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Most people are well aware of some of the more obvious differences between British and American English. In British English, they prefer “have,” while in American English, they prefer “take.” For instance: BE: I’m going to have a nap. In American English, it’s shortened, but cutting off the “s” as well. towards, which is one of the most common mix-ups: BE: She walked towards the light. There are even a few differences in punctuation between British and American English.For instance, American English omits the “u” in colour, neighbour, honour, etc. First, it is more common to use the single quotation mark in British English, whereas in American English it is more common to use the double quotation mark. In addition to cutting out letters, sometimes Americans cut out entire words—at least when their sentences are compared to British sentences. One such word is the shortened form of mathematics, which is “maths” in British English and “math” in American English.

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In terms of past-time adverbs such as yet, just, or already, Brits usually use the present perfect verb tense and Americans use the past simple verb tense. Where Brits will say “have got,” Americans will typically say “have.” Like this: BE: I’ve got to go now. Most people also know that a lot of words mean different things: a boot is the trunk of your car, a jumper is a sweater, and thongs are flip-flops. There are also a couple of verbs that are irregular in American English that are regular in British English, including dive, fit, and wet. Second, in American English, people include punctuation inside quotation marks, while in British English the punctuation goes outside of the quotation marks (unless it’s part of the quote.) For instance: BE: ‘She went to the park’, said John. BE: John said, ‘She went to the park.’ (this is part of the quote so it stays inside the quotation marks) AE: John said, “She went to the park.” Then, of course, there are the multitude of words that are used differently in each dialect, along with a few different phrases.

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