Wednesday, October 26, 2016

British and American Compound Nouns

English uses many compound nouns. Most of them are the same in all varieties of English. However, a few compounds are different in British English and American English. Here is a list with the British compound on the left and the American on the right:

cookery book cookbook
dialling tone dial tone
doll's house dollhouse
driving licence driver's license
filing cabinet file cabinet
sailing boat sailboat
skimmed milk skim milk
skipping rope jumprope
sport section sports section
swimming suit swimsuit

In a number of compounds, British English uses a gerund such as in sailing boat and swimming suit. British English uses a possessive noun in doll's house, and American English uses one in driver's license. Though most compound nouns are the same in all varieties of English, these examples illustrate a few differences.

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