American and British English pronunciation differences

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Differences in pronunciation between American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) can be divided into:

  • differences in accent (i.e. phoneme inventory and realisation). See differences between General American and Received Pronunciation for the standard accents in the United States and Britain (although General American's status as the official standard accent of the United States is contested); for information about other accents see regional accents of English speakers.
  • differences in the pronunciation of individual words in the lexicon (i.e. phoneme distribution). In this article, transcriptions use Received Pronunciation (RP) to represent BrE and General American (GAm) to represent AmE.

In the following discussion:

  • superscript A2 after a word indicates that the BrE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in AmE.
  • superscript B2 after a word indicates that the AmE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in BrE.
  • superscript A1 after a word indicates that the pronunciation given as BrE is also the most common variant in AmE.
  • superscript B1 after a word indicates that the pronunciation given as AmE is also the most common variant in BrE.

Stress[edit]

Subscript a or b means that the relevant unstressed vowel is also reduced to /ə/ or /ɪ/ in AmE or BrE, respectively.

French stress[edit]

For many loanwords from French where AmE has kept the original French final-syllable stress, BrE stresses an earlier syllable. French loanwords that differ in stress only are listed below.

BrE AmE words with relevant syllable stressed in each dialect[1]
1st last barragea,[nb 1] batonab*, bereta[nb 2], bidet, blaséA2, bouffantA2,[nb 3] brasserieb, brassiereab, brevetabA2,[2] brochurebB2*,[nb 4][3] buffeta,[nb 5][4] cachetA2, café*a*b, caffeineA2, canardaB1,[5] chagrina, chaletA2, cliché*a, collagea*B2, croissant*a, debrisaA2,[nb 6] debut, décorA2, detailaA2, figurine, flambé,[nb 7] frappé, garageaB2,[nb 8] gourmetA2, lamé[nb 9], matinée, milieuB2, negligeeA2, nonchalantbA2, nondescript, parquet*b, pastelB2b, pastilleb,[nb 10] pâté,[nb 11] précisA2, sachet, salona, savantabA2, solfège,[7] sorbet,[nb 12] soupçon,[8] vaccine, massage.

Also some French names, including: Degas, Dijon,[9] Dumas,[10] Manet,[11] Monet,[nb 13][12] Renaulta,[nb 14][13] Rimbaud.[nb 15][14]

2nd last attaché, consomméa, cor anglaisB2, décolleté, déclassé, démodé,[15] denouement, distingué, escargot, exposé, fiancé(e)A2,[nb 16] retroussé.

Also some French names, including: Debussyb, Dubonneta.

last 1st addressbA1 (noun), decadebB1,[nb 17][16] esquireb*A2, magazineA2, mayonnaiseA2 tiradeA2, ((bi)p)artisana.B1/2[nb 18]
2nd 1st artisanalA1, liaisonabA2*[nb 19], macraméab, Renaissanceab[nb 20]

Verbs ending in –ate[edit]

Most 2-syllable verbs ending -ate have first-syllable stress in AmE and second-syllable stress in BrE. This includes castrate, cremateA2,[17] dictateA2, donateA2, locateA2, migrate, narratebA2, placatebB2, prostrate, pulsate, rotate, serrateA2, spectate, striate,[18] translateA1, vacateb*A2,[19] vibrateA2. Examples where AmE and BrE match include create, debate, equate, elate, negate; and mandate and probate with first-syllable stress. Derived nouns in -ator retains the distinction, but those in -ation do not. Also, migratoryB1[20] and vibratoryB1 [21] sometimes retain the distinction.

Most longer -ate verbs are pronounced the same in AmE and BrE, but a few have first-syllable stress in BrE and second-syllable stress in AmE: elongateaA2, infiltrateA2, remonstrateabA2,[22] tergiversateaA1[nb 21].[23] For some derived adjectives ending -atory stress-shifting to -a(tory)- occurs in BrE. Among these cases are celebratorya[24] (BrE: /ˌsɛlɪˈbrtəri/), compensatorya,[25] participatorya,[26] regulatoryaB1.[27] AmE stresses the same syllable as the corresponding -ate verb (except compensatory, where AmE stresses the second syllable). A further -atory difference is laboratoryB2: AmE /ˈlæbərəˌtɔːri, ˈlæbrə-/ and BrE /ləˈbɒrətəri, -rətri/.[28]

Miscellaneous stress[edit]

There are a number of cases where same-spelled noun, verb and/or adjective have uniform stress in one dialect but distinct stress in the other (e.g. alternate, prospect): see initial-stress-derived noun.

The following table lists words not brought up in the discussion so far where the main difference between AmE and BrE is in stress. Usually it also follows a reduction of the unstressed vowel. Words marked with subscript A or B are exceptions to this, and thus retains a full vowel in the (relatively) unstressed syllable of AmE or BrE. A subsequent asterisk, *, means that the full vowel is usually retained; a preceding * means that the full vowel is sometimes retained.

Words with other points of difference are listed in a later table.

