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TEXT 2. THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
The world is a book, and those
who do not travel, read only a page.
I. Before you read
1.1. Pronounce the following words properly:
a) The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Isles, Europe, England; Scotland; Wales.
b) The English Channel, the Strait of Dover, the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the Severn, the Thames, the Highlands of Scotland.
c) London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge.
d) A parliamentary monarchy, legislative power, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Conservative (the Tory) and the Labour Parties, the Liberal Party.
1.2. Words and expressions to learn:
Precious, a varied countryside, feature, middle latitude, a highly
1.3. Translate the following expressions. Make up sentences with them:
To provide good fishing grounds; a precious stone; the silver sea; sandy beaches; mountain chains; in full bloom; to begin with comments on the weather; electronic equipment; the actual power; the ruling party; the long – established party; to enjoy moments of success.
1.4. Choose the right variant of the article:
1.... Great Britain is washed by ... Atlantic Ocean.
a) - /the; b ) -/ - ; c) The / -
2. It is evident that ... people want ... peace.
a) a/the; b) the / - ; c ) - / -
3. ... music is the universal language of the world.
a) A; b) The; c) –
4. ... Tudors is the king family.
a) The; b) A; c) –
5. Pushkin is ... great Russian poet.
a) - ; b) the; с) a
6. The Petrovs have ... daughter and ... son.
а) а / a ; b) the / the; c ) - / -
7. ... Titanic disaster happened in 1912.
a) A; b) -; c) The
8. I am hungry. Give me ... sandwich, please.
a) a / - ; b) the; с) a
9. Boris played ... tennis very well.
a) a; b) -; c) the
10. My English teacher brought me ... good news. I passed test well.
a) a; b) the ; c) –
1.5. Put the following adjectives in the comparative and the superlative degrees:
Big, heavy, short, dirty, clean, near, bad, famous, little, good, expensive, cheap, hot, important, beautiful, large, practical, early, happy, bright, dark, late, nice, rich, thin, thick, weak, easy, lazy, ugly, comfortable, far, difficult, wonderful, popular, serious.
1.6. Translate the sentences paying attention to the degrees of comparison:
1. The Pacific Ocean is the greatest ocean in the world.
2. He is playing worse than usually.
3. The Supreme Court considers the most serious cases.
4. What is the highest legislative body in Great Britain?
5. Nothing is more pleasant than to sit in a comfortable chair and to read a book.
6. The Sun is bigger than the Earth.
7. They will get better results if they work hard.
8. February is the shortest month in the year.
9. This is the most interesting book 1 have ever read.
10. Your report was much more interesting than mine.
11. My briefcase is much heavier than yours.
12. It is much colder today than it was yesterday.
13. We should discuss the most important questions today.
14. This is the most beautiful building of our city.
15. Iron is more useful than all other metals.
16. His radio-set is more powerful than ours.
17. The Trans-Siberian railway is the longest in the world.
18. The Neva is wider and deeper than the Moskva River.
19. He is one of the best engineers of our plant.
20. This is the worst film I've even seen.
21. He is the least, but not the last.
22. He is the most experienced teacher of our school.
23. The latest news confirmed our worst expectations.
24. They got down to business without further delay.
25. The eldest brother was 20 years older than the youngest.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on two large islands and about five thousand small islands, called the British Isles, to the North-West of Europe. The total area is over
The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland now called Eire or the Irish Republic, is independent of the United Kingdom. The population of the UK is over 63 million. About 80 % of the population live in cities.
Great Britain is separated from the continent by the English Channel, the narrower part of it is called the Strait of Dover.
The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Irish Sea. The shallow waters of the North and the Irish Seas provide good
Shakespeare called Britain a «precious stone set in the silver sea»
Mountains are an important feature of the geography of the country. There are mountain chains in Scotland, Wales and North-West England, but they are not very high. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland, it is only 1343 metres high. North-West England is also famous for its beautiful lakes.
