There are post-offices in every town and nearly every village in the country. If you want to post an ordinary letter or a postcard, you need not go to the post-office, you can drop it into the nearest pillar-box. If you want to send a telegram, you can either take it to the nearest post-office or dictate it over the telephone. Pillar-boxes are emptied twice a day.
If you want your letter to arrive more quickly than by ordinary post, you can send it by Air Mail. Letters are delivered to your home or office by a postman, and telegrams by a telegraph boy. When we want to send a letter, we must write the address on the envelope and stick the required stamps on it. For a registered letter, an air-mail letter or an ordinary letter to another country, we must stick more stamps on the envelope.
In most post-offices and also in many streets, there are public call-boxes from which you can telephone. All you have to do is to lift the receiver, drop a counter in the slot and dial the number.
If you want to send a parcel, you must go to the post-office, hand it to the assistant, who weighs it on scales and gives you the necessary stamps. The amount you have to pay depends on the weight of the parcel.
Words and expressions
1. to drop ≈ кидать, опускать
2. pillar-box ≈ почтовый ящик
3. twice ≈ дважды
4. to deliver ≈ доставлять
5. to stick ≈ приклеивать
6. required ≈ нужный, необходимый
7. air-mail ≈ авиапочта
8. call-box ≈ телефон-автомат
9. counter ≈ жетон
10. slot ≈ отверстие
11. receiver ≈ телефонная трубка
12. to dial ≈ набирать номер
13. parcel ≈ посылка
14. to weigh ≈ взвешивать
15. to depend on ≈ зависеть or
People use various means of communication to get from one place to another. In the old days people had to travel several days, weeks and months to get to the place they needed. They either went on foot, by coaches driven by horses or on horseback or by. boats and ships. Then trams, cars, buses, planes, underground and other means appeared.
Many people like to travel by air as it is the fastest way of traveling. A lot of people like to travel by train because they can look at passing villages, forests and fields thro-ugh windows. Some people like to travel by car. There they can go as slowly or as fast as they like. They can stop when and where they want.
People who live in big cities use various means of communication to get from one place to another. Londoners use the underground railway. They call it ⌠the tube■. Lon-don's underground is the oldest in the world. It was opened in 1863. There was one route at that time, four miles long. Now London's underground has 277 stations and it is 244 miles long. Londoners use buses. The first bus route was opened in London in 1904 Today there are hundreds of routes there. The interesting thing is that some of the routes are the same as many years ago.
London's buses are double-decked buses. Londoners do not use trams, though London was the first city where trams appeared. And now it is one of the biggest cities in the world where there are no trams. The last tram left the streets of London many years ago. Londoners use cars. One can see a lot of cars in London streets. When Londoners leave the town, they use trains, ships or planes.
Words and expressions
1. coach ≈ карета
2. on horseback ≈ верхом на лошади
3. route ≈ маршрут
4. double-decked bus ≈ двухэтажный автобус
Almost all people are fond of travelling. It is very interesting to see new places, another towns and countries. People may travel either for pleasure or on business. The-re 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 country-side. 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 filings 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.
Words and expressions
1. to be fond of ≈ очень любить
2. journey ≈ путешествие
3. steamer ≈ пароход
4. splendid ≈ отличный
5. dining-car ≈ вагон-ресторан
6. sleeper ≈ спальный вагон
7. deck ≈ палуба
8. wave ≈ волна
9. sea-gull ≈ чайка
10. hiking ≈ пешеходный туризм
11. hitch-lliking ≈ путешествие ⌠автостопом■
All the people enjoy summer holidays very much. It is a great pleasure to have a rest after a whole year of hard work or study. People like to travel during their summer holidays. Some people go abroad to see new countries, some people prefer to go to the country-side to enjoy country-life far from noise and fuss of big cities.
Some people like to spend their holidays in cities, visiting theatres, museums and going sightseeing. But a great number of people go to the seaside in summer.
I like to have rest at the seaside best of all. I do not like crowds when I am on holiday. My family and I always have our holiday on the coast. Sea and sunshine, that is what we look forward to every summer. Hotels at the large seaside towns are rather expensive, so we usually go to a holiday camp.
Last year we spent our holidays in such a camp. Each day was full of small joys. We swam in the sea, lay in the sun, played different games and had a wonderful time. We lived there for about a month and did not even notice when the time came for us to return home. The time flew very quickly. It was a wonderful rest.
Words and expressions
I .to enjoy≈наслаждаться
2. noise ≈ шум
3. fuss ≈ суета
4. sightseeing ≈ осмотр достопримечательностей
5. coast ≈ побережье
6. crowd ≈ толпа
7. to look forward ≈ стремиться
8. expensive ≈ дорогой
9. to notice ≈ замечать
Great Britain is situated on the British Isles. It consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is one thirtieth the size of Europe. Great Britain is surrounded by seas on all sides and is separated from the continent by the North Sea and the English Channel.
There are many rivers in Britain. They are not long but some of them are deep. The longest river is the Severn. There are many mountains in the north of England and in Scotland but they are not very high. The highest mountain in Great Britain is Ben Nevis. There are many lakes in Scotland. The most beautiful is Loch Lomond.
