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英文版之英式英语与美式英语的区别

【 来源:三思英语 作者:34en 编录:34en 热度() 加入收藏

Differences between American and British English

Differences in vocabulary

When it comes to vocabulary, American English differ significantly from British English. Sometimes the same word has different meaning. There are also different words with the same meaning. A few examples are given below.

American   English

British   English

Airplane

Aeroplane

Apartment

Flat/ apartment

Area code

Dialling code

Attorney, lawyer

Barrister, solicitor

Busy

Engaged (phone)

Cab/taxi

Taxi

Can

Tin

Candy

Sweets

Check/bill

Bill

Cookie, cracker

Biscuit

Corn

Maize

Crib

Cot

Crazy

Mad

Diaper

Nappy

Dumb, stupid

Stupid

Elevator

Lift

Eraser

Rubber, eraser

Fall, autumn

Autumn

Faucet, tap

Tap

First floor, second floor

Ground floor, first floor

Flashlight

Torch

French fries

Chips

Garbage, trash

Rubbish

Garbage can, trashcan

Dustbin, rubbish bin

Gas, gasoline

Petrol

Highway, freeway

Main road, motorway

Hood

Bonnet

Intersection

Crossroads

Mad

Angry

Mail

Post

Mean

Nasty

Movie, film

Film

Pants, trousers

Trousers

Pavement

Road surface

Pitcher

Jug

Potato chips

Crisps

Purse

Handbag

Raise

Rise (salary)

Railroad

Railway

Rest room

Public toilet

Schedule, timetable

Timetable

Sneakers

Trainers (sports shoes)

Stand in line

Queue

Stingy

Mean

Store, shop

Shop

Subway

Underground

Truck

Van, lorry

Trunk

Boot (of a car)

Stand in line

Queue

Two weeks

Fortnight, two weeks

Vacation

Holiday(s)

Windshield

Windscreen

Zee

Zed

Stand in line

Queue

Zipper

Zip

 

Difference between American and British English

Differences in usage

Abbreviations

We usually write abbreviations without full stops in modern British English. Full stops (US 憄eriods�) are normal in American English.

Mr (US Mr.) = Mister
Dr (US Dr.) = Doctor
Ltd (US Ltd.) = Limited (company)
Kg (US kg.) = kilogram

All and all of

Before a noun with a determiner (e.g. the, this, my), alland all ofare both possible in British English. American English usually has all of.

·       She has eaten all (of) the cake. (GB)

·       She has eaten all of the cake. (US)

·       All (of) my friends like riding. (GB)

·       All of my friends like riding. (US)

Expressions with prepositions and particles

Different from/than (US)
Different from/to (GB)
Check something (out) (US)
Check something (GB)
Do something over/again (US)
Do something again (GB)
Live on X street (US)
Live in X street (GB)
On a team (US)
In a team (GB)
Monday through/to Friday (US)
Monday to Friday (GB)

Informal use of like

In an informal style, likeis often used instead of as if/though, especially in American English. This is not considered correct in a formal style.

·       It seems likeit is going to rain.

·       He sat there smiling like it was his birthday.

On

In American English, it is common to leave out onbefore the days of the week.

·       I am seeing her Sunday morning. (US)

British people say atthe weekend; Americans say onthe weekend.

·       What did you do at the weekend? (GB)

·       What did you do on the weekend? (US)

In and for

In American English, in can be used, like for, to talk about periods up to the present. (British English only for).

·       I haven't seen her inyears. (US)

 

Both and   both of

Before a noun with a determiner (e.g. the,   this, my), both and both ofare both possible in British   English. In American English, both ofis   usual.

·       Both (of) my parents like riding. (GB)

·       Both of my parents like riding. (US)

In after   negatives and superlatives

After negatives and superlatives, in can be used to talk about   duration. This is especially common in American English.

·       I haven't seen him for/inmonths.

·       It was the worst storm for/inten years.

In British English, inis not normally used with this meaning.

·       I haven't seen him formonths. (GB)

Shan't

In British English, I shan't is sometimes used in refusals. This is very unusual in   American English.

·       I don't care what you say, I won't/ shan't do it. (GB)

·       I don抰 care what you   say, I won't do it. (US)

Shall

Questions with shall I/weare used (especially in British English) to ask for   instructions or decisions, to offer services and to make suggestions. This is   not common in American English.

·       ShallI open the window?

·       Shallwe go out for a meal?

Will

We often use will in threats and promises. Shall is also possible in British English, especially after Iand we. In American English, shallis   not used in threats and promises.

·       I will/shallgive   you a teddy bear for your birthday. (GB)

·       I willgive   you a teddy bear for your birthday. (US)

Have   (got) + infinitive

Have   (got) + infinitivecan   be used, like must, to express   certainty. This is mainly an American English structure, but it is now   becoming more common in British English.

·       I don't believe you. You have (got) tobe joking. (= You must be joking.)

Would   and should

After Iand   we, should can be used in British English with the same meaning as would.

