what's the difference between BRITISH ISLES,GREAT BRITAIN and UNITED KINGDOM?
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Two are geographical descriptions.

  • The British Isles contain two sovereign countries that are totally separate from one another: the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and a few smaller islands such as the Isle of Man and the Scottish islands.
  • Great Britain is the name of an island, not a country, and it is the large island containing England, Scotland and Wales.

  • One is a political entity.

    The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It also has various dependencies, one of which (the Isle of Man) is part of the British Isles. The Isle of Man is a dependency of the United Kingdom but it elects a parliament to set its own laws (although some UK law applies as well). The UK is responsible for defence and international relations.

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    Does anyone know when Ireland was splitted up into 2 parts?
    Hello YoHf

    Northern Ireland was created in 1921. If you google on "partition of Ireland", you'll find many opinions about it!

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    What an interesting topic!

    Can I also suggest, that the great from Great Britain should be dropped. Its greatness has long since gone, with the demise of the empire. It has taken a while, but Britain finally did give back Australia, India and three quarters of Ireland. We're still tyring to get the remaining bit of Ireland out of the clutches of britain.
    Great is an adjective that means 'huge/bigger than others'. Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles. It is the name that refers to the island containing England, Scotland and Wales, and is not a political construct, so the 'British empire' is not relevant.

    Nothing to do with great as in 'important' or 'wonderful'. Just 'the biggest British Isle'.
    Cf. the French "Grande-Bretagne", and "Bretagne" proper (Brittany).

    I doubt very much whether it would have remained "Grande-Bretagne" in French, if the reference were to "imperial greatness".

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