I went to an American School, and whenever I used Br English, it was wrong. But say I traveled to Britain with those as my schooling verification? Would I be wrong?

  • 4
    There's nothing wrong with being fluent in a foreign language.
    – Phil Sweet
    Jan 14, 2020 at 11:47
  • I know, but english is one language. So why are there two forms?
    – Coding4el
    Jan 14, 2020 at 11:50
  • 'English is one language' is a misapprehension, an unhelpfully broad-brush notion. Consider 'Cereals are all one type of plant'. When in Rome, [speak Roman English]. Jan 14, 2020 at 14:04
  • 5
    @Coding4el There are many more than two forms of English.
    – choster
    Jan 14, 2020 at 15:33
  • 1
    It is rather puzzling what you mean by 'whenever I used Br English, it was wrong'. I would hope that educated people in the U.S. would be sufficiently familiar with British English not to dismiss it as wrong. (Of course, it wold be a mistake to use colloquial British English in a formal educational setting in the U.S., but that would be because of its being colloquial, not because of its being British.)
    – jsw29
    Jan 14, 2020 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


Many aspects of British and American English evolved differently, before the development of international media, because of the geographical separation between the two populations.

Today most British people are used to watching American films etc. If you come to the UK speaking American English, people will understand you perfectly well (apart from the occasional word which may cause puzzlement or amusement). However, if you were here for some time and needed to do any formal writing, it would be better to learn British spelling and vocabulary.

  • Where is "here"? I don't live in the US or the UK and I don't know where you are.
    – CJ Dennis
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:07
  • @CJDennis I thought that saying "If you come to the UK..." made it clear that I was speaking as a British person. Also, the question referred to travelling to Britain. Jan 30, 2020 at 11:38
  • Actually, when I first read your answer I thought that due to "however" you were referring to the US. Learning British spelling in the US confused me!
    – CJ Dennis
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:46
  • @CJDennis However means in spite of this. The sense was "Even though British people understand the speech of Americans..." Jan 30, 2020 at 11:59
  • Do you think I don't speak English? :-) I know what "however" means! What you wrote was akin to a garden path sentence. I thought you were saying one thing and it wasn't until I got to the end of your sentence that I realised you were saying the opposite. I was just trying to point out that saying "here" to refer to a physical location is unclear on the internet.
    – CJ Dennis
    Jan 30, 2020 at 12:29

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