Difference Between American and British English - Quiz.

Did you know…?

  1. Which English is older, British or American?
  2. Why did the British stop pronouncing the "R" sound?
  3. Which version of English is more similar to French and why?
  4. Were there more new words in British or American English in 2019?
  5. What is the approximate ratio of British to American English speakers?
  6. What's the longest word in the English language?
  7. Which English word becomes shorter when you add 2 letters to it?

 

  1. Don't tell the British, but the answer is American (see the second answer for the reason).
  2. When the first settlers sailed from England to North America, they brought the English of their time, based on the so-called Roth speech (when you pronounce the R sound in a word). Meanwhile, in the wealthy southern cities of Great Britain, people from the new upper classes wanted to be different from everyone else, so they stopped pronouncing the sound "R" (iPhone 11 was not there yet), for example, pronouncing the word "winter" as "winte" instead of " winter ". Everyone wanted to imitate aristocrats, so this new way of pronunciation spread throughout the rest of the south of England.
  3. The French language has had a greater impact on English than native speakers would like to recognize. The first time William the Conqueror took over Britain in the 11th century, he made French the state language being used in schools, courts and universities. It did not stay for a long time, but turned into Middle English, which at that time was a mixture of all linguistic influences (which is why there are so many exceptions in English). The second time was in the 1700s, when it became very fashionable to use words and spelling in the French style in Great Britain (as well as in the Russian Empire, oh, those fashionable French =)). Of course, Americans already lived across the Atlantic and did not participate in this trend at all. This is why British English has more linguistic similarities to French.
  4. 640 new words were added to American English (Merriam-Webster Dictionary of the United States) and 203 to British English (Oxford English Dictionary) in 2019.
  5. Considering the English speakers from all former British colonies who use standard British English, namely: India (125 million) + Australia (25.7 million) + Ireland (4.8 million) + Singapore (2.2 million). ) + New Zealand (3.8 million), + Malaysia (about 10 million) + UK (58.1 million) = 229.6 million
  6. We can add 14 million Filipinos (the former US colony) to the American speakers from the USA (225 million) and we get 239 million. That is, the ratio is approximately 1 to 1.
  7. Canadian English (21.5 million) falls somewhere in the middle. There is no reliable data on the exact number of African speakers of English.
  8. “Smiles” is the longest because there is a whole “mile” between the first and the last letter.
  9. “Short” after adding the ending -er becomes “shorter”.

In the last article of the series "American and British English - delish + the cherry on the cake" we will tell you everything that we have not yet told you. Stay tuned and don't miss out. Bye-bye!

Author: Andrew Shapovalov

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