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Most Commonly Confused words of British and American English

Most of us know that the contemporary English is mainly of two types when considered in a broad manner. They are British English (BrE) and American English(NAmE). We often confuse with spellings and pronunciation of words due to some differences in both of these English categories. Do you think, I spelled something wrong? May be the word “spelled” looks odd for you but I spelt it right and its correct English. SPELT and SPELLED both are correct but the only difference is spelt is British English and Spelled is American English. If you think we are acquainted with British English much then we say movie often, rather film, or say “truck” most of the time rather  “lorry”. It mean we are not using or practising(even practicing differs) one category of English language but a mixer of both. If it is so there is a chance that you may misunderstand the person who uses the word “spelled” rather “spelt” because of not knowing the difference of the words in BrE and NAmE, isn’t it ?

Biritish- American- English-often-confused-words-list

So we are supposed or need to know the simple differences between BrE and NAmE words to enjoy completely the English language. Countries like India officially follows British English, as it was introduced by Britishers. And everywhere in Organisations, Institutes, Schools, British English is followed. But recent advances in technology, made communication a lot easier. So people are communicating with each other in different languages, encountering different types of vocabulary. As a result it has become common in using a mixer of both BrE and NAmE. For instance, students often get confused with meter and metre, Center and Centre. One should know the difference between them to avoid confusion. Meter is American, Metre is British, in the same way words ending with “er ” ,”ize“, “or” are American and “re” ,”ise“, “our” are British most of the times. Also people often confuse with learnt and learned, learnt – British, learned – American.

Mainly there are two types of differences between BrE and NAmE, one is suffix difference and other is the whole word difference. Just like ColourColor, prefix difference and tincan, the whole word difference. And when we come to pronunciation , it’s almost same in all the cases. In British English after “r” when there is a consonant then “r” would remain silent like in “bird” in most of the cases but there are few exceptional cases, like in country. But this rule is not followed in American English like Bird is pronounced with “r” sound which mean there is no silent for “r”. And the remaining pronunciations are mostly like one and the same in both categories.

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I was also the one who was told wrong for using correct British English instead of  NAmE , that’s because most of the people and pupil do not know that there is something like BrE and NAmE. So with an intention to let people know that the English language which we’re using today is a mixed one and to give a clear idea about these BrE and NAmE this article was written.

So here I got you a list of few commonly confused words of British – American English. You can go through it and definitely you’ll come through quite a good number of words which you might have got confused one or the other times. Lets see the list of confusing words BrE and NAmE.

Commonly confused words of British and American English

BRITISH ENGLISHAMERICAN ENGLISH
AeroplaneAirplane
biscuitcookie
breakrecess
bracketsparenthesis
chequecheck
cotcrib
Chemistdruggist
footballsoccer
flat materoom mate
fullstopperiod
first floor( ground ground )second flor( first floor )
greygray
liftElevator
lorrytruck
mathsmath
mobile phonecell phone
motorbikemotorcycle
moustachemustache
Pitchfield
programmeprogram
petrolgasoline
postmail
railwayrailroad
rubbereraser
ruck sackback pack
shopstore
Spannerwrench
sur namelast name
taxicab
toiletrestroom, bathroom
tincan
trouserspants
To-LetFor- Rent
tyretire
analogueanalog
analyzeanalyse
apologiseapologize
burntburned
centrecenter
cataloguecatalog
colourcolor
critcisecriticize
defencedefense
dreamtdreamed
dialoguedialog
enrolmentenrollment
fulfilfulfill
favouritefavorite
jewelleryjewelry
litreliter
licenselicense
learntlearned
MumMom
metremeter
neighbourneighbor
organiseorganize
pyjamaspajamas
practisepractice
ploughplow
recogniserecognize
specialityspecialty
skilfulskillful
theatretheater
whiskywhiskey

Above list of words are only the words often confused mostly, still there are many different words but going through the above words will give you a clear insight to differentiate BrE and NAmE. If you know any other words which people often confuse or misunderstand then do let us know, we’ll publish them here.

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2 comments

  1. Hello Admin,
    Very Informative article you have provided. It will help users to learn English. But provide more stuff on English like that.
    Thanks

  2. Hello

    Very helpful information for us , Sometimes we are stuck on few slang’s and can’t speak properly

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