By John Algeo

Audio system of British and American English exhibit a few extraordinary changes of their use of grammar. during this specific survey, John Algeo considers questions comparable to: •Who lives on a road, and who lives in a highway? •Who takes a tub, and who has a tub? •Who says Neither do I, and who says Nor do I? •After 'thank you', who says under no circumstances and who says you are welcome? •Whose crew are at the ball, and whose staff isn't really? Containing large quotations from real-life English on either side of the Atlantic, gathered over the last 20 years, this can be a transparent and hugely equipped consultant to the diversities - and the similarities - among the grammar of British and American audio system. Written for people with no earlier wisdom of linguistics, it exhibits how those grammatical adjustments are associated almost always to specific phrases, and gives an obtainable account of up to date English in use

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Extra info for British or American English? : a handbook of word and grammar patterns

Sample text

1989 Aug. 3 Guardian 25/1. speed/sped or speeded In CIC, sped is the more frequent form in both varieties, in British by 67 percent and in American by 77 percent. > 1993 Smith 124. < . . it was going so slowly . . > 1992 Green 68. spell/spelt Spell/spelled: In CIC, British texts use spelt more than half again as often as spelled; American texts use spelled 136 times more often than spelt. < . . > 1988 July In Britain 26/3–4. spill/spilt or spilled Spill/spilled: In CIC, British texts use spilt rather than spilled about 32 percent of the time; American texts use it about 2 percent of the time.

An example of such older British use is the following, which shows simple futurity in shan’t and volition in shall with the third person but in won’t with the first person: 1931 Benson 110. Such a clear traditional distinction in the use of shall and will is hard to find nowadays, and indeed the rule stating it has been declared to be invalid (CamGEL 195). 1. For future time, shall is relatively frequent in British use with the first person, whereas will is used with the second and third person.

2 iptmw of mayn’t in British texts and none in American. The monosyllabic pronunciation of mayn’t ([ment]) is apparently more common than the disyllabic one in British; as far as the word is said at all in American, it would usually have two syllables. > 1989 Underwood 115. mightn’t This form is 10 times more frequent in British than in American. > 1984 Gilbert 166. Verbs 23 mustn’t The contraction is more than 5 times as frequent in CIC British texts as in American. Uncontracted must not is only about twice as frequent.

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