Great Britain

 

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Bri-tain and Ireland and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 square kilometers.

The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast respectively. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland, Wales and does not include Northern Ireland. But in everyday speech "Great Britain" is used to mean the United Kingdom. The capital of the UK is London.

The British Isles are separated from the continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.

Shakespeare called Britain a "precious stone set in the silver sea" because of its natural beauty. It has a varied countryside where you can find mountains, plains, valleys and sandy beaches. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain, but it is only 1343 meters high.

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 mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. It is mild the whole year round. The British often say: "Other countries have a climate; in England we have weather". The weather in Britain is very changeable. A fine morning can change into a wet afternoon and evening. And a nasty morning can change to a fine afternoon. That's why it is natural for the British to use the comparison "as changeable as the weather" of a person who often changes his mood or opinion about something.

The British also say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or when it rains all day long.

The UK is one of the world's smallest countries. Its population is over
58 million. About 80% of the population lives in cities.

The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world's largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft, and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding.

The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of State is the Queen. But in practice, the Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British
Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. There are three main political parties in Great Britain: the Labour, the Conservative, and the Liberal parties.

 

Names:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [ði ju`naitəd `kiŋdəm əv greit britn ənd `no:ðən `ailənd] – Соединённое Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии

the British Isles [ðə `briti∫ `ailz] – Британские острова

Edinburgh [`edinbuə] – Эдинбург

Cardiff ['ka:dif] – Кардифф

Belfast [`belfa:st] – Белфаст

the North Sea [ðə `no: θ `si:] – Северное море

the English Channel [ði `i:ŋgli∫ `t∫æn(ə)l] – Английский канал (принятое в Великобритании название пролива Ла-Манш)

the Atlantic Ocean [ði ət`læntik `əu∫(ə)n] – Атлантический океан

the Irish Sea [ði `airi∫ `si:] – Ирландское море

the Severn ['sevən] – река Севен

the Thames [`temz] – река Темза

the Gulf Stream [ðə `gΛlf `stri:m] – Гольфстрим

the House of Lords [ðə `haus əv `lo:dz] – палата лордов

the House of Commons [ðə `haus əv `komənz] – палата общин

the Labour [‘leibə], the Conservative [kən`sə:vətiv] and the Liberal [`liberəl] parties – Лейбористская, Консервативная и Либеральная партии

 

Vocabulary:

chamber ['t∫æmbə] – палата Парламента

changeable ['t∫eind3əbl] – изменчивый, неустойчивый

comparison [kəm'pæris(ə)n] – сравнение

government ['gΛvənmənt] – правительство

highly developed [`haili di`veləpt] – высокоразвитый

machinery [mə'∫inəri] – машинное оборудование

mild [maild] – мягкий, умеренный

nasty ['na:sti] – мерзкий, противный

navigation [,nævi'gei∫n] – зд.: судоходство

plain [plein] – равнина

population [,popju`lei∫(ə)n] – население

respectively [ri'spektivli] – соответственно

sandy – песчаный

total area [`toutl `eəriə] – общая площадь

the whole year round [`houl `jiə `raund] – круглый год

to be situated ['sitjueitid] – быть расположенным

to consist of – состоять из

to include [in'klu:d] – включать в себя

to mean [mi:n] (meant [ment], meant) – означать

to separate ['sepəreit] – разделять

to wash [wo∫] – омывать

to reign [rein] – царствовать

to rule [ru:l] – править

to elect [i`lekt] – выбирать

to influence ['influəns] – влиять

varied [`veərid] – разнообразный, меняющийся

valley ['væli] – долина








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