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Great Britain, United Kingdom, England

Discussion in 'English Only' started by supercrom, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. supercrom Banned

    Cercado de Lima, Lima, Perú
    Homo peruvianus, practising AE n' learning BE
    Please, I have a question for <you> all, members

    I don't know what is the difference among UK (United Kingdom), GB (Great Britain) and England.

    I have a feeling about UK, maybe it means a United Kingdom, many nations united in a country.

    And I also see different flags:

    [​IMG] UKGBUKGBUKGBUKGB [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance.

    CROM
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  2. Javier-Vega Senior Member

    Mexico espanol
    What I understand is that Great Britain is the big island composed by England, Scotland and Wales. While the United Kingdom is the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is in another island, coexisting with the independent republic of Ireland).
    I believe that the official name is "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", but maybe I'm wrong.
     
  3. Neru Senior Member

    UK - Inglés
    Good question, Crom:

    As Javier has said, UK = The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland : this is the name of the actual sovereign state.

    Great Britain = England, Scotland and Wales.

    So, there are 4 different countries within the UK : England, Scotland, Wales (Great Britain) and Northern Ireland (which is, geographically speaking, part of the island of Ireland).

    This is the English flag:

    [​IMG]

    This is the Scottish one:

    [​IMG]

    This is St.Patrick's cross (originally used to represent Ireland) :

    [​IMG]


    If you combine the three together then you get the UK flag (the Union Flag):

    [​IMG]


    Also there is the Welsh flag (not included in the Union Flag, as you can see)...

    [​IMG]


    ...and the Northern Irish flag (which is basically just the English flag, with the emblem of the 'Red Hand of Ulster' (a province in the north of Ireland) included:

    [​IMG]


    ...I hope this explains it for you.
     
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    England: the country South of Scotland and East of Wales.

    Great Britain: Island where England, Wales, and Scotland are located

    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: nation composed by England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
     
  5. Neru Senior Member

    UK - Inglés
    Here is a map anyway: :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Javier-Vega Senior Member

    Mexico espanol
    Thinking about it, I have two more doubts:

    (a) Is Tony Blair the PM in the UK or only in England?

    (b) I understand that Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries are supposed to be subdits of the Queen of England. But they don't belong to the UK, right? What's the name of that wider entity? the Commonwealth?
     
  7. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Tony Blair is the British PM.
     
  8. Philippa

    Philippa Senior Member

    Reading
    Britain - English
    Yep, Javier, you're right - the Commonwealth.
    Saludos
    Philippa :)

    Oh and Crom, sorry I never answered properly when you asked me about this UK, GB England thing :(
     
  9. ~PiCHi~

    ~PiCHi~ Senior Member

    Mexico (Spanish)
    SO Interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek: :thumbsup:

    I'm a big fan of EVERYTHING related to the UK, and I had no idea about all that!
    I have to read more!!! :eek:
    I love to learn new things :D
     
  10. dave

    dave Senior Member

    London
    UK - English
    And don't forget the British Isles - a geographical rather than political term which decsribes the whole of the island of Ireland as well Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).

    This whole issue can be very confusing, particularly in the world of sport:

    - In the Olympic Games we compete as Great Britain, not the United Kingdom (even though our team includes athletes from Northern Ireland).

    - In the Commonwealth Games the four home nations (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) compete as independent nations, as they also do in football.

    - In rugby union, England, Scotland and Wales compete as independent nations, however Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland come together and compete simply as Ireland (no doubt this infuriates the N. Irish unionists)

    - In rugby league, there is both an England team as well as Great Britain team!

    - In cricket, we compete as England although this also includes players from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (even more confusingly Scotland does have a cricket team as well, although it deosn't have full international status in the world of cricket - there is one player who plays both for England and Scotland!)

    Hope that clears things up!
     
  11. dave

    dave Senior Member

    London
    UK - English
    Almost forgot - there is also the complicated political/constitutional status of a number of other places such as the Isle of Mann and the Channel Islands. Unfortunately my knowledge is not sufficient to provide an accurate explanation - any takers?
     
  12. Neru Senior Member

    UK - Inglés
    Dave: As far as I know, they come under the British Crown but are not actually part of the UK...
    Although maybe some constitutional expert can explain it better because I'm not even too sure what that actually means. :confused:
     
  13. Neru Senior Member

    UK - Inglés
    You should come and visit us one day. :)
     
  14. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    ok. so about the isle of man. click here and also from the same site but dedicated to the system of gouvernment. i found out a few interesting things myself :)

    and yes pichi.. come to the uk we have tons of decent non pervy guys :p:p
     
  15. ~PiCHi~

    ~PiCHi~ Senior Member

    Mexico (Spanish)
    Believe me I will, actually, it is kind of a goal for me, visit England even if it's one week, but I can't die if I don't go!

    Thanx Benjy, I defenitely will go someday. Hope dies last!
    I'm sure there must be some decent non pervy guys :p at least one..
    I don't mind if he's Scottish, english or Irish.. O lov'em all! (Specially scots' accent!!)
     
