England vs British
People in western countries (as well as some Asian ones too) get confused when talking about England or Britain. This is because of certain geographical facts, the most important of which is that the word British is applied to people living in all those countries that make up Great Britain though they are also referred to as Scottish, Welsh or English depending upon the country of their origin. Thus, if you are from America and encounter a person who calls himself British though he does not belong to England, there is no need to be confused. Read on to understand the difference between England and British.
A person born in England prefers to call himself English though he is also British as he is a part of Great Britain that is made up, not just England, but also Scotland and Wales. There is also Northern Ireland that is included in Great Britain, to make it United Kingdom. England just means England, and not the whole of Britain.
If one looks up the map of UK, he finds that there are many different countries that make up United Kingdom. Firstly there is the main country of England. To the North of England lies Scotland while in the south west of England lies the country of Wales. These three countries together make up Great Britain. It is when the northern part of Ireland is also included to this territory that the political entity becomes UK or United Kingdom. Finally, when entire Ireland is included to make up one geographical unit that also contains some more small islands, the political unit is referred to as British Isles.
British is a term that is used for a person having citizenship of any of the 4 countries that make up United Kingdom. You are British if you belong to England, Ireland, Wales or Scotland. British is also a term used for the form of English spoken in Britain or other English speaking countries of the Commonwealth. The countries that together make up UK feel aggrieved by the fact that they are sometimes treated as English when they are proud citizens of their countries. Thus, a Welshman should really be not referred to as English as he does not come from England though technically he is a part of UK.
What is the difference between England, English and British?
• England is one of the countries that make up Great Britain while British is a term that is used to refer to a political entity when all 4 countries namely Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England are considered together.
• English is both a language as well as a person coming from England, whereas British refers to a person from the geographical units of United Kingdom.