Quiz about American English vs British English
Quiz about American English vs British English

American English vs. British English Quiz


It's hard to draw a precise line between AE and BE, but there are definitely cases where the vocabulary of the two languages diverges. For reasons of fair play the quiz tries to strike a balance between AE- and BE-centred questions .

A multiple-choice quiz by flem-ish. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
flem-ish
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
113,979
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
5920
Last 3 plays: emmal2000uk (10/10), Guest 81 (9/10), Guest 78 (1/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. It's rather painful for an American to sit down on a thumb-tack; but an English(wo)man is hardly any better off if he or she sits down on a ______. Which of these fills the blank correctly? Hint

thumb pin
drawing-pin
fastening-pin
push pin

2. Whereas the American alphabet goes from A to Zee, the English goes from A to what?

Answer: (3 letters)
3. Whereas Uncle Sam washes his face with a wash-cloth or rag, John Bull does the same with a face-cloth or a what?

Answer: (seven letters)
4. When an American woman loses her purse, what a gentlemanly Englishman returns to her need not be a "bag with coins", but might be her _______. What word could complete this sentence correctly?

Answer: (seven letters)
5. What does an Englishman buy, when he buys what an American calls a "station wagon"? Hint

an estate car
a station car
a station wagon
a stationary car

6. Which of these might, in New York, be an alternative term for what in England is usually called an estate agent? Hint

an estate manager
a realtor
an estate dealer
a surveyor

7. Whereas in England the English draw their curtains, in the U.S.A. (many) Americans draw their __________. What word completes the previous sentence correctly? Hint

drapery
curtain cloths
hanging cloths
drapes

8. Which of these words is the least likely to be used as an American equivalent of what an Englishman calls a dispensing chemist? Hint

a druggist
an apothecary
a pharmacist
a drugpusher

9. When an English mechanic lends a spanner to an American friend, his friend may return it saying: "Thank you for the ______". Which of these could complete the sentence correctly? Hint

bolt adjuster
nut twister
wrench
nut tightener

10. For an Englishman a restroom might be a room in a public building set aside for rest and quiet; for an American, however, the meaning that first jumps to mind could be: a room that is equipped with toilets and lavatories for public use.

True
False


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. It's rather painful for an American to sit down on a thumb-tack; but an English(wo)man is hardly any better off if he or she sits down on a ______. Which of these fills the blank correctly?

Answer: drawing-pin

Thumb tack is used in Australian English as well.
2. Whereas the American alphabet goes from A to Zee, the English goes from A to what?

Answer: Zed

A zit would be a temporary small raised spot on the skin.
3. Whereas Uncle Sam washes his face with a wash-cloth or rag, John Bull does the same with a face-cloth or a what?

Answer: flannel

A flannel is a small cotton cloth used to wash the body, especially the face and hands. In Australian: face washer.
4. When an American woman loses her purse, what a gentlemanly Englishman returns to her need not be a "bag with coins", but might be her _______. What word could complete this sentence correctly?

Answer: handbag

In UK it is usually women who carry handbags, but in other countries men do as well. In AE handbags may be called either purses or pocketbooks. They are used for carrying money, keys, travel documents and small personal items such as make up.But the "gap" between AE and BE is not so wide, that the term "handbag" in the BE sense of the word would be totally out of the vocabulary range of most Americans. On the contrary.

The truth seems to be that there often are "supplementary" words in AEfor a specific BE term.

Moreover it's impossible to treat the language of such a vast country as the U.S.A. as being a linguistic monolith.
5. What does an Englishman buy, when he buys what an American calls a "station wagon"?

Answer: an estate car

Stationary cars are not station wagons. They become stationary when they don't move.
6. Which of these might, in New York, be an alternative term for what in England is usually called an estate agent?

Answer: a realtor

A quantity surveyor is a person whose job it is to calculate the cost of the materials and work needed for future building work. Real estate agent is a very common synonym for realtor in USA.

Once again, in many cases AE speakers are not ignorant of the word BE speakers would use. They often even use the same word. But among Americans there happens to be an alternative the British are not as familiar with. And of course, it also works the other way round: many AE words ultimately end up as "frequently used in BE as well".
7. Whereas in England the English draw their curtains, in the U.S.A. (many) Americans draw their __________. What word completes the previous sentence correctly?

Answer: drapes

In American and Australian usage drapes are curtains made with thick cloth. Drapery is a collective noun for goods such as cloth and curtains,and does not suit the context here. In British usage the term curtains might be used for thick, as well as for thin curtains. Of course there are plenty of AE speakers who use the term curtains for whichever type of curtain, 'thick' or 'thin'.
8. Which of these words is the least likely to be used as an American equivalent of what an Englishman calls a dispensing chemist?

Answer: a drugpusher

Historically an apothecary was someone who not only made, but even prescribed medicinal drugs and drugs. A druggist is a dealer in medicinal drugs. A pharmacist is someone who prepares and dispenses medicinal drugs. A drugpusher is, of course, someone who sells illegal drugs. The current way of saying that you go to the chemist's is of course saying that you go to the drug-store.
9. When an English mechanic lends a spanner to an American friend, his friend may return it saying: "Thank you for the ______". Which of these could complete the sentence correctly?

Answer: wrench

An Allen wrench or Allen key is a L-shaped metal tool with six sides that is used to turn a screw with a six-sided hole in the top. There is also the monkey wrench. Spanner is used in Australian English as well.
10. For an Englishman a restroom might be a room in a public building set aside for rest and quiet; for an American, however, the meaning that first jumps to mind could be: a room that is equipped with toilets and lavatories for public use.

Answer: True

Other terms: toilet; WC; lavatory. In UK the terms "Gents" and "Ladies", or "Public Conveniences" are quite current alternatives.
Source: Author flem-ish

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor coolupway before going online.
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Most Recent Scores
Dec 02 2022 : emmal2000uk: 10/10
Nov 21 2022 : Guest 81: 9/10
Nov 15 2022 : Guest 78: 1/10
Nov 10 2022 : Guest 122: 8/10
Nov 02 2022 : Fiona112233: 10/10
Nov 02 2022 : JJSupernatural: 9/10
Nov 02 2022 : Guest 92: 8/10
Oct 22 2022 : Guest 203: 2/10
Oct 21 2022 : Guest 174: 10/10

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