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Test your understanding of this English lesson

Test your understanding of the English lesson by answering these questions. You will get the answers and your score at the end of the quiz.
A "timeline" is a horizontal diagram that shows the passage of time moving from right to left.

When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought the Latin language with them. Which one of the following words does not have a Latin origin?

The Germanic migration to Britain took place in the ____ century.

The coming of Christianity brought Latin, Greek, and Hebrew words to Britain. Which one of the following words does not have a Greek origin?

The Viking invasions came from the _________ countries. These are now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

The Norman invasion of 1066 brought the _______ language to Britain.

Exploration and the discovery of America brought new words for items imported to Britain, such as ______________.

British colonialism brought Asian and Eastern words into the English language. Which one of the following is not an Asian or Eastern word?

Proper nouns, such as brand names, are often used instead of common nouns in English. For example, a vacuum cleaner of any brand is often referred to as a _______.

A circular diagram divided up into sections which add up to 100 percent is called a _____________.


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70 Comments on “Discover the History of English”


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Hello Gill,
Thank you for presenting a historical, interesting English lesson.
Now, I understand why European English students speak English better than others. Lucky, their mother tongue is part of English language which makes much easier for them.
Latin is a mother of many languages and it is a dead language. However, I believe that people who speak Latin can easily learn other languages. Is that correct? Do you speak latin? What do you think about someone who is learning Latin nowadays?
Thank you, Thiago

Thursday, April 14th 2016

    Hello Thiago – thank you for your question. I’m glad you found the lesson useful :-)
    Yes, I have studied Latin in the past, but I can’t speak it fluently. I think Latin is very useful, because of the similarities in vocabulary with other European languages. I think if someone wants to study Latin, they should go ahead and try it – any language learning is good exercise for the brain :-) All the best with your studies! Gill

    Saturday, April 16th 2016

      Here in Russia, all medicals have to study Latin because most medicines have Latin names. Probably every scientist have to know this language. Animals also have their Latin name. Not so dead as we can see : )

      Monday, April 18th 2016

Very fascinating and illuminating. Substantially, you explained us that a language never stands still and it always changes, but we tend to forget it. That’s a real pity because doing so we also forget our own roots.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Sorry Gill, I almost forgot to greet you in the ancient way: AD MAJORA!

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Thank you Ms. Grill :*

Thursday, April 14th 2016

SuperGill! :)

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Thank you Gill for your useful lesson,but I’d like to add a misinfrormation to your lesson.There are five latin language in this world ,so not only four as you said.So, there are :Italian,French,Spanish,Portuguese and Romanian language is a latin language too.Of course,unfortunately ,people make confusion between romanian(it’s spoken by native people from Romania) and romano(gypsy’s language) .

Thursday, April 14th 2016

    Hi, Cornelly! Well, in my opinion, Gill has only given examples about some Latin languages without saying they are the unique cases. Besides, there are many more Latin tongues than five. Only in Spain there are, at least, three official Latin languages: Castilian (Spanish), Gallician and Catalonian, without regarding the great deal of dialects spoken outwards the world. Think in it!

    Friday, June 10th 2016

      Hi Eduard,
      Firstly I thank you for your comment,but I’m afraid that you make a confuse between the main, major or biggest latin languages and the derived languages from latin languages (as you said there are a lot of them).
      If you look for this information on wikipedia,you will see as I’ve just found that there are six major languages,so Cataln language is the sixth.
      All the best !

      Saturday, June 11th 2016

        Hello, Cornelly! Thanks for replying. Well, I have understood what you meant. What matters is to discuss so as to improve our culture and, mainly, our English. Bye!

        Saturday, June 11th 2016

I got 8 out of 10. English has been my favorite language to speak and learn and I will never lose the interests in it.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

That was very interesting, thank you!!

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Dear Gill!!! Thank you very much for your wonderful lesson!!! It is very helpful and well – structured. I like it very much.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

This is such an imressive lesson. I’ve got 10 out of 10.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Dear Teacher, thanks for yours lessons that are always very interesting. I’d like to know something about “Stratfordians” and “anti-Stratfordians”…… :-)

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Thank you for this wonderful lesson. I’m so interested history of languages.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Hi Gill, many thanks for this ‘very’ interesting video. You started in the year of 55 BC and I wondered about what sort of language was spoken in these islands before the Roman invasion. I googled it and I found that it was a Celtic language and this is another story but I wanted to ask if there is no trace of that Celtic language in the actual English. Thanks again.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

    Good point, Anthony.From my own research they are surprisingly few. Among them we have basket, boycott, clock, car, lawn, paw, penguin and whiskey.

