Everyday life in Britain - Maxicours

Everyday life in Britain

Great Britain is an island with its own traditions.
British currency: one pound = £1 = 100 pence.

GB = Great Britain = England + Scotland + Wales.
The UK = The United Kingdom = GB + Ulster.
The British Isles = The UK + Eire.

English is the common language, London is the capital. The Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom.
You can reach Great Britain by plane, by ferry, or by train and car with the tunnel.

1. Home sweet home
a. The house
The British live in a flat, a detached or a semi-detached house. The house is usually composed of a lounge, a dining-room, and two bedrooms. There is a small front garden and a bigger back garden.
b. The meals
For breakfast, English people usually have fruit juice, cereals, toast, butter and jam and tea with milk. The traditional cooked breakfast with eggs and bacon is served on special occasions.

The lunch is light and usually composed of a sandwich and a chocolate bar.

The main meal is at about six o'clock:
– one course (plat): meat and various vegetables.
speciality: the steak and kidney pie.
– sometimes a dessert: an apple pie or a pudding.

On many occasions during the day: a cup of tea with some biscuits. Crisps and sweets for children.

2. School
School is compulsory from the age of 5 to the age of 16. Pupils have to wear a uniform.

Nursery school: until 5 years old.
Primary school: from 5 to 11 years old.
Secondary school: from 11 to 16 or 18.

There are three kinds of schools:
public schools (fee paying), for the upper class;
grammar schools (free or fee paying);
comprehensive school (free).

The name of the class levels are different:
6e = 1st form;
Terminale = upper sixth.

- GCSE: General certificate of secondary education, at 16.
- "A" Levels: Advanced levels, at 18. Passport to university.
- Degrees of University:BA/BSC (licence);
                                      MA/MSC (maîtrise);
                                      PhD (doctorat).

3. Pastimes
– Main topic conversation: the weather, the Royal Family...
Gardening: mowing the lawn, watering the flowers...
Pets: many families have a dog or a cat.
Sport: football, rugby, golf, tennis and cricket are the most popular.
The pub: favourite meeting place with a pint of beer (stout, bitter or lager). Closing at 11. pm.
4. The media
a. The press
Quality papers: The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent.
Popular papers: The Sun, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail...
Sunday papers: The Observer, The Sunday Times...
b. Radio and TV
There are many channels: BBC 1 and BBC 2 are public and national (radio and TV).
ITV and Channel four are among the numerous cable and private channels.
5. Celebrations
New Year's Day: January 1st.
St Valentine's Day: February 14th.
Easter: March or April.
April Fool's Day: April 1st.
Trooping the Colours: 1st or 2nd Saturday of June to celebrate the Queen's birthday.
Midsummer's Day: June 24th.
August Bank Holiday: last Monday of August.
Halloween: October 31st.
Guy Fawkes' Day: November 5th.
Christmas Day: December 25th.

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