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ЗмістBritish and american families
Scientific and technological progress
British and american schools
Why we learn english
Appearance and manners
Diana — the people's princess
Meals in britain
Fashion in the usa and britain
Family life in britain
Religion in great britain
Unwritten rules of great britain
The story of "mcdonald's" and "coca-cola"
The history of the olympic games
Тексти до третього завдання екзаменаційних білетів, згідно з програмою фахового вступного випробування з англійської мови
Saint Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day) is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 500. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th century America, where many Valentine cards are now general greeting cards rather than declarations of love, was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States. It's considered one of the Hallmark holidays1.
Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday held on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, though his actual birth dateis unknown. Christmas is central to the holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.
Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and some of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, Father Christmas (known as Santa Claus in some areas, including North America, Australia and Ireland) is a popular folklore figure in many countries, associated with the bringing of gifts for children.
Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.
There are a number of holidays in the USA which are celebrated every year. Here are some of them. The 1st of January is New Year's Day. People do not go to bed until after midnight on December 31. They like to see “the old year out and the new year in”. Many people give parties on New Year's Eve.
Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, is dedicated to those who fought in the War of Independence, in World War I or in World War II.
The 4th of July is Independence Day. It is the biggest national holiday in the USA. The Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, when the American colonies were fighting for independence against England.
On the 11th of November there is Veteran's Day. It is I dedicated to those who fell in the two World Wars.
Thanksgiving Day is on the fourth Thursday in November. In the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated their first harvest festival in America and called it Thanksgiving Day. Since that time it has been celebrated every year.
Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. People usually stay at home at Christmas time, and spend the day with their families.
British and American families are small. In fact the populations of both Britain and the USA have stopped growing. The typical family has a father, mother and two children. Grandparents come to visit, but do not usually live with their children.
Most people get married between the ages of 20 and 23 but many marriages end in divorce. This means that both countries have a large number of "single parent families", one father or mother looking after their children alone.
The typical British family has a car, a color TV set, a washing machine, and a cat or dog as well. They start the day at about 7 o'clock, have breakfast at 8 and are off to work by 8.30. More and more women now go out to work as well as men. The children have lunch at school at about 12.30, and come home at four in the afternoon. Their parents are usually home by 6 o'clock, and the family eat together at 6.30 or seven. In the evenings, father may go to the pub for a drink, or stay at home and watch TV with the others. Children go to bed early, at about 8 o'clock, two or three hours before their parents.
The typical American family has more money than a British family. Many have two or three cars, large modern kitchens and more electrical goods. They eat more meat and spend more on clothes. But their daily program is nearly the same. Like British children, American children eat lunch at school, come home mid-afternoon, and go to bed earlier than their parents.
Native Americans came from Asia. Over 20 000 years ago they traveled across the land between Siberia and Alaska. When English colonists came to the New World on board the "Mayflower" the native Americans met them and were very friendly and helped them a lot.
In those days people lived in small earth houses and grew their own food. Some Indians ate only grass, nuts, and what fruit they could find. Other people were fishermen and lived in wooden houses. Most native Americans were very peaceful. They wanted to live happily with nature and each other. They believed in many gods and thought that the gods live in trees, stones, water and fire. They believed their gods could bring success in hunting, farming and fishing. They often had special ceremonies with dances and music before they went hunting or fishing or when they began farming.
Native Americans songs and poems are a very important part of their traditions as they help them to keep their history and culture alive. Another famous tradition was smoking of a peace pipe. When they smoked this pipe together with people they did not know it meant friendship and peace. Many years ago Native American tribes lived in all parts of the USA, and hunted and fished wherever they choose. Now most of them live in poor lands to the west of Mississippi River. Many live in "reservations".
New York is one of the largest cities in the world. Its population is over 11 million people. New York is an industrial and cultural centre of the country. Most business is centered in Manhattan Island. The whole area is very small, that's why the sky-scrapers were invented in New York and, especially, in Wall Street. Wall Street is a narrow street with big houses, but it is well known all over the world as the busiest street in the USA. People do business there. There are two more world-famous streets — Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Broadway is the centre of the theatres and night life. It is known as “The Great White Way” because of the electric signs which turn night into day.
