Brits and American share the same language but there are so many differences. Now I'm
going to show you three differences that I think most people don't know about. I'm not
talking about tomato tomato. No, no, no, no we're getting to the real stuff now. So if
you are ready, let's get going.
Hello and welcome to Eat Sleep Dream English if you haven't met me before my name is Tom
and I teach fresh modern British English so that you can take your English to the next
level and achieve your life goals. Today we're looking at some differences between American
English and British English that most people don't know about but because you are here,
you are going to learn about it. Now before we get started I want to remind you guys about
my YouTube membership scheme. All you need to do is hit that join button below and you
can get access to live Q&A videos with me, you can get extra English videos with me,
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Eat Sleep Dream English hit that join button and follow the steps. Alright, here's the
So you want to know if your friend ate before they came to see you. So in British English
we would ask 'Have you eaten yet?' What tense is that? It's the present perfect tense. Have
you eaten? So have is the auxiliary, eaten is the past participle. Have you eaten yet?
Now in American English generally they would say 'Did you eat yet?' This of course is the
past simple. Because they want to know about a past action. It's finished, it's complete.
So did you eat yet? Whereas in British English we have this idea that it's a past action
but it is still linked to now so have you eaten yet? So the answer might be in British
English 'I've eaten already' or 'I've already eaten' would be fine 'I've already eaten'.
So again we are using the present perfect to show that this action in the past that's
still kind of true now, we would use the present perfect. However in American English they
are going to say 'I ate already'. So we are using the past simple there, I ate already.
Again because it's a past complete action so yeah it makes sense, it's finished, it's
done. You find this pattern mostly with just, already and yet. So with British English we
use the present perfect, in American English they'll use the past simple. For other examples,
for example if you want to know about someone's life experience 'Have you been to China?'
for example. I think in both Englishes they'd use the present perfect. Have you been to
China? in British English and in American English. I believe that's true but if there
are any American English speakers out there that could confirm that for me, please let
me know in the comments below. If you wanted to know whether someone has ever been to China
or to Italy or wherever, would you use the present perfect or the past simple? So would
you say 'Have you been to China?' or 'Did you go to China?' Obviously in British English
that's quite an important difference. We would say 'Have you been to China?' in your life.
Like have you ever been to China but 'Did you go to China?' it's a more specific past
time. So maybe we are talking about your trip around Asia. You have just come back from
Asia and then I might say 'Oh did you go to China?' Because it is a specific, it's a more
specific time rather than the general life experience that we use with the present perfect.
Now how is this important for you learning English? Well, to be honest it's not that
big of a deal. If you speak British English and you use the present perfect and you go
to America or you speak to someone who speaks American English, you are fine. They are going
to understand you, it's not a problem and in reverse if you are learning American English
and you come to Britain and you use the past simple and not the present perfect, it's fine.
Don't worry about it. It's just an interesting difference and it's quite interesting to see
how we interpret language in different ways. But I wouldn't worry about it, whatever you
do now whether it's the present perfect or the past simple keep doing it.
The second difference between British English and American English is collective nouns.
Now let's talk about a team. Let's talk about a really really great football team. Let's
talk about Tottenham Hotspur. That's right, ok. Great football team in the English Premier
league. Tottenham Hotspur, maybe the greatest team in the world. Let's use them as an example.
So I'm going to put two sentences up and I want you to tell me which one is British English
and which one is American English. Alright, here we go. So 'Tottenham Hotspur is going
to win the Premier League'. Hopefully, one day. Or 'Tottenham Hotspur are going to win
the Premier League.' Which one is American English which one is British English? So the
first one is American English. We've used the singular form there 'is' because they
look at the team as being one thing. Tottenham Hotspur, it's one team. So they use 'is' Tottenham
Hotspur is going to win the Premier League'. In British English generally we would use
the plural form. We would say Tottenham Hotspur are going to win the Premier League' because
we see it as yes it's a team but it's a team filled with individuals. So it is plural,
there are many different components to this noun so we see it as a plural. Some books
say that in British English we use the singular form as well but to be honest I'm thinking
about my own use of English, I would use the plural form. So that's particularly useful
for talking about sports teams. Collective nouns, singular in American English, plural
in British English.
And my final difference, in American English they use -s as a suffix to show that something
is a repeated action or a custom. For example 'I used to work nights' so we are pluralising
nights to show that it happens often. It's a habit, it's a routine. In British English
traditionally we would probably have said 'I used to work at night' So again telling
us that we did it often. Having said that more and more in British English these days
I'm hearing people say nights. I work nights. I think that's become quite an established
word these days so. 'The swimming pool is closed Saturdays.' There we are, we are putting
the -s on Saturday to show that it's a repeated action. To show that every Saturday it's closed.
That's in American English. In British English we would say 'The swimming pool is closed
on Saturday.' As I say, having said that more and more we are being influenced by American
English and so we are starting to use -s on the end. Again, you do what you want to do.
It doesn't really matter, the meaning won't change that much. People will understand what
you are saying, it's just good to be aware of these differences. Alright guys, thank
you so much for hanging out with me. I hope you enjoyed that. If you did please give it
a big thumbs up. Let me know in the comments below. If you have any other differences between
American English and British English, tell me as well. I am always interested, I'm always
fascinated to learn from you guys. And of course anyone reading those comments gets
to learn as well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. Remember I've got new videos
out every Tuesday and every Friday or Tuesdays and Fridays teaching you fresh modern British
English. I've got Instagram, Instagram stories where you go behind the scenes with me on
my every day and of course on Facebook as well. But until next time guys, this is Tom
the Chief Dreamer, saying goodbye.