British and American English in Hk

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Hong Kong was a colony of British in the past. Under a British education system, the English we learnt in school are supposed to be British English. But nowadays, more and more Hong Kong people start to use American English in their daily conversions. Some people think that using both British and American English may prove bad influences to English learning. Another group of people claim that it is good to familiar with the usage of both British and American English.

Noah Webster
Before we investigate on this case, we should first know what actually American English is and how can we recognize it. In 19th century, Noah Webster created The American Dictionary of the English Language. At that time, most of the schools in America had a bad learning environment with poor underpaid staff, no desks, and unsatisfactory textbooks that came from British. As a teacher in America, he wanted to improve the situation and advocated that American should learn from American textbooks. He wrote textbooks for the students and even created the American English system. The American Dictionary he created was integrated by new words, spellings and pronunciations. This the reason why the latter gave a separate identity to American English.

Differences between British and American English:
In order to distinguish British English and American English from each other, we can focus on the spellings, pronunciations, grammars and usage in vocabularies.

Differences in Vocabulary
Some words used in British and American are totally different. Focus on vocabularies used is the easiest way to know which kind of English the people are using. Here are some common examples.

British English American English
pants trousers
crisp chips
chips French fries
fizzy drink soda
lift elevator
film movie
pavement sidewalk

Popular American entertainment in HK
Although we learnt British English in school, we can easily get touch in some American...
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