It is the city that never goes to sleep. Buses and sub-way run all night. There are many drugstores and restaurants which never close their doors. There are cinemas with films that start at midnight. Fifth Avenue is the great shopping, hotel, and club avenue.
New York is the largest port in America. More than half the trade of the United States goes through this city.
There are many places of interest in New York. They are: the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations Building, Empire State Building, Columbia University, City Hall, New York Public Library and others. When you come to New York you see lots of cars, big and small, black and yellow, old and modem; you do not see any trees or flowers in the streets, but only cars. You'll see and hear advertisements everywhere. There is no getting away from them. Advertisements fill the newspapers and cover the walls, they are on menu-cards and match-boxes, they are shouted through loud speakers and shown in the cinemas.
There are four seasons in a year: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
March, April and May are spring months. Spring is the most pleasant of all the seasons of the year. The weather is getting warmer, everything changes and seems to revive. The trees begin to bud. Sometimes it rains, but there are no rough winds; the sun shines brightly. The grass is green and one can see a lot of flowers peeping out from it. In spring all the migratory birds return. They sing sweetly on the branches of the trees.
The summer months are June, July and August. Summer is the hottest season of the year. The days are longest in summer. The longest day of the year is the 22nd of June. Some people like summer best of all. All of us enjoy summer with its cloudless sunshine, with its gardens and meadows full of flowers. There is a lot of fruit and vegetables at that time. In summer many people leave town and spend the hottest time in the country or at the seaside. After summer autumn comes.
The autumn months are September, October and November. The warm days of early autumn arc called the “Indian Summer” or the “Golden Autumn”. The “Golden Autumn” is really beautiful with its yellow, red and brown trees and golden leaves falling down. Autumn is the season of fruit and vegetables. But the days become shorter and the nights longer and darker. The weather is not so good as in spring or summer. It often rains and air gets colder. Winter is the coldest season of the year.
The winter months are December, January and February. The winter days are short and gloomy. It often snows and freezes. Winter is a very beautiful season, too. Some people like it very much. It is pleasant to walk when it is not very cold and it snows. The ground, the trees and the roofs are white with snow. Winter gives great opportunities for those who do winter sports. Every season has a charm of its own.
When we are ill, we call a doctor, and he examines us and diagnoses the illness. When we have a headache, a stomach ache, a sore throat, a cold, or a pain in some parts of the body, we call a doctor. He takes our temperature and our pulse. He examines our heart, our lungs, our stomach or the part where we have pain, and tells us what the matter is with us. The doctor prescribes medicine, and gives us a prescription, which we take to the chemist's, who makes up the medicine. If you follow the doctor's orders, you get better; if you disobey the doctor, you may get worse, and even die. We must obey the doctor, if we want to get better. If we have a temperature, we must stay in bed and take the medicine he prescribes. If we cannot get better at home we must go to hospital. If we are too ill to walk, we go to hospital in the ambulance. After our illness we can go to a sanatorium until we are strong again.
When we have toothache, we go to the dentist's. He examines our teeth, finds the tooth which hurts us, stops or extracts it. Now here in Russia health system incorporates a variety of medical institutions. The medical service in Russia is of two kinds. Some state establishments give their employees medical insurance cards. They guarantee the people free of charge medical assistance. Some medical establishments charge fees for treatment.
They may be rat-her high, but our medical service now uses all modem equipment and medicines and provides qualified medical help to all people.
It’s difficult to overestimate the role of science and technology in our life. They accelerate the development of civilization and help us in our co-operation with nature.
Scientists investigate the laws of the universe, discover the secrets of nature, and apply their knowledge in practice improving the life of people. Let's compare our life nowadays with the life of people at the beginning of the 20th century. It has changed beyond recognition. Our ancestors hadn't the slightest idea of the trivial things created by the scientific progress that we use in our every day life. I mean refrigerators, TV sets, computers, microwave ovens, radio telephones, what not.
