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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #120885: What you should know (continued).
What you should know (continued).
Here is the sequel of "What you should know" if you want to live (for a short time or a longer one...) in the British Isles... You should know these things not to stick out too negatively and be immediately labelled as a "foreigner"... In test we have seen that you should know your British geography, know how to make tea correctly, drink it and go to the pub with friends.
A) BRITISH PEOPLE ARE VERY MUCH ATTACHED TO THE ROYALS:
Nowadays, we could think that the Brits wouldn't be really concerned about the Royal Family. History has sometimes been hard on the "Royals", but in spite of social and political changes, British people are more than interested in, even attached to the whole Family who is still very popular. For British people, they represent a token of political stability, in spite of the minimum role they play in the political life. Royal weddings * or Royal births are common topics on TV around the world and show the passion of the people for this Family. There are multitudes of "gadgets" and trinkets in lots of British households and they make the Royal family part of the people's daily lives.
* The latest and most important three Royal weddings :
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles: April 09, 2005
Prince William and Kate Middleton: April 29, 2011
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: May 19, 2018
B) Measurements of all kinds , what a HEADACHE!
YES, it's much easier to save and spend a little money now than it used to be in my very early youth... Then, there were still pennies (and pence - "d" for latin denarius= denier), shillings (shortened in "s" ou "/") and pounds. Under the non-decimal system of currency, there were 12 pence (12 d) in a shilling and 20 shillings (20/), or 240 pence, in a pound (£1). )
The currency going decimal made that much simpler... Since February 1971, there has been 100 pence (singular : penny) in a pound (£1), just like for the dollar, euro etc. Easy, isn't it? ... BUT...
Distances on roads are still calculated in YARDS and MILES... Objets are measured in centimetres and metres... people's height is indicated in FEET and INCHES. Food is weighed in GRAMS and KILOS... and people in STONE and POUNDS... Are you following me? Britons seem to have trouble giving up the old complicated system... although they are aware of the simplicity that the metric system would bring them...
Imperial - UK Units of Length
| 1 inch ( in. or " )||=|| || about the width of a thumb|| = 25.4 mm |
| 12 inches ( ins.)||=|| 1 foot || about the length of a size 10 shoe || = 305 mm|
| 3 feet ( ft. )||=|| 1 yard|| about from nose to stretched finger || = 0.91 m|
| 1760 yards (yds) ||=|| 1 mile ( m ) || about 15 minutes walking|| = 1.61 k| Imperial - UK Units of Weight
| 16 drams ( dr ) || = || 1 ounce || a tablespoon of sugar|| = 28 grams |
| 16 ounces ( ozs.) || =|| 1 pound|| a bag of sugar|| = 0.45 kg|
| 14 pounds ( lbs)|| =|| 1 stone|| used in body weight|| = 6.35 kg| Imperial - UK units of Capacity
| 5 fluid ounces || = || 1 gill || || = 142 ml |
| 20 fluid ounces || =|| 1 pint || an English beer || = 568 ml |
| 2 pints ( pts.)|| =|| 1 quart || a German beer|| = 1.1 L|
| 4 quarts ( qrt )|| =|| 1 gallon || a large can of paint || = 4.546 L |
For shoe sizes, follow the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe_size
C) NO CHEATING while visiting Britain...
To illustrate this point, and as a transition, I could start saying that drinking outside isn't forbidden in the British Isles... and that you'll never see anyone drinking out of a brown bag there on the contrary... In fine weather, groups are forming and drinking together outside and in p arks...
Two clearer examples:
a) QUEUE JUMPING or QUEUE SKIPPING) is unbearable to a British citizen whereas it's the favourite sport in some European countries... After drinking tea, waiting in lines is a very common past time over the Channel. It's quite frequent to see VERY VERY long lines forming, and calm and disciplined people waiting there... Quite impressive at first... Foreigners breaking that law are considered as having "no manners", and this is an unforgivable mistake. Do not yield to the temptation...
b) Still dealing with the discipline you have to respect:
In the United Kingdom, and in many other countries, the rule is to get on the bus through the front door, which is near the driver, and get off through the middle one. You shouldn't use this door to get on... (The only exception is with wheelchairs and prams, after telling the driver.)
Much could be said about some attitudes or behaviours that may look strange... I won't write more... A little mystery and a few surprises should be kept...
The test has none... Good luck, then!
End of the free exercise to learn English: What you should know (continued).
A free English exercise to learn English.
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