-our / -or

Many words end in -our in Britain, and in -or in America. for examples :

Britain                                                      America                                      
colour color
favour favor
neighbour neighbor



Words ending in -tre in Britain, end in -ter in America, for example:

Britain                                                      America                                      
centre center
litre liter
theatre theater


Doubling of Letters : In Britain, the 'l' is doubled in an unstressed syllable :

Britain                                                      America                                      
travelling traveling
marvellous marvelous


Different spelling :

Britain                                                      America                                      
analyse analyze
catalogue catalog
cheque check
defence defence/defense
kerb curb
plough plow
pyjamas pajamas
tyre (for a wheel) tire


Different words :

Britain                                                      America                                      
handbag purse/pocketbook
holiday vacation
lorry truck
motorway freeway
nappy diaper
pavement sidewalk
tap faucet



Verbs ending in -'ize' or '-ise'

In Britain, some verbs end in either -ize or -ise. Both are used.

In America, they always end in -ize.

examples : apologise/apologize




Regular - Irregular forms

Some verbs have alternative regular and irregular past tense and past participle forms, for example : dream - dreamed or dreamt.

In Britain, the irregular form is more often used, whereas in American English, there is a preference for the regular form.


Here are some of those verbs :

dream dreamed/dreamt

learn learned/learnt

spell spelled/spelt

spoil spoiled/spoilt


and also:

dive - dived - dived (GB)

dive - dove - dived (US only)


The Pronoun 'one'

Americans do not often use 'one' to mean "people in general",

nor do they use 'one's' or 'oneself'.

GB : One should look after one's health.

US : You should look after your health.

People should look after their health.



There are differences in the way dates are said and written.

GB : 4th July - the fourth of July

US : July 4 - July four - July fourth


GB : 8/12/11 means the 8th of December 2011

US : 8/12/11 means the 12th of August 2011


US te'n kha/ni/kum a gelh, tualo gamtuamtuam inbel ni/kha/kum dan hizawmai.



The British use 'and' between hundred and the rest of the number. The Americans leave it out.

GB : Two hundred and twenty.

US : Two hundred twenty.


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