Great Britain


Great Britain is an island lying to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest in Europe. With a population of approximately 58.9 million people, it is the third most populated island on Earth. Ireland is to its west, and it is surrounded by over 1000smaller islands and islets.

It makes up the largest part of the territory of the sovereign state the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the term Great Britain is sometimes used inaccurately to mean the United Kingdom. England, Scotland and Wales are mostly situated on the island, along with their capital cities, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff respectively.

The Kingdom of Great Britain was the state resulting from the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland on 1 May, 1707 under Queen Anne. It existed until 1801 when Great Britain and Ireland united. The resulting United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland became the modern United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1922 with the secession of the Irish Free State.

Great Britain is the eastern island of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Politically, Great Britain also refers to England, Scotland and Wales in combination, and therefore also includes a number of outlying islands such as the Isle of Wight, Anglesey ect.

The terms Great Britain and England are sometimes mistakenly used to denote the United Kingdom. This error can be compared with the use of the term Russia to refer to the former USSR.

Great Britain lies to the northwest of Continental Europe, with Ireland to the west, and makes up the larger part of the territory of the United Kingdom. It is surrounded by 1000 smaller islands and islets. It occupies an area of 209,331 km² (80,823 square miles).

Geographically, the island is marked by low, rolling countryside in the east and south, while hills and mountains predominate in the western and northern regions.

Legal issues of applying for a British passport


British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom concerning citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex owing to the United Kingdom's former status as an imperial power.

British citizenship is one of the six different forms of British nationality. Some of these were defined in the British Nationality Act 1981, which came into force on 1 January 1983.

The forms of nationality are:

  • British citizenship;
  • British overseas citizenship;
  • British overseas territories citizenship;
  • British national (overseas);
  • British protected person; and
  • British subject.

Of these, only British citizens have an automatic right to live and work in the United Kingdom and to apply for a British passport. Those with other forms of British nationality must obtain permission to live and work here. They may be entitled to register as British citizens in certain circumstances.

A person is a British citizen otherwise than by descent if he/she was:

born in the United Kingdom after 1 January 1983 and one or both of his/her parents are British citizens, or were settled in the United Kingdom at the time of the birth; or

adopted in the United Kingdom and one or both parents are British citizens.

Can I be a citizen of two countries?

You do not need to give up your present citizenship or nationality to become a British citizen.

Many countries, including Belarus, will not let you have two nationalities (dual nationality). If you become a British citizen and are a national of Belarus, our authorities may either regard you as having lost Belarusian nationality or may refuse to recognise your new nationality.

How can I apply if I am a citizen of another country?

If you are a citizen of another country you may become a British citizen by naturalisation.

Naturalisation as a British citizen is at the discretion of the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary may grant British citizenship to anyone they "think fit".  Although the Home Office sets down a number of official requirements for naturalisation. The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen depend on whether one is married to a British citizen or not.

For those married to a British citizen the applicant must:

  • hold indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • be of "good character", as deemed by the Home Office (in practice the Home Office will carry out checks with the police and with other Government departments)
  • show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, either by passing the Life in the United Kingdom test or by attending combined English language and citizenship classes. Exemption from this and the language requirement is normally granted for those aged 65 or over, and may be granted to those aged between 60 and 65
  • meet specified English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language competence standards. Those who pass the Life in the UK test are deemed to meet English language requirements

For those not married to a British citizen the requirements are:

  • five years legal residence in the UK
  • indefinite leave to remain or "equivalent" for this purpose must have been held for 12 months
  • the applicant must intend to continue to live in the UK or work overseas for the UK government or a British corporation or association
  • the same "good character" standards apply as for those married to British citizens
  • the same language and knowledge of life in the UK standards apply as for those married to.

Becoming a British citizen is a significant event and should be celebrated in a meaningful way. At the ceremony, you will be welcomed into your local community and meet other people in the area who are becoming British citizens. When you receive your invitation to a ceremony, you have 90 days to attend one. Your invitation will include contact details for the local authority that will arrange your ceremony. The ceremony usually takes place at a register office.

When you attend your ceremony you are required to make an oath of allegiance (or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God) and a pledge.

Oath of allegiance

I (name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.


Grammar test



Who’s that man?



A He’s a teacher.

B Is Peter.

C It’s John.

D That’s a man.





Mike is looking at ______________.


A they

B my

C she

D us





A Come here to my!

B Come here to us!

C Come there to we!

D Go here to us!





A Jack listen my radio.

B Jack is listen to my radio

C Listen my radio, Jack!

D Listen to my radio, Jack!





Mary ___________ play tomorrow.


A going to

B can

C can to

D is going





___________ live in the town.


A Some people

B Somebody

C Anybody

D Any people





Molly hasn’t got your money. Jack hasn’t got ____________.


A it, too.

B too them.

C them, too.

D it, either.





Mary’s here. She’s just __________.


A come

B got

C been

D gone





What is Peter like? He __________________________.


A is very well

B like football

C is liking tennis

D is very nice





‘Has Jimmy got his books now?’ ‘Yes, my brother _________ yesterday.’


A gave them to him

B has given them to him

C gave to him them

D has given to him them





 You can’t see the sun _____________________.


A at the night

B at the nights

C at night

D at nights





‘Have you visited Edinburgh?’ ‘_________________’


A Not yet.

B Already.

C Not ever.

D Ever.





Donald __________ sixteen tomorrow.


A will be

B shall be

C going to be

D is being



They didn’t have any books that she ______________.


A was happy

B pleased

C was interested

D liked





Last year Mary asked me what she ___________ buy me for Christmas.


A could

B may

C was able to

D can





There isn’t _____________ in the garden.


A no person

B persons

C anyone

D any people





He thinks John _________________.


A the same as I

B is the same as me

C is same as me

D is the same as I am





Cathie has read ____________ French books.


A so much

B the more

C every

D a few





Is Chris _____________ Kate?



A taller that

B taller

C so tall as

D as tall as





It was raining when Mary __________ the bus.


A waited

B was waiting for

C expected

D was expecting





Was the ___________? No, it was green.


A big book brown

B big brown book

C brown book a big

D brown a big book





‘Have you ever been to Scotland?’ ‘Yes, I _____________ there last year.’


A was

B have gone

C went

D was being





How’s the old man?



A He’s sixty five.

B He’s much better.

C That’s him.

D Mr. Smith is the old man.





Last week John _____________ his leg.


A fell and broke

B feels and brakes

C felt and broken

D fallen and broken





When she asked me I ____________________ a few days to think about it.


A explained her I liked

B told her I’d like

C explained her I’d like

D told her I liked