BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH DIFFERENCES-1
BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH DIFFERENCES-1: meaning and examples
Good morning everybody. I hope you had a relaxing weekend and a very romantic Valentine's Day.
Many English students that I have met over the years are too obsessed, in my opinion, with the dialect of English that they are learning. I have heard statements such as, "I want to learn American English because I have friends in New York" or "I want to British English since it's the 'correct' English" or even "I only want to learn the English spoken in Cambridge."
Every single language on Earth has different dialects and varieties! The Spanish spoken in Costa Rica, for example, is very different from the Spanish spoken in Madrid; however, they are both Spanish and they are both legitimate and 'correct' varieties to their speakers.
As a student of English, your objectgive should be to enthusiastically expose yourself to as many different English dialects and accents as possible (England, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand, Jamaica...). Don't be afraid of dialects, welcome them! A true sign of an advanced English student is his or her ability to understand speakers from different dialects or varieties.
In the preface to his book A to Zed, A to Zee: A Guide to the Differences between British and American English (Editorial Stanley, 2000), Glenn Darragh states that "the differences between US and British English in grammar, syntax and spelling are relatively minor. The main differences [...] are [vocabulary] and cultural."
This week we will dedicate the Daily Vitamin to highlighting some of the most important differences between standard US and standard British English. We hope this will help you appreciate the differences and to see that those differences are very minimal, similar to the differences between, say, Mexican Spanish and Madrid Spanish.
For the next few days we will look at differences in Spelling, Grammar, & Vocabulary in these two varieties.
Enjoy your day!