General American vs General British – 5 Key Differences
1. ‘r’ – silent or pronounced?
In General American, every written ‘r’ is pronounced, whereas in General British, ‘r’ is only pronounced before a vowel sound – it is silent before consonant sounds. This is known as rhoticity – General American is ‘rhotic’ and General British is ‘non-rhotic’.
work far pour
2. ‘t’ – tap or plosive?
When ‘t’ appears before a weak vowel, in General American it can be pronounced with a voiced tap /ɾ/ – this sounds a bit like a very fast /d/, whereas in General British it will be a voiceless plosive /t/ with some aspiration.
water party ‘What are you doing?’
3. ‘got’ – rounded or un-rounded?
In General British, we round the lips with the back open vowel in ‘got’ ‘what’ ‘shop’, whereas in General American this is an unrounded sound /ɑ/.
stop watch lot
4. Upspeak – statement or question?
In General British, speakers tend to use a falling tone to indicate a new statement or utterance. In American, however, it is common to use a rising tone, which to British ears may sound more like a question. It is known as ‘upspeak’, which technically means a high rising tone. NOTE – this type of intonation is becoming more common in British English, although there are reports that some institutions actively discourage its use.
I’m going ˈout later. I really want a new ˈjob.
5. /j/ – included or not?
In General British, speakers would pronounce a /j/ before the vowel sound in ‘tune’ and ‘new’ – words where a /t/, /d/ or /n/ are followed by /u:/. In General American, this /j/ is dropped, a concept known as yod-dropping.
tuna news due