American English vs British English

Hello everybody!

I hope you have had a good Carnival!

Today we are going to talk about a common problem for intermediate (and above) students. In our day to day life we are exposed to English but there are two main issues that I would like to address:

1.- Words we think are English, but actually aren’t.

We use… The actual English word is….
Footing Jogging
Parking Car park
Friki Geek
Zapping Channel surfing
Puenting Bungee jumping
Lifting Face lift

2.- American English vs British English

If you like watching films (or movies 🙂 ) you may be quite familiar with American English. Firstly, I’d like to say that there’s nothing wrong in using American words! Some students think that they will only speak proper English when they get the Queen’s vocabulary and pronounciation but, needless to say, that’s not true! The only thing you need to remember is to stick to one option when you’re doing the writing task in Cambridge exams because that’s when American English could affect your mark, specially in words where the spelling is different. Take a look at the following chart:

American word English word Meaning
Fries Chips Patatas fritas (caseras)
Potato chips Crisps Patatas fritas (paquete)
Soccer Football Fútbol
Faucet Tap Grifo
Pants Trousers Pantalones
Garbage Rubbish Basura
Elevator Lift Ascensor
Gasoline Petrol Gasolina
Rest room Public toilet Baño (público)
Flashlight Torch Linterna
Vacation Holiday Vacaciones
Candy Sweets Caramelos
Closet Wardrobe Armario
Schedule Timetable Horario
Overalls Dungarees Mono / Peto
Subway Tube Metro
Cab Taxi Taxi
Parking lot Car park Aparcamiento
Truck Lorry Camión
Vest Waistcoat Chaleco
Mail Post Correo

And some spelling differences:

American spelling British spelling
Color Colour
Tire Tyre
Favor Favour
Center Centre
Realize Realise

Bear this in mind when writing and there’ll be no problem! At the end of the day, most American words are so widespread that British people use them as well!

Have a lovely week! 😀

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