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LESSON ONE

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Text: A Glimpse of London.

Grammar: There is ... There are ...

Be. Have.

Reported Speech.

Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives.
A GLIMPSE OF LONDON
London is the capital of Great Britain.1 The full name of the coun­try is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.2 "Today London is one of the largest cities in the world. Its population* is more than seven million. London is situated on both sides of the Thames. There are fourteen bridges across the Thames.

In fact, there are several Londons.3 There is the ancient City4 of Lon­don. It is the oldest part of London. There are no houses in the City, only large office buildings. The City is the country's financial and busi­ness centre. The Stock Exchange,6 the Royal Exchange,8 and the Bank of England7 are all there. During the day the City has a population of half a million. At night the City is a different place. There's no traffic and very few people. It's quiet and empty.

London has many faces'. There is the West End with its famous shops and hotels. It's the finest part of London." In the West End there are theatres, cinemas, museums, picture galleries, long streets of fine shops and many big houses. There are beautiful parks, too.

The Houses of Parliament,8 Whitehall,9 Downing Street10 are all in the West End. Whitehall is the street where all the Government of­fices are. It is the heart of the government of Great Britain.

If the City is the "money" of London, and the West End is the "goods"11 of London, then the East End is the "hands" of London.

Working-class London is in the East End. It is a district of docks, factories, poor little houses and narrow streets. Housing conditions in this part of London are very bad. Lots of old houses have no modern conveniences, They are damp, dirty and dark.

Every large city is full of contrasts, but London is the city of con­trasts.

NOTES



1.^ Great Britain: Великобритания. Though Britain, or Great Britain, is often used as a name for the country as a whole, it is, in fact, the name of the larger of the British Isles, and Comprises England, Wales, and Scotland. The other big island, which lies to the West of Great Britain, is Ireland comprising North­ern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

2.^ The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Соединенное Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии. This is the coun­try's full official name since 1921 when the Irish Republic became in­dependent. The following shorter names are also correct: the United Kingdom (informally the UK), Great Britain, and Britain.

3. London stands for: the City of London (деловая часть города):

the county of London графство Лондон; and Greater London (London with its suburbs) Большой Лондон (город с приго­родами).

4. The City: Сити. The City, the oldest part of London, has an area of just over one square mile, and many centuries ago, there was a wall around the City with gates in it. Used figuratively, the City stands for the country's commercial circles, and is often called "London's square mile of money".

5. Stock Exchange: фондовая биржа. It is the place where professional brokers buy and sell stocks, bonds and other securities of the big commercial firms. The Stock Exchange is an impor­tant part of the financial machinery of the country.

6. Royal Exchange: королевская биржа. At one time the building was used as a meeting place for the City merchants. Now it is no longer used commercially, the building houses the offices of several insurance companies.

7.^ Bank of England: английский государственный банк. The Bank of England is in Threadneedle Street. The Bank's other name is "The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street". Old Lady refers to its traditional conservatism in financial matters. The name of the street comes from "to thread a needle" вдеть нитку в иголку. In olden times it was a tailors' street.

8. The proper name for the Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster. The building of the Palace of Westminster is the seat of the British Parliament. The British Parliament has two Houses (Chambers): the House of Lords палата лордов and the House of Commons палата общин. -Used figuratively, Westminster stands for the British Parliament

9. Whitehall: Уайтхолл. In this street are the most important offices of the Government: the Home Office Министерство внутренних дел; the Treasury Казначейство, Министерство финансов; the Ministry of Defence Министерство обороны, and so on. Whitehall is synonymous with the British Government (its offices, or policy).

10.^ Downing Street: Даунинг-Стрит. The small street off Whitehall contains the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Министерство иностранных дел и по делам Содружества, and No 10 the official London residence of the Prime Min­ister. Thus, Downing Street may stand for the British Government, Prime Minister, or Foreign Office.

11. goods: букв. товары, здесь—витрина, где все выставлено на­показ.
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