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Let’s talk about British stereotypes with a touch of humor and learn some English grammar with the commercial, When You Think of Us. Don’t take the post seriously, please!


What comes to your mind when you think of Britain?

Watch When You Think of Us by Craft Film, made for Visit Britain, and find out the most common things people think about the country.

 

Read the Transcript and Glossary – When You Think of Us

I know most stereotypes are untrue. They don’t reflect what the British are like. But you know what, even if they were 100% true, I would still be totally in love with this country, no matter how imperfect it is.

What comes to my mind when I think of Britain?

My list of British stereotypes and some myths debunked.

Common English word: Sorry1.) Sorry

Brits often say sorry, even when there’s no actual need to apologize for something. They say sorry because they’re too late or because they’re too early, they don’t understand what you said, or they understood it, but they ask you to repeat it. You know, just in case. They apologize when they walk into you or you walk into them. Sorry is the right word.

British stereotypes: rainy weather

2.) Weather

They always talk about the weather, and it’s absolutely understandable. What the hell do you want to talk about to a complete stranger when you’re in a lift or you’re waiting for your bus? It’s the perfect topic to chat about with strangers. So, my dear student, learn some weather vocabulary, so you’ll be prepared.

British stereotypes: binge drinking

3.) Binge Drinking (Drinking Excessively)

Brits normally spend their weekend binge drinking. A happy Brit’s weekend pub-crawl can start at 6 pm on Fridays and end on Sunday evenings. Ok, I’ve exaggerated. It is not true. Please, no offense for those whose weekend is different. Statistics say that Austrian people consume much more alcohol than the Brits do. Myth debunked and Austrians offended.

British stereotypes: afternoon tea

4.) Cup of Tea

Brits usually think a cup of tea will fix everything. Have you tripped over your kid’s toys on the floor and fallen down? Have you divorced recently? Have you been almost killed in a bank robbery? It doesn’t matter what the reason is, Brits will help you out by offering a cup of tea.

5.) Distant and Unfriendly

You may sometimes get the impression that the British are unfriendly. The truth is that it can be quite difficult to socialize with them, especially if you live in a big city. Don’t expect your neighbors to say hello and smile at you all the time. And don’t be surprised if your colleagues don’t have a drink with you after work but prefer to get home straight away.

British stereotypes: standing in queues

6.) Queue

Do they always queue for everything? Of course they do. Brits wait in line to get on the bus, at the checkout in supermarkets, museums…everywhere.

An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.

George Mikes (humorist and writer)

7.) Pre-cooked food

British people don’t always eat pre-cooked food. I’m not sure if they should thank Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, but Brits cook meals of all nationalities, from Indian to Mexican.

British meal

8.) Polite

They have an extremely polite way of asking for something.

Do you mind passing the salt?

Do you think you could pass the salt?

I was wondering if you could pass the salt?

Come on Brits! Pass that damn salt!!!!—I would shout.

But when you’re in love, you don’t see all the imperfections. I forgive my beloved nation for many things:

  • For driving on the left side of the road
  • For wearing mini-skirts in winter
  • For drinking takeaway coffee in a hurry
  • For the rainy weather

But I will not forgive them for having fitted carpet in all apartments and houses. Period.

I know; nobody is perfect.

So, that was my list of British stereotypes in an absolutely non-serious way. Just for fun.

What about yours? What are the things you love or love less about Britain? Let me know in the comments.

Study Time: Adverbs of frequency and British stereotypes

I used the adverbs of frequency in my post. Have a look at the slides and see how you can use them in English.

Download the slides here: Adverbs of frequency and British habits

If you’ve liked the lesson, could you please share it on your favorite social media?

Many thanks.

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