Toronto Mike

Top 5 Differences Between American and Canadian English

People often talk about having a "Canadian accent." Have you ever wondered what that means? People may have talked about all this in shows and movies such as South Park, but you might not have known what was real and what wasn't. As somebody who has lived both in the US and Canada, as well as being a citizen of both countries, as well as a self-proclaimed linguistics nerd, we can tell you about certain differences between how Americans and Canadians talk.

You've reached the right place if you've moved to Canada and want to learn more about the culture and language or if you are like us, you might like to guess people's nationalities based on their accents. A tutor can help you learn English online. This article compares American and Canadian English. AmazingTalker has the best online English Courses and language instructors. This platform connects language learners with native mentors and provides a safe space to do so. Every lesson on our platform is student-centered. We will tell you five differences between American and Canadian English. Check them out!

1. OOT and ABOOT

Let's start with the most renowned Canadian pronunciation difference: "oot and aboot." As an American and a Canadian, I feel comfortable expressing this: Canadians don't say "oot and aboot" Canadians say these words strangely, so you may wonder how. ___ say Canadians. Do you hear CAN and AM? What's unique?

It's called "Canadian rearing." The Canadian vowel is marginally greater in the tongue than the American vowel. Americans start with /a/ and go to /. The Canadian pronunciation starts with a higher jaw. Watch the video to see how vowel height affects pronunciation.

2. Words That Starts with Pro

It is common practice to alter the pronunciation of certain words that begin with the prefix pro- and emphasize the first syllable of those terms. Words like "process," "project," and "progress" are typically spoken by Canadians with an "o" sound (think of how you would pronounce the letter "o"), but the majority of Americans say these words with an "ahh" sound (think of the vowel "). It's not true that every single Canadian does something like this, but if you manage to hear someone doing it, the odds are rather good that they're from Canada rather than the United States.

3. “O” Before “R”

Throughout many American accents, sayings with the letter "o" don't always sound like they are spelled. Words that end in "-or-" are not an exception. Instead, they are often pronounced with a "sound. This is clear in words like "sorry," "borrow," and "tomorrow."

In Canadian accents, such sounds tend to sound more like //, with a more authentic "oh" sound and more lips rounding. Interestingly, the words "sorry" and "sari" (an Indian woman's dress) are said differently in Canadian accents (/sri/ vs. /sri/). Still, they are both told in American accents (/sri/). It's interesting, don't you think?


When you hear these two words, you know you're talking to a Canadian. Did you know that many Americans and Canadians say "pasta" and "salsa" differently? Americans say it out loud with a / vowel, which is the same vowel as in "call" and "father." Canadians, on the other hand, say these words more like "cat" and "sad," with a /ae/ vowel.

So, what Americans call "psta" becomes "psta," and what they call "slsa" becomes "slsa." This usually happens with words that English took from other languages, like pasta and salsa, which came from Italian and Spanish, respectively. Who knew there were so many little ways to say things?


Last but not least, one that is more frequent in previous people but nonetheless Canadian and American interpretation you often will hear in the media and one that I get concerns about from my students who migrate to Canada is how to pronounce phrases like "news," "student," and "Tuesday."

These terms were traditionally stated differently in America and Canada. Americans utter these terms with a /u/ (think "ooh") sound, but Canadians use a /ju/ (think "you") sound. For example, Americans might say news student Tuesday with an "oo" sound, whereas Canadians would say nyews student Tyuesday/. Because Canadian English kept some British English pronunciation, most newer Canadians say words like Americans. Be prepared to hear these pronunciations from elderly Canadians.


The distinctions between American and Canadian accents are attributable to the influence of other languages on English. North America is one region largely made up of Canada and the US. Mexico is also the only country of size further south.

Canada and the US share a lengthy boundary across eastwards of the country and speak English. People living near the border speak the same English with no accent. As one proceeds from the border northward, especially in Quebec Province of Canada, the variation in accent gets exacerbated due to French influence and French becoming the main language in the province. Intonations from some other language and other distinctions make Americans keep making fun of Canadian English.

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