  16. renel New Member

    Canada
    Français & Canadian
    (b) I understand that Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries are supposed to be subdits of the Queen of England.

    Don't you dare assimilate Canada with England or Great Britain or the UK :). In 1980 Canada rapatriated her constitution and became a "totally" independant country with no ties whatsoever with the UK. We do have our own queen, the Queen of Canada whose name just happens to be Elisabeth Windsor.

    When she comes here she is the Queen of Canada and when she is in the UK the Queen of England.

    Now the one million dollars question: If Canada never had a queen before and Elisabeth Windsor is the first Canadian monarch, does that make her Elisabeth the First or is she still Elisabeth the Second?

    ps - However, Canada is still part of the Commonwealth, which status has somewhat changed over the years. It is now more of a UK common market.
     
  17. supercrom Banned

    Cercado de Lima, Lima, Perú
    Homo peruvianus, practising AE n' learning BE
    Thanks a lot, Neru!

    Don't worry about it, Philippa.

    Now I can differentiate among the three concepts...

    [​IMG] Thanks again!

    CROM

    P.S. I also found this map.
     
  18. temujin

    temujin Senior Member

    Hamburg - Germany
    Norway / norwegian
    hi

    There is also one additional term: "Britain" (not Great Britain) which is - rather confusing - the same as the UK. I.e. Britain is actually bigger than Great Britain.
    And now: If you say British, do you mean "of Britain" or of "Great Britain" ?


    t.
     
  19. mirandolina

    mirandolina Senior Member

    Padua, Italy
    Scotland - English
    Don't EVER make the mistake of referring to a native of Scotland as an Englishman!:mad:
     
  20. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    In Scotland does the line go, ''fe fi fo fum I smell the blood of a Scotsman" ?
     
  21. mirandolina

    mirandolina Senior Member

    Padua, Italy
    Scotland - English
    No, Jack was a foolish Englishman, no canny Scotsman would give away a cow for a bag of beans!:D
     
  22. zebedee

    zebedee the manamana mod

    Valencia - Spain
    Gt. Britain - English
    Really? I thought Britain was just a way of saying Great Britain for those of us who need to place our tongues firmly in our cheeks in order to say the "Great" part. ;)
     
  23. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    Kettering
    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    A lot of people get the wrong idea about the 'Great' in Great Britain (even here). It doesn't actually mean great as in wonderful or magnificent but great as in large. This is because there are in fact two "Britain"s: the island of Britain in the British Isles and the land of Britain in France. In French these are known as Grande Bretagne and Bretagne, in English as Great Britain and Brittany.

    Maybe now you can take your tongue out of your cheek?:)
     
  24. zebedee

    zebedee the manamana mod

    Valencia - Spain
    Gt. Britain - English
    As you can see by where I've put I'm from in my personal profile, the tongue-in-cheek comment was...well...tongue-in-cheek!
    I'm continually suprised actually by how many people here in Valencia use "Londres" and "Inglaterra" interchangeably. Many's the time I've been asked after a trip back home: "¿Qué tal por Londres?" "So how was London?". When I ask them if they live in Madrid, the penny drops...

    cheers,
    zeb

    PS: I'm also a Spike Milligan fan. May I boldly suggest a little correction to your Spanish translation?: "¡Veis, os dije que estaba enfermo!"
     
  25. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    Kettering
    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    Aah, so my post was wasted on you then!
    Oh well, maybe it'll prove useful to someone, it's just that i was once asked (in the USA): "So what's so goddam great about Great Britain then?"

    Please note: correction appreciated and acted upon.
     
  26. munchkin5000 Junior Member

    england, english
    Well, when i was in Mexico last year, it took so long trying to explain to everyone that i was british and not just engish (my mother's side of the family are Scots are a damn proud of it) that I just gave up! Yes i'm english was the easiest answer. But as someone said before, you never call a Scot english. my mum hit the roof when she found out.......:)
     
  27. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    Well, when it comes up why not just identify yourself as a Scot (soy escocés) and say you are from Scotland(soy de Escocia) ---and don't mention England or UK or Britain or ....? :)
     
  28. mirandolina

    mirandolina Senior Member

    Padua, Italy
    Scotland - English
    I certainly do! But then I lived in Scotland whereas Munchkin lives in England!:)



     
  29. seventhsign New Member

    China:Chinese
    Hi, I'm new to here. What always confuses me is the differences among the following words:
    • United Kingdom
    • Great Britain or Britain
    • England
    Anyone could explain what these words cover geographically, when they are usually used, or anything else that could better explain them.
    Many thanks!
     
  30. JLanguage Senior Member

    Georgia, US
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    England - Only includes the southern part of Great Britain, the territory known as England.

    Great Britain or Britain - The entire island off the coast of Western Europe, includes England, Wales, and Scotland.

    United Kingdom, full name: The United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So the UK is Britain+N. Ireland
     
  31. irishstu Senior Member

    Taiwan
    N.Ireland (Eng, Sp, Fr)
    JLanguage is completely correct.

