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What Do You Know? - General Knowledge
Almost everyone must have heard of the Beatles, who 'shot to fame' in the 1960s.

What Do You Know? - General Knowledge

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “What Do You Know?” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “General Knowledge quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

General knowledge is an important component of crystallized intelligence and is strongly associated with general intelligence

'What do you know?' Well, we hope you know increasing amounts of English... but what's your General Knowledge like? Let's see!

1.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
The British flag (often called the 'Union Jack'), is recognised all over the world, but it is rather harder to draw or copy than a simpler flag with just two or three plain blocks of colour. In fact it combines ... ... of the flags of the United Kingdom countries; the only country or province not represented is ... ... .
... three ... / ... Wales.
... two ... / ... Ireland.
... three ... / ... Scotland.
... four ... / ... Cornwall.
The Welsh flag has on it a red dragon!
2.
The name of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 - 1859) is best remembered for his contribution to ...
... transport and associated architecture (railways, ships, bridges, tunnels etc.)
... the London theatre.
... the development of chemistry.
... British classical music.
Brunel was a remarkable man. He master-minded the building of the Great Western Railway (westwards from London) to Bristol and Cornwall. At one point along the main route he designed the Box Tunnel, which at almost 3km was the longest tunnel ever built by that time (1841). The tunnel faces in a particular direction, and it is said that when the sun rises on Brunel's birthday (9 April), its light shines straight through the tunnel!
3.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
Most British post-boxes are painted ... ... , but there are about a hundred across the UK that have been re-painted in ... ... to celebrate successful local athletes from the 2013 Olympic Games.
... green ... / ... silver ...
... bright red ... / ... gold ...
... pale blue ... / ... bronze ...
... white ... / ... black ...
Yes ... and if you are living or staying here, we wonder whether you've seen any of them (and if so where, and in honour of whom?).
4.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
You can always tell whether the Queen is at home, at ... ... , because ... ... .
... Longleat Castle ... / ... the lions are standing to attention.
... Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace ... / ... the Royal Standard (= flag) can be seen flying over the building.
... Balmoral or Sandringham ... / ... it says so on her website.
... Christmas or Easter ... / ... it is her duty to be there.
Whether or not your own country has a king or queen, Britain has had this tradition for hundreds of years, and on the whole, most British people are proud (or, at least, tolerant) of the Royal Family. The flag is used to mark the fact that the Queen is in residence at one of her big houses.
In common with many countries, we have the tradition of flying a flag 'at half-mast' (the Americans call it 'half-staff') as a mark of public respect when someone important has died.
5.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
Almost everyone must have heard of the Beatles, who 'shot to fame' about 50 years ago. They came from ... ... on the ... ... .
... Newcastle ... / ... River Tyne.
... King's Lynn ... / ... North Sea coast.
... Carlisle ... / ... Scottish border.
... Liverpool ... / ... River Mersey.
Yes, that's where the 'Fab(-ulous) Four' came from!
6.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
English is (of course!) very widely spoken, but a fairly recent analysis by the CIA in America reckoned that for every one speaker of English, there were about ... ...
... twice as many speakers of Spanish.
... three times as many speakers of Mandarin Chinese.
... one-and-a-half times as many speakers of Arabic.
... almost as many speakers of Hindi.
The figures quoted onto Wikipedia in the summer of 2013 were 365 million English speakers (= 1 million for each day of the year, as it happens) but almost 1,000 million Mandarin speakers.
7.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
It is against the law for a motorist in Britain to sound the ... ... on their vehicle, in a built-up area, between the hours of ... ... .
... trumpet ... / ... midnight and eight in the morning.
... horn ... / ... eleven-thirty at night and seven o'clock in the morning.
... hooter ... / ... ten-thirty in the evening and seven-thirty in the morning.
... whistle ... / ... midnight and six in the morning.
'Horn' is the right instrument (this word takes us right back, through the days when horse-drawn coaches had a metal horn or trumpet-like instrument to give a signal; to the days when people blew through an actual horn taken from a dead animal, because it was the right shape to make a clear sound).
Only the times in Answer 2 are correct, according to the Highway Code.
8.
What do we put on the front of a building where a famous person has lived or worked?
A gold star
A red square
A blue plaque (usually round)
An orange sign
It would help you 'get a grip on our culture' if you managed to find some of these.
9.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
There are ... ... 'pods' (= cabins) on the London Eye, to represent the number of Boroughs in London.
In fact there are 33 boroughs, but they left out the ... ... one because that number is said to bring bad luck.
... thirty-three ... / ... seventh ...
... thirty-two ... / ... thirteenth ...
... twenty-five ... / ... eleventh ...
... twenty-eight ... / ... seventeenth ...
Thirteen is considered to bring good luck in some cultures, but not in Britain, and the date 'Friday 13th' is considered especially unlucky by many people.
Meanwhile, the geometry involved in designing and building the big wheel is rather simpler using the number 32, which of course is in the binary series (1,2,4,8,16,32 ...).
10.
Pick the best word/s to fill the gap and make a good true English sentence or statement.
The counties of Cornwall and Devon (and, sometimes, Somerset and Dorset) are collectively known as ' ... ... ', while the group of counties including Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are called ' ... ... '.
... East Anglia ... / ... The West Country.
... Western England ... / ... The South-East.
... The Channel ... / ... The Wash.
... The West Country ... / ... East Anglia.
These are the usual regional names; check them with an atlas, or online!
Author:  Ian Miles

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