BrE AmE words with relevant syllable stressed in each dialect[1]
1st 2nd BalthazarA, cerebral/cerebrumA2, illustrativeA2, omegaA, patinaA1, stalactiteA2, stalagmiteA2, SuezA2*, subalternA2, thanksgivingABB2, transferenceAA2, UlyssesA
2nd 1st ancillaryB, AugustineBA2, catenary, controversyB1, corollary, defence/offenseAA2 (sport), fritillary, guffawA1,[29] marshmallowAB,[nb 22] miscellany,[nb 23] patronal, predicative, pretence/pretenseAA1, princess*AA2, saxophonistBB2, spread(-)eagledAB,[30] substratumABA2, tracheaAB2
1st 3rd opportuneAB
2nd 3rd submarinerA2
3rd 1st hemoglobinAB, margarineB, PyreneesAB
3rd 2nd arytenoidA1, centrifugalB2, obscurantismABA2[31]

Affixes[edit]

-ary,-ery,-ory,-mony,-ative,-bury,-berry[edit]

Where the syllable preceding the suffixes -ary, -ery, -ory, -mony or -ative is unstressed, AmE pronounces the antepenultimate syllable with a full vowel sound: /ˌɛri/ for -ary and -ery, /ˌɔːri/ for -ory, /ˌmni/ for -mony and /ˌtɪv/ -ative. BrE reduces the vowel to a schwa or even elides it completely: /əri/ or /ri/, /məni/ and /ətɪv/ -ative. So military is AmE /ˈmɪləˌtɛri/ and BrE /ˈmɪlɪtəri/ or /ˈmɪlɪtri/,[32] inventory is AmE /ˈɪnvənˌtɔːri/ and BrE /ˈɪnvəntəri, -vəntri/,[33] testimony is AmE /ˈtɛstəˌmni/ and BrE /ˈtɛstɪməni/[34] and innovative is AmE /ˈɪnˌvtɪv/ or /ˈɪnəˌvtɪv/ and BrE /ˈɪnəvətɪv/.[35] (The elision is avoided in carefully enunciated speech, especially with endings -rary,-rery,-rory.[citation needed])

Where the syllable preceding -ary, -ery, -ory, -mony or -ative is stressed however, AmE also usually reduces the vowel: /əri/, /məni/. Exceptions include library,[36] primaryA2,[37] rosemary.[38] (Pronouncing library as /ˈlˌbɛri/ rather than /ˈlˌbrɛri/ is highly stigmatized in AmE,[citation needed] whereas in BrE, /ˈlbri/ is common in rapid or casual speech.)

The suffix -berry is pronounced by similar rules, except that in BrE it may be full /ˌbɛri/ after an unstressed syllable, while in AmE it is usually full in all cases. Thus we have strawberry: BrE /ˈstrɔːbəri, -bri/, AmE /ˈstrɔːˌbɛri/, and whortleberry: BrE/AmE /ˈwɔːrtəlˌbɛri/.

The placename component -bury (e.g. Canterbury) has a similar difference: AmE has a full vowel: /ˌbɛri/ where BrE has a reduced or none at all: /bəri, bri/.

Note that stress differences between the dialects occur with some words ending in -atory (listed above) and a few others like capillary (included in #Miscellaneous stress above).

Formerly the BrE–AmE distinction for adjectives carried over to corresponding adverbs ending -arily, -erily or -orily. However, nowadays some BrE speakers adopt the AmE practice of shifting the stress to the antepenultimate syllable: militarily is thus sometimes /ˌmɪlɪˈtɛrɪli/ rather than /ˈmɪlɪtrəli/, and necessarily is in BrE either /ˈnɛsəsərɪli, -səsrɪ-/ or /ˌnɛsɪˈsɛrɪli/[39]

-ile[edit]

Words ending in unstressed -ile derived from Latin adjectives ending -ilis are mostly pronounced with a full vowel in BrE /l/ but a reduced vowel or syllabic L in AmE /əl/ (e.g. fertile rhymes with fur tile in BrE but with furtle in AmE).

AmE will (unlike BrE, except when indicated withB2) have a reduced last vowel:

  • generally in facile, (in)fertile, fissile, fragile, missile, stabile (adjective), sterile, tensile, versatile, virile, volatile
  • usually in agile, decile, ductile,[40] futile, hostile, juvenile, (im)mobile (adjective & phone), nubile, projectile, puerile, reptile, servile, tactile, utile;[41]
  • rarely in domicileB2,[nb 24][42] infantile, pensile, percentile, senile.[nb 25] textile
  • never in crocodile, exile, gentile, reconcile; nor to compounds of monosyllables (e.g. turnstile from stile).

In some words the pronunciation /l/ also comes into play:

Related endings -ility, -ilize, -iliary are pronounced the same in AmE as BrE.

-ine[edit]

The suffix -ine,[7] when unstressed, is pronounced sometimes /n/ (e.g. feline), sometimes /n/ (e.g. morphine) and sometimes /ɪn/ (e.g. medicine). Some words have variable pronunciation within BrE, or within AmE, or between BrE and AmE. Generally, AmE is more likely to favor /n/ or /ɪn/, and BrE to favor /n/.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /n/: carbineA2, FlorentineA2, philistineA2, pristineB2[nb 26], salineA2, serpentineA2.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /n/ (2) /ɪn/: adamantineA2.

