The UK or Great Britain: is there a difference?

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Dear friends, we not only want to help you learn English, but also want to introduce different aspects of the British way of life. Let’s look at the political geography of the islands and clarify the different names, statutes and associations of the countries here! Follow us through our new teaching text!

Great Britain

It is located on the larger of the two islands and consists of three separate countries – England, Scotland and Wales. The island is the ninth largest area in the world, surrounded by water. Greek geographers called the island archipelago Pretanike. The ancient Greek name for the Eastern island is Albion, which comes from the Greek word “white”, probably because of the White Cliffs of Dover that can be seen from the sea. The current name comes from the conquering Romans, who named it Britannia. Later, it was called Great Britain to distinguish it from “Little” Britain, a continental settlement of British migrants  from 5th and 6th century. In more recent times the countries England, Scotland, and Wales had formed оn the island, and together with the surrounding islands, took the name of Great Britain.

The United Kingdom

It is actually called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Three of the countries are located on the Eastern island of the archipelago and the fourth – Northern Ireland – on the North-eastern part of the other big Island. It borders the independent state of the Republic of Ireland. The union between the Kingdom of England ( which includes Wales now) and the Kingdom of Scotland took place in 1707. In 1801 the Kingdom of Ireland joined the Union. About a century later though, the Kingdom of Ireland separated and part of its territory and name remained in the UK. This territory acquired the name Northern Ireland.

The nearby Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, but they are under the crown, which in turn has to take care of their protection.

The capital of the Kingdom is London, which is now a metropolis. Scotland’s capital city is Edinburgh, Wales’-Cardiff and Northern Ireland’s – Belfast. Even after the reunion, England plus Wales, as well as Northern Ireland and Scotland, have their own legal systems. According to their gross domestic product, the United Kingdom has the sixth largest economy in the world, and according to the purchasing power of the population – the tenth.

Dear friends, we hope we have provided useful and interesting information and we rely on you to give us a hint on the next interesting topic for our blog. Be sure to switch to the English version from the button on the top right and get to know the specific terminology in the text.

See you again soon!


Author: Iveta Radeva

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.