present perfect too)
I just finished
I [already, just] had lunch / got home
Did you do your homework yet?


She seems to be an intelligent person
You seem to be troubled
Ya de paso:
She sounds nice
He sounds tired
They look happy

let's go see a movie
I'll go take a bath (for cases: I'll go to take a bath)
They would say: He went to skate but - for when the action fails but they would tend to use the structure mentioned above
Come see what I got her

They suggested that he apply for the job (SUBJUNCTIVE)


the team/band is worried
the team/band members are worried
My family is OK
Family members knock on wood

I learnt English when I was a child
Some past tenses and past participles of verbs can be either irregular (learnt, spoilt, etc.) or regular (learned, spoiled, etc.). UK English allows both, but irregular forms are more common.

Have for possession
I have a lovely friend in Canada
I've got a lovely friend... (very common when spoken, or in informal writing)
Sorry, I haven't got any time just now!
Have you got any brothers and sisters?


got

 


Have to for obligation
I have to go now
I've got to go now (spoken, informal writing)
You don't have to bring anything to the party
Do we have to wait much longer?
You don't have to, but it'd be nice if you did

Present Perfect
to talk about an event in the recent past & with already, just and yet
I've just finished
I have [already, just] had lunch / got home
Have you done your homework yet?
The US American style has made inroads into UK English in the past 30 years (the Net!); so now you can find both forms in UK English.

She seems an intelligent person
You seem troubled
Ya de paso:
She sounds nice
He sounds tired
They look happy

let's go & see a film
I'll go and take a bath (for cases: I'll go to take a bath)
They would say: He went to skate but - for when the action fails but they would tend to use the structure mentioned above
Come and see what I've got here

They suggested that he should apply for the job
They suggested that he applied for the job (though this one is ambiguous - suggested = said)

the team/band are worried (or also is worried)
My family are OK
Relatives touch wood


See also, closely connected at times: vocabulary differences and education in the UK and the USA