They would seem miracles to them that made our life easy, comfortable and pleasant. On the other hand, the great inventions of the beginning of the 20th century, like radio, airplanes, combustion and jet engines have become usual things and we can't imagine our life without them. Our century has had several names that were connected with a certain era in science and technology. At first it was called the atomic age due to the discovery of the splitting of the atom. Then it became the age of the conquest of space when for the first time in the history of mankind a man overcame the gravity and entered the Universe. And now we live in the information era when the computer network embraces the globe and connects not only the countries and space stations but a lot of people all over the world. All these things prove the power and the greatest progressive role of science in our life.
But every medal has its reverse. And the rapid scientific progress has aroused a number of problems that are a matter of our great concern. These are ecological problems, the safety of nuclear power stations, the nuclear war threat, and the responsibility of a scientist. But still we are grateful to the outstanding men of the past and the present who have courage and patience to disclose the secrets of the Universe.
Almost all people are fond of travelling. It is very interesting to see new places, other towns and countries. People may travel either for pleasure or on business. There are various methods of travelling. For me there is nothing like travel by air; it is more comfortable, more convenient and, of course, far quicker than any other method. There is none of the dust and dirt of a railway or car journey, none of the trouble of changing from train to steamer and then to another train.
With a train you have speed, comfort and pleasure combined. From the comfortable seat of a railway carriage you have a splendid view of the whole countryside. If you are hungry, you can have a meal in the dining-car; and if a journey is a long one you can have a wonderful bed in a sleeper.
Travelling by ship is also very popular now. It is very pleasant to feel the deck of the ship under the feet, to see the rise and fall of the waves, to feel the fresh sea wind blowing in the face and hear the cry of the seagulls.
Many people like to travel by car. It is interesting too, because you can see many places in a short time, you can stop when and where you like, you do not have to buy tickets or carry your suitcases.
A very popular method of travelling is hiking. It is travelling on foot. Walking tours are very interesting. Hitch-hiking is a very popular method of travelling among young people. But it is not so popular in our country as abroad.
WHY DO WE RISK IT?
In our time, life is not so interesting and exciting as it can be. The world has become a bland and safe place. Each day is like another and we are so tired of such a life. People in the past used to risk their life by hunting animals, taking part in expeditions. We need some adrenaline and extreme to feel that our life is going forward. Risk sports become the fastest-growing leisure activities. More and more people try anything from organized bungee jumping to illegal BASE jumping. And people never feel so alive as when they are risking their life. The real thrill-seekers in their quest for the ultimate sensation are thinking up more and more elaborate sports.
There are other opinions about why some people choose risk sports, whereas others in that time sit at home doing whatever they want. Some say that people who do risk sports are reacting against a society, which they feel has become dull and constricting. In other words people now turn to risk sports as an escape from all boring things in their life. Moreover risk sports help to overcome fears that affect us in reality. It’s very important for people who work a lot and cannot cope when things go wrong, which mean that they can’t control the situation.
People invented a lot of possibilities to make their life more interesting and exiting. Now you can try everything: ‘zip wiring’, which involves sliding down a rope from the top of cliff suspended by a pulley attached to your ankle, bungee jumping and other. But of all the risk or adrenaline sports, bungee jumping is the most popular. Worldwide, one-and-a-half million people have tried it. You hurtle towards the ground from 200 meters up and, at the last moment, when you are about to hit the water or land and death seems certain, a rubber band yanks you back to life. You can decide whether to jump from a crane, a bridge or a balloon. Attached to a length of elastic rope, jumpers experience a free fall of nearly 100mph, before they’re slowed by a quickly increasing pull on their ankles.
After five or six bounces jumpers are lowered on to a mattress and set free. Almost inarticulate, they walk around with idiotic grins on their faces. Their hands can’t stop shaking, they can only use superlatives and say repeatedly how amazing it was. You feel as if you’re floating the air.
In America, all children from six to sixteen go to school. They spend six years in "elementary" school, and four or six years in "secondary" or "high" school. School education is free.
At the end of every school year, the children take a test. If a child does well, he goes into next class ("grade"). If he doesn't do well, he has to repeat the grade.
Some schools have modern teaching equipment like computers and closed circuit television, but there are small country schools with just one classroom.
At the end of their time at school, most students get a high school diploma. If they want to go on to college, they take college admission tests.
In Britain all children from five to sixteen go to school. They spend six years in "primary" school, and then go on to "secondary" school.
