Britain and its people

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Great Britain

Text A

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) is the official name of the British Kingdom. It occupies most of the territory of the British Isles and consists of four countries. They are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are Lon­don, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The UK is situated off the west coast of Europe between the Atlan­tic Ocean on the north-west and the North Sea on the east. It is sepa­rated from the European continent by the English Channel. The nar­rowest part of the English Channel is called the Strait of Dover. The total area of Great Britain is over 244,000 square kilometres.

The UK is an island state: it is made up of two large islands and several much smaller ones. The two main islands are Great Britain to the east and Ireland to the west. They are separated by the Irish Sea. Geographically, the island of Great Britain is subdivided into two main regions — Lowland Britain and Highland Britain. Lowland Britain com­prises southern and eastern England. Highland Britain consists of Scot­land, most of Wales, the Pennines, and the Lake District. The moun­tains are not very high. The highest mountain is Ben Nevis in Scotland 1343m). England is separated from Scotland by the Cheviot Hills, run­ning from east to west.

There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one. The chief river in Scotland is the Clyde. Great Britain has many beautiful lakes. The best known of them is long nar­row Loch Ness, legendary home of the famous monster. On the north­west side of the Pennine system lies the Lake District, containing beau­tiful lakes.

The largest cities of Great Britain are London, Birmingham, Liver­pool, Manchester,

Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff.

The population of the United Kingdom is over 59 million people. English is the official language. But some people speak Gaelic in west­ern Scotland, and Welsh — in parts of northern and central Wales.

The different parts of Britain have their own emblems. The red rose is the national emblem of England. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. The daffodil and the leek are the emblems of Wales. And the shamrock is the national emblem of Ireland.

The flag of the United Kingdom is known as the Union Jack. It is made up of three crosses: the cross of St. George (the patron saint of England), the cross of St. Andrew (the patron saint of Scotland) and the cross of St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland).


1. to occupy — занимать

2. to consist of— состоять из

3. capital — столица

4. to be situated — располагаться

5. to be separated — отделяться

6. narrow — узкий

7. the Strait of Dover — Дуврский пролив

8. total area — общая площадь

9. to be made up of — состоять из

10. several — несколько

11. to be subdivided — подразделяться

12. Lowland Britain — низменная часть Великобритании

13. Highland Britain — гористая часть Великобритании

14. to comprise — включать (в себя)

15. southern — южный

16. eastern - восточный

17. mountain — гора

18. important — важный

19. famous — знаменитый

20. the Lake District — Озерный край

21. contain — содержать

22. population — население

23. western — западный

24. northern — северный

25. different — различный

26. part — часть

27. thistle — чертополох

28. daffodil — нарцисс

29. leek — лук-порей

30. shamrock — трилистник

31. cross — крест

32. patron saint — святой покровитель


1. Where is the UК situated?

2. What countries is the UК made of? What are their capitals?

3. Is the UK a large country?

4. What channel separates the British Isles from the European con­tinent?

5. Can you prove that Great Britain has a variety of landscapes?

6. What is the highest mountain in the UK?

7. Are there many long and deep rivers in Great Britain?

8. What famous lakes in Britain do you know?

9. What is the Lake District known for?

10. What's the population of the UK?

11. What do you imagine when you think of Britain?

12. What British symbols do you know?

13. What are the main geographical differences between the UK and Russia?


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