Lesson 5: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Practice by reading the dialogue with your tutor. After you are done, switch roles and do it again!

  • Kevin: Hey mate! Have you ever been to Scotland?
  • John: I haven’t been there myself. What about you?
  • Kevin: I went by myself last year. I saw a lot of men wearing kilts, and I went to Loch Ness.
  • John: Lovely! My wife wants us to go, but by ourselves and not with the kids.


Read the new skills out loud with your tutor.

When to use reflexive pronouns (i.e. myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves)

  1. When the subject and the object refer to the same person or thing


  • He accidentally cut himself while he was chopping the vegetables.
  • She bought a present for herself.
  • [make up your own sentence]
  1. When we want to emphasize the subject


  • My mother likes to eat by herself.
  • I did it myself.
  • [make up your own sentence]
  1. To mean the same as “also”


  • Annabelle was pretty happy last night. I was pretty happy myself.
  • [make up your own sentence]

“Ourselves” and “Themselves” 

We use “themselves” or “ourselves” when the action is being done to the same people doing the action. Take note of the difference between these sets of sentences:

  • Mark and Sarah fed themselves. (They each ate food, with no one else helping them).
  • Mark and Sarah fed each other. (Mark gave food to Sarah and she gave food to Mark).
  • Mike and Carol bought each other presents for Christmas
  • Mike and Carol bought themselves presents for Christmas (Mike bought a present for himself and Carol bought a present for herself).

Common British Icons

Go over each with your tutor. 

Food and drinks

Go over each common British term with your tutor. Try using one of the words in a sentence.

  • Fish and Chips: The most traditional dish is fish and chips. It’s the most common thing to eat when you’re by the seaside. (fried fish and french fries)
  • Chicken Tikka Masala: It’s an Indian dish which was invented in England, and is now the most commonly eaten dish when eating out in a restaurant.
  • a cuppa: a hot drink, cup of tea, cup of coffee
  • a brew: a cup of tea
  • nosh: food

Typical words used

Go over each with your tutor. Try using one of the words in a sentence.

  • lovely: nice
  • blinding: something is fantastic
  • mate: friend (used as a friendly way of talking to someone, especially a man)
  • footy: football (soccer)
  • init: slang word for “isn’t it?” (usually when asking for confirmation of something you just said)
  • brilliant: something is exciting or wonderful
  • kilt: A traditional skirt with many folds, made from tartan cloth and traditionally worn by Scottish men and boys.


All about the UK. Use the new skill section above to answer the following questions.

  • What word would you use if you were ordering a cup of coffee?  a cuppa
  • Where would you go to see Nessie? (1) ____________________
  • If you wanted to take a city tour in London, what would you ride on? (2) ____________
  • What is another name used to mean food? (3) _________________
  • If you are male in Scotland, you may be wearing one of these? (4) _____________

Fill in the blanks using words from the UK and reflexive pronouns.

  • Kevin: Hi mate! Can you go to the football match by yourself? I need to go eat some nosh with my girlfriend.
  • John: Ok, (5) ________. Are you going by (6) ________________?
  • Kevin: Yes, we are going by (7) ___________. Afterwards we’re going to take a city tour on one one of those (8) ___________________________.
  • John: (9) ________________! Since you’re not going to the match with me, I will go (10) _________________. Later on, I will go to the coffee shop and have (11) _______________ coffee.
  • Kevin: It sounds like a plan to me! (12) ____________?

Fill in the blank with a reflexive pronoun or each other.

  • They want to see the Loch Ness Monster themselves.
  • My brothers argue a lot so they don’t talk to (13) ___________________.
  • The cat in the pet store likes to look at (14) ____________ in the window.
  • She used YouTube to teach (15) ___________ English.
  • We wanted to take the tour to see Big Ben, but we couldn’t get (16) _______________ out of bed.

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever been to the UK? If so, what was your experience like?
  2. Have you watched a filmed set in the UK? If so, what did you learn about the UK from the film?
  3. Do you prefer American English or British English? Why?
  4. If you were to visit the UK, what would you want to do there?
  5. Which English speaking country would you most like to live in? Why?

(Source: 1. http://www.languageopenlearning.com, 2. http://www.grammar.cl/Notes/Reflexive_Pronouns.htm, 3. http://www.kaplaninternational.com/blog/british-slang, 4. http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/slang/common-uk-expressions-slang.html)

Answer Key:

(1) Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands

(2)  double-decker buses

(3) nosh

(4) kilt

(5) mate

(6) yourselves

(7) ourselves

(8) double-decker buses

(9) brilliant / blinding / lovely

(10) by myself

(11) cuppa

(12) Init

(13) each other

(14) itself/himself/herself

(15) herself

(16) ourselves

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