Questions tagged [transatlantic-differences]

Differences between how English is used on one side of the Atlantic compared with on the other side; specifically, the difference between Canadian and American English on one side and Irish and British English on the other.

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5
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6answers
16k views

Short, Politically Correct word for Native Americans [closed]

No more than four syllables, more PC than Indians. EDIT: I arbitrarily chose four syllables because any more seemed like a mouthful. I like to be PC and not have to stumble over 6+ syllables.
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2answers
652 views

When did Americans begin to use “practice” instead of “practise”?

I am writing an historical novel, and I try to have my characters speaking and writing as everybody did at the time. But I don't know when we in the US began to use practice as a verb instead of ...
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3answers
77k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster....
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2answers
21k views

Difference between mug, jug, jar, etc [closed]

When I try to translate the German word "Krug" into English, LEO shows me without further distinction: flagon jar jug mug tankard pitcher But as far as I know, they cannot always used ...
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3answers
332 views

Other academic field distinctions like math vs maths

Growing up in the US, I was taught to say "math" and the British "maths" sounded very awkward to me until I noticed mathematics had an 's' at the end, and it occurred to me that it could be considered ...
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1answer
29k views

Why do English people pronounce 'sixth' as 'sicth'? [duplicate]

It's common practice in Ireland (and the US as far as I know) to pronounce the x in the middle of sixth: six-th [sɪksθ]. However, I've noticed from visits to England as well as watching British ...
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3answers
2k views

“Build out” as business jargon

I have noticed an increase recently in use of the phrase "build out" when "build" would suffice. This seems to be mainly an American English phenomenon from what I can see. Here are some examples: ...
29
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8answers
11k views

Why do Americans add “The” in front of a team name, but the British do not?

I'm not certain that there is an answer to this one: Americans refer to our teams as The Example: The New York Yankees The British in my experience do not. Example: Manchester United I know ...
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2answers
840 views

Weir vs. Low water dam

I came across the word weir today. It appears that we here in the USA refer to this same device as a low water dam. I’m curious why we don’t use the same word the English do, instead preferring this ...
0
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1answer
144 views

Verbal constructions with “on” in colloquial AE

Are verbal constructions with "on" somewhat more typical of AE than BE? e.g. beat (up) on someone, miss out on something, pass up on something, check (up) on something, catch up on something, someone,...
9
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3answers
659 views

Are there any studies on changes in British English to become more like American English?

With the spread of American popular culture (movies, books, franchises, etc.) and technical jargon (manuals, Web syntaxes, default spell-check settings, etc.), I'm wondering if there have been any ...
2
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1answer
921 views

Equivalence at word level [closed]

Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning?
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2answers
9k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
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5answers
15k views

pronunciation US-UK in words like “semi”

I am trying to find a document that explains pronunciation differences in /E/ and /I/ sounds between UK and US styles. I think US pronunciation has /'sɛmay/ a lot more often than UK /'sɛmi/. Where can ...
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2answers
2k views

Are constructions like “That's me out, then” primarily British rather than American?

Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this ...
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2answers
31k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
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3answers
171k views

Which is correct: “I loaned him some money” or “ I lent him some money”?

My Webster's New world Dictionary does not contain the word "loaned" at all, but my Thesaurus does, and the word "lent" is the first synonym listed. My wife, who learned English as a second language ...
3
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3answers
2k views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
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4answers
23k views

Percent or per cent

How should I choose between writing "percent" and "per cent"? For example: He sold 42 percent of his stock in the company. or He sold 42 per cent of his stock in the company. Are there ...
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6answers
3k views

“Muppet” in American English

I see an event is being organised in Washington, DC, called the Million Muppet March. In British English, at least, muppet has no very positive connotations:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang a ...
8
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3answers
697 views

“A similar hat to Jane” vs “A hat similar to Jane’s”

Of late I have noticed British people using the following sort of construct: John and Jane make such a cute couple because John always wears a similar hat to Jane. To my ear, that is ungrammatical,...
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1answer
9k views

What is the etymology of the word teeter totter?

Seesaw and teeter totter are two names for the same piece of playground equipment. I grew up using the word teeter totter mostly, but was aware of seesaw, as it was used in books. I was ...
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2answers
7k views

“Woman front bits” meaning

Whats does "woman front bits" actually means? This question is surprisingly inspired by one of the answers to this question: "Is there any slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland". It is ...
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3answers
7k views

Meaning of “presently” (US vs. UK)

Citation: ‘Presently’ should be used with care until the Anglo-American difference of meaning has been resolved. What difference?
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6answers
7k views

Is using the present perfect old fashioned?

I was talking to a Singaporean (English is her native language. I think, closer to American rather than British) friend. I learned in English class that you can use present perfect when there is a ...
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7answers
5k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
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2answers
9k views

“Lambast” or “lambaste”

I looked up both lambast and lambaste in several dictionaries, but came up with no conclusions about which one is AE and which BE (if this distinction can ever be made). Moreover, the different ...
8
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7answers
10k views

What is “lemonade” in American English?

Lemonade is a fizzy drink, strongly carbonated. It comes in two varieties, white (which is actually colourless) and red. I have never known anyone to make it at home. Various things I've picked up in ...
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5answers
18k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
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2answers
4k views

“cold cash” vs. “hard cash”

Context (New York Times): Besides piling into Treasuries, institutional investors are also seeking out the safety of cold, hard cash, pouring billions into commercial bank accounts backed up by ...
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7answers
40k views

Why did “sceptical” become “skeptical” in the US?

Compare the following two Google Ngram Viewer charts for sceptical vs. skeptical in American English and British English: British English American English My interpretation of these charts is that: ...
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5answers
18k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
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3answers
94k views

“…didn't finish…yet” versus “…haven't finished…yet”

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, which tense should I use? I didn't finish it yet or I haven't finished it yet
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9answers
88k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
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1answer
12k views

UK English: Is “dived” a valid word?

Proofing a manuscript, I found this in the middle of a chase scene: Spotting an opening, I dived into it and was horrified to find it was a dead end. Is “dived” a valid past tense of the verb “...
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5answers
41k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
4
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4answers
11k views

Anyone for pudding?

I saw a reference to blancmange in an answer to another question and it got me thinking about pudding. It is very common in British English for the word pudding to be used as the general term for ...
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8answers
68k views

Does “pants” more commonly mean “trousers” or “underpants”?

In the UK, I've heard pants being used as slang for underpants (or was it in Bridget Jones' Diary?), whereas in India it almost exclusively means "trousers". Describing the meaning of "put your pants ...
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6answers
6k views

How come 'ou' was reduced to 'o' in the US?

Americans write color and favorite, when others say colour and favourite. How/why did this happen?
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4answers
68k views

When would one use “burnt” and when would “burned” be more appropriate?

More out of curiosity than anything, when would one use "burnt" and when would "burned" be appropriate? For example, This coffee tastes burnt. This coffee tastes burned. or They burnt the ...
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8answers
168k views

Is there a rule in British English about how to pronounce “either”?

There are two common pronunciations of "either": British /ˈaɪðər/ and American /ˈiːðər/. If Americans are more or less consistent in this regard, then the Brits seem to be freely using both. In fact, ...
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13answers
69k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
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5answers
27k views

Is the proper spelling “judgment” or “judgement”?

I always thought the proper spelling was  judgment, but I see  judgement all the time, even in articles, news, etc. Merriam-Webster lists  judgement as a variant spelling for judgment. But is the ...
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5answers
583k views

“Fill out a form” or “fill in a form”

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — 7,000,000
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8answers
22k views

Which is correct: “__ is different from __” or “__ is different than __”?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...

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