Previously, we\u2019ve looked at some common spelling differences between Australian English and American English. But did you know there are differences between Australian and American grammar, too?\nThese are easy to miss if you\u2019re not careful, so check out our guide to some key grammatical differences between English in Australia and the USA.\n\nPreposition Switching in American English\nOne difference between Australian and American grammar is our use of prepositions (i.e. words that indicate a relationship between other words). For example, while we might look forward to relaxing \u2018at the weekend\u2019, our American cousins prefer to relax \u2018on the weekend\u2019. Other prepositions that may get switched include (Australian\/American English):\n\n\n \tIn \/ At (I\u2019m studying maths at college. \/ I\u2019m studying math in college.)\n \tFor \/ In (I haven\u2019t been there for years! \/ I haven\u2019t been there in years!)\n \tTo \/ Through (I work Monday to Friday. \/ I work Monday through Friday.)\n\nThese distinctions are less clear than they used to be thanks to the spread of American English around the world. But they\u2019re still worth watching out for, especially if you are writing for a US-based audience.\n\nVerb Tense when Discussing Past Events\nAustralian and American English often differ when describing a past event that has consequences in the present. In Australian English, we prefer the present perfect tense. For instance:\nAustralian English: David has eaten too much, so he feels unwell.\nBut American English uses the simple past tense in similar situations:\nAmerican English: David ate too much, so he feels unwell.\nThe same distinction applied when a sentence contains a past-time adverb, like \u2018just\u2019 or \u2018already\u2019. For example:\nAustralian English: Beryl has just taken a painkiller.\nAmerican English: Beryl just took a painkiller.\nThese are not major issues, but you may still want to think about which tense you use when writing about past events in American English.\n\nIrregular Verb Forms\nSome irregular verbs can differ in Australian and American English. This is rare, with most verb forms being the same between dialects. But there are some differences you need to know. The most famous example is probably \u2018gotten\u2019, which isn\u2019t used in Australian English.\nIn American English, however, \u2018gotten\u2019 is the past participle of \u2018got\u2019:\nAmerican English: David has gotten ill from eating too much.\nAustralian English: David has got ill from eating too much.\nAnother word to look out for is \u2018dove\u2019, which is the simple past tense of \u2018dive\u2019 in US English. In Australian English, however, we\u2019d simply say \u2018dived\u2019. As a result, \u2018dove\u2019 is hardly ever used as a verb in Australian English. In fact, you are only likely to see it used as a noun (i.e. a pigeon-like bird).\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_7735" align="aligncenter" width="451"] The question of how to describe a diving dove remains open.[\/caption]\nFinally, American English does not use \u2018-t\u2019 endings for past tense verbs like \u2018learnt\u2019 and \u2018burnt\u2019. Instead, these words are all treated as regular verbs in the United States. As such, make sure to spell terms like this with an \u2018-ed\u2019 ending if you are using US English (e.g. \u2018learned\u2019 or \u2018burned\u2019).\n\nDoes It Really Matter?\nBefore we leave you, let\u2019s reflect on how much the issues above matter. In simple terms, the answer is \u2018not a lot\u2019. Australian and American English are much closer in grammar than spelling or vocabulary, so most people simply ignore the differences. And the lines between Australian and American English grammar are becoming increasingly blurred.\nHowever, you may need to be aware of the differences between American and British grammar when:\n\n\n \tWriting for a specifically American audience\n \tWorking for a US-based company or organisation\n \tStudying at a US-based university or school\n\nThus, if any of the above apply to you, keep an eye out for grammar in your writing that sounds \u201cAustralian\u201d and think about what the US equivalent might be. And if you\u2019d like any more help localising your language in writing, don\u2019t forget to have your work proofread.