BrE /n/, AmE /ɪn/: uterineB2.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /ɪn/ (2) /n/ (3) /n/: crystalline, labyrinthine.[44]

BrE (1) /n/, AmE (1) /n/ (2) /ɪn/: strychnineA2.

Weak forms[edit]

The title Saint before a person's name has a weak form in BrE but not AmE: before vowels, /sənt/.[45]

Miscellaneous pronunciation differences[edit]

These tables list words pronounced differently but spelled the same. See also the table of words with different pronunciation reflected in the spelling.

Single differences[edit]

Words with multiple points of difference of pronunciation are in the table after this one. Accent-based differences are ignored. For example, Moscow is RP [mɒskəʊ] and GAm [mɑskaʊ], but only the //-// difference is highlighted here, since both the [ɒ]-[ɑː] difference and the RP use of [əʊ] rather than [oʊ] are predictable from the accent. Also, tiara is listed with AmE /æ/; the marry–merry–Mary merger changes this vowel for many Americans. Some AmE types are listed as /ɒ/ where GAm merges to /ɑː/.

A2 means that American speakers may use either pronunciation;B2 means British speakers may use either pronunciation.

BrE AmE Words
/ɑː/ /æ/ Excluding words changed by the trap–bath split,[46] (which affects most southern British speakers and almost no American speakers): banana, choraleA2, ColoradoA2, cyclorama, diorama, Internationale, khakiA2, localeA2, morale, musicale, NevadaA2,[nb 27][47] pajama(s)A2, PakistaniA2, panoramaA2, pastorale, plaqueB2, rale, rationale, Sahara, scenarioA2, sopranoA2, SudanB2, sultana, tiaraA2
/æ/ /ɑː/ "A" in the anglicised pronunciation of many foreign names and loanwords, e.g.: AnkaraA2, aquaA2, Basra, Boccaccio, CaracasB2, Casablanca, Casals, caveatA2, Cezanne, chiantiA2, Delgado, goulashA2, grappa, Gulag, hacienda, kebab,[48] Las (placenames, e.g. Las Vegas), lasagnaB2, latteB2, Lausanne, macho, mafiaA2, MilanA2, Mohammed, MombasaA2, paso doble, pasta, patioA2, PicassoA2, pilaff, Rachmaninoff, rallentandoA2, ravioli, regattaA2, SlovakA2, squacco, Sri LankaA2, Uganda, Vasco da Gama, Vivaldi, wigwam
/ɑː/ // charade, cicadaA2, grave (accent)A2, pralineB2,[49] tomatoA2, stratumB2[nb 28][7]
/æ/ // basilA2 (plant), canineB2, granary, (im)placable, macronA2, pal(a)eo-, (com/un)patriot(ic)B2, (ex/re)patriate/-ationB2, phalanxA2, plaitA2, Sabine, satrapA2, satyrA2[7]
// /æ/ apparatusA2, apricotA2, comrade, dahliaA2, digitalisA2, gratisB2, patentB2, statusA2[7]
/æ/ /ɒ/ twatB2
/ɒ/ /æ/ quagmireB2,[50] scallopB2, wrath[nb 29]
/ɔː/ // porousA2
// /ɔː/, /ɒ/ wontA2
/ɔː/ /ɑː/ schmaltzA2
/æ/ /ɔː/ asphalt
/ɒ/ /ɔː/ Excluding words changed by the lot-cloth split: alcohol, atoll, gnocchi, oratory, parasol, sausage[51]
/ɔː/ /ɒ/ leprechaun[52]
/ɔː/ /ʊ/ courgette[nb 30], your
/ɔːl, ɔː/ /æl/ falconA2[nb 31][7][53]
// /ɛ/ Aesculapius, Aeschylus, (a)esthete/-ticB2,[54] an(a)esthetist/-ize, amenityB2,[55] besti(al/ary), breveA2, D(a)edalus, ecumenicalB2, epochalB2,[56] eraA2, esotericB2,[57] h(a)emo-, Hephaestus, hygienicA2, hysteriaA2, KenyaB2, leverA2, methaneB2, OedipusA2, (o)estrogenB2,[58] (o)estrusB2,[59] p(a)edophile, penalizeA2, Ph(a)edrus, predecessorA2, predilectionA2, pyrethrinA2, qu(a)estor, schizophreniaA2, senileA2, (bi/quin/quarter)centenaryB2
/ɛ/ // crematoriumA2, cretin, depotA2, eco-B2, leisureA2, presentationA2, reconnoit(re/er)A2, zebraB2
// // beta, eta, heinousB2, quayA2, reparteeA2, theta, zeta
// // Haggai,[60] HeleneA2, IsraelA2
/ɛ/ // ateB2, mêléeA2,[7] presa
// /ɛ/ again(st)B2, nonpareil[7]
/ɒ/ /ʌ/ hoverA2, want(ed). Also the strong forms of these function words: (every/some/no/any)bodyA2, from, of, Somme, was, whatA2
/ʌ/ /ɒ/ accompliceB2,[61] accomplishB2,[62] colanderB2, conjureA2, constableB2, monetaryA2, -mongerA2
/ɒ/ // adios, Aeroflot, ayatollah, Barbados, baroqueB2,[63] BoccheriniA2, Bogota, calvados, Chopin, cognacA2, compost, grossoA2, ErosA2, homo-B2, Interpol, logos (singular)A2, Lod, olfactoryA2, Pinocchio, pogrom, polkaB2, produce (noun)A2, professorial, prophy-(lactic/laxis), protegeB2,[64] ProvencalA2, realpolitik, Rosh HashanahA2, shone, solsticeA2, sojourn, Sonia,[65] TolstoyA2, trollB2, yogurtB2[66]
// /ɒ/ Adonis, codicilB2[67] codifyA2, goffer, ogleA2, process (noun)A2, projectB2(noun), slothA2, trothA2, wrothB2
/ɪ/ // dynasty, hibiscus, housewifery,[56] idyll, IranA2, IraqA2, italicA2, itinerant, pipette, privacyB2,[68] simultaneousA2, tinnitus, tricolo(u)rB2,[69] Tyrolean, vitaminB2. See also -ine.
