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Differences between British and American English

Average: 4.3 (26 votes)

-re / er

Words that end in -re in British English usually end -er in American English:

British: centre
American: center

-our / -or

Words that end in -our in British English often end in -or in American English:

British: colour
American: color

-ise / -ize

-ise verbs are always spelled with -ize in American English:

British: organise
American: organize

-yse / -yze

-yse verbs are always spelled -yze in American English:

British: analyse
American: analyze

ll / l

In British English, the l is doubled for verbs ending in a vowel plus l. In American English, the l is not doubled:

British: travelled
American: traveled

-ence / -ense

-ence nouns in British English are spelled -ense in American English:

British: defence
American: defense

British v American English: 10 Words

British American
Sweets Candy
Shop Store
Trousers Pants
Timetable Schedule
Petrol Gas/Gasoline
Holiday Vacation
Flat Apartment
Pavement Sidewalk
Maths Math
Cinema Movies

Now choose if these sentences are British or American English:

  • 1) There's a new shoe store on the corner of my street.

  • 2) I would recognise you anywhere.

  • 3) You need a license to fish here.

  • 4) My car is almost out of gas.

  • 5) Tomorrow's meeting has been cancelled.

  • 6) We're going to the movies this weekend.

  • 7) Are you planning to take a holiday this year?

  • 8) It's lemon flavour.

  • 9) Let's finalize the proposal.

  • 10) We're not supposed to cycle on the sidewalk.