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shivver13 in dw_britglish

A few questions

Hi there! I have a few questions about British language, customs, and geography for some fanfics I'm working on that I hope you can answer. Thank you in advance for any assistance!

1. I'm really fuzzy on the British school system and how grades (years) are referred to. I have a character saying that she's known another character since the year of school in which they were around 12-13 years old. In America, that would be 6th or 7th grade. What would it be for a British student?

2. If you're moving from one town to another and paying a company to move your belongings and furniture, what do you refer to them as? And what kind of vehicle would the items be moved in? In America, we'd call them movers, and they usually use a semi to move multiple clients' belongings in bulk, but it doesn't seem like Britain has semis. (I can't imagine they'd be able to navigate the narrow roads.)

3. Is there a somewhat posh neighborhood near Chiswick that I can locate a family? The family is not super rich, but both parents work and have good jobs - definitely upper middle class. Even if there isn't a named neighborhood, a location would be helpful, so I can look on Google Earth to get a feel for what the buildings and houses look like.

4. Is a "flat" an apartment, meaning a single residence in a building of multiple single residence? Or does the term have multiple meanings? For example, in America, when a person refers to his "flat", it could mean a house - in this sense, it simply means "where I live".

5. When I was in Britain last year, I noticed that a lot of the towns had houses that were individual residences, usually two floors, all connected together in a long row. What is that type of house called? Row house?

Thanks!

Comments

Thank you!

Ah, yes, I should remember that "class" has a different connotation in Britain. The family I'm envisioning isn't that high up, and that's not their way of life. They are common but well-off enough to afford a house in a nice area and live comfortably with two or three children.

A "semi" in the US is an eighteen-wheeler, a very big long truck. If you've seen any American movie in which there is a trucker, usually dressed in flannel talking on his CB radio, he's driving a semi. From what I've seen on my one visit to Britain, they'd be fine for commercial haulage, but would be very difficult to use on the narrow streets among terraces (such as in Bath, which amazed me with how cramped the whole town is).

Edited at 2015-04-09 08:24 pm (UTC)
From your description, they might be able to live in a fairly posh area of London but it probably wouldn't seem a particularly posh house to you. Try Google Map for "Netheravon Road".
These people sound just plain middle class to me. But they are not common, they are commoners. Common means 'lower class' - Rose Tyler is a bit common.

A semi in the UK is normally called an artic (short for articulated lorry) and is used entirely for commercial haulage. I can't imagine owning enough stuff to need an artic to move house.
Yes, that sounds about right - middle class commoners.

Ah, an artic. That's a good word to know, thanks. In the US, many moving companies (removal firms) that move people across country use semis, but they are usually transporting multiple households, not just one family's things.

Thank you!