Misunderstanding English: American vs. British

While the Philippines is already recognized worldwide as one of the top English-speaking communities in Asia, there are still some Pinoys who are prone to using words or sentences that mean something else to native English speakers. A simple message can be expressed clearly with American or British English speakers by learning and understanding the basics of how to communicate just like a native English speaker. Check out the side-by-side comparisons below to see the difference between American English and British English.






refrigerator/ice box


I’m fine, thank you.

I’m good/Pretty good.

Formal: I’m fine, thank you and you?

Informal: Fine thanks. You?

 Come again? I beg your pardon?/Pardon? Sorry?/Excuse me?

Oven toaster


Toaster oven


How are you?

How do you do?

For a while

 Just a minute  Just a second

Hold your line/Hold on

 Please stay on the line

Please hold

Hang on

Hold on

Hang in there

 ride/take get on  catch

I’ll transfer your call

 Connecting your call…

I’m putting you through

Who’s this please?/ Who’s on the line?

 May I ask who’s calling?

Who’s calling please?/May I ask who’s calling?/Could I have your name, please?



Mobile/mobile phone/phone




 brownout  blackout  power cut
 Where do you live?  Where are you from?  Where do you come from?
 comfort room  bathroom/restroom toilet/loo/john/bog
cabinet  closet  wardrobe
 waste/trash  trash/garbage  rubbish
 imitation/fake  replica/fake fake/counterfeit/knock-off
 rubber shoes  sneakers  trainers/runners
hand carry  carry-on baggage/carry-on luggage  hand luggage
 take-home  take-out/to go takeaway
 officemate  co-worker workmate/colleague
merry-go-round carousel roundabout
 bottomless  refillable  unlimited refills
 main branch  corporate headquarters/main office/head office head office/headquarters
 open/close (electricity)  switch on/switch off  turn on/turn off
 next next week the next two weeks/the week after next the week after next
 aircon  air conditioner air conditioner/AC
 super duper  extraordinary  marvellous
 swimming pool  wading pool paddling pool
 bro  dude/man  mate
 load (cellphone)  funds/credit  credit
 trash can  garbage can dustbin
 flexible work hours  flextime  flexitime
 bridal shower  bachelorette party hen night
 model unit/model house  model home show house/home
 stag party  bachelor party stag night
power outlet electrical outlet
power point


(3) Comments

  • Jenette Rubico January 16, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

    Good communication for a Successful Business

  • elisha July 31, 2015 @ 11:00 pm

    English language is expanding. You have to accept that there is such a thing as Filipino English. Just as American English gives respect to British English(and vice versa), the same must be done for Filipino English.

    • Maria-Victoria Ll. Llego June 29, 2017 @ 12:07 pm

      Dahling, FYI, the Philippines has 2 official languages, Pilipino and English (American). DUH.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select your currency
PHP Philippine peso