// /ɪ/ butylB2, cervical, cyclic(al)B2, divisiveA2, doctrinal, forsythia, -isation/-izationA2, primer (schoolbook), Pythagoras, subsidence/-ent, synapseB2, umbilicalB2, urinal. See also -ine.[7]
// // Isaiah
// // (n)eitherAB2,[nb 32] Pleiades, via. See also -ine.
// // albino, geyser, migraineB2. Also the prefixes anti-A2, multi-A2, semi-A2 in loose compounds (e.g. in anti-establishment, but not in antibody). See also -ine.
// /ɪ/ beenB2,[70] creekA2, invalid (noun), prima
/ɪ/ // aphrodisiac, bulimia, memorabilia, pi(t)taB2, prestigious
/ɛ/ /ɑː/ enclave, envoi/-voy
/æ/ /ɛ/ femme fataleA2, pall-mallA2[nb 33][7]
// // nousA2
/ʊ/ /ɪ/ kümmel
/ʊ/ // BuddhaA2, cuckoo, guru
// /ʊ/ boulevard[71], boogie-woogie, hoofA2, roofAB2, rootA2, snooker, woofA2 (weaving)
// /ə/ ferrule
/ʊ/ /ɜːr/ courier
/ʊ/ /ʌ/ brusqueB2
/ə/ /ʌ/ surplus
/ʌ/ /ə/ dandruff[verification needed]
/ʌ/ // felucca
// // (re)route(r)A2[nb 34][72]
// // broochA2
// // cantaloup(e)
/ʌ/ // plover
// // MoscowA2
/ər/ /ɑːr/ MadagascarA2
/ər/ /ɜːr/ chauffeur
/ɑːr/ /ɜːr/ Berkeley, Berkshire, Cherwell, clerk, derby, Hertford(shire). (The only AmE word with ⟨er⟩ = /ɑːr/ is sergeant.)
/ɜːr/ /ɛr/ errA2
/ɛr/ /ɜːr/ deterrentA2
/ɛr/ /ɪər/ inherent
/ɪər/ /ɪər/ or /ɛr/ coherent
/ɪr/ /ɜːr/ chirrupA2, squirrel, stirrupA2, syrupA2
/ɔːr/ /ər/ acornA2,[73] record (noun)
/ə/ /ɒ/ Amazon, anacoluthon, automaton, Avon, capon, crampon, crayon, hexagon, Lebanon, lexicon, marathon, (m)ascot, melancholy,[74] myrmidon, octagon, Oregon, pantechnicon, paragon, Parthenon, pentagon, phenomenon, polygon, pylon, pythonA2, Rubicon, saffron, silicon
/ɒ/ /ə/ Aesop, Amos, condom, despot, Enoch, ingot, mosquito, sombrero
/ɒ/ /ɛ/ roentgen, Stendhal
/ə/ /ɛ/ nonsense
/ɛ/ /ə/ congress, Kentucky
/ɛ/ /ə/ parallelepiped[75]
/ɛ/ /ɪ/ manageress, spinet
/ɪ/ /ɛ/ deficitB2, despicable
/ɪ/ /ə/ impetigo, vehicleA2
/ə/ /æ/ applique, baboon, bassoon, Capri, fastidiousB2, nasturtium, papoose, platoon, raccoon, taboo, tattoo, trapeze
/ə/ // -ative, DraconianA2, grimace, satanic
// /ə/ entrails, template[76]
/ə/ // anchovy, boroughA2, probation, procedure, prohibit, proliferate, prolific, Prometheus, prophetic, propinquity, prorogation, protest (verb), protract, protrude, protuberance/-ant, thoroughA2, varicose, also place names such as EdinburghA2 and surnames ending in -stone, e.g. Winstone (see also -ory and -mony)
// /ə/ kimono
/juː/ // Excluding words altered by the yod-dropping phenomenon: barracuda, minute (adj.), pumaA2
// /juː/ couponA2, fuchsine, HoustonB2
/juː/ /w/ conduit, iguanaB2,[77] jaguar, NicaraguaB2
/ər/ /jər/ figureA2 for the verb
/ʊ/ /jʊ/ eruditeA2,[78] purulent, virulenceB2
/jʊ/ /ʊ/ duress, Honduras, résuA2[79]
/ɑː/ /ə/ charivari
/ɑː/ /ət/ nougat[nb 35]
// /ət/ sorbet,[nb 36] tourniquet
/ət/ // fillet
// /ɒt/ HuguenotA2
/ɜːr/ // milieu
/ɜːr/ /ʊər/ connoisseurA2, entrepreneurA2, masseur
/ɜːrz/ /s/ Betelgeuse, chanteuse, chartreuseA2, masseuse
/z/ /s/ AussieA2, blouse (noun), blouson, complaisantA2, crescentB2, dextrose, diagnoseA2, erase, fuselageA2, mimosa, parse, ruseA2, talisman, treatise, usage, valise, venisonB2, visaA2[80]
/s/ /z/ asthma, chromosomeA2
/ts/ /z/ piazzaA2, schnauzer, terrazzo
/ð/ /θ/ bequeath, boothB2, loath(ful/ly/some)A2, smithyA2, withstand(ing)A2
/ʃ/ /ʒ/ AsiaB2, cashmere, PersiaB2, (as/dis)persionA2, (ex/in)cursionB2, (im/sub)mersion, (a/con/di/in/per/re)versionA2
// // sandwichB2,[81] spinachB2
// // Chou (en Lai)
// /ʃ/ braggadocio
/ʃ/ // chassis
/si/ /ʃ/ cassiaA2, CassiusA2, DionysiusA2,[82] hessian, Lucius, Theodosius
/zi/ or /si/ /ʃ/ nauseaA2, transientA2
/zi/ /ʒ/ artesian, Elysian, Frisian, Frasier, glazier, grazier, hosiery, Indonesia, Malaysia, Parisian, Polynesia, Rabelaisian
/di/ /i/ cordial(ity)
/ti/ /i/ besti(al/ary), celestial[83]
/tɪ/ /ʃ/ consortiumB2,[84] otiose, sentientB2[85]
/ʃ/ /sk/ scheduleB2[86]
/t/ /d/ TaoismA2
/kw/ /k/ conquistador
/k/ /kw/ questionnaireB2
/f/ or /v/ /f/ nephewB2 (The old English pronunciation with /v/ has to a large extent been replaced by /f/ due to the spelling latinization of Middle English "neveu". The preference breakdown in BrE is /f/ 79%, /v/ 21%.)[87]
(sounded) (silent) chthonicB2,[56][88] coupe[nb 37], diaper, herbA2,[89] KnossosB2,[90] phthisisB2, salveA2,[91] solder, (un)toward(s)A2(prep.),B2.
(silent) (sounded) (in)comparable/-ably, medicineB2, modernB2, SingaporeB2, suggestA2,[7] Warwick. See also -ary -ery -ory -bury, -berry.

