Indian English Vs American English

In India, English is one of our official languages that we have all learned irrespective of our mother tongues. Whether we go from South to North, East to West for education or business, our medium of communication stands out to be English. However, we Indians are highly influenced by British English and we follow British norms when it comes to vocabulary. So, we often see several noticeable differences in words usage between Indian English and US English, like for example, we call the dot at the end of a sentence as ‘Full stop’, they call ‘Period’, we say ‘Purse’, they say ‘Wallet’. Knowing these vocabulary differences help you tremendously when you communicate with an American. So, we have effectively documented the following words usage differences between Indian English and American English:



The American education system is classified into Preschool, Elementary school, Middle school, High school, College, and Grad school

We say standards, they say grades. For instance, First standard is First grade, Second standard is Second grade, and so on

The school Staff is called as Faculty

We study for Marks/Percentage, they study for Grades/GPA

We say Timetable, they say Schedule

We call Graduate, they call Under-Graduate, and we call Post-Graduate, they call Graduate

We choose Degree/Specialization, they choose Major/Concentration

We do Bachelors – 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, final year and finally convocation, They do Bachelors – Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior and finally Graduation or commencement


We say Curd, they say Yogurt

We call it Lady’s finger, they say Okra

We don’t cook Brinjal, we cook Eggplant

We say Cup Cakes, they say Muffins

We don’t eat Chips, we order Fries

We don’t eat at Hotel, we eat at Restaurant and stay at Hotel

We don’t start our meal with Starter, we start with Appetizer and end with Desert

And when ready to pay, we don’t ask for a Bill, we ask for a Check

We don’t buy Dozen bananas, we buy bananas in pounds

we don’t eat Biscuits, we eat Cookies or Crackers

We don’t drink Cold Drinks like Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, etc we drink Soft Drinks or Soda

We don’t buy Coke Tin, we buy Coke Can

We say Medicine Tablets, they say Pills

We don’t buy Kilo Onions, we buy Onions in Pounds

We don’t eat Chocolates, we eat Candy

we dont’t cook Capsicum, we cook Bell Pepper

We don’t use Coriander, We use Cilantro

We don’t use Mixi, we use Blender


A car can be many types – coupe (2 door), compact(4 door – small family car), sedan (4 door- full size), SUV (sports utility vehicle)

We say Gears, they say Shift

We say Silencer, they say Muffler

The Boot of a car is known as Trunk

You don’t clean the car, you do car wash

We say Number plate, they say License plate

We say Traffic signal, they say Traffic lights

We say Zebra crossing, they say Crosswalk

You don’t fill the car tank with petrol or fuel, you fill it with Gas
And you don’t take your car to a Petrol pump, you take it to a Gas station

You don’t park your car in Car Park, you park in a Parking Lot

We don’t measure gas in Liters, we measure in Gallons

Car tires don’t Puncture, they get Flat

You call Bike as Motorcycle, and a Bicycle as a Bike and a Lorry as a Truck

We say Flyover, they say Overpass

We have Highways, they have Freeways, Expressways, Interstates

You don’t ask for a Lift, you ask for a Ride

We don’t walk on Footpath/Pavement, we walk on the Sidewalk

And remember, you drive on the opposite side of the road

Indoor & Outdoor

We don’t live in Flat, we live in Apartment

The land in front of the house is called a Front yard, and the land in the back of the house is called the Backyard

And the Ground floor is called the First floor, and the First floor, the Second floor, and the Second floor, the Third floor and so on.

Lift is called an Elevator

We say Tap, they say Faucet

A Wardrobe is known as a Closet

We don’t use Torch light in dark, we use Flashlight

And the flashlight needs Batteries to work, not Cells

We say Note like 20 rupees note, they say Bill like 20 dollar bill

You don’t sit on Sofa, you sit on Couch

Slippers are called Flip flops

We don’t Post, we Mail, and ofcourse, Post box is Mailbox and Postman is Mailman

We say Pincode, they say Zip code

We call Zip, they call Zipper

We say Purse, they say Wallet

We say Bath, they say Shower

We eat Chewing Gum, they eat Gum

We use Gum to stick things, they use Glue to stick things

We don’t put Garbage in Dustbin, we put Trash in Trash can

We use Nappies for kids, they use Diapers

There are four seasons in a year – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall

We don’t ask Rubber, We ask for an Eraser (Rubber means Condom in US)

You say Luggage, they say Baggage

We don’t wait in a queue, we stand in the line

We say Sport shoes, they say Sneakers

Any more? Let us know under comments, we will add to the list!


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