Assignment 2

American English Versus British English

By Nofia Ulfa (30801500219)

College Of Languages and Communication Science Of Sultan Agung University

English Language is very important for us, especially in this globalization period. In this modern period, we have to learn English well in writing aspect or oral aspect, in order that we can do global communication with other people from other country. Not only that, if we have English skill, of course we will easier to do global business, because that is very easy to find foreign investors to give investment for our business. Even nowadays, some of Indonesia’s Businessmen cooperates with foreign investors to develop their great business. They also can introduce many local products, like Batik handicrafts and Bag handicrafts. Nevertheless, we need to know it is important to decide which type of  English we want to use, so with that ability whoever foreigners that doing communication with us, they are not confusion with our pronounciation. Because actually there are two the most known types of English, they are American English and British English. So we need to know the differences between American English and British English before we decide which type we will use anytime.

For the first differences is Spelling. There are a few major spelling differences between British and American English. This is because British English has generally kept the spelling of words that it has taken from other languages but American English has changed the spelling to look morelike  how the word actually sounds when you say it. American English changes pretty much all of these to ‘-ize’ ‘organize’, ‘recognize’, and so on. They do the same thing with ‘-yse’ (‘analyze’, ‘paralyze’). Most words ending in ‘-our’ in British English end in ‘-or’ in American English (color, flavor, honor, neighbor, rumor, labor, humor). Except for ‘contour’, ‘velour’, ‘paramour’ and ‘troubadour’ which are spelt the same everywhere. We don’t know why. Although Neil might. (In the olden days we used to put ‘u’s in fairly unusual places in British English like ‘ambassadour’, ‘governour’, ‘inferiour’, ‘errour’, ‘horrour’ and ‘mirrour’. True.). Americans also sometimes like to swap around ‘r’s and ‘e’s. So ‘centre’ becomes ‘center’. Same goes for ‘kilometer’, ‘theater’, ‘caliber’, ‘fiber’, ‘saber’ and ‘somber’.

The next one is Punctuation. Americans are happy with Oxford commas (that is when you put a comma before the ‘and’ in a list). They also prefer double quotation marks (see Quote marks). And finally, Americans tend to treat brands, for example Apple, and collective nouns like ‘team’ or ‘staff’ as single units. So they use them with the singular verb. So in America you are more likely to hear ‘Apple changed its logo’ than ‘Apple changed their logo’. For British, it is the opposite.

You will also find some small differences with past forms of irregular verbs. The past tense of learn in American English is learned. British English has the option of learned or learnt. The same rule applies to dreamed and dreamt, burned and burnt, leaned and leant. Americans tend to use the –ed ending; Brits tend to use the -t ending. In the past participle form, Americans tend to use the –en ending for some irregular verbs. For example, an American might say, “I have never gotten caught” whereas a Brit would say, “I have never got caught.” Americans use both got and gotten in the past participle. Brits only use got. Don’t worry too much about these small differences in the past forms of irregular verbs. People in both countries can easily understand both ways, although British tend to think of the American way as incorrect.

In conclusion, actually American and British English have very few problems understanding one another. There are actually thousands of vocabulary differences between British and American English. While many of these words can be instantly understood by speakers from the other country, other words might easily baffle someone who has not spent a long period of time in both countries.







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