Finding America

Me and Tarah

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British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
Autumn term
Fall semester
Recess, free period
College high school
High school
Nursery, playschool
Day care, preschool
Primary school
Elementary school
Read a subject
Major in a subject
Reception year
Pre-kindergarten, pre-K
Secondary school
Middle school
Sit an exam
Take a test
Spring term
Spring semester
Summer term
Summer semester
College, university
Year 1
Year 2
1st grade
Year 3
2nd grade
Year 4
3rd grade
Year 5
4th grade
Year 6
5th grade
Year 7
6th grade
Year 8
7th grade
Year 9
8th grade
Year 10
9th grade, freshman year
Year 11
10th grade, sophomore year
Year 12
11th grade, junior year
Year 13
12th grade, senior year

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  1. Americans have exams, too; as in "midterm exams" or "final exams" (aka midterms or finals) in the middle or the end of a high school or college semester.

  2. Don't British and American English also use the terms "public" and "private school" differently?

  3. You only "read" a subject at Oxford or Cambridge. Elsewhere, we just "study X"

  4. You could also have mentioned that AmE terms such as "freshman", "sophomore" etc are not used in BrE. We prefer "first year", "second year" etc.

  5. Jay, in AmE, public school is what we Brits refer to as a state school or comprehensive (i.e. it is public in the sense that anyone can attend without having to pay). In the BrE, public school refers to schools that were set up back when most schools were only available to people of a certain religion or within a certain area. These public schools were public in the sense that anyone could attend them regardless of faith or home address as long as they could afford the high costs. Most UK public schools started as boys boarding schools although some now have day students and many are co-educational.

    The term private school basically means the same thing in both AmE and BrE. These are schools to which people must pay in order to attend and that are not (solely) funded by the government.

  6. Thank you for that public and school comment! I was looking for the diference of those terms between BrE and and AmE. Thanks! ❤

  7. Public School in the UK also means no entrance exam, as in anyone can attend if they can afford it. Private school means there is an entrnce exam and you have to pay to attend.

  8. Dave that is untrue, Public schools in the UK have entry exams. They are simply a subset of private schools.

  9. I have a question - in the UK we would refer to things being in term-time e.g teachers are not allowed to take holidays in term-time. Is there a AmE equivalent? Thanks!

  10. High school and College are different in the UK. High school is years 7 to 11, college is just 12 and 13 however some High Schools go up 1o 13 from 7.


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