The differences in American and British grammar are as small and few as holds true for both versions of their lexicon. Still, here are some of them:
Use of the Present Perfect
In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example:
"Shes lost her purse. Can you help her look for it?"
In American English the following is also possible:
"She lost her key. Can you help her look for it?"
In British English the above would be considered incorrect. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English. Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include "already", "just" and "yet".
"Ive just received an email."
"Ive already answered it."
"Have you completed your article yet? "
"I just received an email." OR "Ive just received an email."
"Ive already answered it." OR "I already answered it."
"Have you completed your article yet?" OR "Did you complete your article yet?"
There are two forms to express possession in English. -- "have" or "have got"
"Do you have a computer?"
"Have you got a computer?"
"She hasnt got any hobbies."
"She doesnt have any hobbies."
"She has an interesting new book."
"Shes got an interesting new book."
While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), "have got" ("have you got", "he hasnt got", etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English use the "have" ("do you have", "he doesnt have" etc.)
(also known as Present Continuous
There are some verbs in British English that cannot be used in the Present Progressive while in American English they can. Here are two examples:
"I like this conversation more and more."
"Im liking this conversation more and more."
"I remember this quite clearly."
"Im remembering this quite clearly."
Americans tend to use adjectives instead of adverbs. Instead of "Thats really good" you might hear them say "Thats real good" or instead of "Im doing very well" they say "Im doing pretty good".
Here are some more examples:
|He did that really quickly.
||He did that real quick.
|Lets take things slowly.
||Lets take things slow.
|Her car drives more quickly.
||Her car drives quicker.
There are a number of nouns that are uncountable (they dont have a plural form) in British English while they do have a plural form in American English.
Here are some examples:
|types of accommodation
|types of food
|a lot of fruit
|strands of hair
British and American English are more similar than they are different. New media and globalization enable more and more people to participate in an active exchange of ideas and experiences and therefore the geographical differences in the versions of English are becoming less instead of greater.
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