·       If we had a map we would/shouldbe able to get out of here. (GB)

·       If we had a map we wouldwe able to get out of here. (US)

Conditional wouldis sometimes used in both clauses of an if-sentence. This is common in spoken American English.

·       It wouldbe   better if they wouldtell everybody   in advance.

 

American and British English: differences in spelling

A number of words end in -our in British English and -orin American English. Some words end in -erin American English and -re in British English. Many verbs which end in -ize in American English can be spelt in British English with -izeor -ise. In British English -I is doubled in an unstressed syllable before a suffix beginning with a vowel, while in American English it is not doubled.

American English and British English

Differences in grammar

These two varieties of English are very similar that most American and British speakers can understand each other without great difficulty. There are, however, a few differences of grammar, vocabulary and spelling. The following guide is meant to point out the principal differences between American English (AE) and British English (BE).

Differences in Grammar

Use of the Present Perfect

The British use the present perfectto talk about a past action which has an effect on the present moment. In American English both simple pastand present perfectare possible in such situations.

·       I have lostmy pen. Can you lend me yours? (BE)

·       I lostmy pen. OR I have lost my pen. (AE)

·       He has gonehome. (BE)

·       He went home. OR He has gone home. (AE)

Other differences include the use of already, justand yet. The British use the present perfect with these adverbs of indefinite time. In American English simple past and present perfect are both possible.

·       He has just gone home. (BE)

·       He just went home. OR He has just gone home. (AE)

·       I have already seen this movie. (BE)

·       I have already seen this movie. OR I already saw this movie. (AE)

·       She hasn't come yet. (BE)

·       She hasn't come yet. OR She didn't come yet. (AE)

Possession

The British normally use have got to show possession. In American English have (in the structure do you have) and have gotare both possible.

·       Have you got a car? (BE)

·       Do you have a car? OR Have you got a car? (AE)

Use of the verb Get

In British English the past participle of getis got. In American English the past participle of get is gotten, except when have got means have.

·       He has got a prize. (BE)

·       He has gotten a prize. (AE)

·       I have got two sisters. (BE)

·       I have got two sisters. (=I have two sisters.)(AE)

Will/Shall

In British English it is fairly common to use shallwith the first person to talk about the future. Americans rarely use shall.

·       I shall/will never forget this favour. (BE)

·       I will never forget this favour. (AE)

In offers the British use shall. Americans use should.

·       Shall I help you with the homework? (BE)

·       Should I help you with the homework? (AE)

Need

In British English needn'tand don't need toare both possible. Americans normally use don't need to.

·       You needn't reserve seats. OR You don't need to reserve seats. (BE)

·       You don't need to reserve seats. (AE)

American and British English

Differences in Grammar # 2

Use of the Subjunctive

In American English it is particularly common to use subjunctive after words like essential, vital, important, suggest, insist, demand, recommend, ask, advice etc. (Subjunctive is a special kind of present tense which has no -s in the third person singular. It is commonly used in that clausesafter words which express the idea that something is important or desirable.) In British English the subjunctive is formal and unusual. British people normally use should + Infinitiveor ordinary present and past tenses.

·       It is essential that every child get an opportunity to learn. (AE)

·       It is essential that every child getsan opportunity to learn. (BE)

·       It is important that he betold. (AE)

·       It is important that he should be told. (BE)

·       She suggested that I seea doctor. (AE)

·       She suggested that I should seea doctor. (BE)

·       She insisted that I gowith her. (AE)

·       She insisted that I should gowith her. (BE)

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns like jury, team, family, government etc., can take both singular and plural verbs in British English. In American English they normally take a singular verb.

·       The committee meets/meet tomorrow. (BE)

·       The committee meets tomorrow. (AE)

·       The team is/are going to lose. (BE)

·       The team is going to lose. (AE)

Auxiliary verb + do

In British English it is common to use doas a substitute verb after an auxiliary verb. Americans do not normally use doafter an auxiliary verb.

·       May I have a look at your papers? You may (do) (BE)

·       You may. (AE)

·       You were supposed to have finished your homework before you went to bed.

·       I have (done). (BE)

·       I have. (AE)

As if/ like

In American English it is common to use like instead of as if/ as though. This is not correct in British English.

·       He talks as if he knew everything. (BE)

·       He talks like/as if he knew everything. (AE)

In American English it is also common to use were instead of wasin unreal comparisons.

·       He talks as if he was rich. (BE)

·       He talks as if he were rich. (AE)

The indefinite pronoun One

Americans normally use he/she, him/her, his/her to refer back to one. In British English oneis used throughout the sentence.

·       One must love one's country. (BE)

·       One must love his/her country. (AE)

Mid position adverbs

In American English mid position adverbs are placed before auxiliary verbs and other verbs. In British English they are placed after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs.

·       He has probably arrived now. (BE)

·       He probably has arrived now. (AE)

·       I am seldom late for work. (BE)

·       I seldom am late for work. (AE)

 


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