In Britain there are "state" schools, which are free, and private schools for which parents pay. Many British private schools are "boarding" schools. The children stay at school all the time, and only come home for holidays. They usually wear uniforms.
Teaching in both countries is usually quite informal. Students often work together in groups and go to the teacher only when they need help.
At school pupils spend the most important period of their lives. It is here that their characters and views are formed.
It is known that people have been learning foreign languages for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians learned the Greek language 2.5 thousand years ago. In the 12-th century the French language was learnt in many countries of Europe. In the 16-th century Europe began to study the German language. In the 19-th century the nobility of different countries communicated in French again. Throughout the history of the mankind people needed some second language to understand each other.
Nowadays, the English language is the most widespread in the world. Approximately 400 million people speak English as a mother tongue. The English language has become a world language in politics, science, trade and cultural relations. It is the language of computer technology. Half of the world scientific journals are in English. It is absolutely necessary for a good specialist in any country to be able at least to read English. If you know English, you can talk to people of any nationality, and can get necessary information anywhere in the world.
Besides, the English language is the language of the great literature. William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Show, they all wrote their books in English. A lot of modern literature and many new films in English come out every year. If you know English, you can understand them without translation. No wonder that most educated people speak English fluently.
Today, one person in seven of the world's population either knows English or learns it.
When we speak about somebody's figure, face, hands, feet we mean his or her appearance. A person may be tall, middlesized or short, thin or plump. A face may be round, oval or square. In summer some people may have freckles on their faces. Old people have wrinkled faces.
People's hair may be long or shot, thin or thick, good or bad, straight or curly. If it is long it is often plaited. Its colour may be black or fair, chestnut or red. Old people have grey hair. Eyes may be large or small. They may be of different colour, grey, green, black, or hazel (brown).
Cheeks may be rosy or pale (if a person is ill), plump or hollow (if a person is very ill). Some people have dimples in their cheeks when they smile.
Women usually have their hair done at the hairdresser's. The manner of walking is called the walk (gait). One's step may be: light, heavy, firm. Old people often shuffle their feet, have a shuffling gait.
Diana Spencer was born on the first of July 1961 in England. In childhood she liked games, swimming, running and dancing. She wanted to become a dancer. Besides she loved children very much and at the age of sixteen she worked in schools for very young children. Diana became princess, when Prince Charles, the Queen's son, asked her to be his wife and they got married. They seemed to be a happy couple at first. They had two sons. They travelled a lot, they worked a lot, they visited many countries together. But Diana was not quite happy because they did different things and Charles didn't understand her.
Why was Diana the most famous, the most beautiful, the most photographed woman in the world? Why did she win the hearts of millions and millions of people in many countries? Why did so many people come to London to remember her when she died? Why did the car accident which took her life, become such a total shock to crowds of people? Why did people feel the need to be in London at the funeral? Why did the tears and love at the funeral move the world?
The answer is so simple: "She did so much for those people less fortunate than herself".
She was a kind woman. Hundreds of people talked about Diana's kindnesses. She liked ordinary people, though she was rich and had many rich friends. Wherever she was, she was always ready to lend a hand. She was devoted to the sick and the poor. She visited hospitals for people with AIDS and for lepers and wasn't afraid to talk to them. She worked on children's charities, and had teamed up with Hillary Clinton in an effort to ban landmines.
Diana was seen many times in floods of tears, because of the pressures of her loveless 15-year marriage. It is not a secret that Diana was hounded and humiliated to the point of mental breakdown and was able to pull through only because she knew she had the love of the people to buoy her in her darkest hours.
She was, indeed, the People's Princess.
Since the 1970's eating habits in Britain have undergone a change. People have been encouraged by doctors, health experts and government advertisements to eat less fat and more fibre. Fat is believed to be one of the major causes of obesity and heart disease. Forty per cent of adults in Britain are overweight and Britain has one of the highest death rates due to cardiovascular disease in the world. Britons have also become more aware of calories, the energy value of food. Some people count the number of calories they eat every day, so that they can try to take in fewer calories and lose weight. Food manufactures have started to help the general public to make more informed choices about what they eat.
