While there are certainly many more varieties of English, American English and British English are the two varieties that are taught in most ESL/EFL programs. Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct" however, there are certainly preferences in use. The three major differences between between American and British English are:      

虽然英语种类繁多,但是美式英语和英式英语是大多数ESL / EFL(作为第二语言的英语教学)教学中的两种主要类型。一般认为没有任何一个版本是“正确”的,但是肯定有使用偏好。美式英语和英式英语主要有的三大区别:

Pronunciation - differences in both vowel and consonants, as well as stress and intonation


Vocabulary - differences in nouns and verbs, especially phrasal verb usage and the names of specific tools or items


Spelling - differences are generally found in certain prefix and suffix forms


The most important rule of thumb is to try to be consistent in your usage. If you decide that you want to use American English spellings then be consistent in your spelling (i.e. The color of the orange is also its flavour - color is American spelling and flavour is British), this is of course not always easy - or possible. The following guide is meant to point out the principal differences between these two varieties of English.




There are very few grammar differences between American and British English. Certainly, the words we choose might be different at times. However, generally speaking, we follow the same grammar rules. With that said, there are a few differences.

美式英语与英式英语之间的语法差异很小。当然,我们每次使用的单词可能不同。 但是,一般来说,我们会遵循相同的语法规则。这样说的话,也有一些差异。



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:


 I've lost my key. Can you help me look for it?


In American English the following is also possible:


I lost my key. Can you help me 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.

在英式英语中,上述表述被认为是不正确的。但是,这两种形式通常都被标准的美式英语接受。英式英语中的现在完成时和美式英语中的一般现在时的其他使用差异包括:already, just, yet。

British English:


I've just had lunch.

I've already seen that film.

Have you finished your homework yet?

American English:


I just had lunch OR I've just had lunch

I've already seen that film OR I already saw that film.

Have you finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?



There are two forms to express possession in English. Have or Have got

英语中有两种方式表示所有物的说法。Have or Have got。

Do you have a car?

Have you got a car?

He hasn't got any friends.

He doesn't have any friends.

She has a beautiful new home.

She's got a beautiful new home.

While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), have got (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ the have (do you have, he doesn't have etc.)

两种用法都正确(英式英语和美式英语中都可以使用),英式英语通常使用have got (have you got, he hasn't got等);而美式英语中通常用have (do you have, he doesn't have等)。

The Verb Get


The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English.


美式英语:He's gotten much better at playing tennis.(他网球打的好多了。)

英式英语:He's got much better at playing tennis.

'Have got' is used predominately in British English to indicated 'have' in the sense of possession. Strangely, this form is also used in the United States with the British participle 'got', rather than 'gotten'! Americans will also use 'have got to' in the sense of 'have to' for responsibilities.

英式英语中主要使用“have got”,表示持有意义上的“have”。 奇怪的是,这种形式在美国也有使用,用“got”的英式分词写法,而不用“gotten”! 美国人也会用“have got to”来表示“不得不”承担的责任。

I've got to work tomorrow.


I've got three friends in Dallas.




The largest differences between British and American English lie in the choice of vocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties for example:


Mean: (American English - angry, bad humored, British English - not generous, tight fisted)

Mean :(美式英语—— 生气,冷漠,英式英语——吝啬,抠门)


Don't be so mean to your sister!



She's so mean she won't even pay for a cup of tea.


There are many more examples (too many for me to list here). If there is a difference in usage, your dictionary will note the different meanings in its definition of the term. Many vocabulary items are also used in one form and not in the other. One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles.





英式英语[/cn[cn]] ——












Once again, your dictionary should list whether the term is used in British English or American English.


For a more complete list of the vocabulary differences between British and American English use this British vs. American English vocabulary tool.

更全面的关于英式和美式英语词汇差异列表可以使用British vs. American English vocabulary tool。



Here are some general differences between British and American spellings:


Words ending in -or (American) -our (British) color, colour, humor, humour, flavor, flavour etc.

Words ending in -ize (American) -ise (British) recognize, recognise, patronize, patronise etc.

以 -or(美式)-our(英式)结尾的单词:color, colour, humor, humour, flavor, flavour 等等。

以-ize(美式)-ise(英式)结尾的单词:recognize, recognise, patronize, patronise 等等。

The best way to make sure that you are being consistent in your spelling is to use the spell check on your word processor (if you are using the computer of course) and choose which variety of English you would like. As you can see, there are really very few differences between standard British English and standard American English. However, the largest difference is probably that of the choice of vocabulary and pronunciation.