Yesterday, I published a post on whether you need to use British or American English in the IELTS test. In today’s post, I’m going to share a video on the differences between the two types of English. In the IELTS test, you may need to talk about the differences between two things or situations, so listen carefully to the expressions that this native speaker uses.
What are the differences between American and British English?
As you watch the video, pay attention to the natural structures that the speaker uses when he talks about differences. Also pay attention to the speaker’s intonation (how he stresses different words in his sentences).
Did you also notice how the speaker uses qualifying words and phrases such as quite, quite a few, tend to be, lots of? In a previous post, I wrote about how qualifiers make your English sound more natural.
Here are a few useful expressions:
Basically, there aren’t many major differences between American and British English. (0:15)
One of the most obvious differences between UK and American English is differences in things like … (1:50)
Also the vowels tend to be quite different. (2:05)
Grammatically, there are actually quite a few more differences than most people realize. (2:20)
Another area with lots of difference is idioms. (4:50)
Some idioms are similar, but not quite the same in British English and American English. (5:25)
Mistakes in the video
There is an important mistake in the video. The speaker says that British people say “Did you ever …?” while Americans say “Have you ever …?” This is incorrect. In British English, we say “Have you ever …” whereas in American English you can often hear “Did you ever ..?”