Great Britain has a very good position as it lies on the crossways of the sea routes from Europe to the other parts of the world. There are many countries which are connected with Great Britain by sea. Thanks to Gulf Stream the climate of Great Britain is mild. It is often foggy and rainy. The summer is not very hot and the winter is not very cold.
Great Britain is a highly developed industrial country. It lives by manufacture and trade. Its agriculture provides only half the food it needs, the other half of its food has to be imported. Britain is one of the most highly industrialised countries in the world: for every person employed in agriculture, eleven are employed in mining, manufacturing and building. The main branches of British economy are engineering, mining, ship-building, motor vehicle manufacturing, textile, chemistry, electronics, fishing and food processing. The industrial centres of Great Britain are London, Manchester, Eirmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and others.
As to its political system it is a constitutional monarchy. The power of the Queen (now Elizabeth) is limited by Parliament which includes two Houses ≈ the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Prime Minister is usually the head of the party which is in power. There are the following parties there: the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Party.
Great Britain is a country of strong attraction for tourists, especially in spring and summer. The charm of it lies in its variety of scenery: the finest combination of sea and high land, the valleys of South Wales, the smiling or-chards of Kent, the sea lakes of Scotland, its fields and woodland parks ≈ everything is quiet and green.
Words and expressions
1. to surround ≈ окружать
2. deep ≈ глубокий
3. foggy ≈ туманный
4. to be employed ≈ быть занятым, работать
5. mining ≈ горнодобывающая промышленность
6. branch ≈ отрасль
7. vehicle ≈ транспортное средство
8. food processing ≈ консервирование
9. attraction≈ привлекательность
10. manufacturing ≈ производство
11. scenery ≈ пейзаж
12. valley ≈ долина
13. quiet ≈ тихий, спокойный
London ≈ the capital of Great Britain is situated on the Thames River. It is the largest city in Europe with a population of eight and a quarter million.
It is divided into four parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End.
The City is the business and commercial heart of Lon-don. Many banks, offices and firms are concentrated the-re. The Tower and St. Paul's Cathedral are in the centre. The Tower is about 900 years old. Many years ago it was a royal residence, then a prison. Now it is a museum. St. Paul's Cathedral is very large and fine. It was completed in 1710. The famous English architect Christopher Wren planned and built St. Paul's Cathedral.
If the City is the business part of London, Westminster is the centre of administration. We can see the Houses of Parliament there. It is a beautiful building with two towers and a very big clock called Big Ben. The Houses of Parliament stand in Parliament Square. Westminster Abbey is opposite the Houses of Parliament. Many great Englishmen were buried in Westminster Abbey. To the west of Westminster Abbey you can see Buckingham Pa-lace. It is a royal residence. The ceremony of the chan-ging of the guards which takes place in front of Bucking-ham Palace is of great interest to the tourists.
Rich people live in the West End. The best and most expensive clubs, restaurants and theatres, beautiful houses and parks are there.
The East End ≈ the district of plants, factories, slums and docks ≈ is for the working people. London is unlike any other city in the world. It has rather wide streets but low houses. It looks very grey because there is so much rain and fog there. Only buses and pillar-boxes are red. This city has never been planned and it has many parts which are different from each other.
Words and expressions
1. population ≈ население
2. heart ≈ сердце
3. royal ≈ королевский
4. to complete ≈ завершать
5. tower ≈ башня
6. opposite ≈ напротив
7. to be buried ≈ быть похороненным
8. slum ≈ трущоба
9. wide ≈ широкий
10. guard ≈ стража
If you arrive in Great Britain you'll hear the word ⌠tradition■ everywhere. Englishmen have sentimental love for things and traditions. They never throw away old things.
In many houses in Great Britain they have fire-places and though their bedrooms are awfully cold, the English people do not want to have central heating because they do not want to have changes.
Therefore the Yeomen-Warders are dressed in traditional medieval clothes and the traditional dress of the Horse Guards regiment has existed since the twelfth century.
In the House of Lords of the British Parliament there are two rows of benches for lords and a sack of wool for the Lord Chancellor to sit on it. This is so because in the old times wool made England rich and powerful. In the House of Commons you will see two rows of benches for the two parties: the government on one side and the opposition ≈ on the other. In front of the benches there is the strip on a carpet and when a member speaking in the House puts his foot beyond that strip, there is a shout ⌠Order!■. This dates from the time when the members had swords on them and during the discussion might want to start fighting. The word ⌠order■ reminded them that no fighting was allowed in the House.
Another old custom remains from the time when there was a lot of robbers in London. In those days the shouting ⌠Who goes home?■ was often heard in the Houses of Parliament and the members went in groups along the dark narrow streets of the old city. In modem London with its well-lit streets the shouting ⌠Who goes home?■ is still heard.
Words and expressions
1. to throw away ≈ высасывать
2. fire-place ≈ камин
3. awfully ≈ ужасно
4. central heating ≈ центральное отопление
5. Yeomen-Warders ≈ иомены, охраняющие Тауэр
6. medieval ≈ средневековый
7. regiment ≈ полк
8. a sack of wool ≈ мешок шерсти
9. strip ≈ полоса, лента
10. sword ≈ меч, шпага
11. to allow ≈ разрешать
12. to remind ≈ напоминать
13. robber ≈ грабитель
14. custom ≈ обычай