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How to Speak American vs. British English - Learn English Live 27


Are you confused about what an American accent is or what a British accent is? You are certainly not alone because I hear this question every day. Is the typical American accent like a cowboy from Texas? Does everybody who is British talk like the Queen of England? The answer is: of course not! Accents across North America and the U.K. vary considerably and I am here to show you some of the major differences using specific words as examples.

Can you say the two words shown in the picture above? Have you ever asked yourself which accent you are using? British? American? A mix of both? As I say in my lesson, the Americans and Canadians tend to pronounce these two words with an "AH". That goes for other words like saw, raw and law. We can compare this "AH" sound to the typical British "oh" sound as in coke, joke and broke. If you still have doubts, please refer to this part of my lesson .

Hearing the different between these two words is extremely difficult, but not impossible in American English. The reason, as I explain my lesson is that Americans tend to pronounce "an" and en" with a more nasal sound. On the other hand, the British have a more open vowel sound for "a" and the "n" sound is also softer. I really suggest you refer to this part of the lesson as you need to hear and see how I position my mouth to get a complete idea on the difference. 

A lot of English learners have told me that they find British English sometimes easier to understand because the British tend to pronounce their t's. That is true to some degree, however, it really depends. As you will see in my lesson, there are some British and of course American speakers who both leave out the t's in words like "butter" or "better". One considerable difference is that Americans most often will pronounce "butter" as "budder" and "better" as "bedder".

So here is a fun sentence you can try to use to practice your t's. In my lesson I give you a fun pronunciation workout at slow, medium and fast speeds.