Multiple differences[edit]

Spelling BrE IPA AmE IPA Notes
advertisement /ədˈvɜːrtɪsmənt/ /ˌædvərˈtzmənt/ Older Americans may use the British pronunciation, and some British dialects use the American pronunciation.
agent provocateur /ˌæʒɒ̃ prəˌvɒkəˈtɜːr/ /ˌɑːʒɒ̃ prˌvɒkəˈtʊər/[verification needed]  
amortise/amortize /əˈmɔːrtz/ /ˈæmərˌtz/ BrE uses two spellings & pronounced /əˈmɔːrtz/. In AmE the word is usually spelled amortize & pronounced /ˈæmərˌtz/.
amphitheater/amphitheatre /ˈæmfɪˌθətər/ /ˈæmfəˌθtər/ BrE is spelled amphitheatre & pronounced /ˈæmfɪˌθətər/. In AmE the word is usually spelled amphitheater & pronounced /ˈæmfəˌθtər/.
avoirdupois /ˌævwɑːrdjuːˈpwɑː/ /ˌævərdəˈpɔɪz/  
basalt /ˈbæsɔːlt/ (1) /bəˈsɔːlt/
(2) /ˈbˌsɔːlt/
 
bitumen /ˈbɪtjʊmɪn/ /bˈtmən/  
boehmite (1) /ˈbɜːrmt/
(2) /ˈbmt/
(1) /ˈbmt/
(2) /ˈbmt/
The first pronunciations approximate German [øː] (spelled ⟨ö⟩ or ⟨oe⟩); the second ones are anglicized.
bolognaise/bolognese /ˌbɒləˈnz/ /ˌblənˈjz/ BrE uses two spellings & pronounced /ˌbɒləˈnz/. In AmE the word is usually spelled bolognese & pronounced /ˌblənˈjz/.  
bouquet (1) /bˈk/
(2) /ˈbk/
(1) /bˈk/
(2) /bˈk/
 
