Translations of British words to American words

You may have learned some British words that are almost never used by Americans. To talk like an American, and reduce confusion, here are the translations:

films are movies

cinema is movie theater (the sign on the building might say cinema)

serials are TV shows

flat is apartment

football is soccer

Lift is elevator

tram is trolley (these are rare in America)

pharmacy or chemist is drug store (but the sign on the building might say pharmacy)

supermarket is grocery store

torch is flashlight

rubbish is trash or garbage

on holiday is on vacation

accommodation is hotel, or apartment, or home, or where you’re staying, or where you live

surname is last name

colleagues are coworkers

zed is zee (the letter z, in Canada it is zed)

C.V. is resume

sphere is field (in business or academics)

when discussing numbers above or below zero: plus and minus are positive and negative

indicator is turn signal

underground is subway

petrol is gasoline or gas

tap is faucet (but we drink tap water)

zebra crossing is crosswalk

gastronomy is cuisine

Am I talking fast enough?

Am I talking fast enough to sound fluent?

Actually, you might sound more fluent if you slow down. If you try to talk fast you’ll make more mistakes, and it’ll be difficult to understand you.

How fast native speakers talk varies. Americans use “uh” “um” and “like” or even “let me think” while we are thinking; use things like that a lot if you want. (On a test like ielts or toefl using things like “um” or “uh” is a bad idea, but otherwise it’s normal.)

Talk at a comfortable speed for you, and (reasonable) Americans will be able to easily understand you, will enjoy talking to you, and will quickly be impressed with how advanced your English is.

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