So the traditional British breakfast is bacon, eggs or sausages, preceded by fruit and followed by toasts. Britons may eat this breakfast at weekends or on special occasions but prefer a smaller and healthier meal to start a day. Lunch is a light meal and is eaten at school or work. Lunch takes 30—40 minutes. Dinner is usually the main meal of the day and consists of two courses.
In recent years, foreign foods have become a regular part of the British diet. Indian and Chinese dishes are particularly popular for evening meals. Take-aways became extremely popular in the 1980's. The traditional British take-away is fish and chips eaten with salt and vinegar and served in an old newspaper.
The British are famous for their love of sweet things and afternoon tea with sandwiches; scones, jam and several kinds of cake, was once a traditional custom. Most working people don't have tea as an afternoon "meal", but they do have a short break in the middle of the afternoon for a cup of tea. Tea is often also drink with lunch and dinner.
Many British people don't think about clothes very much. In Britain, as well as in the USA, men in offices usually wear suits and ties and women wear dresses or skirts (not trousers). Doctors, lawyers and business people wear quite formal clothes.
And in some hotels and restaurants men have to wear ties and women wear smart dresses. Jeans and open shirts are sometimes not allowed. It is difficult to say exactly what people wear in Britain and the States because everyone is different. It you are not sure what to wear watch what other people do and then do the same. Or ask the advice of a friend or your host. You'll fell relaxed if you don't look too different from everyone else.
British people just like to be comfortable. When they go out to enjoy themselves, they can wear almost everything. At theaters, cinemas and concerts you can put on what you oke — from elegant suits and dresses to jeans and sweaters.
In many ways, Americans are more relaxed than British people, but they are more careful with their clothes. At home or on holiday most Americans wear informal or sporty clothes. But when they go out in the evening, they like to look elegant.
In good hotels and restaurants men have to wear jackets and ties and women wear pretty clothes and smart hairstyles. But these days most people in Britain and the USA do not wear very formal clothes. But sometimes it is important to wear the right thing.
Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31. In the United States children wear costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o'-lantens out of pumpkins. Fortunetelling and storytelling about ghosts and witches are popular activities.
Halloween developed from new year festivals and festivals of the dead. Christian church established a festival on November 1 called All Saints' Day so that people could continue to celebrate their festivals. The Mass said on All Saints' Day was called Allhallowmass. The day before All Saints' Day was known all hallows' Eve or All Hallow e'en.
The main Halloween activity for children is trick-or-treating. Children dress in costumes and masks and go from door to door saying "trick or treat". The neighbours give children such treats as candy, fruit and pennies so that children do not play tricks on them.
Jack-o'-lanterns are hallowed-out pumpkins with face carved into one side. Most jack-o'-lanterns contain a candle inside. An Irish legend says that jack-o'-lanterns are named after the man called Jack. He could not enter heaven because he was a miser, and he could not enter hell because he had played jokes on devil. As a result, Jack has to walk on the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day.
Fortunetelling is an important part of Halloween. For example, a coin, a ring, and a thimble were baked into a cake. It was believed that the person who found the coin would become wealthy. The one who found the ring would marry soon. And the person who found the thimble would never get married. Today people practice cardreading or palmistry.
People once believed that there were many ghosts and witches on the Earth and that they met on October 31 to worship the devil. Today, people do not believe in ghosts and witches but they like to tell stories about them on Halloween.
People have always polluted their surroundings. But until now pollution was not such a serious problem. People lived in uncrowded rural areas and did not have pollution — causing machines. With the development of crowded industrial cities which put huge amounts of pollutants into small areas, the problem has become more important.
Automobiles and other new inventions make pollution steadily worse. Since the late 1960's people have become alarmed with the danger of pollution.
Air, water, and soil are necessary for existence of all living things. But polluted air can cause illness, and even death. Polluted water kills fish and other marine life. On polluted soil, food can not be grown. In addition environmental pollution spoils the natural beauty of our planet.
Pollution is as complicated as serious problem. Automobiles are polluting the air but they provide transportation for the people. Factories pollute the air and the water but they provide jobs for people and produce necessary goods. Fertilizers and pesticides are important for growing crops but they can ruin soil.
Thus, people would have to stop using many useful things if they wanted to end pollution immediately. Most people do not want that of course. But pollution can be reduced gradually.
