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Thread: Being British XIII

  1. #31
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    Originally posted by abovelevel:

    Does anyone know what are custody arguments are like in England? At what age does the child have a say in it and do Mums typically get preference over Dads? Thanks for any help!
    Mums usually get priority but most divorced parents I know try to split the time their child/ children spends with them equally unless there is a good reason that one parent cannot support the child. Having said this my uncle whose never had a proper job and until very recently had alcohol problems had joint custody.

    I know my cousins were fifteen and thirteen when their parents decided they could choose which parent they wanted to stay with. Mind their parents lived in the same town so this was pretty simple. However they now think thirteen was too young, but I'm pretty sure that judgement was the parents and not the law courts. I think there is a sense in the UK that if it can be sorted out without having to resort to the law courts and a battle over custody. Like something rather serious happened recently with my aunt but it was at her and my uncle's decision that she should no longer look after the kids rather than a law courts. I hope that helps somewhat.
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  2. #32
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    I was talking with a friend today, and we got on this topic. What is the equivalent of "git" in North American English? My friend said something, but it was much to rude to be in a children's book.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I was talking with a friend today, and we got on this topic. What is the equivalent of "git" in North American English? My friend said something, but it was much to rude to be in a children's book.
    I think "jerk" would be good. That's the only thing I can think of, anyway. Also, should this be in the Being British or the Being American thread?
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  4. #34
    Midnight Storm
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    OK, I need everything there is to know about how driving works in Britain (preferably England):

    At what age is the first driving test taken?

    When can a person get their license?

    Here in Australia, you originally get an 'L plate', followed by a 'P plate'. You stick them on your car so other drivers know you're new to driving. They both have different rules and things (L-platers can't go over 80km/h). Is there a British equivalent?

    Thanks in advance,

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  5. #35
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    At what age is the first driving test taken?

    Seventeen. I'm not sure if you can take your test on the day you turn seventeen any more, but when I learned five years ago you could. I think now you might have to prove you've had a certain amount of lessons before you take your test. You've also got to take a theory test before you can book your practical one. I'm not sure, but I think you can do the theory test a few weeks before you're seventeen.

    The theory test has two parts; a set of questions and something called Hazard Perception. When I did mine, it was 35 questions, and you had to get 30, but now I think it's 50 questions and 40 to pass, but I could be wrong. The questions are mostly common sense road safety and signs and stuff, but some are breaking distances. Hazard Perception is more difficult and the thing that most people fail on. You're shown several videos and have to click a button whenever you see a hazard approaching.

    When can a person get their license?

    You get your full license when you've passed your test. To be able to learn to drive, you have to have a provisional license. You can apply for that a few months before you turn seventeen, and they last for something like five years.

    Here in Australia, you originally get an 'L plate', followed by a 'P plate'. You stick them on your car so other drivers know you're new to driving. They both have different rules and things (L-platers can't go over 80km/h). Is there a British equivalent?

    We have L plates here, and you have to have them if you're a learner driver driving the car. You also have to have someone with you who has been passed for over three years and is 21 or older. I'm not sure if they also have to be insured on the car as well. We do have P plates, but they're rare. My mum bought me some but they fell off. I wasn't too upset, I thought they were really uncool

    Learner drivers also can't go on motorways, or drive trailers, I think. There isn't a limit on the speed, as long as they stay within the speed limit.

    I hope that's answered your questions!

    Sarah x


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  6. #36
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    Just to add to Sarah's info- you can take your theory test up to six months before your seventeenth birthday. You need to pass your practical test within two years of passing the theory text, otherwise you have to take it again (i.e I passed my theory test in june 2009 therefore need to pass my practical by june this year!! )

    The theory test consists of multiple choice questions and a hazard perception test where you watch the screen as if you were the driver and have to click whenever you see a hazard.

    Also, although the 'P' plates are very, very uncool they do mean that other drivers are much, much more wary of you.

    You need insurance regardless of whether you are with someone over 21 with a licence or not. Of course insurance only comes into play if you have an accident therefore in practice LOTS of people practice in car parks/ illegally drive to get practice in order to pass. Also insurance is incredibly expensive, and the people who can afford to get insurance/ their own car when they are seventeen/ eighteen tend to become designated drivers regardless of their own wishes.

    Hope that helps xx
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  7. #37
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    You need insurance regardless of whether you are with someone over 21 with a licence or not.
    I mean I didn't know if the person accompanying had to have insurance on the car, as well as the learner driver. I've just asked my mum and she says the person accompanying has to be insured on the car as well. So you couldn't ask a neighbour or older sibling to accompany you unless they were insured on the car.

    The test itself lasts forty minutes, and the marking is split into different categories such as speed, mirrors, indicators, steering etc. I've still got my mark sheet, so if you need the exact categories, give me a PM. You have to do two menouvers (I think there might be eight or nine in all), things like reverse around a corner, turn in the road or reverse bay park. On the Isle of Man you have to do all menouvers, including an emergency stop. In England, the examiner decides whether the person doing the test has to do an emergency stop; I think they have to test a certain number of people on it per day.

    The errors you can do are split into 'minor' and 'major'. Major errors are things like pulling out in front of someone at a roundabout, breaking the speed limit or forgetting to indicate. Minors are lesser things like going a bit too fast approaching a junction, steering slightly wrong or not changing gear at the right time. If you get a major you automatically fail, and I think it's ten minors or something fails you as well. Also, if you get three minor errors in the same category (such as three speeding errors) it's an automatic fail.

    You also have two 'show me, tell me' questions at the beginning of your test. These are things like 'show me how to check your indicators are working' and 'tell me how to check the engine oil'. Getting one of these wrong is a minor error, I think.

    Sarah x


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  8. #38
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    British equivalent to the phrase "hit on"? I'm writing a James/Lily fic and I need a British phrase to replace it with, and I don't know how hitting on someone is described in Britain. Is it just flirting or is there different slang for it?

  9. #39
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    Um, well for that era, it would have to be flirting or chatting-up.

    Hit on is a bit too modern for James/Lily.

    James could also be 'trying to pull her' or going 'on the pull'

    What's the context?

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  10. #40
    Sailing Girl
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    Mild Insults

    I'm just wondering... what are the average British "mild" insults?

    I'm British, have lived in England since I was born, and speak fluent English, so I hope this helps!

    'Git' is good, but I use 'moron', 'freak' and 'bozo' as well.

    If you were looking for very mild insults, i'd go for 'weirdo' or 'imbecile' but those are more to-your-face, friendly kind of things.

    I use 'retard' as well, but that might be moving further than 'mild' insults, and of course isn't very kind and might count as 'language' or something similar as a Warning.

    Elspeth

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