Geographical Position and Natural Resources



1. Read the following quotations about the British. What national traits are brought to light by the authors? Comment on each quotation giving facts about the country and its citizens to support the author’s view.

1. Throughout the whole of England the drinking of tea is general. You have it twice a day and though the expense is considerable, the humblest peasant has his tea, just like the rich man.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

2. I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining.

Groucho Marx

3. When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London.

Bette Midler

4. The French and the British are such good enemies that they can't resist being friends.

Peter Ustinov

5. The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

Oscar Wilde

6. An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.

George Mikes

6. On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners.

George Mikes

7. The English know how to make the best of things. Their so-called muddling through is simply skill at dealing with the inevitable.

Winston Churchill

2. Answer the questions:

1. What do you imagine when you think of Britain and its people?

2. What places in Britain would you like to visit? Give your reasons. How can you explore these areas and broaden your knowledge of Britain?

3. Name any place in Great Britain that is internationally known. What is it noted for?


authority n – власть, полномочия, права, компетенция (legislative authority - законодательный орган, ultimate authority - последняя инстанция)

bank branch - филиал банка

bond n - облигация

commodity n - предмет потребления, товар

commodity exchange — товарная биржа

competitive advantage - конкурентное преимущество

constituency, n - избиратели, электорат, избирательный округ

consumption, n – потребление

contractor, n – подрядчик, подрядная организация

cooperate, v - сотрудничать, вступать в партнёрские отношения, взаимодействовать

deposit, n, v – залежи; депозит, депозитный вклад; вкладывать, размещать

estimate, v - оценивать, устанавливать цену, стоимость; приблизительно подсчитывать

expenses, n - расходы, издержки

external market - внешний рынок. Syn: foreign market , overseas market

extract, produce, v – добывать

futures, n - фьючерс, срочный контракт, срочная сделка, финансовые инструменты, купленные/проданные на срок

government-sponsored, adj - поддерживаемый или финансируемый правительством

head office – головной офис; правление (корпорации, компании)

headquarters, n – управление, административное подразделение компании

insurance, n – страхование

internal market - внутренний рынок. Syn: domestic market , home market

international treaty - международный договор

labour force - рабочая сила, трудовые ресурсы

launch, v - начинать (to launch a campaign — развернуть кампанию), выпускать на рынок (товар)

margin, n - разница; преимущество (by a slim / narrow margin — с небольшим преимуществом,

by a considerable margin – со значительным отрывом)

national output - общий объем продукции, произведенной в данной стране, совокупный продукт

oversea(s) trade - внешняя торговля. Syn: foreign trade

per capita - на человека, на душу населения

percentage, n – процент; процентное отношение; доля прибыли; выгода (There's no percentage in it. — Это невыгодно / не даёт никаких преимуществ.)

privately owned - находящийся в частной собственности

public debt - государственный долг

public finance - государственные финансы, государственный бюджет

revenue, n - доход; выручка

rival, n – соперник, конкурент. Syn: competitor

share, n - доля, часть, акция

stock exchange - фондовая биржа

subsidize, v - субсидировать, финансировать, дотировать, ассигновать

supply, n - снабжение, поставка (water supply — водоснабжение, power supply — электроснабжение, энергоснабжение)

taxation, n - налогообложение; взимание налога (double taxation — двойное обложение)

tackle, v - пытаться найти решение (каких-л. вопросов)


1.Read the text and get prepared to explain whether Great Britain has a favorable geographic position and is rich in natural resources.

Geographical Position and Natural Resources

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It comprises the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the northeastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland), together with many smaller islands. The UK comes within 35 km of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. Northern Ireland shares a 360 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The Channel Tunnel ("Chunnel") bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France.

The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately 245,000 square kilometers. England is the largest country of the United Kingdom, at 130,410 square kilometers accounting for just over half the total area of the UK. Scotland at 78,772 square kilometers is second largest, accounting for about a third of the area of the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland are much smaller, covering 20,758 square kilometers and 14,160 square kilometers respectively.

The UK has a variety of natural resources including coal, petroleum, natural gas, limestone, chalk, gypsum, silica, rock salt, china clay, iron ore, tin, silver, gold, lead.

Its coal, natural gas, and oil reserves are large; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation.

The UK has a small coal reserve along with significant, yet continuously declining natural gas and oil reserves. Over 400 million tonnes of proven coal reserves have been identified in the UK. In 2004, total UK coal consumption (including imports) was 61 million tonnes, allowing the UK to be self-sufficient in coal for just over 6.5 years, although at present extraction rates it would take 20 years to mine. An alternative to coal-fired electricity generation is underground coal gasification (UCG). North Sea oil and gas have supplied much of the UK's energy needs in recent decades.

Due to the island location of the UK, the country has great potential for generating electricity from wave power and tidal power, although these have not yet been exploited on a commercial basis. Great Britain is expected to launch the building of new nuclear reactors to replace existing generators and to boost UK's energy reserves.

2.Explain whether the following statements are true or false:

1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign naval power situated on the north-west coast of continental Europe.

2. The English Channel and the Channel Tunnel separate Great Britain from France.

3. England is the largest country of the United Kingdom accounting for over a half of its total territory.

4. Great Britain is rich in natural resources as it possesses a wide variety and large reserves of minerals and fossil fuels.

5. The UK has great potential in developing the alternative energy sector.

3.Answer the questions to the text:

1. What are the advantages of Great Britain’s insular position?

2. What are the main features of the British Isles’ physical geography?

3. What non-metallic minerals are produced in Britain?

4. Give an account of the coal production and consumption in Britain.

5. What measures are taken by the government of Great Britain to tackle the energy problem?

1.Read the text and pay attention to the main peculiarities of the political system in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

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