American vs. British Pronunciation

Anyone who has travelled between the USA and the UK can tell you that the first thing most people notice is the difference in accents and pronunciation. We use many of the same terms, but the there are key distinctions in the way that Americans and Brits pronounce certain words.

If you are thinking about learning English abroad in either the USA or the UK, it’s good to study up on the correct pronunciation for your chosen city. That way, you’ll know your ah-luh-min-um from your al-oo-min-i-um.


Food pronunciation

Many of the spices and vegetables used in cooking have different pronunciations (or even different terms entirely), so if you like to cook you will probably be using these terms quite often.

   Food American pronunciation    British pronunciation
   Yogurt (Yoghurt)    Yoh-gurt    Yog-urt
   Pitta    Pee-ta    Pitt-a
   Basil    Bay-zil    Bah-zil
   Oregano    Oh-ray-ga-no    Orah-ga-no
   Herb    Erb    Herb
   Tomato    To-may-to    To-mah-to

Listen to the difference:

Yogurt (Yoghurt) 







food pronunciation
If you like to cook, then knowing the differences in food pronunciations is a must!


Some terms are completely different for the same foods.










Household item pronunciation

Things we use in our day-to-day lives can also have slight pronunciation differences. Whether you are talking about kitchen items or things you encounter throughout your day, you’ll probably come across these as well.


   Item     American pronunciation     British pronunciation
    Vase     Vayz     Vawz
    Vitamin     Vai-tuh-min     Vit-uh-min
    Garage     Guh-rahj     Gare-uh
    Aluminum     Ah-luh-min-um     Al-oo-min-i-um


Listen to the difference:






vase pronunciation
Would you say that these colorful bottles would be a nice vayz or vaws?


Other words you might come across

   Word    American pronunciation    British pronunciation
   Address    Add-ress    A-dress
   Van Gogh    Van-Go    Van-goff
   Advertisement    Ad-ver-tize-ment    Advert-iz-ment


Listen to the difference:


Van Gogh



Try practicing the different pronunciations on your own and note how the words sound different. How many of these words have you heard before? Are there any we left out that you think are important? Leave your suggestion on the comment section below.


If you are interested in studying English abroad, take a look at our English schools in the USA and UK.

Share this with your friends
Related Posts