Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you heard the differences between British English and American English?

There are some definite differences, but also some similarities if you listen closely.

Many English learners want to know if there is a benefit to learning both at the same time, and that’s what we’re looking at today.

Though it can’t really hurt you, it’s important to understand if there is a benefit to this and if you will gain anything out of learning both at the same time.

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We have a listener question today about British English that may be something you are interested in.

Hello ladies!

Thank you very much for your podcast, I learn so much from it. I have a question that I am hoping you can help to answer.

Can I learn American and British English at the same time? I know that there are some similarities but also some differences. I am just unsure about this, so can you help me to understand if this works?

Thank you very much,


Various Forms of English

The episodes we do on British English and Aussie English are so great, for you learn that English isn’t just one thing.

There are various ways to say things, and so English can be very diverse.

So this is a great question from our listener, and something helpful to focus on.

We did this episode which could be good to listen to- as it talks about British English.

AEE 992: How To Decide When To Use British English or American English

So this all begs the question—can both be learned at the same time?

We’re going to look at this and give you a couple of things to think about when considering this way of learning.

You want to ask yourself two questions as you approach this, which are:

1. Can it be learned at the same time?

2. Should it be learned at the same time?

So let’s start with, can it be learned at the same time?

It can, but it can be a bit tricky.

Why would you want to do it?

What is the motivation behind this? With the correct motivation, anything can be done.

If there is no real reason, then there may be no good reason to do this.

It may not necessarily be helpful to you, so it may not be worth it.

Next let’s look at, should it be learned at the same time?

Again ask yourself why, because that’s an important thing to focus on here.

There isn’t really a good reason for you to learn both at the same time.

It can be the most helpful to focus on one unless it’s just like the little things like spelling and some slang or vocabulary.

That’s often the main difference anyway, other than some grammar that may be different.

So in a way, it won’t mess you up but it’s also just unnecessary. It can be a motivating way to learn, so that could be a benefit.

You have to ask yourself if there is a true benefit to it, and if it’s worth your time and energy in the end.

Ways To Decide If This Is Right For You

So you see that these two questions can help you to really understand if there is a benefit to you.

Though it certainly can’t hurt you, will it benefit you or help you? Could this potentially be more confusing to you in the end?

There are a couple of things to look at in this area which can help you to decide if it’s right for you.

It can be very helpful to ask yourself these questions so that you can make the right decision for your learning and for you personally.

1. Why do you want to? What is it that is making you want to learn both at the same time? If this is a challenge to yourself, that’s one thing. If you feel that it’s going to make you a better English speaker, that’s another. Be honest with yourself and answer this so you can find the true motivation.

2. How will it help you? When you engage in things like this, you have to really ask yourself if it will help you in any way. Is there an actual benefit to learning both at the same time? If it’s not going to help you but rather just cause you more work and stress, then it may not be worth it at all.

3. Will this motivate you in some fun way? Sometimes motivation is what drives us, and that may be what you want to look at. If there is some significant motivation behind your decision to do this, then that is what you can rely upon. If there is truly not motivation, then you may have your answer right there.

4. How would you do it? Would you learn through things like TV shows and movies? Sometimes looking at pop culture can be good, but will that be enough? You want to consider the methods that you will use for this can help you to make the right determination for you.

Then there is the question of pronunciation, as that’s something really important to think through.

Of course, this is a huge difference when it comes to different pronunciation as there are different accents and ways of saying things.

Here you really have to pick and choose, and you want to be smart about it.

If you think through all of this, then you will make the decision that’s truly right for you.


This is a situation that many English learners find themselves in, so think it through if you are faced with this.

Think of why you want to do this–is it for a specific reason?

Would it help you in some way or would it motivate you somehow?

Think of how you would do it—because that matters greatly here.

Would it be casual or would it be fun?

Would it be with serious studying?

Make your best choice for you personally, as there really isn’t a wrong answer here.

Good luck with whatever you choose, and know that this is a common situation for English learners and you will figure out what’s best for you.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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