boyar (1) /ˈbɔɪɑːr/
(2) /bˈjɑːr/
(1) /bˈjɑːr/
(2) /ˈbɔɪər/
 
buoyA2 /ˈbɔɪ/ /ˈbi/ The British pronunciation occurs in America more commonly for the verb than the noun; still more in derivatives buoyant, buoyancy.
canton /kænˈtn/ (1) /kænˈtɒn/
(2) /kænˈtn/
difference is only in military sense "to quarter soldiers"
other senses can have stress on either syllable in both countries.
capillary /kəˈpɪlərɪ/ /ˈkæpəˌlɛri/  
Caribbean /ˌkærəˈbən/ /kəˈrɪbiən/
cheong sam /ˈɒŋˈsæm/ /ˈɔːŋˈsɑːm/  
clitoris /ˈkltərɪs/ /klɪˈtɔːrɪs/ Both American and British speakers also commonly use the variant /ˈklɪtərɪs/.
combatant /ˈkɒmbətənt/ /kəmˈbætənt/  
communalB2 /ˈkɒmjʊnəl/ /kəˈmjuːnəl/  
composite /ˈkɒmpəzɪt/ /kəmˈpɒzɪt/  
coronary /ˈkɒrənərɪ/ /ˈkɔːrəˌnɛri/  
corral /kɒˈrɑːl/ /kəˈræl/  
cosmosA2[92] /ˈkɒzmɒs/ (1) /ˈkɒzməs/
(2) /ˈkɒzˌms/
 
dachshund /ˈdæksənd/ /ˈdɑːksˌhʊnd/  
Dante /ˈdæntɪ/ /ˈdɑːnt/  
dilettante /dɪləˈtænti/ (1) /ˈdɪlətɑːnt/
(2) /ˌdɪləˈtɑːnt/
BrE reflects the word's Italian origin; AmE approximates more to French.
docile /ˈdsl/ /ˈdɒsəl/  
Don Quixote /ˈdɒn ˈkwɪksət/ /ˌdɒn kiˈht/ Compare to Spanish [doŋ kiˈxote]
enquiry/inquiry /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/ (1) /ˈɪnkwəri/
(2) /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/
BrE uses two spellings, pronounced /ɛŋˈkwaɪəri/ and /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/. In AmE the word is usually spelled inquiry.
epochA2 /ˈpɒk/ /ˈɛpək/  
ethosA2 /ˈθɒs/ /ˈɛθˌs/  
expletiveB2 /ɪkˈspltɪv/ /ˈɛksplətɪv/  
febrileA2[93] /ˈfbrl/ (1) /ˈfɛbrl/
(2) /ˈfɛbrəl/
The BrE pronunciation occurs in AmE  
fracas /ˈfrækɑː/ (1) /ˈfrkəs/
(2) /ˈfrækəs/
(3) /frəˈkɑː/
The BrE plural is French fracas /ˈfrækɑːz/. For AmE examples (1) and (2), the plural is anglicized fracases
Galapagos /ɡəˈlæpəɡɒs/ /ɡəˈlɑːpəˌɡs/  
glacier (1) /ˈɡlæsiər/
(2) /ˈɡlsiər/
/ˈɡlʃər/  
holocaustA2 /ˈhɒləˌkɔːst/ (1) /ˈhləˌkɔːst/
(2) /ˈhɔːləˌkɔːst/
 
impasse (1) /æmˈpɑːs/
(2) /ˈæmpɑːs/
(1) /ˈɪmpæs/
(2) /ɪmˈpæs/
The BrE pronunciations are more true to the French.
jalousie (1) /ʒælʊˈz/
(2) /ˈʒælʊz/
/ˈæləsi/  
junta /ˈʌntə/ /ˈhʊntə/  
kudos /ˈkjuːdɒs/ /ˈkds/  
lapsang souchong /ˈlæpsæŋ sˈʃɒŋ/ /ˌlɑːpsɑːŋ ˈsʃɒŋ/  
Los AngelesB2 /lɒs ˈænɪˌlz/ (1) /lɔːs ˈænələs/
(2) /lɔːs ˈæŋɡələs/
 
lieutenant (1) /lɛfˈtɛnənt/
(2) /ləˈtɛnənt/
/lˈtɛnənt/ The 2nd British pronunciation is restricted to the Royal Navy. Standard Canadian and Australian pronunciation is the same as the British.
liqueur /lɪˈkjʊər/ (1) /lɪˈkɜːr/
(2) /lɪˈkʊər/
 
lychee (1) /lˈ/
(2) /ˈl/
/ˈl/ Spelling litchi has pronunciation /ˈlɪ/. The BrE pronunciation /lˈ/ also occurs in AmE.
mama[94] (1) /ˈmæmə/
(2) /məˈmɑː/
/ˈmɑːmə/  
methyl /ˈmθl/ /ˈmɛθəl/  
Molière /ˈmɒliɛər/ /mlˈjɛər/  
moustache[95] /məˈstɑːʃ/ /ˈmʌs.tæʃ/  
oblique /əbˈlk/ /əbˈlk/ AmE is as BrE except in military sense "advance at an angle"
oregano /ˌɒrɪˈɡɑːn/ (1) /ɔːˈrɛɡən/
(2) /əˈrɛɡən/
 
