Top 5 Weirdest Laws: US Edition | Grammar Exercise

Today’s mini-lesson from the Team at Scrambled Eggs English School in Milan is about how to talk about laws.

The USA is a vast and diverse country. Each state in fact has their very own local laws. It’s hardly surprisingly then that over the years strange laws have been passed. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 weirdest laws that still exist in the USA today.

Number 1: In Sant Antonio, Texas, flirting is against the law!

Number 2: If you are found stealing soap in Arizona, you must wash yourself until the bar of soap has been completely used up!

Number 3: If you have a moustache in Eureka, Nevada, you are not allowed to kiss a woman!

Number 4: In Indiana, it is illegal to attend a public event or even use public transport within 4 hours of eating onions or garlic.

Number 5: In Gainesville, Georgia (USA), you are not allowed to eat fried chicken in any way other than by hand.

These laws are definitely quite interesting and funny! But, what language can we used when we talk about the law?

When describing what we can and can’t do, we can use the verbs let and allow. What’s the difference? Well, allow is more formal than let, but aside from that they both have a similar meaning to give permission to.

Importantly, however, they are structured differently:

Check out our exercise below to practice using let and allow:

Top 5 Weirdest Laws: US Edition

Complete the sentences using either let or allow.

How did you do? If you found the exercise difficult, pop by our school. We have a great team of native English teachers that are always happy to help.

Would you like to study more English? Click here to read about the top 5 weirdest laws from the UK!

Top 5 Weirdest Laws: UK Edition | Reading Comprehension

Across Britain, there are laws still enforced today that date all the way back to the 1300s! Some of them have no relevance in today’s world and are actually quite funny. The Team at Scrambled Eggs English School in Milan have put together a list of the top 5 weirdest laws that still exist in the UK. Get ready for your minds to be blown!

First up, it is actually illegal to be drunk in the pub! Yes, that’s right, you’ve read correctly! According to the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act, it is illegal to be highly intoxicated in a pub or for the pub-keeper to permit drunkenness on the premises

Next up, jumping the queue in the Underground ticket hall is not just rude, but actually illegal! That’s right, us Brits take queueing to a whole new level!

One of the most absurd laws that still exists is that it is apparently illegal to die while in Parliament. As the House of Parliament, less commonly known as the Palace of Westminster, is in fact a royal palace; so, if you were to die there, you would be required to be given a state funeral!

Another interesting law is that you can’t dress up as a soldier or seaman if you go to a fancy-dress party. According to the Seamen’s and Soldier’s False Characters Act 1906, it is illegal to pretend to be part of the armed forces.

Last but certainly not least placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as an act of treason. So, when sending a postcard from your travels in the UK, make sure you place your stamp the right way up!

Which law do you think is the weirdest? What weird Italian laws still exist in Italy today?! Share your opinions by writing a comment below!

If you are curious to find out what the words in bold mean and want to speak like a native, try our comprehension quiz below:

Top 5 Weirdest Laws: UK Edition | Reading Comprehension Quiz

Match the word with its definition.

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BREXIT – What is it? | Reading Comprehension

On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted in a referendum to decide whether or not to remain a member of the European Union (EU). Over three years later, MPs (Members of Parliament) are still debating how to successfully implement this decision. The big question is, however, why did the citizens of the UK vote to leave in the first place? The Team at Scrambled Eggs School in Milan have a put together a short outline of all the facts.

‘Brexit’ is the term coined to describe the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The word Brexit is in fact a shortened version of ‘British Exit.’ In June 2016, 72.2% of voters went to their Polling Station (the place where you are registered to vote) to cast their vote on whether or not the UK should remain in the EU. The results were not only unexpected, but extremely close, with 51.9% of people voting to leave and 48.1% voting to remain! Brexit evidently divided the nation.

What encouraged people to vote the way that they did? In the months leading up to the vote, both supporters and opponents of the EU referendum led various campaigns to outline what the pros and cons would be if we decided to leave or remain in the EU. Here are the for and against arguments briefly outlined.

The For Argument

The push to leave the EU was advocated mostly by the UK Independence Party who argued that Britain’s participation in the EU restricted the country. The Party’s main arguments centred around: regaining border control and reclaiming business rights. Additionally, they argued that the high EU membership fees could be used use to benefit the UK, in particular to fund the NHS (the UK’s healthcare system).

The Against Argument

The Conservative Party, including David Cameron, the Party leader and the Prime Minister at the time, were strongly in favour of remaining in the EU. Their arguments against leaving were predominately related to business benefits; being a part of the EU allows the UK to participate in the single market and therefore benefit from economic strength and security. In addition, they argued that immigration helps develop the workforce and fuels public service projects.

In response to the results of the EU referendum, the UK invoked Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on 29th March 2017. In doing so, the UK made its break from the EU official. The UK then had two years to negotiate a departure with the other member states and was officially due to leave on 29th March 2019. However, British MPs failed to come to a unanimous decision and the Article 50 process was extended to 12th April 2019 and then subsequently, a further six months, to 31st October 2019. As things stand, the UK is set to leave the EU on 31st October, unless a withdrawal agreement is ratified by both the UK and the EU before this date; as a result of which, the UK would leave before the deadline.

Until the UK’s exit becomes legal, the UK is still subject to EU laws. What will happened between now and then is completely up in the air. There is support for a second referendum, talks of extending the October deadline and even advocates for a no-deal Brexit (to leave the EU immediately and without any agreements in place). At the moment, the UK’s future in the EU is unknown.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Test your reading skills by completing our comprehension quiz below.

BREXIT – What is it? | Reading Comprehension

Either select an answer from the options or type it in the box.

Would you like to continue practicing learning English? Click here to access some of our other reading comprehensions.