The rivers of Great Britain are not very long but usually deep and never freeze in winter. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
Lying in the middle latitudes and surrounded by waters Britain has
The UK is a state with a highly developed industry. It is known as one of the world's producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding. The UK is also one of the largest exporters of manufactured goods. At the same time it imports metal, oil, grain, meat, fruit, tea and other raw materials and foodstuffs.
The largest cities and most important industrial centers of Great
London, the capital, is one of the most important industrial centers. Lots of things such as clothes, foodstuffs, cars, aircrafts, instruments, medical equipment are produced in and around London. It is also the biggest port.
Birmingham is the centre of the production of machines, lorries,
Manchester in the North-West of England is the centre of the cotton textile industry, one of the Britain's most important producers of computers and electronic equipment, chemicals.
Oxford and Cambridge are not big industrial centers but they are famous all over the world as educational centers. The oldest and most famous universities of Great Britain are situated there. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge date from the 12th and 13th centuries and the Scottish Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh from 15th – 16th centuries.
Oxford is international because people from all over the world come to study there. Physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, biology, geography, agriculture are studied there.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a parliamentary monarchy. Legislative power belongs to the Queen (formally) and the Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Officially the head of the State is the Queen (from 1952 – Elizabeth II). But the actual power belongs to the parliament and the ruling party. The powers of the Queen are limited by the constitution.
The government in the UK, since 1945 has alternated between only two political parties: the Conservative (the Tory) and the Labour Parties. No other party has been in office at all since 1945 and there have been no coalitions. The third long-established party, the Liberals, enjoyed moments of success, but no member of the Liberal Party has held government office since 1945.
It is an interesting country to come to know with.
III. After you have read
3.1. Answer the following questions:
1. What is this text about?
2. Where is the United Kingdom situated?
3. What about the total area of the United Kingdom?
4. How many parts is Great Britain consist of?
5. What do you know the population of this country?
6. What is the geographical position of Great Britain?
7. How did Shakespeare call Britain? Why?
8. Mountains are an important feature of the geography of the country, aren't they?
9. Where are the mountain chains situated?
10. What are the largest rivers of Great Britain?
11. Do the rivers freeze in winter?
12. What is the climate of the British Isles like?
13. Why do English people often speak about the weather?
14. What is England's winter famous for?
15. What is smog?
16. Is the climate in our region as mild as in Great Britain?
17. Fog turns into «smog» in big industrial cities, doesn't it?
18. What is the best season in England?
19. What is the usual temperature in winter in this country?
20. Is the UK a state with a highly developed industry? Prove it.
21. What are the largest industrial centers in Great Britain?
22. What are Oxford and Cambridge famous for?
23. Are they big industrial centers or quiet university towns?
24. Is the United Kingdom a parliamentary monarchy or a republic?
25. Whom does legislative power belong to?
26. Are the powers of the Queen limited by the constitution?
27. Is there only one political party or there are several main political parties? What are they?
28. What two main political parties dominate the British political
3.2. Find in the text the sentences giving information about:
1) The geographical position of the UK.
2) The main parts of the country.
3) Britain's industry.
4) The main industrial centers.
5) The rivers and mountains of Great Britain.
6) Educational centers of the country.
3.3. Put questions to the underlined parts of the sentences:
1. Great Britain lies to the West of Europe.
2. Britain is washed by the English Channel in the south.
3. There are mountain chains in the north and in the west of the British
4. The climate of Britain is mild.
5. The coal-mining and the textile industries are the oldest industries in Great Britain.
6. The longest river in Ireland is the Shannon.
7. The district around Birmingham is known as black country.
3.4. Fill in the blanks with the prepositions. Mark the sentences giving you new information about Great Britain:
1. Great Britain is a parliamentary monarchy where the legislative power belongs ... the Queen. But her powers are limited ... the Parliament and Constitution.
2. The Houses ... Parliament consist ... the House ... Commons and the House ... Lords. There are ... 630 members ... the English House ... Commons. The Prime minister is usually the leader ... the party that has a majority ... the House ... Commons.
