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Like any other country Britain has its manners and customs as well as reputation.

Foreigners often say that in English trains people never speak to each other. But this, of course, is not true.

Not long ago I was travelling to London. In my compartment there were many passengers and they talked to each other almost all the time. They told each other where they lived, where they were going and, of course, talked about the weather. As soon as the train started a little girl, sitting by the window, called out: "We're off!" I found out that she was going to her aunt's in Chiswick.1 "It's somewhere near the Thames but I don't know exactly where ... Shall we be passing anywhere near it?" "Chiswick? That's easy to find. You can get to it on the Tube. I'll show you where to go when we arrive," I told her.

"Goodness,2 how fast the train is going!" said an old lady. "Do they go so fast in foggy weather and at night?" Her neighbour smiled, took out a book and began to read. Here was a typical Englishman: during the whole journey he did not say a single word. But as we arrived in London, he got up, and turning to the lady he said with a strong accent: "Excuse me. I do not understand English. I am from Poland."

The English people often say something about the weather when they begin a conversation with strangers. In fact, people talk about the weather more in Britain than in most parts of the world. For one thing, the weather in Britain changes very quickly. One day may be fine and the next day may be wet. When you go to bed the stars may be shining brightly and when you wake up it may be raining heavily. You can never be quite sure what the weather is going to be like. The English often say "Other countries have a climate, in England we have weather." For another thing, the weather is a safe topic for conversation. When two Englishmen meet, if they can't think of anything else to talk about or if they don't know each other well enough to discuss personal matters, they talk about the weather.

If it's nice and warm and the sun is shining brightly, a person usu­ally says, "It's a lovely morning, isn't it?" or "Isn't it hot today?", and the answer is "Yes, it's wonderful weather we're having." After a night of heavy snowfall and hard frost he may say: "A cold morning, isn't it?", and the answer is "Yes, we're having a very cold winter."

Or perhaps the day is dull; it is raining a little, the sky is grey and cloudy, and everyone is wearing a raincoat or carrying an umbrella. As it gets darker a thick fog covers London. Cars and buses put on their lights and move slowly along the wet, slippery roads. As one friend meets another the usual remark is, "Isn't the weather awful!"

As the weather changes so often, it is of course quite important. It plays a big part in the lives of the British people.. Every daily news­paper publishes a weather forecast.
Both the radio and the television broadcast news about the weather several times each day.

NOTES



1. Chiswick: a small town in Middlesex, England.

2. Goodness: an exclamation of surprise or wonder боже мой1 ба­тюшки!
VOCABULARY
true a 1. правдивый, правильный a true story (fact, description, etc); 2. верный, преданный a true friend (comrade, etc) He is a true friend of our family (to me). Phr come true сбыться His dreams came true; truth n истина, правда Phr tell the truth сказать правду; по правде говоря; (un)truthful а (не) правдивый.

travel vi путешествовать travel by train (plane, air, sea, etc) He travelled all over the world (round the country, etc); travel n путешест­вие He told us about his travels. Phr go on a travel (trip, journey); a book of travels; a travel film

start vi 1. отправляться, трогаться (в путь) We shall start in five minutes. Phr start on a trip (journey) отправиться в путешествие; start for some place (Leningrad, etc) vi/vt; 2. начинаться start work (a conversation, a discussion, a war, etc) Classes start at nine; start to do (doing) sth; start n начало Phr from start to finish=from begin­ning to end

pass vt/vi 1. проходить, проезжать (мимо) Не passed me and didn't say a word. What town will the train be passing? 2. проходить (о времени) Time passes very quickly. 3. сдать (экзамен) Не passed his examinations well.

arrive vi прибывать, приезжать arrive in a country (city, big town); arrive at a station (village, hotel, etc); arrival n прибытие

fast а быстрый a fast runner (game, etc); a fast train скорый поезд; My watch is ten minutes fast (slow) Мои часы спешат (отстают) на 10 минут; fast adv быстро walk (read, think, move, etc) fast

whole а весь, целый (употр. только как определение) the whole world (town, day, book, group, etc); the whole of Europe (Asia, etc) Phr on the whole в целом. On the whole you are right.