Scientists and engineers can find the ways to reduce pollution from automobiles and factories. Government can pass the laws that would make enterprises take measures for reducing of pollution. Individuals and groups of people can work together to persuade enterprises to stop polluting activities.
A "typical" British family used to consist of mother, father and two children. But in recent years there have been many changes in family life. For example, since the law made it easier to get a divorce, the number of divorces has increased. That's why 24% of British children live with only one parent, usually their mother.
The contemporary British child doesn't have a lot of companionship from brothers and sisters, because the average family has only one or two children. Most British children live with their parents at least until they finish school at the age of 17 or 18. Then many go away to college, leaving some parents sad and lonely in their empty nest and others enjoying their release from parental responsibilities. But many adults stay with their parents during their college years or return home after graduation. Today's parents cannot even be sure that their married children have moved out forever. After a divorce they may return to the parental home temporarily or even on a long-term basis.
Older people take pride in their independence, enjoy their freedom and don't want to be a burden to their children. The telephone, the car and the airplane keep them in close contact even when they live in different parts of the country. Members of family — grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousinskeep in touch, but they see less of each other than they used to. This is because people often move away from home town to work and so the family becomes scattered. Christmas is the traditional season for reunions. Although the family group is smaller nowadays than it used to be, relatives often travel many miles in order to spend the holiday together. Family parties may be all the more joyous when they bring together relatives who haven't seen each other for a while.
London is so large that visitors must learn to use buses and the underground to get about. London taxis are too expensive for any but the rich. You can get a map of the underground and the bus routes at any ticket office. The word "Underground" across a large circle shows you where the stations are. The London underground is called the "tube".
Bus stops are marked clearly. In the suburbs buses do not stop unless there are passengers who wish to get on or off. These stops are marked "Request Steps".
Inside some buses you will see the notice: "Please, state your destination clearly and have the exact fare ready." It is easy enough to tell the conductor where you want to go to, but not always possible to have the exact fare. The conductor will always give you the change.
The London buses are very large. They have seats both upstairs and downstairs. English children like to sit on the front seats of a big London bus. They can see everything that is happening in the streets.
Here are some of the things you may hear on a bus in
"Full up inside; plenty of seats on top."
"Standing room only."
"No, sir, this bus does not go to Victoria Station."
"You want a number 11."
"No more seats on top; five seats inside."
In Great Britain traffic keeps to the left. Motor-cars, buses and cyclists must all keep to the left side of the road. In most other countries traffic keeps to the right. There is heavy traffic in London and you must observe traffic rules.
British religion used to be closely connected with kings, queens and politics. England was a Roman Catholic country until 1534. In 1525 King Henry VIII decided to divorce his queen, Catherine of Aragon, because he fell in love with Anne Boleyn. But when Henry asked the Pope for permission to divorce Catherine, he refused. Henry was so angry with the Pope that he ended all contact between England and Rome. He divorced Catherine of Aragon without the Pope's permission and married Anne Boleyn.
In 1534 Parliament named Henry head of the Church of England. This was the beginning of the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church did not start as a Protestant Church and Henry certainly did not regard himself as a Protestant. However the Protestant movement in Europe was growing very strong at that time. When Henry quarreled with Rome and ordered the Bible to be translated into English, the way was open for Protestantism to spread in England.
Over the next years many people changed to this new religion. In 1553 Mary, Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon, became Queen of England. The country re-entered the Roman Church, because she was a Roman Catholic.
Protestants were glad when Mary died, because while she was Queen, many Protestants were burned for their beliefs. After Marry, Elizabeth became head of the Anglican Church and Roman Catholicism was never again the official religion in England.
The Church of England is still the established church in England nowadays. But in spite of the great variety of forms of worship, only a minority of people regularly go to church in Britain today. Most people see Sunday more as a day for relaxing with the family or for doing jobs around the house and the garden.
Good and bad manners make up the social rules of a country. They are not always easy to learn because they are often not written down in books. For example, British women didn't go into pubs at the beginning of this century because it was not considered respectable behaviour for a woman.
