How to understand the difference between the UK and Great Britain | Learn English | British Council

Practice exercise:

Do you find it difficult to understand the difference between the UK and Great Britain?


Man: So where are you from?

Woman: Scotland. Are you Scottish too?

Man: Well no, I’m English actually, but… you know… it’s all like the same thing, isn’t it?

Woman: Not exactly.

Man: Go on! Isn’t Scotland just like well, a bit of England?

Woman: No, it is not!

Man: Sorry, Britain I mean.

Woman: “Britain” is not “England”!

Man: Well yeah… I know that, I’m not stupid or anything… but Britain’s like, England, Scotland and Wales, isn’t it?

Woman: Not exactly.

Man: Yeah, it is; the UK, the United Kingdom.

Woman: The United Kingdom is “Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

Man: Oh I see, but we’re all like the same nation, aren’t we?

Woman: Not really. Four nations, one state.

Man: Oh, I get it! So the UK (is) like the same as Great Britain…

Woman: Great Britain is a geographical term — it’s a big island with Scotland, England, and Wales on it.

Man: All right, but we all have the same prime minister, don’t we?

Woman: Yes, and the same head of state.

Man: The Queen!

Woman: Exactly.

Man: And the same government?

Woman: Well, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own local parliaments.

Man: Oh. I see.

Woman: It’s complicated.

Man: Yeah, I can see that.

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