Choose your side: Are you British or American. Episode 4.

Choose your side: Are you British or American. Episode 4.

LEVEL 3, 4, 5 |

When you speak English it comes to the point where you have to choose your side: British or American.


This is Episode 4 from the series which focuses on differences in British and American spelling


Listen to Episode 1 here


Listen to Episode 2 here


Listen to Episode 3 here 


Voiced by Sophia Pelivanova

Словарь Ножницы Перевод Значение Замена

Choose your side: Are your British or American. Episode 4.

Hello, guys Улыбаюсь

Today I'm going to continue telling you about the difference between British English and American English.
Up to this point, we discussed only different words. But that's not the only thing that is different between British and American English. You might not actually HEAR this difference, but you'll certainly notice it in writing.
What am I talking about?
That's right. Spelling.

How do you spell color? Is it C-O-L-O-R or C-O-L-O-U-R? Which is American? That's right, the first one, color, c-o-l-o-r, and with –OUR ending is British. 

Sometimes words that end in –OUR in British English are spelled without the U in American.
Other examples are: favorite, behavior, humor, flavor, and labor.

How can we spell “behavior” in British? Yay! B-E-H-A-V-I-O-U-R.
And how can we spell “humor” in American? “H-U-M-O-R'.

Have you ever noticed that if you write “coloUR” in British in Microsoft Office Word, it will automatically change the spelling to the American version? Try switching the spellcheck to “English (Britain)”, and you'll see that C-O-L-O-R will automatically be underlined as incorrect. That's because in British we should spell color with an –OUR ending.

What is your favorite color?
Do you like chocolate-flavoured ice-cream?

* * * * *

When I came home after my morning run, I was so thirsty I drank a full liter of water!
How do you spell 'liter'? I spell it like this: L-I-T-E-R. Some people spell it L-I-T-R-E.
Who is correct? Both of us!
Who is American? I am! So some words which end in –ER in American English end in –RE in British English.
Can you think of any other examples? Meter, center, theater… the list goes on.

How can we spell 'center' in British? C-E-N-T-R-E.
How would you spell 'theater' in American? Yay! T-H-E-A-T-E-R.
Are there any theaters in the center of your city?

* * * * *

My friend Katherine is a wonderful manager. She is always on time, she always plans everything, and she knows what she needs to do every single minute. She never loses any documents or forgets to take her keys. How can we describe Kate? She is very… organized! Yes! 

How do we spell 'organized'?
If we're in America, we will say O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E-D. How will we spell it if we're in the UK? Yes, instead of –ZED we will say –SED. So the word is O-R-G-A-N-I-S-E-D.

Sometimes words that end in –SE or –SED in British English have –ZE or –ZED endings in American English.
Can you think of any other examples?

Here are some for you: apologize, civilization, prize, recognize, criticize, and so on.
How can we spell 'apologise' in British? Think for a moment. A-P-O-L-O-G-I-S-E. Good job!

How can we spell 'criticize' in American English? C-R-I-T-I-C-I-Z-E.
Can you spell 'prize' in british and American? What is the british version? P-R-I-S-E. Absolutely right. And the American version?P-R-I-Z-E.

Did your parents criticize you a lot?
Have you ever won a prize?
When was the last time you apologized for something?

So now you know about some of the differences in spelling between British and American English. Next time I'll tell you some more. Don't miss our next podcast!

Good luck!