    I wish more people bothered to find out the difference. There's no excuse to be calling a Scotsman "English", for example. In fact it could be quite dangerous. ;)

    As for the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom, so many people outside of the UK don't know the difference, which can quite often leave us Northern Irish feeling somewhat left out.

    Once again, thanks for asking this question. The more people that know the difference, the better. When I was living in Spain, the lady at the police station wrote that I was from Great Britain on my residence card. I tried to explain that Great Britain did not include Northern Ireland, but she just got angry with me.:(
     
  32. mnzrob Senior Member

    Denver, Colorado USA
    Chicago English and German
    I'm embarassed to say, that I also did not know the exact difference between GB and UK either, so i'm really glad this question was asked.
    Learned something that I had been wondering about for a while.
    Thanks!

    Rob
     
  33. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    A very lengthy post about this can be found here.
     
  34. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I went through that link, and there are several misunderstandings I feel compelled to clear up.

    1. Tony Blair is PM of the UK, the British PM - see (3). He is not PM of Great Britain (alone).

    2. HRH is Queen of the UK and Head of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 53 independent countries. She is also Queen of a number of other Commonwealth realms, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

    3. UK citizens are British (formal nationality) - hence (1), because the Parliament in London is the UK Parliament.

    4. The British Isles are Great Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. We would love to have Brittany back again:)

    You see, its's simple really.
     
  35. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    God Bless George III for sparing us this confusion. I'll send Ms. Spears right over. You are welcome to it. Shall we call it reparations for the war of 1812, when you had the good sense to burn Washington, D.C.?;)
     
  36. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    Cuchu, who/what is Ms Spears?
     
  37. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  38. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    Sorry; I simply could not associate Britney Spears, being in the same sentence than George III and a reference to the war of 1812.
     
  39. jess oh seven

    jess oh seven Senior Member

    Scotland
    UK/US, English
    yes, you should never refer to the United Kingdom as "England". England is just one of the countries that makes up the UK, along with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
     
  40. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Panj said, " We would love to have Brittany back again:)" so I offered it (!) to him with joy and alacrity.

    cheers,
    Cuchu
     
  41. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    I do not share your distaste for Britney. I can adopt her if you do not want HER. :D
     
  42. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I can understand your incredulity, but sometimes it is necessary to make allowances for the the most amazingly juvenile sense of humour of some apparently mature foreros:p I mean, they don't even sound the same:rolleyes:

    I see that you have done so a post or two later;)

    I should leave you to negotiate her extradition with cuchu:D
     
  43. QUIJOTE Senior Member

    USA
    I enjoyed this thread, I learned some more stuff about England and the UK and the flags some history as well. Thank you all.
     
  44. seventhsign New Member

    China:Chinese
    Thanks very much for all of you for explaining the differences amony these items.

    By the way, the sentence UK is made up of 4 "countries" also makes me confused. Is the word "country" same as its normal meaning? Eg, we say Japan is a "country", China is a "country", can we say "UK is a country"? or, is "countries making up UK" somewhat like "province in other countries"?
    I don't know if I presented clearly, hope some of you could provide explanation.

    Many thanks!
     
  45. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    seventhsign, the definition of what a 'country' is, is elusive. You will find a lot of controversial opinions on what a nation, a country or an state is.

    Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland were independent kingdoms in the Middle Ages, united under a king.

    In continental Europe, France got rid of the 'kingdom' system to be based on more rational 'provinces' approach. French Revolution extended this system through continental Europe, while UK maintained (at least, on a formal point of view) the 'feudal' approach (a king over 4 kingdoms or 'countries').

    Every British has the right to hit me on the head because of any incorrection I had said.
     
  46. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I suppose it all comes down to the fact that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have specific cultures, and a certain degree of political autonomy, within the U.K.
     
  47. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Which brings up an important question.

    People say that England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are different countries, but that the UK is also one country. How is this possible? What exactly do we understand by "country" here? In the UN, the UK is considered one country, correct? In light of that, what is it that makes them each a separate "country" - as opposed to states or provinces?

    I was well aware of the differences between the terms introduced in the first post, but this "country" dilemma I have not still not been able to figure out.
     
  48. desde aquel verano Senior Member

    UK / English
    Hi. I'm not too sure about what the correct technical defintion of a country is (if such a thing exists), but as someone from the UK I've definitely always thought of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as different countries within the same state... although thinking about it, I don't know of anywhere else where this happens in the same way.
    Just to add that Wales is often referred to as a principality, and Northern Ireland (which has only actually existed since 1920) as a province.
    Hmm, perhaps FIFA might be interested in reading this thread because they've been trying to convince us for years that we should only have one national football team in the UK. :D
     
  49. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Well, it would make sense, wouldn't it? After all, Basques and Galicians don't have their own team, do they? ;)

    Still confused... :confused:
     
  50. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    And we want that rock back! The Elgin Marble, I think it's called.
     

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