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Differences between Britain, The United Kingdom, and England

Languages and travels

Differences between Britain, The United Kingdom, and England

Equipo de Marketing September 1, 2016

What are the differences between Britain, The United Kingdom, and England?

How many times have you confused Britain and the United Kingdom? Why you use The United Kingdom and England like synonymously? Do you really know the differences between Britain, The United Kingdom, and England?

These are questions that you surely will always have done. Probably you have always thought which is well used synonymously. But really, there is a big difference between the three. And, although they are interrelated, they are totally different.

For example, when you talk about a Scotsman, if you refer to him as an English person, he may feel offend; in the same way that if you call an Irish person, British.

Don’t worry! MyHOSTpitality helps you solve all these questions with a brief explanation. Thanks to this post you will understand perfectly those differences, and you never forget them


The United Kingdom is a country of countries. That is to say, a country which is composed four countries. And each of these four countries has its own parliament:

  • England: whose capital is London
  • Scotland: its capital is Edinburgh
  • Wales: its capital is Cardiff
  • Northern Ireland: whose capital is Belfast


With this first explanation, we are sure that you have already cleared the difference between UK and England. Still, we will have you a brief history about the union of these territories.

The history of The United Kingdom

In 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died childless. The only heir was James VI, King of Scotland. When James became king, was called James I, King of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Since then, the crown of the three territories joined.

In 1707, national parliaments and institutions of England and Scotland joined, and with Wales was born the Kingdom of The Great Britain.

In 1801 Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 Ireland became an independent state, and in 1949 Ireland became the Republic of Ireland.

In 1927, the UK was renamed as it is currently called, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland North.

Flag of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland


The flag of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is called the Union Flag or Union Jack. Symbolizes the union of the three kingdoms (England, Scotland and Northern Ireland), Wales no, because it is a principality. On the flag are distinguished:

  • the English cross, of St. George (the main cross which is in red)


  • the Scottish Cross of St. Andres (the cross which is on white)


  • the Irish cross of St. Patrick (the cross red which is secondary).


Although it is thought that the dragon representing Wales should be included in the flag of the United Kingdom, isn’t part of this flag yet.

Now missing explains the difference between the United Kingdom and Britain, and the explanation for this difference is only a geographical explanation.

If we want to explain that it is Britain, first we must first explain that you are the British Isles. These are divided into two: Britain and Ireland.


Britain is the largest island. It is only a geographical name and not political name. And this island is composed of:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Welsh

Unlike The United Kingdom, Northern Ireland is excluded.


Ireland, like Britain, is not a political name but geographical name. And in turn, is divided into:

  • Northern Ireland which it is part of the UK but it isn’t part of the Britain
  • Republic of Ireland: which it isn’t part of the United Kingdom

And now that you know all the differences, we should be encouraged to travel to some of those places. From MyHOSpitality we encourage you to try one of our modalities. If you are lucky enough to have a second language, you should look for a host family. And you become in his guest, to exchange languages for accommodation. That way you will exchange cultures, languages, and you will be able to put into practice what you have learned in this post. You would be able to comment all the differences between Britain, The United Kingdom, and England. Don’t miss this great opportunity.

Here are some other posts related that might be of interests:

Learn languages: International Festivals in Ireland
Learn languages with the Bloomsday festival



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