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Hi, I would like to talk about 2 parts of British English

Lets deal with the first Discussing money

Money makes the world go round, and its position of importance in our lives means there’s a healthy amount of associated informal and slang terms that you’re bound to hear in British English. You won’t travel far among UK English speakers without hearing the term ‘quid’ as slang for ‘pound’ (think of the American term ‘buck’ for an exact equivalent). More than that, you should know that five pounds is often expressed simply as a ‘fiver’ and ten pounds as a ‘tenner’ in conversation, although other monetary denominations don’t follow this pattern. Older people might ask you if you’ve ‘got a few bob?’ meaning ‘have you got money?’ ‘Bob’ was a unit of UK currency before decimalisation that is no longer used. Large quantities of money all have their slang names too, taken from the animal kingdom. A thousand pounds is a ‘gorilla’ or simply ‘G’ (£10,000= 10G) or a ‘grand’. Five hundred pounds is a ‘monkey’ and, by extension, ‘half a monkey’ is £250. One hundred pounds is a ‘tonne’ and £25 is ‘a pony’.

So now that you have learnt a little about money in the UK lets look at The metric system

Introduction of the metric system has had a somewhat half-hearted effect on the UK, leading to a situation where every ordinary person measures their height in feet and inches, except for the National Health Service which does so in metres. The changeover has left a lot of strange irregularities. Fish, these days, is commonly sold by the kilo, but you will still hear people talk about ‘a pint of prawns’ instead of any other type of measurement. Liquids are sold by the litre, with some notable exceptions: for example, petrol by the gallon and milk by pints and quarts. If someone asks whether you’d like ‘a pint’ they only mean beer, which is always sold by the pint- in contrast to wine and spirits which are sold by the millilitre. Yes, I agree, this system is perplexingly illogical. When it comes to human body weight, Brits express their weight as a number of stone and then a second number which represents the pounds (lbs) above that stone, e.g. 9 stone 7. A stone is 14 pounds (lbs) but notice that although ‘pounds’ can be pluralised ‘stone’ cannot.

I teach at Testedteachers.com If you would like a private lesson just let me know.

· Previous · Next Return to Index › British English: 1- Discussing money, and 2- The metric system

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