Comparison of UK English and US English: A Retrospect

Jul 12 10:17 2017 Rajiv Ranjan Print This Article

English Language is spoken by the most part throughout the world. Indeed, even in India English language has the status of official language. With the broad of British colonization, the English Englishhas picked up its fame.

English language is spoken mostly all over the world. Even in our country English language has the status of official language. With the widespread of British colonization,Guest Posting the English language has gained its popularity. During colonization, colonizers usually imposed their language onto the people they colonized. In many parts of the British Empire, English was the primary language of government and administration and used in the education of colonized subjects. After Independence, many colonial nations continued with the language which created different types of dialects in English language. Hence there is an immense need of English translation services in today’s world with the native translators providing their services. For the same reason, large number of US Translation Companies are now associated with various kinds of business to flourish and spread them across the Globe.

US English:

America is also one such country which continued with the language. British colonization in the early 17th century, introduced the English language to the Americans. However, along with the changes in the world and the great empires, English language also changed with the time as many colonised country adapted the language in their respective way. Now, the American English used in the United States is known as the US English whereas, the English language used in the United Kingdom is known as the UK English. Oscar Wilde, a famous writer wrote in one of his play that "We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, the language" (The Canterville Ghost, 1888).

Major Difference between UK and US English:

Every country has its own formats of language, culture, expressions, manners, etc., which have much influenced the English language. Key differences between British and American English are in their pronunciations, their vocabularies, and their spelling. There are also other formats in which both the languages are different from each other. Below discussed are some of the major differences between the English languages used by UK and US:

Pronunciations: Though both countries use English words but the way they pronounce, makes the language as well as the dialects  different from each other. This is due to the difference in their usage of vowel and consonants, stress and intonation.

Vocabulary: This is the greatest difference between UK and US English and this is highly noticeable. There are many common words which can prove the difference like: UK English - Trainers, Pullover, Crisps, Flats, Chemists, Queue, Indicator, Rubber, Timetable, etc.

         US English - Sneakers, Sweater, Chips, Apartments, Pharmacy, Line, Blinker, Schedule, etc.

Spelling: There are many minor spelling differences between both the English languages, especially in the prefixes and suffixes. The Americans tend to spell the words as they pronounce making it easier for them while differentiating it from the UK English words. Some examples:

UK Spellings------Tyre, Colour, Theatre, Grey, Odour, Programme, Parlour, Neighbour, Humour, etc.

US Spellings-----Tire, Color, Theater, Gray, Odor, Program, Parlor, Neighbor, Humor, etc.

 Differences in Grammar:

Both the English languages have some differences in grammar also. They greatly differ in Prepositions, usage of Tenses, showing possessions of things etc.

  • Though the difference in prepositions is superficially seen nowadays still it has not been eradicated completely. An American will question, “What are you doing on Christmas?” whereas a British will question, “What are you doing at Christmas?”
  • UK and US English differ in their usage of tense. UK English uses Present Perfect Tense in their sentences to describe an action which has occurred recently while US English simply uses Simple Past to describe the action. For example:

          UK English--- I have been to the market. I have lost my book.

          US English----I went to the market.   I lost my book.

  • To refer to possessions British will question, “Have you got a pen? Which an American will question, “Do you have a pen?”
  • Another important difference is that US English Grammar has the participle form of the word ‘got’ which is not used in UK English Grammar for which the construction of a sentence differs in both the English language. For example, in a US English sentence will be constructed as, “I haven’t gotten any invitation from her,” whereas the same sentence will be constructed in UK English as, “I have not got any invitation from her.”

There are also similarities in both the English languages because above all both the languages are identical. Any differences in vocabulary, grammar, or spelling are insignificant nowadays. Though there are differences in both the English language, still if paid attention one will be able to grasp both the English languages. To help us grasp the difference and to understand the meaning and communicate without obstruction, today there is English Translation Services provided by various US Translation Companies where there are native translators with expertise in understanding the different dialects of the English language, to assist us in day to day businesses.

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About Article Author

Rajiv Ranjan
Rajiv Ranjan

Rajiv Ranjan, Language Lead Translator and web content writer by profession. I am working for Somya Translators Pvt. Ltd. as one of the content writer and write articles on linguistics and translation services provided by this English translation company in India.

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