Well, today, we will not be focused on a precise topic (sujet) but I will make some remarks, ones more relevant (pertinent) than others, anyway helpful if you practise the English language.
* Countries and nationalities
Remember: if the name of the country is simply a proper name, it is not preceded by "the"; if it is a descriptive collection of words, it always take "the": the United States, England, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands...
except, of course, in newspaper titles, where sometimes half the sentence and all the "little" words are missing!
* Do you know what are the differences between "Great Britain" and "United Kingdom"?
It is mainly (principalement) a question of territories as Great Britain is composed of England + Scotland (Ecosse) + Wales (Pays de Galles) whereas the United Kingdom includes Great Britain + Northern Ireland.
The Irish, the Scots and the Welsh may think of themselves as British, but they certainly do not think of themselves as English.
Technically, and in formal English, "Scotch" is only a whishy drunk by Scots who sing Scottish songs.
* Ireland, Ulster, Eire or what?
Northern Ireland is also called Ulster.
The Republic of Ireland is also called Eire.
* Damn Yankees
Outside the US, Yankee is, of course, equivalent to an American person.
Inside the US, Yankee = a Northener, especially a New Englander, the people who invaded the South during the US civil War.
* Spanish or Spaniard?
One Spaniard, two Spaniards = un Espagnol, deux Espagnols
The Spanish = les Espagnols
Once upon a time (il etait une fois) there were three Spaniards who spoke Spanish, lived in Spain and ate Spanish food, like all the Spanish.
* What are the English translation of the "7 peches capitaux", seven deadly sins?
Pride = l'orgueil
Covetousness = l'avarice
Lust = la luxure
Anger = la colere
Gluttony = la gourmandise
Envy = l'envie
Sloth = la paresse
* ie or eg?
These rather common abbreviations are often understood by foreigners:
- ie is an abbreviation of the latin "id est" which means "that is to say" (c'est-a-dire)
- eg means "for example" from the latin "exempli gratia" (for the sake of example)
Did you know that a lot of metaphors, quotations (citations) and proverbs come from Shakespeare?
"...And this above all else: to thine own self be true" (et surtout, sois fidele a toi-meme)
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be" (ne sois ni preteur ni emprunteur)
"To be or not to be..." (famous - no need to translate, I guess)
* High noon
"High noon" is the title of a famous film (Le train sifflera trois fois), in which the bad guys come to get the good guy at exactly 12 o'clock noon. Since the film, "high noon" has gad the sense of a great moment of confrontation.
* College or university?
In the English-speaking world (monde anglophone), both are university-level. The distinction is subtle (subtile), but has nothing to do (ne rien a voir) with quality as the best places to earn a Bachelor's degree are colleges and not universities. From a simplified point of view, college = university.
More precisely, a university is usually a large institution of
higher learning which gives not only the Bachelor's degree (licence)
but also the Master's (maitrise) and the Doctorate (doctorat).
A college is smaller, and usually gives only the Bachelor's degree (and sometimes the Master's).
* Mad cows and mad Americans
Originally, "mad" meant crazy. "A madhouse" is still an insane asylum - a residence and treatment center for the mentally ill (asile de fou).
But in modern American - and more and more in the rest of the English-speaking world- the world means "angry" (en colere, fou a lier).
Ex: he got really mad when he found out I was leaving the company.
* US driver's licences
There is no Franco-American mutual driver's licence (permis de conduire franco-americain) recognition (reconnaissance) agreement (accord), because every state issues (editer) its own driving licence.
Driver's licences are not supposed to be used for identification. Nevetheless, they are often used. There are no ID (=identity) cards in either England or United States.
What do you think?
Wish you a pleasant day and come back to you shortly!