    Thursday, April 14th 2016

      All these except boycott, which has a different origin.

      Friday, April 15th 2016

      Hi Luiz. As you say, it seems that only a few words have remained, a very low percentage. Obrigado!

      Friday, April 15th 2016

    You are right. Before Romans explored The British Isles there were Celtic population. So there are a lot of words which originate. Brythonic; C – Cumbric, Cornish, Pictish; Scots and Irish Gaelic; W – Welsh

    Monday, May 9th 2016

      Hello, people! I agree with you. There few words in modern English whose origin is Celtic. According to my research, it is because the Anglo-saxons expelled them from the territory of modern England, and the Celts went away to the North of the island. That is why nowadays some people speak Celtic languages in Scotland and in Ireland, but they are not English. Among the few Celtic words which remain in English today, we can mention “cradle”, “shamrock”, “avon” and “slogan” (shout of war!). They were kept by the Celtic women who got married with the Anglo-saxon invaders, and that explains why most of them have a domestic meaning.

      Friday, June 10th 2016

Thanks Gill for teaching us some history about English. Even I did not get a good score I learned a lot.

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Very interesting lesson. Thanks Gill

Thursday, April 14th 2016

Thanks teacher.

Friday, April 15th 2016

Thanks for interesting new think i will learn from you.

Friday, April 15th 2016

Thanks a lot Gill, for teaching us both English and History ;)

Friday, April 15th 2016

There are many words that very similar bitween english and hebrew for exsaple: earth, wine, love (heart in hebrew), mask, mystery, sack, evil, fall, eye, camel. a lot of them from hebrew origin.

Friday, April 15th 2016

Thank you a very nice lecture,Gill!!!
It was very interesting to me.

Friday, April 15th 2016

Thank you Gill for your lesson. I’ve got ten out of ten and I’ve learned new things about this topic. :)

Friday, April 15th 2016

Great work Gill, Ibe never liked history at school but I thouroly enjoyed yours. Thanks again.

Friday, April 15th 2016

thank you a lot, Gill.I got 7 OUT OF 10 I enjoyed the lesson

Friday, April 15th 2016

for those who are interested more :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njJBw2KlIEo

Saturday, April 16th 2016

Good lesson. Queue is another word thats came from French, isn’t it?

Saturday, April 16th 2016

Thank you so much, it was interesting.

Sunday, April 17th 2016

thanks,Gill!informative lesson!

Monday, April 18th 2016

Great Gill! Thsnk you so much…!!!

Monday, April 18th 2016

Great Gill,I love your lessons and Emma’s lessons…actually all of you… you aren’t fast while you are speaking English ( that’s thing help me to understand the words and improve my listening English too)… thank you again Gill.

Monday, April 18th 2016

thanks Gill, I enjoyed the lesson.

Tuesday, April 19th 2016

Thank you Jill, your lesson is essential I have known root vocabulary. It is more interesting.

Wednesday, April 20th 2016

Thank you! It was interesting!

Friday, April 22nd 2016

Thanks a lot,Gill. This is a pretty useful lesson for me. Which let me understand more about English language history. Therefore, I watch the video several times. And then I took the quiz. In fact, the lesson is a bit difficult for me, but it’s also very great material. Thanks again.

Saturday, April 23rd 2016

It is a very interesting lesson.Thank you very much.

Monday, April 25th 2016

Thank you, I loved the lesson and get a 10/10.

Monday, April 25th 2016

Thank you, Gill, for this great lesson!

I was desiring to survey about the English language history someday, but fortunately you showed it here before, and in a clear, comprehensive and direct way!

Thursday, April 28th 2016

Thank you Ms.Grill

Saturday, April 30th 2016

As always, great, interesting and informative! Many people all over the world (and I among them) are very grateful to You for Your educational work.
It would be interesting to see a lesson on the “pure-English” (or should I say “British”?) words.

Saturday, April 30th 2016

Gill, you’re my favorite teacher. Everything you tell is true, except for one. Anglo Saxons came not from today’s Germany, but from Scandinavia. The present areas of Germany were settled, in the time, of Celts and Slavs and conquered by Germanic tribes from Scandinavia, the same as the island Great Britain.

Sunday, May 1st 2016

The Normans were not French, they come from Germanic and a bit Slavic tribes (see Slavic influences in Iceland or new genetic studies of Halpogroup Y-DNA), commonly referred to as Vikings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normans).

