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Pubs in Britain

english pub

Most countries have a national drink. In England it is beer, and the «pub» is a peculiarly English institution.
The pub is the place where people can meet and talk in a friendly atmosphere. It is quite different from bars or cafes in other countries. In cafes people drink coffee and get out. The atmosphere is rather formal. But in pubs there is a general atmosphere of warmth and cosiness.
Every pub has a sign outside with its name. («The Pig and Whistle», «The Bull», «The Duke of Cambridge», etc.). All pubs have one distinctive feature: there is no waiter service there. If you want something you have to go and ask for it at the bar. People usually sit at tables and chat in a small room, called the «bar», but the same term is used for the great counter of wood, where people stand and have their drinks.

English people are proud of their traditions, that’s why even modern pubs look as if they were several hundred years old. In earlier times people were served only drinks in pubs. Today you can get wine, coffee and some food in them.
The staff of the bar usually know the regular customers and chat with them. The customers may play different games (the most popular is the game of darts) or just watch TV.
Nowadays nearly all pubs are owned by brewery. The person who runs a pub (he is called «landlord») is employed by the brewery. But in earlier times all pubs were privately owned (they were called «inns»), and people could stay there for the night.
There are two important peculiarities about pubs. One is that they have strictly limited hours of opening. Each local government authority has power to fix its own «licensing hours».
The second peculiarity is that most pubs are divided into at least two separated bars: the public bar and the saloon bar.
The difference between them is that the saloon bar is less uncomfortable.
Children are not allowed inside a pub if the pub has no children’s certificate.

EXERCISES
I. Answer the questions.

1. What is the difference between a pub and a typical cafe?
2. Are pubs privately owned?
3. Who is the owner of the pub?
4. Are children allowed inside a pub?
5. How do people usually spend time in a pub?

II. Match the two halves.
1. A pub is different from …
2. A pub is the place where people . . .
3. There’s no . . .
4. Each pub has its own . . .
5. In earlier times pubs were called . . .

a) meet and talk.
b) waiter service in pubs.
c) name.
d) inns.
e) bars and cafes.

III. Complete the sentences.
1. A pub means . . .
2. The pubs used to serve only ….
3. Today you can get …, … and … in a pub.
4. You must order a drink at … .
5. There is a … outside the pub with its . . . .
6. Nearly all pubs are owned by . . . .

Answers
II. 1. e; 2. a; 3. b; 4. c; 5. d.
III. 1. “public house”; 2. beer; 3. wine, coffee, some food; 4. the bar; 5. sign, name; 6. brewery.

(Великобритания: Тексты для устных ответов и письменных работ на английском языке. Авт.-сост. И. Ю. Баканова)