PakistanA2[96] /ˌpɑːkɪsˈtɑːn/ /ˈpækəˌstæn/
pathosA2 /ˈpθɒs/ /ˈpˌθs/  
pedagogyB2 /ˈpɛdəɡɒɡi/ (1) /ˈpɛdəɡɒi/
(2) /ˈpɛdəɡi/
 
penchant /pɒ̃ˈʃɒ̃/ /ˈpɛnənt/ The AmE pronunciation is anglicized; the BrE is French.
penult /pɛˈnʌlt/ (1) /ˈpnʌlt/
(2) /pɪˈnʌlt/
 
phthisic[97] (1) /ˈθsɪk, fθ-/
(2) /ˈtsɪk/
(1) /ˈtɪzɪk/
(2) /ˈθɪzɪk/
 
premature[98] (1)/ˈprɛməər/
(2) /ˈprɛmətjʊər/
(1)/ˌprməˈʊər/
(2) /ˌprməˈtʊər/
 
premierA2 (1) /ˈprɛmjər/
(2) /ˈprɛmɪər/
(1) /prɪmˈɪər/
(2) /ˈprmɪər/
 
première /ˈprɛmiɛər/ (1) /prɪmˈɪər/
(2) /prɪmˈjɛər/
 
progress (1) /ˈprɡrɛs/
(2) /prˈɡrɛs/
(1) /ˈprɒɡrɛs/
(2) /prəˈɡrɛs/
In both British and American, the noun has stress on the first syllable.
The verb has stress on the second syllable. Canadians follow the British pronunciation.
provostA2[99] /ˈprɒvəst/ /ˈprvst/
quasi- /ˈkwz/ /ˈkwɑːzi/  
quinine /ˈkwɪnn/ (1) /ˈkwnn/
(2) /ˈkwɪnn/
 
resource (1) /rɪˈzɔːrs/
(2) /rɪˈsɔːrs/
/ˈrsɔːrs/  
respiratory /rɪˈspɪrətri/ /ˈrɛspərəˌtɔːri/  
respite /ˈrɛspt/ (1) /ˈrɛspɪt/
(2) /rəˈspt/
 
reveille /rɪˈvæli/ /ˈrɛvəli/  
Rioja /riˈɒkə/ /riˈhɑː/  
risotto /rɪˈzɒt/ (1) /rɪˈsɔːt/
(2) /rɪˈst/
 
Schleswig-Holstein /ˈʃlzvɪɡ ˈhɒlˌstn/ /ˈʃlɛswɪɡ ˈhlˌstn/  
shallot /ʃəˈlɒt/ /ˈʃælət/  
Silesia (1) /sˈlsiə/
(2) /sˈlziə/
(1) /sɪˈlʃə/
(2) /sɪˈlʒə/
 
slough /sl/ /slʌf/ sense "bog"; in metaphorical sense "gloom", the BrE pronunciation is common in AmE. Homograph "cast off skin" is /slʌf/ everywhere.  
timbale /tæmˈbɑːl/ /ˈtɪmbəl/  
Tunisia /tjuːˈnɪziə/ (1) /tˈnʒə/
(2) /tˈnʃə/
 
vaseA2[100][nb 38][101] /vɑːz/ (1) /vs/
(2) /vz/
(3)  /vɑːz/
Z (the letter) /zɛd/ /z/ The spelling of this letter as a word corresponds to the pronunciation: thus Commonwealth (including, Canada) zed and U.S. zee.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For "dam (barrier)": AmE /ˈbɑːrɪ/
  2. ^ US: /bəˈr/ (About this sound listen), UK: /ˈbɛr/
  3. ^ AmE /bˈfɑːnt/, BrE /ˈbfɒ̃/
  4. ^ AmE /brˈʃʊər/ (About this sound listen), BrE (1) /ˈbrʃər/ (2) /brɒˈʃʊər/
  5. ^ BrE (1) /ˈbʊf/ (2) /ˈbʌf/
  6. ^ BrE (1) / ˈdbr/ (2) /ˈdɛbr/
  7. ^ BrE /ˈflɒmb/
  8. ^ BrE also /ˈɡærɪ/, esp. for "petrol garage"/"gas station"[6]
  9. ^ AmE /læˈm/, BrE /ˈlɑːm/
  10. ^ AmE /pæˈstl/
  11. ^ AmE /pɑːˈt///pæˈt/, BrE /ˈpæt/
  12. ^ AmE alsom /ˈsɔːrbɪt/
  13. ^ BrE /ˈmɒn/, AmE /mˈn/, French: [mɔnɛ]
  14. ^ French: [reno]
  15. ^ French: [ʁɛ̃bo]
  16. ^ BrE /fiˈɒns/
  17. ^ The British variant is sometimes discouraged; see pronunciation note in reference.
  18. ^ Only middle vowel reduced in the BrE pronunciations.
  19. ^ The last vowel is often reduced in BrE. AmE only reduces the middle one.
  20. ^ The British is typically /rɪˈnsəns/ and the American /ˈrɛnəsɑːns/ or even /rɛnəˈsɑːns/
  21. ^ Also / ˌtɜːriˈvɜːrst/
  22. ^ AmE (1) /ˈmɑːrʃˌmɛl/ AmE (2) & BrE /mæl/
  23. ^ AmE /ˈmɪsəˌlni/
  24. ^ AmE also /ˈd/
  25. ^ AmE also /ˈsɛnl/
  26. ^ The 2007 update to the Oxford English Dictionary gives only /n/ for the British pronunciation of pristine.
  27. ^ Although the British pronunciation is still heard in American English, it may be in declining usage, being increasingly seen as incorrect.
  28. ^ AmE also /ˈstrætʌm/
  29. ^ BrE also /rɔːθ/ Scottish English /ræθ/
  30. ^ BrE also /kʊərˈʒɛt/
  31. ^ BrE also /ɒl/
  32. ^ This word is listed due to possible statistical preferences.
  33. ^ AmE also /pɔːlˈmɔːl/
  34. ^ In British English, the pronunciation /raʊt/ is a different word, spelt rout, meaning to defeat.
  35. ^ BrE also /ˈnʌɡɪt/
  36. ^ AmE also /sɔːrˈb/
  37. ^ The British spelling is usually coupé.
  38. ^ British variant used sometimes in American English

