Quiz – British and American English vol 1

Test your knowledge of the subtle differences between the British and American English Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary


  • I don’t know where you sourced your information for this quiz, but in my dialect of American English, one is far more likely to give someone a lift than a ride. If you give someone a lift, the destination is the important thing. If you give someone a ride, the ride itself is the object of the activity.

  • Hi Drew, and thanks for your interesting comment. The source for the quiz was the information provided by our dictionaries.
    The American version of Macmillan Dictionary, which was compiled and edited by native US speakers and based on corpus analysis, says at ‘lift’: a ride in someone’s car, with ‘ride’ being defined as “a free trip that you are given in someone’s vehicle. The usual British word is lift.” The British entries mirror this and as a British speaker I can say that our impression generally is that while UK preference is for ‘lift’, US speakers use this less, preferring ‘ride’. So it’s interesting to learn that the situation is not so clearcut as we believed.
    It will take me some time to analyse the corpus data, but in the meantime thank you for flagging this up as an issue we may need to look at again.
    Do any other blog readers who speak one or other variety have a comment on this?

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