What is the difference between jam and jelly in British & American English?
In this blog post on the world’s best free language exchange website we will answer the question, what is the difference between jam and jelly in British & American English?
It is important to know the difference, because if you don’t know it, you could ruin your meals on next visit to either country.
Before we explain when to use jam or jelly we need to ask ourselves;
is there a difference between British and American English?
Yes there is!
In fact there are many differences between American and British English; the most obvious differences is accent.
However it does not matter what your accent is, American, British, Irish, Spanish, Russian, Chinese or any other. If your English pronunciation is clear, people will understand you.
Later in this post I will give you three easy steps that will help to improve your English pronunciation.
Another difference between British and American English is the use of nouns.
For example the most obvious difference is the name of things we drive around in, in British English they are called cars and in American English they are called automobiles!
However, in this blog we will explain how the British and the Americans use the nouns jam and jelly.
You might not think it is important to know the difference between jam and jelly in British & American English, but we say it is!
Because if you don’t it could ruin your next meal.
In English the first meal of the day is called breakfast, and it is traditionally eaten between 6 am and 9 am, this is followed by lunch and then by dinner (or tea).
A popular breakfast meal is sliced bread or toast with a fruit spread on top.
The collective name for all fruit spreads is “preserve”, and a preserve is made by boiling chopped fruit with sugar and water and letting it cool.
There are many types of preserve and they all have different names for example marmalade, which is made from oranges, is very popular in England and the British English speaking world.
Also popular in England and the British English speaking world is jam.
Jam is used to describe most fruit preserves, and we normally put the name of the fruit before jam, for example:
- Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry Jam
- Apple Jam
- And so on.
In British English jam, is the fruit preserve spread on bread or toast at breakfast time.
Sometimes after lunch or dinner we can have a desert, maybe ice-cream or cake, or even a gelatine (gelatin) fruit flavoured desert.
In British English, gelatine fruit flavoured deserts are called jelly.
Jelly and cream is a very popular desert for children.
Jelly is made by dissolving gelatine, sugar, and fruit flavouring in boiling water and then letting it cool.
You will notice that I have spelt the word gelatine with and “e” at the end, this is because my English is British English.
In American English gelatine is spelt without “e”, gelatin.
In the same way as English people, American people like to have fruit preserve on the bread and toast in the morning.
However in American English fruit preserve is called jelly, not jam.
But what if you want to have a fruit flavoured gelatine desert after lunch or dinner in America, what do you ask for?
You ask for jello, not jelly.
Remember when you are having breakfast with British English speakers and you want some fruit preserve for your bread or toast ask your host for jam, example:
“Do you have any raspberry jam?”
But when you are at breakfast with America English speakers ask your host for jelly, example:
“Do you have any raspberry jelly?”
If you are at lunch with British English speakers and want some fruit flavoured gelatine desert and you have to ask for jelly, example:
“Do you mind if I have some jelly and cream?”
But if you are at lunch with American English speakers and want some fruit flavoured gelatine desert you have to ask for jello, example:
“Do you mind if my child has some jello?”
One final extra, the verb “to jam” is used to describe when a group of musicians come together to perform unrehearsed music.
“Earlier in this blog I told you I would give you three easy steps to answer the question:
How can I improve my English pronunciation?
Well you can buy professional elocution lessons, but if you don’t have much time or money then here are my three easy steps to improve your pronunciation.
1. Immerse yourself in English talk radio.
Go online and find the websites for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5, LBC, RTE Radio 1, and so on.
When you listen to the talk enjoy the sound of what you are listening too, and try to copy what you hear.
2. Watch your favourite English language TV show and movies in English!
3. This is the most important, create an account on our online language exchange website or app, Smart Language Solutions.
Find native English speakers who are practising your language.
Make new friends with other language exchange partners, and chat for free.
Remember on our language exchange website your privacy is protected and you don’t have to share your email, Skype, Facebook or any other personal details if you don’t want to.
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Text and meme by Tutor Feargal
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