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 ENGLISH AMERICAN ENGLISH
Aeroplane Airplane
biscuit cookie
break recess
brackets parenthesis
cheque check
cot crib
Chemist druggist
football soccer
flat mate room mate
fullstop period
first floor( ground ground ) second flor( first floor )
grey gray
lift Elevator
lorry truck
maths math
mobile phone cell phone
motorbike motorcycle
moustache mustache
Pitch field
programme program
petrol gasoline
post mail
railway railroad
rubber eraser
ruck sack back pack
shop store
Spanner wrench
sur name last name
taxi cab
toilet restroom, bathroom
tin can
trousers pants
To-Let For- Rent
tyre tire
analogue analog
analyze analyse
apologise apologize
burnt burned
centre center
catalogue catalog
colour color
critcise criticize
defence defense
dreamt dreamed
dialogue dialog
enrolment enrollment
fulfil fulfill
favourite favorite
jewellery jewelry
litre liter
license license
learnt learned
Mum Mom
metre meter
neighbour neighbor
organise organize
pyjamas pajamas
practise practice
plough plow
recognise recognize
speciality specialty
skilful skillful
theatre theater
whisky whiskey

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.

Don’t hesitate to share the knowledge with your friends when you feel it worth…

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2 thoughts on “Most Commonly Confused words of British and American English”
  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

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