british vs. english

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cfu507, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. cfu507

    cfu507 Senior Member

    He is a(n) _____ citizen
    • British
    • English
    (in my dictionary, English: native or resident of England)
    I would like to know why no. 2 can not be the correct answer.
    Thank you
  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    I'm a bit afraid to answer this one, because if I get it wrong... :(

    So, what I think is that you may be born in England, and living there, but you're a subject of the British Crown, so to speak (you're a citizen of a larger country - The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). It would be quite strange to have only Welsh or English or Scottish citizenship, right?
  3. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    From my understanding, "British" includes England, Northern Ireland, Wales, etc. while "English" is only England (wikipedia says "England" is a "constituent country", not a country by itself).
  4. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Under the laws of the United Kingdom, there is British Citizenship.
    The official name was changed from Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies to British Citizen on 1 Jan 1983

    The passports currently issued by the UK government have
    European Union
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    written on the front.

    Inside, on the page where the photo is:
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    Date of Birth
    Sex, Place of Birth
    Date of Issue
    Date of Expiry

    The British Home Office itself cannot make up its mind whether these documents are UK Passports or British Passports, as it uses both expressions on its web-page.
  5. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    You forgot Scotland! (was that the "etc.", good thing I am not Scottish…:D)
    Musical Chairs and Trisia are both right. England is a constituent country of Great Britain. Technically, Wales is a principality (ruled by Prince Charles, at present). It always has been a bone of contention to call a Welshman, Scot or Irishman "English". I have some friends from these countries and they get a little annoyed when they are in another country (say, France) and being called English. Although they are used to it, it still gets them a little angry :mad:. If in doubt, it is much better to call us "British" that way, not only you will be correct, but you will not step on anybody's toes :p.
    Trish is so right to be cautious! I am English and a British citizen :)
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    To understand the use of the term 'British' in the context of nationality and citizenship, you have to remember that in the 19th century everyone in the Empire was in theory a British subject. The history of how the full privileges of British status / nationality / citizenship have over the years been accorded to an ever smaller circle of people is a very complicated and often inglorious one; but many people who live outside Britain or the UK still have some sort of British citizenship. (By 'inglorious' I mean in particular that it was sometimes against the will of some people who lost rights such as the right to move to the UK, and not always for the best of motives.)
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  8. cfu507

    cfu507 Senior Member

    Thanks to all of you. It was very clear.

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