3. ... 46 million people live ... England, 3 million ... Wales, 5 million ... Scotland, 1.5 million ... Northern Ireland. Only ... 20% ... the population is rural.
4. Great Britain is separated ... the Continent... the English Channel, the narrowest part ... which is called the Strait ... Dover.
5. The Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea wash the country ... the West and ... the East.
6. The highest mountains are situated ... Scotland.
7. The West... England is a very beautiful part... the country. It is called Lake District.
8. ... the centre of England there is a district... no grass called the Black country. This part is rich ... coal.
3.5. Translate the following combinations of words with
Developing industry; developed industry; changing distances; changed distances; a controlling device; a controlled device; an increasing speed; an increased speed; a transmitting signal; a transmitted signal; a reducing noise; a reduced noise; a moving object; a moved object; heating parts; heated parts.
Make up sentences:
3.7. Read, translate and analyze the sentences paying attention
A. 1. Mildly speaking you are wrong.
2. The method mentioned is worth using.
3. Though received in time the data were of no use for further research.
4. When explained the rule appeared quite simple.
5. She smiled remembering a joke.
6. While working in the laboratory yesterday he hurt himself.
7. The center of the cotton industry is Manchester connected with Li-verpool by a canal.
8. If done properly the work will give good results.
B. 1. This method of work being employed at the company is quite new and very effective.
2. Having arrived two days before the conference he had a lot of time to see Edinburgh.
3. Having been weakened by the storm the bridge was no longer safe.
4. Never having experienced such difficulties, he was at loss.
5. Being heated, most substances expand.
6. If supported I will continue the work.
7. As transported carelessly some goods were damaged.
8. Having been trained by a good teacher he could easily pass all
3.8. Translate into Russian paying attention to the Participle Constructions:
1. Time permitting, the manager will write a report.
2. The contract having been signed, the delegation went away.
3. It being very late, we went home.
4. The terms of delivery having been discussed, he signed the contract.
5. The morning being cold, Nick put on his overcoat.
6. Weather permitting, the plane will fly.
7. The article deals with microwaves, with particular attention being paid to radio location.
8. The weather being wet, we didn`t go for a walk.
9. With factories operating at less capacity, total output of goods and services enters a long-term decline.
10. He went to the park, his dog running after him.
11. It being a hot day, they decided to go to the country.
12. Supper finished, she began to clear the table.
3.9. State the functions of the words with -ed and translate the sentences:
1. The first television set produced quite a sensation in 1939. The first television set produced in 1939 was a tiny nine-by-twelve inch box.
3.10. Fill in the blanks with articles where necessary. Explain the use of the articles with geographical names:
1. Large masses of ... land are called ... continents. They are ... Europe, ... Asia, ... North and South America, ... Australia and … Antarctica.
3.11. Find in the text sentences with the Simple Passive.
IV. Brush up your talk
4.1. Read the proverb and comment it:
When at Rome, do as Romans do.
4.2. Read the dialogue. Learn the dialogue by heart:
THE RIVERS OF GREAT BRITAIN
Teacher: As you know rivers are roads of water which are as important as railways and sometimes even more important. Would anybody like to speak about English rivers? Look at the map of Great Britain.
Student: England is very rich in big, small and tiny rivers. It is difficult to find a country-side there in which there is no river.
T.: What are the greatest English rivers?
S.: They are the Thames, flowing to the West, the Trent – to the North and the Severn. The longest river in England is the Severn – about
T.: Good. You should also mention that the Thames is one of the most beautiful English rivers. Its banks are framed with rich meadows, green fields, hills. Its flow is very quiet.
S.: I've read somewhere that the Severn is also a lovely river, but it is faster than the Thames.
T.: Yes, you are right. But the Trent is still faster. In fact it is the
S.: All these rivers are very important water-ways as they are navi-gable all the year round.
T.: Good for you.
