Are there any differences between U.S. Grammar & Usage and British Grammar & Usage? Are there separate areas here in English Grammar & Usage for U.S. English use and for British English use? The reason I ask is that when I’ve read some answers in English Grammar & Usage, I’ve seen seen examples from the Cambridge dictionary and from the Guardian newspaper (I’m assuming the British edition). I find English grammar can be very complex, so if there is any difference, I need to stick with the American version. Thank you for your help! [I do not have enough “reputation” to post this in Meta. I apologize.]

@Andrew Leach - request for edit: Should those who answer questions here on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange SHOW if their answer refers to American English or British English when the question does not have a tag denoting American or British usage? Thank you.

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    When someone posts an answer that only applies to one dialect, they should say so in the answer itself. Of course, the answerer may not know that their answer is dialect-specific, but usually someone will leave a comment on the answer if it's particularly obvious.
    – alphabet
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 19:12
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    Yes, there are differences. See this question. But most of the time, British grammar and American grammar are pretty much the same, so there's no need to label each question British or American grammar. Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 19:14
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    You're asking "Are there any differences?" which is not the same question as "How do I determine the differences on this site?" The comments show there are two questions here. Because you think the question should be on Meta.ELU, I guess it's the second one you actually want to ask. Perhaps "Are there any differences" should be "How do we show differences". Could you edit to make it clearer, please?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 7:46
  • Most of the differences are semantics. Not grammar. They are about 95% the same. grammar-wise. The complexity is not about BrE or AmE. It's just how the language is.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 15:52
  • Mandm: That deserves its own meta-question since it's a different conversation than the one you started here. Consider creating a new post on meta that asks about whether this should become an established convention, and maybe link this post to it. And now you do have enough rep to most on meta :) Commented May 1, 2023 at 23:12
  • This may be the wrong thing to say, but you do realize that you can always bring it up in a comment if it is not stated outright. Most people who come to ELU with a question probably don't think of themselves as coming from a particular dialect and so don't think of mentioning it. Also most people answering. Sure it'd be a good idea if everybody stated what dialect they're talking about in their question or answer, but enforcing it seems a bit intrusive. Just ask if it's not clear.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 2, 2023 at 16:45
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    @Heartspring: I am too new here at ELU to be as bold as to ask if this “should become an established convention.”
    – Mandm
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 22:12
  • @Mitch: thank you, but I don’t want to come off as pretentious as in, “Are we discussing the Queen’s English, or are we discussing those tatty American’s English across the pond?” Yes, I am a tatty American :)
    – Mandm
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 23:31
  • @Mandm you can ask about which variety in a less tendentious way by specifying BrE or AmE or IndE or Yorkie or West Country or Ozark or..., formal or informal, oration/newspaper/work/friends at the ball game/friends smoking dope at the dumpster behind the Dunkin Donuts/etc. So if you're -asking- a question about one of these then yes you can specify a tag or write it out (or request that someone else do so, or edit to reflect what has come out in comments)
    – Mitch
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:07
  • @Mandm Over the years there have been requests for tags or labeling in bios of questioners and answerers. Whatever consensus if any has been made, nothing has come of it. There are existing methods to deal with it, mostly just asking.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Are there any differences between U.S. Grammar & Usage and British Grammar & Usage?

Yes, there are differences. For example, BrE does not always require do-support when asking a question with the main verb "to have" (e.g., "Have you any wool?") whereas AmE does require it (e.g., "Do you have any wool?"). In a comment, Peter Shor offers this question as an example of another difference.

Are there separate areas here in English Grammar & Usage for U.S. English use and for British English use? . . . I need to stick with the American version.

No, there aren't separate areas. However, if you are interested in only one dialect, you can go to the tags page, enter "english" into the search box, and pick one of the tags that appear, which include "american-english".

  • I read the Stack Exchange ELU Newsletter, as well as just browsing and reading the ELU site, so I don’t get to choose the tag from that end. I my case, I didn’t want to “single out” a person in my question, but I thought I was reading an American English usage question. However, one person answered using quotes from the Cambridge Dictionary and The Guardian. Sorry for the confusion, and I appreciate your answer.
    – Mandm
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 23:24

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