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Unsourced words: Oxford Dictionary of English (BrE).)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  2. ^ "brevet (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  3. ^ "brochure (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  4. ^ "buffet". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  5. ^ "canard". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "BrE pronunciation". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  8. ^ "soupçon". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  9. ^ "Dijon (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  10. ^ "Dumas (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  11. ^ "Manet (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  12. ^ "Monet (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  13. ^ "Renault (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  14. ^ "Rimbaud (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  15. ^ "démodé (BrE)". Macmillan Dictionary. "démodé (AmE)". Macmillan Dictionary. 
  16. ^ "decade (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  17. ^ "cremate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  18. ^ "striate (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  19. ^ "vacate (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  20. ^ "migratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  21. ^ "vibratory". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  22. ^ "remonstrate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  23. ^ "tergiversate". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. "tergiversate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  24. ^ "celebratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  25. ^ "compensatory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  26. ^ "participatory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  27. ^ "regulatory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  28. ^ "laboratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. "laboratory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  29. ^ "guffaw (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  30. ^ "spreadeagled (BrE)". Cambridge Dictionaries. 
  31. ^ "obscurantism". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  32. ^ "military (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  33. ^ "inventory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  34. ^ "testimony". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  35. ^ "innovative". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  36. ^ "library". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  37. ^ "primary". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  38. ^ "rosemary". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  39. ^ "necessarily (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  40. ^ "ductile (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  41. ^ "utile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  42. ^ "projectile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  43. ^ "rutile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  44. ^ "labyrinthine (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  45. ^ "Saint (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  46. ^ "Changing Voices: Trap Bath Split". British Library. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  47. ^ "Nevada (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  48. ^ "Kebab (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  49. ^ "praline (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  50. ^ "quagmire (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  51. ^ "sausage (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  52. ^ "leprechaun (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  53. ^ "falcon (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  54. ^ "aesthete (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  55. ^ "amenity (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  56. ^ a b c Brown, Lesley. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 
  57. ^ "esoteric (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  58. ^ "oestrogen (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  59. ^ "oestrus (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  60. ^ "Haggai (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  61. ^ "accomplice (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  62. ^ "accomplish (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  63. ^ "baroque (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  64. ^ "protege (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  65. ^ Wells 2000
  66. ^ "yoghurt (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  67. ^ "codicil (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  68. ^ "privacy (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  69. ^ "tricolour (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  70. ^ "been (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  71. ^ "boulevard". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  72. ^ "route (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  73. ^ "acorn". Merriam-Webster. 
  74. ^ "melancholy (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  75. ^ "parallelepiped (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  76. ^ "template (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  77. ^ OED entry
  78. ^ "erudite (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  79. ^ "résumé (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  80. ^ "visa (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  81. ^ "sandwich (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  82. ^ "Dionysius (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  83. ^ "celestial (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  84. ^ "consortium (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  85. ^ "sentient (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. "sentient (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  86. ^ Jones, Daniel (1991). English Pronouncing Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521425865.
  87. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Longman. 
  88. ^ "chthonic (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  89. ^ "herb (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  90. ^ "Knossos (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  91. ^ "salve (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  92. ^ "cosmos (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  93. ^ "febrile (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. "febrile (AmE)". Macmillan Dictionary. 
  94. ^ "mama (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  95. ^ "moustache". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  96. ^ "Pakistan (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  97. ^ "phthisic (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  98. ^ "premature". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  99. ^ "provost (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  100. ^ "vase (main AmE, Collins BrE)". Dictionary.com. 
  101. ^ "vase (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kenyon, J.S.; T. Knott (1953). A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 978-0-87779-047-1. 
  • Lewis, J. Windsor (1972). A Concise Pronouncing Dictionary of British and American English. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-431123 6. 
  • Jones, Daniel (2011). P. Roach; J. Esling; J. Setter, eds. Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th Edition). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6. 
  • Upton, C.; Kretschmar, W.; Konopka, R. (2001). The Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-863156-1. 
  • Wells, John C. (2000). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 2nd ed. Longman. ISBN 0-582-36468-X.