The following is an outline of the major changes in Modern English compared to its previous form (Middle English), and also some major changes in English over the course of the 20th century. Note, however, that these are generalizations, and some of these may not be true for specific dialects:
Up until the American–British split (1600–1725), some major phonological changes in English included:
After the American-British split, further changes to English phonology included:
Changes in alphabet and spelling were heavily influenced by the advent of printing and continental printing practices.
Consequently, Modern English came to use a purely Latin alphabet of 26 letters.