Answer the questions:
1. What does the teacher ask?
2. The rivers are as important as railways, aren't they?
3. What are the biggest rivers of Great Britain?
4. Which is the longest river?
5. Which is the swiftest river?
6. Which is the busiest river?
4.3. Read and dramatize the dialogues with your partners. Make up your own dialogues on these models:
Task: You have been on a tour to Great Britain. You have 4 hours before leaving for the airport. Discuss with your friend how to spend this time and choose one place you would both like to go to. You can choose from:
• a shopping centre;
• a cafe;
• a museum;
• a park;
1) - So we have 4 hours before leaving for the airport. What shall
- Well, 4 hours is quite a long period of time. Why don’t we go shopping? We could buy some more gifts for our friends and relatives. I usually bring home lots of small souvenirs that remind me of the journey. Besides, it’s a good way to relax.
- Oh, no! I hate shopping. The shops are usually crowded and I am tired of too many people around me. In addition, it’s very difficult for me to choose presents.
- Well, what about going to a cafe? I’m afraid we can get hungry before the flight. Cafes are usually beautifully decorated so we could take some more pictures.
- Do you suggest spending 4 hours in a cafe? I think we’ll get bored if we spend this time in one place.
- Why? We could have delicious English tea there and try new foods. And we can speak with English people and practice our language.
- I’m afraid I don’t have enough money for a cafe. To be honest,
- So what do you suggest?
- Let’s go to the British Museum. It’s one of the biggest museums in Great Britain and it’s free of charge. I think we shouldn’t miss the opportunity of seeing the exhibits which are famous all over the world. Besides, there is a cafe inside and if you are hungry, you can have a snack.
- I don’t think it’s a good idea because we won’t have enough time to see the whole museum. And it’s a bit boring just to look around. I am not fond of visiting museums though I must admit that the British Museum is worth visiting.
- Oh, I agree with you and I want to see its famous library. But you are right that we won’t have enough time for everything. Why not go for
- To the park? It sounds tempting! It’s so nice to be in the open air for a change. We have already visited so many museums! And where can
- We can go to Hyde Park, which is riot far from our hotel. Have you been there before?
- No, I haven’t been to any park in Great Britain yet. I think it would be interesting to know what they are like here.
- Of course it would. Moreover, Hyde Park is famous for its Speakers’ Corner and if we are lucky, we can see someone making a speech there.
- That’s fantastic! Anyway, we may enjoy the sunny weather and have a nice time there.
- I’m with you there! And we can take beautiful photos and show them to our families and friends. But what if the weather changes for the worse? You know, English weather is so unpredictable!
- Never mind, we’ll take our umbrellas. So what shall we decide on?
- I think that Hyde Park is the best way of spending our time. Anyway, let’s hope for the best.
- Ok. Let’s hurry.
2) - Kate? What a nice surprise! It` s great to see you!
- Hi, Ann! I haven’t seen you for ages. Where have you been?
- I’ve just come back from Britain.
- Have you? How did you like it there?
- I enjoyed it greatly. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot, but I liked the places
- How long did you stay there?
- For a week. I wouldn’t mind staying there longer. You know, you need lots of time to see all British landmarks.
- Sure. You visited Stratford, Cambridge, Oxford and London within
- Stratford and Cambridge are small towns; it took me a day to go sightseeing there. Another day for Stratford-upon-Avon – all the other time I went sightseeing in London. And I can’t say I was able to see much of London. So, I have an excuse to come back there someday.
- You are right. What impressed you most?
- The weather. When I was in London, it rained the whole time.
- Is it a joke?
- About the weather? Unfortunately, it isn`t. And if you mean the sights, I liked everything I saw there. Well, Ann, I’m afraid, I have to go. Goodbye.
- Goodbye, Kate.
5.1. Speak about:
1. The geographical position of the UK. 2. The mountains of Great Britain. 3. The climate of the country. 4. The capital of the United Kingdom. 5. The most important cities. 6. The industry of Great Britain. 7. The state structure of the UK. 8. The main political parties. 9. The Houses of Parliament.
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