In today’s lesson, we will remove some common Americanisms from your British English. An Americanism is a pronunciation, word choice or an expression that originated in American English, but is now being used elsewhere. Watch the lesson video to remove 6 common Americanisms from your speech:
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What’s the Problem with Americanisms?
When Americanisms are used in a British English context, they can sound ugly or jarring because they don’t belong. Some Americanisms are also grammatically incorrect in British English.
In order to speak English cohesively, and to avoid creating a confused impression with your English, it is always advisable to choose either the British English or American English variety, and then to stick with it throughout your English studies.
6 Americanisms to Remove from your English
- squirrel UK /ˈskwɪr.əl/ VS squirrel USA /ˈskwɝː.əl/ Notice that the vowels in these word varieties are different. The British English pronunciation has no ‘u’ sound in it.
2. adult UK /ˈæd.ʌlt/ VS adult USA /əˈdʌlt/ Notice that the word stress is different. The British pronunciation is stressed on the first syllable, whereas the American one is stressed on the second syllable.
3. ‘maths’ UK VS ‘math’ USA Notice the plural difference between these word varieties. If a British person uses the word ‘math’ in place of ‘maths’, it sounds odd and affected. Don’t ever say ‘math’ in the UK!
4. ‘rubbish’ UK VS ‘garbage’ In the UK, the word ‘rubbish’ is traditionally used to refer to waste materials. Although it is worth mentioning that the Americanism ‘garbage’ is gaining ground, especially among younger speakers.
5. ‘booty’ UK VS ‘booty’ USA These words traditionally have different meanings in British and American English. They are homonyms, in that they have the same spelling but a different origin. In the UK, the word ‘booty’ (n) refers to stolen goods, and is often associated with pirates. In contrast, in American English, the word ‘booty’ (n; vulgar slang) is a sexual word that is used to refer to a person’s bottom.
6. I got this! The last example Americanism to remove from your English is a phrase that is grammatically incorrect in British English. The phrase ‘I / we got this’ is currently being used as an advertising slogan by the food delivery company Just Eat. In addition, the phrase tends to appear a lot in Netflix television shows. For these reasons, it is best avoided!
Thank you for watching today’s lesson on Americanisms and for improving the cohesiveness of your English with me.
Extend Your Learning
▶︎ Watch another pronunciation mistakes lesson: How to Pronounce Edinburgh
▶︎ How do you pronounce ‘garage’? Find out if you are posh, or not.
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