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Ask Doctor English
Your ESL and English language learning specialist. Ask Dr. English whatever you like about the English language.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

CANADIAN, EH ?

One of the challenges of learning English is that the language changes depending on the English-speaking country in which you are in. Whether you are in Canada, the United States, England, Australia, or any of the many other countries in which English is the primary language, you will find the language changes. Not only are there distinctions in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, but there are also many cultural differences which affect how we use the language.

Many students of English struggle with differences in vocabulary between “North American English” and “British English”. In many schools where English is not the first language, students are taught British English. Therefore, when they come to Canada, they are surprised to find that we use different vocabulary in some cases.

One situation in which there are differences is when talking about parts of a car. For example in Canada the front of the car is the hood and in Britain it is the bonnet. The back of the car in Canada is the trunk and in Britain it is the boot. Also, we call a vehicle that is bigger than a car a truck and in British English it is called a lorry.

If you would like more information on CANADIAN, EH?, please email Doctor English with your questions at drenglish@vec.ca.

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