Sunday, May 1st 2016

The word “very” is not really of French, because it has a Indo-European origin and comes from old Indo-Germanic “wēr” as the German word “wahr” – true. So that this word is a common origin of Roman, Slavic, Germanic, Iranian, etc. languages. But it may be that really in use, came through immigration of the Normans, who knows.

Sunday, May 1st 2016

Gill, thank you for very nice video.
I like read simple English books.
I was surprised when in ´England´ by Rachel Bladon (MACMILLAN READERS)I discovered:
The names of many places in England tell us about their history.
Town with ´chester´ or ´cester´ were Roman towns e.g. Colchester (my favourite)
The Anglo- Saxon for ´town´ was ´burh´ as Peterborough. There is ´burg´´ in German language (means a castle) e.g. Edinburg
Towns with names ending in ´by´ (Grimsby, Tenby, Derby, Whitby, Selby, Crosby) are Viking towns.
I saw your video and now I think my parents made a big mistake when they made me study English. I should start with Latin, French and German. Unfortunately there is only one word from Czech in English. It is the word which was created by Karel Capek in the play R.U.R. and means an artificial Human.
I would like to find out about word Caledonia, Hibernia and Albion.

Monday, May 9th 2016

    “Robot” is not the only English word with Czech roots! Wikipedia lists a few more, like “pilsner”, the common style of beer.

    Tuesday, May 10th 2016

    Hi, Javadunaj! I liked your comments! And I also know that “chester” and “cester” come from the Latin word “castra”, which used to mean “military camping”. In Portuguese it is related to the Army. As far as I know, “Albion” has a Greek origin and meant “white”. The island was christened so because of the Cliff of Dover, which is white, since it is made of chalk.

    Friday, June 10th 2016

Thanks a lot Gill. This is a very interesting lesson. I just wonder if Shakespeare did not have a great influence in the English language too as (I have heard) he created many new words.Do you have any idea of the number of words he brought into English?

Monday, May 9th 2016

Thanks heaps, Gill! Great lesson.

Tuesday, May 10th 2016

Thank you Mirs Gill for such a fascinating lesson!

Wednesday, May 11th 2016

Thanks for your all lessons! I hope that every learners will benefit from your lessons.
Anyway, I will be happy if you uploaded the TOEFL or IELTS lesson, about them!
Thank you!!!

Thursday, May 26th 2016

Dear Gill! You are an amazing teacher and I love your accent! Excellent course about English language origin, but I have a comment: when I took the quiz, the 2nd question which says “2. When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought the Latin language with them. Which one of the following words does not have a Latin origin?” I chose “animal” (possible answers were: animal, digital, human, library, military, people) but correct answer was “people” and explanation said: “The word “people’ has a French origin, not Latin.”. But I remember that people comes from the Latin “populus” that means people, so “people” is a wrong answer too. French word “peuple” is a descendant from Latin. Best Regards!

Saturday, May 28th 2016

Thank you Gill, It is an interesting video.

Wednesday, June 8th 2016

Fantastic!!!Gill, that is the most interesting lesson I have watched in Engvid, for I love History! In fact, you are a very clever lady, beside gentle and didactic. I studied a little about this subject some years ago. For example, I know that from the Celtic language there are few words nowadays, like “cradle” and “shamrock”. That most of the names of week come from Viking gods’ names. And that “street” comes from the Latin expression “strata via”. By the way, I have heard that there are other languages spoken in Great Britain like Gaelic, isn’t there? Does it sound like English or is completely different from it? Thank you very, very much for the excellent lesson. It was a gift to me!

Friday, June 10th 2016

This was an easy explain critical topic of the History of English! Thank you so much Ma’am. More power to you and this endeavor to help people who want to learn the English Language… =)

Tuesday, June 21st 2016

thanks Grill, good lesson, i`m looking forward to see more your lesson

Wednesday, June 22nd 2016

Really interesting thanks!

Monday, July 4th 2016

Bless your heart, My dear teacher. So glad i have you :)

Saturday, July 23rd 2016

The lesson is very interesting and it’s an opportunity for me to revise the history of English. I would like to ask you if the Arabic language apports some words in English ?

Thank you.

Monday, August 1st 2016

I would like to ask you if the Arabic contribute to the English language?

Tuesday, August 2nd 2016

Hi Gil, I’d like to thank you for your amazing way to teach English. You’re so sweet person. Thanks a lot

Tuesday, August 2nd 2016
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