As there seems to be a little confusion amonst the forum. To help people understand how Britain, the UK, England and the what nots work. I with a little help from Wikipedia shall explain. It is important to note the difference between geogrphical and political terminology. Here we have a visual representation of all the terms and how they can be grouped together. This is basically all you need to know. This most probably does not make to much sense to most, so I ll explain further. The British Isles: Spoiler This is the geographical collective of islands(an archipalego) situated off the Northwest mainland of Europe. It consists of over 6000 islands. The Image above is incorrect in that it includes the Channel Isles(the red dots next to the French coast....if you dont know which bit is France it is the greyed out area at the bottom of the picture Spoiler ). There is another group of Islands a little further North called the Faroe Isles but these like the Channel Isles are not a part of the geographical archipalego and largely not relevant to this discussion. The largest Island of the British Isles is that of Great Britain Spoiler followed by Ireland Spoiler . Even though Ireland does form a part of the "British Isles", outside of a geographical context it is best not to refer to it as being anything British. This is largely to do with the political situation and troubled past of the two neighbouring islands. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (or UK for short) Spoiler This is the political term given to the soverign nation recognized by the UN. As the name suggests it includes the larger island of Great Britain and also a section in Northern Ireland, it also includes many other smaller islands but not all of them. Most notably the isle of Man Spoiler and the previously mentioned Channel Isles. However both these island groups come under UK protectorate and have differnt legislative powers with. The UK has become known as Britain or to be British, this is perfectly acceptable with the exception of Northern Ireland where the population is divided after a troubled history (its usualy best to call them Irish). Republic of Ireland Spoiler Also known as Eire. This has nothing to do with the UK or Britain, it is a seperate country entirely. Just as Canada is to the USA. The people here are Irish (never British). Great Britain Spoiler The larger of the two islands and the one that is the name sake for the UK is further divided into three constitutional countries. England Spoiler Scotland Spoiler Wales Spoiler These three nations along with Nothern Ireland (see above) form the UK. Each nation has varying degrees of devolved government and asymetrical federalism as the traditional governing bodies based in Westminister(london) are passed to the devolved governing bodies of the seperate nations. All the nations share fiscal systems and similar primary legislation, but they differ significantly when it comes to secondary legislation. Each country has its own flag, national anthem, football team and to some degree different languages. When referring to each member state it is correct to refer to them individually(ie, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish). When refering to the collective it is best to refer to them as British**, Britain or as the UK **With the exception of Northern Ireland where it is better to call them Irish. Basic rule of thumb: Anything on the left island is Irish, anything on the right is British. If you are refering to the UK refer to it as the UK and not England, unless of course you are refering exclusivly to England only. Beware the wrong word in the wrong place can be offensive. If you are not paying attention or do not understand then click this: Spoiler . If you want to learn more please visit here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_(terminology)#Problems_with_use_of_terms Any questions?