1

Unit 1: English In A Minute
Give us a minute and we'll give you English

Select a unit

  1. 1 English In A Minute
  2. 2 English In A Minute

Session 88

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Activity 1

American English vs British English spelling

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Georgina's going to explain how to spell British and American English. Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Georgina
Hi I'm Georgina from BBC Learning English. In today's lesson, we're going to look at three differences between American English and British English spelling.

Words which end with –er in American English, often end in –re in British English. For example: 'I live in the center of town.' changes to centre.

Normally, verbs which end in –ize in American English can be spelt in British English with either –ize or –ise. For example: 'Can you organize the meeting?', changes to organise (or organize).

Sometimes words with –or in American English can be spelt in British English using –our. For example: 'What's your favorite color?' changes to favourite colour.

It doesn't matter whether you use American English or British English spelling. Just make sure you use one or the other.

 

American English (Am) vs British English (Br) spelling

Remember!
It doesn't matter if you use British or American spelling, but it is important to be consistent!

-er / -re
Words which end with –er in American English, often end in –re in British English.

  • I live in the center of town. (Am)
  • I live in the centre of town. (Br)

-ize / -ise
Verbs which end in –ize in American English can be spelt in British English with either –ize or –ise.

  • Can you organize this meeting? (Am)
  • Can you organise / organize this meeting? (Br)

-or / -our
Words which use -or in American English, often use –our in British English.

  • What's your favorite color? (Am)
  • What's your favourite colour? (Br)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language. 

English In A Minute Quiz

3 Questions

Test your understanding of this lesson with our quiz!

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Downloads

You can download a PDF document for this episode here.

More

We hope you enjoyed English in a Minute. You can find more episodes here