Given the number of places around the world that English is spoken, differences are bound to emerge. Despite how much the USA and UK have in common, there are enough differences between their two versions of the English language that someone may not always understand exactly what someone from the other country is saying. Not only are there 160 distinct dialects of the English language, but there's also different spelling and even words, used to describe one or other thing. Fortunately, the US State Department has created a series of these useful graphics to help clear things up between the British English Vs. American English usage.

Did you know, that the difference between spelling words like American color and British colour, or humor and humour, comes from the Brits adopting, their now called British words, from Old French language? When it came to America later, the spelling was simplified. And so is with many other American English and British English differences, as the adaptation of grammar took its part.

The US and the UK's imperial histories and modern influence over the world have changed the English wording forever. Because it was exported to countries all over the world, it has been forced to accept different variations of the same language, the most known one to be the British Vs. American.

Even if you're a native speaker of UK or US English, there's a good chance you'll learn something new here. Check the brilliant graphs about British Vs. American English language differences below.

More info: americanenglish.state.gov (h/t: designyoutrust, demilked)

#1

British Vs American Words For Clothing

British Vs American Words For Clothing

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 3 years ago

In the UK we also call jumpers sweaters and have done for years

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#2

British Vs American Words For Food

British Vs American Words For Food

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 3 years ago

We too have french fries (what you get in McDonalds) chips are different. We also use peckish and hungry they indicate a degree in our state of hunger.

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#3

British Vs American Spelling

British Vs American Spelling

americanenglish.state.gov Report

DianaChapman 3 years ago

I always thought gray was the other way around.

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#4

British Vs American Words For Vegetables

British Vs American Words For Vegetables

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 3 years ago

In the UK jacket and baked potato are interchangeable terms

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#5

British Vs American Words For Housing

British Vs American Words For Housing

americanenglish.state.gov Report

PeterKerngast 3 years ago

Labeling of floors in elevators in both the US and UK is a permanent cause of confusion for continental ppl lol

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#6

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

AndreaK 3 years ago

Charles Franks is obviously an English language scholar. Please consult him before writing these articles

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#7

British Vs American Words For Car Parts

British Vs American Words For Car Parts

americanenglish.state.gov Report

ミースタースナイプス 3 years ago

In the philippines, we call it signal lights lol

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#8

British English Vs American English

British English Vs American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

MalcolmeCollins 3 years ago

One of my sister in laws had a period of schooling in the states and had the class in fits of laughter when she asked for a rubber to rectify a mistake she had made not realising that a rubber was slang for a condom. Very red faced.

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#9

British English Vs American English

British English Vs American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

IsabelleHerbert 3 years ago

Autumn is widely used in the US. Basically holiday means a public holiday (what would be called a bank holiday in the UK) whereas vacation is your time off work. Actually that seems pretty reasonable.

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#10

British English Vs American English

British English Vs American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

KristenHamilton 3 years ago

Estate wagon sounds so much better. Would probably sell better too. You can't call a '78 Oldsmobile station wagon a 'sports wagon'...estate wagon would totally work tho

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#11

British Vs American Spelling

British Vs American Spelling

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 3 years ago

A parlour is a nice room in your house for special guests (bit old fashioned), you generally don't by ice cream there.

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#12

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

JessicaHollowayDyker 3 years ago

We use both TV and telly

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#13

British Vs American Words For Sweets

British Vs American Words For Sweets

americanenglish.state.gov Report

SandraLeslie 3 years ago

sweets/candy in Australia = lollies, candy floss= fairy floss, ice lolly = icy pole,

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#14

British & American English

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

KathyLaPan 3 years ago

I use many of these terms and I've never been to England.

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#15

British & American English Spelling

British & American English Spelling

americanenglish.state.gov Report

EmilyMcDougall 3 years ago

Poor letter U

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#16

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

KristenHamilton 3 years ago

In the U.S. we use the word pitch in soccer, field in football.

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#17

British English Vs American English

British English Vs American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

FaithFielder 3 years ago

The southern U.S. version of dish towel is "cup towel," even though you dry other dishes with it. And if we are betraying our roots, we say "dishrag" or "washrag" instead of dish cloth. I have to be really cautious to say the fancier one.

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#18

British Vs American Spelling

British Vs American Spelling

americanenglish.state.gov Report

DoyleE 3 years ago

The "U" is getting to me now...

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#19

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

guess 3 years ago

I always tried to spell mustache as moustache because it looked right to me, but autocorrect says it's incorrect! I guess I wasn't wrong, I was just a little British :D

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#20

British Vs American Differences

British Vs American Differences

americanenglish.state.gov Report

DianaCrunChewyWatson 3 years ago

Zebra crossing sounds like it would be way cooler than it actually is.

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#21

British Vs American Names

British Vs American Names

americanenglish.state.gov Report

JessicaHollowayDyker 3 years ago

Postcode not postal code

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#22

British English Vs American English

British English Vs American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

MonicaRamos 3 years ago

So basically S's become Z's and we drop the U's

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#23

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

DanielleIllich 3 years ago

Diversion was a nightmare when I first moved to England! We were lost for 2 hours because the highway just closed and we had to exit! We had no clue what to do. Finally we saw a tiny sign that said diversion. We followed it and made it home!

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#24

British Vs American

British Vs American

americanenglish.state.gov Report

EileenMcConkie 3 years ago

Plaster=BandAid/bandage. Carriage=Pram

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