turn vt/vi 1. поворачивать(ся) Не turned (his head) and said some­thing. She turned and left the room. Phr turn (to the) right/left (round the corner); 2. обращаться к кому-н (с вопросом, за советом, за помо­щью и т. п.) turn to sb with a question (for advice, for help, etc)

stranger n незнакомец, чужой (человек) Не is a stranger here (to me, to the place); strange a 1. незнакомый, неизвестный а strange face (voice, place, etc); 2. странный, необычный a strange question (look, thing, story, idea, etc) There is something strange about the man (place, etc).

change vt 1. (из)менять, менять; обменивать change a plan (one's address, one's name; one's clothes, etc) Can you change a five rouble note?; vi 2. изменяться, меняться The weather changes very often in England. Phr change for the better (worse); changeable а непостоянный, изменчивый, неустойчивый changeable weather; a changeable climate (situation; person, etc); 3. делать пересадку change to a bus (for another Metro line); change n изменение, перемена Phr make changes (in sth) вносить изменения (во что-н); for a change для разнообразия I'll take fruit soup today for a change.

wake vi (woke, woken) up 1. просыпаться; vt 2. (раз)будить (кого-н) Wake me up at seven o'clock, please.

sure а уверенный Are you sure of his knowledge? Perhaps they'll come but I am not quite sure about it. I am sure (that) everything will be all right. Phr be sure of oneself быть самоуверенным. Phr make sure убедиться, удостовериться. Не made sure that the door was closed. Phr for sure наверняка I know it for sure; surely adv конечно, несом­ненно

(un)safe а (не)безопасный, (не)надежный a safe topic (subject, place, hour, etc) Don't drive so fast, it's not safe; safely adv безопасно

matter n дело, вопрос an important (different, personal, business, etc) matter What's the matter? В чем дело? Что случилось? What's the matter with you? Что с Вами? There is something the matter with sb/sth Phr it's a matter of time (chance, taste, principle, etc) это дело времени (случая, вкуса, принципа и т. п.)

hard a 1. жесткий, твердый Is this wood hard or soft? 2. трудный, тяжелый hard work; a hard man (life, time, day, task, etc); 3. сильный (о морозе, ветре, дожде и т. п.) a hard frost (wind, rain, etc); hard adv 1. усердно, упорно, напряженно work (study, think, etc) hard; 2. силь­но It was raining hard yesterday.

dull a 1. скучный, неинтересный a dull book (film, party, life, man, etc); 2. пасмурный (о погоде) dull weather; a dull morning (day, etc)

wear vt/vi (wore, worn) носить(ся) (об одежде) She is wearing a new dress today. This material wears well; worn-out поношенный, старый worn-out clothes (shoes, etc)

cover vt 1. покрывать; прикрывать, закрывать Dark clouds cov­ered the sky. She covered her eyes with her hands. Phr be covered (with) быть покрытым The ground is covered with dry leaves; 2. (fig) охваты­вать, относиться (к чему-н) What events does the article cover?

move vt двигать, передвигать move a table (chair, etc); vi двигаться, передвигаться; переезжать Не was too weak to move. When are you moving to the new flat? Phr move in (out) въехать в новую квартиру (выехать из квартиры); movement n движение I heard some movement in the other room. a revolutionary (labour, national, youth, etc) move­ment

publish vt публиковать; издавать, опубликовывать publish a news­paper (book, magazine, etc); publish news (advertisements, etc), a pub­lishing house (office) издательство

broadcast vt (broadcast) передавать по радио; вести передачу; вещать broadcast news (an opera, a concert, a football match, sb's speech, weather report, etc); broadcast (= broadcasting) n радиовеща­ние

WORD COMBINATIONS



as well as еще, в дополнение (к), также

call out крикнуть, выкрикнуть

for one thing с одной стороны; for another (thing) с другой стороны

put on (out) the lights зажигать (тушить) свет

play a big (small, important, etc) part in sth играть большую (малую, важную и т. п.) роль в чем-н

weather forecast прогноз погоды

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