Now both women and men drink freely is pubs and women are fully integrated into public life. Visitors to Britain are often surprised by the strange behaviour of the inhabitants. One of the worst mistakes is to get on a bus without waiting your turn in the queue. The other people in the queue will probably complain loudly! Queuing is a national habit and it is considered polite or good manners to wait for your turn.
In some countries it is considered bad manners to eat in the street, whereas in Britain it is common to see people having a snack whilst walking down the road, especially at lunchtime. Britons may be surprised to see young children in restaurants in the evening because children are not usually taken out to restaurants late at night. And if they make a noise in public or in a restaurant it is considered very rude. In recent years children are playing a more active role and they are now accepted in many pubs and restaurants.
In recent years smoking has received a lot of bad publicity, and fewer British people now smoke. Many companies have banned smoking from their offices and canteens. Smoking is now banned on the London Underground, in cinemas and theaters and most buses. It's becoming less and less acceptable to smoke in a public place. It is considered rude or bad manners to smoke in someone's house without permission.
Social rules are an important part of our culture as they passed down through history. The British have an expression for following these "unwritten rules": "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".
In 1937 the McDonnald brothers, Dick and Mark, opened little restaurant in California. They served hot dogs and milk shakes. In 1945 they have 20 waiters. All the teenagers in town ate hamburgers there. When the 1948 year came they got paper boxes and bags for the hamburgers.
They put the price down from 30 to 15 cents. There were no more waiters — it was self-service. So it was cheaper and faster.
In 1960s the McDonald's company opened hundreds of McDonald's restaurants all over the States. In 1971 they opened restaurants in Japan, Germany and Australia. Now the McDonald's company opens a new restaurant every 8 hours. There are more than 14,000 restaurants in over 70 countries.
The Coca-Cola story began in Atlanta in 1886. John Pemberton invented a new drink. Two of the ingredients were the South American coca leaf and the African cola nut. Pemberton couldn't think of a good name for the drink. Finally, Dr. Pemberton's partner Frank Robinson suggested the name Coca-Cola. Thirty years later the famous Coca-Cola bottle design first appeared.
For many years only Coca-Cola was made. They only introduced new drinks — Fanta, Sprite in the 1960s. The recipe of Coca-Cola is a secret. Today they sell Coca-Cola in 195countries. Hundreds of millions of people from Boston to Beijing drink it every day. It has the most famous trademark in the world.
At present the British royal family is headed by Queen Elizabeth. When the Queen was born on the 21st of April 1926, her grandfather, King George V, was on the throne and her uncle was his heir. The death of her grandfather and the abdication of her uncle brought her father to the throne as King George VI.
As a child Elizabeth studied history, law, art and music. As she grew older she began to take part in public life, making her first broadcast at the age of 14. She came to the throne after her father's death in 1952 and was crowned in Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
Among Queen Elizabeth's many duties are the regular visits to foreign countries. She started the tradition of the "walkabout" when she walks among the public crowds and stops to talk to some people. The Queen is widely known for her interest in horses and horse-racing. She is now president of the Save the Children Fund, Chancellor of the University of London and carries out many public engagements.
The Queen's husband, Duke of Edinburgh, was born in 1926 and served in the Royal Navy. He takes a great deal of interest in industry, in the achievements of young people and in saving wild animals from extinction.
The Queen's heir is Charles, Prince of Wales, who was born in 1948. The Prince of Wales is well-known as a keen promoter of British interests.
The Queen's other children are Princess Anne (born in 1950), Prince Andrew (born in 1960) and Prince Edward (born in 1964). Anne, Princess Royal, has acquired a reputation for being arrogant, but in recent years has become quite popular with the general public. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, served as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy. In 1986 he married Miss Sarah Ferguson (Fergie, for short) and has two daughters. Prince Edward is keen on the theatre. He quit the Royal Marines, and is now pursuing a career with a theatrical company.
The Queen Mother, the widow of the late King George VI, celebrated her one hundredth birthday in 2000 and died in 2002. The Queen's only sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, is well-known for her charity work.
The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. One of the most popular myths identifies Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games. According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years.
