Difference Between British and American English

The list below highlights the difference between British English and American English.

Apart from the spelling differences you can see those by clicking on the USA - UK differences at the left hand side of this page - there are a number of differences in vocabulary listed below.

I suggest you look them over because you never know when you may run into an American after studying British English, or when you may run into a Brit after having studied American English.
Having been to England a number of times now myself, I can assure you that the difference between  American and British vocabulary are just enough to cause a few laughs.

Well, maybe a few... misunderstandings. ;-)

What's important to remember?

That both British English and American English are accepted on the examinations as long as you consistently use either one or the other. In other words, don't mix!

Common Differences

       English       American English
  • all right    all right, alright (disputed)
  • analyse    analyze
  • centre     center
  • cheque    check
  • colour     color
  • counsellor    counselor
  • criticise, criticize    criticize
  • defence    defense
  • doughnut    donut
  • favour    favor
  • fibre    fiber
  • flavour    flavor
  • fulfil    fulfill
  • grey    gray
  • honour    honor
  • humour    humor
  • jewellery    jewellery, jewelry
  • judgement, judgment    judgment
  • kerb    curb
  • labour    labor
  • license, licence (verb)
  • licence (noun)    license (verb)
  • license (noun)
  • litre    liter
  • metre    meter
  • mould    mold
  • neighbour    neighbor
  • offence    offense
  • practise (verb)
  • practice (noun)    practice (verb)
  • practice (noun)
  • pretence    pretense
  • programme    program
  • pyjamas    pajamas
  • realise, realize    realize
  • savour    savor
  • speciality    specialty
  • theatre    theater
  • travelled
  • travelling    travelled, traveled
  • travelling, traveling
  • tyre    tire
  • valour    valor