Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
British Grammar versus American Grammar
British Grammar versus American Grammar

Which do you prefer to use?
Tell us why you prefer one grammar over the other.


Speakers of American English generally use the present perfect tense (have/has + past participle) far less than speakers of British English. 
In spoken American English, it is very common to use the simple past tense as an alternative in situations where the present perfect would usually have been used in British English. 
The two situations where this is especially likely are: 

1. In sentences which talk about an action in the past that has an effect in the present:

Legend: American English (AmE) / British English (BrE)

        -    Jenny feels ill. She ate too much. (AmE)
        -    Jenny feels ill. She's eaten too much. (BrE)

        -    I can't find my keys. Did you see them anywhere? (AmE)
        -    I can't find my keys. Have you seen them anywhere? (BrE)

2. In sentences which contain the words already, just or yet:

        Q: Are they going to the show tonight? 
        A: No. They already saw it. (AmE)
        A: No. They've already seen it. (BrE)

        Q: Is Samantha here?
        A: No, she just left. (AmE)
        A: No, she's just left. (BrE)

        Q: Can I borrow your book?
        A: No, I didn't read it yet. (AmE)
        B: No, I haven't read it yet. (BrE)


        Which do you prefer to use?
        Tell us why you prefer one grammar over the other.

Mar 30, 2019 12:16 PM
Comments · 11

The differences are less noticeable in colloquial British speaking where the American version is often used.

The British versions are more to do with the way it is taught in classrooms and in the official language teaching text books of the British.


It is all just English if you know English you can communicate with other English speakers. You may find some phrasing sounds different to your preferred dialect. But it is still English, if you know what the other speaker means why argue over nothing. Does not apply to slang or some words that may be offensive between the different English speaking continents. 

March 30, 2019


Thank you all for your comments...

Leyla asked " I would like to know your opinion about American and British English? In your mind which of them must we prefer?:)"

As an older Canadian, I learned British English in school and learned American English from newspapers, advertising, movies, music, radio and TV.

I cannot say that I prefer one form over the other. I like them both and Canadians know both forms of English.
So, I don't care if someone spells color or colour, defence or defense or says elevator or lift.
I do have a small preference for some American spellings because they seem to make more sense phonetically, for example, I prefer recognize (AmE) and analyze (AmE) but the other spellings are also OK.

In conclusion, in my case, I am comfortable with both forms of grammar and spelling.


March 30, 2019
I'm studying British  sometimes I get confused with present perfect. I used to use American grammar and their accent because I used to listen to American people and I like their accent. I feel more comfortable to use it. Despite that most people like the British accent because it's easier to understand more than the American accent.
March 30, 2019
I prefer present perfect and I like to use it in expressing my thoughts when I write and speak in English. I haven't got any definite reason I just like to imitate British native speakers.
March 30, 2019
I use American grammar because I'm not exposed to British grammar much, the movies\youtube videos I watch and the songs I listen to are mostly American so I'm used to it more and I use American grammar without thinking. I can't say it's a preference or anything, just a habit. 
March 31, 2019
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