In the beginning this feast lasted one day, but later a whole month was devoted to it. All wars and feuds were stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece. The games were held every four years in Olympia on the territory of Elis. Best athletes arrived from many Greek states to Olympia to compete in running, long jumps, discus and javelin throwing and wrestling. In the course of time fist fighting (boxing) and chariot races were also included in the Games.
The winners called "olympionics" were awarded olive wreaths and cups of olive oil. Many poets wrote poems about the best athletes and sculptors made their statues.
Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed even to watch the competitions at the stadium under the fear of death penalty.
The Olympic Games had been held for about eleven hundred years, until the emperor Theodosius banned them for religious reasons in 394 A.D. The revival of the Olympic Games began in 1892, when a young French teacher Pierre de Coubertin made a public speech before the Union of French sports clubs in Paris. Pierre de Coubertin understood the importance of sports which unified peoples of the world and served the cause of peace like in ancient time.
On the 23rd of June 1894 the International Congress of amateur sportsmen decided to revive the Olympic Games and to establish the International Olympic Committee. The first Committee consisted of 12 members. Now 82 members of the International Olympic Committee control the affairs of all member countries which joined the Olympic movement.
There are 12 star sings. And people who belong to the definite sign have their own character, habits and manners. So if you were born under the sign of Aquarius (21st January — 18th February) you like to be free. You have original ideas. Some of your ideas are crazy! Pisces (19th February — 20th March) are friendly and kind. They are good at art and they love music. They often lose things and forget the time. Aries (21th March — 20th April) like jokes, parties and loud music. They are good at sport. They don't often ask for advice. Sometimes they're a bit selfish. The people who are born under the sign of Taurus (21st April — 21st May) work hard. They are very practical and helpful. They don't like changes. They like food!
If you're Gemini (22nd May — 21st June) you love surprises. You like chatting with your friends. You do a lot of things at once. Cancer (22nd June — 22nd July) seems strong and selfish. But really he's soft and sensitive. One minute he's happy, the next minute he feels bad. Leos (23rd July — 23rd August) are leaders. They want to be rich and important one day. They love expensive things. Virgo (24th August — 22nd September) always works hard. She chooses her friends carefully because they have to be perfect!
If you're Libra (23rd September — 23rd October) people like you because you always say nice things. You hate fights. You want everyone to be happy. You're a bit lazy. People who were born under the sign of Scorpio (24th October — 22nd November) are very strong persons. They always get what they want. They're very good friends. If you are Sagittarius (23rd November — 21st December) you are friendly. You spend money like water. You always tell the truth. Sometimes this can hurt your friends feelings. Capricorns (22nd December — 20th January) are quiet and serious. They work hard. Their friends like them because they never do stupid things.
Good table manners avoid ugliness. All rules of table manners are made to avoid it. To let anyone see what you have in your mouth is offensive. So is to make a noise. To make a mess in the plate is disgusting. So there are some rules how to behave yourself at the table:
Do not attract undue attention to yourself in public. When eating take as much as you want, but eat as much as you take. Never stretch over the table for something you want, ask your neighbour to pass it. Take a slice of bread from the bread-plate by hand, don't harpoon your bread with a fork. Never read while eating (at least in company).
When a dish is placed before you do not eye it suspiciously as though it were the first time you had seen it, and do not give the impression that you are about to sniff it. Chicken requires special handling. First cut as much as you can, and when you can't use knife or fork any longer, use your fingers. The customary way to refuse a dish is by saying, "No, thank you" (or to accept, "Yes, please"). Don't say "I don't eat that stuff", don't make faces or noises to show that you don't like it. In between courses don't make bread-balls to while the time away and do not play with the silver. Do not leave spoon in your cup when drinking tea or coffee. Do not empty your glass too quickly — it will be promptly refilled. Don't put liquid into your mouth if it is already full. Don't eat off the knife. Vegetables, potatoes, macaroni are placed on your fork with the help of your knife. If your food is too hot don't blow on it as though you were trying to start a campfire on a damp night. Try to make as little noise as possible when eating.
And, finally, don't forget to say "thank you" for every favour or kindness.
Рекомендована література і джерела
1. Raymond Murphy. English grammar in use (or any English grammar book)
2. Wikipedia (the Internet encyclopedia)
3. English Topics - http://ramnek.ru/eng/list.html
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