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English Language and History .com is a collection of two-minute tales drawn from history, myth and fiction. Each tale is accompanied by word games testing grammar and expression, based on textbooks used in British schools from the 1920s to the 1960s.

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A Bird in the Hand is Worth...
Music: Franz Joseph Haydn
The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
From ‘History of the Wars’ by Procopius of Caesarea
(c.500—c.560)

THEY opened the gates, and let Alaric and his army come and go as they pleased; and after plundering the whole city and killing most of the people of Rome, the invaders moved on.

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Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Sport History’ (12 posts)
page 1
1 ‘My English Joy’
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
2 A Many-Chorded Lyre
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
3 Hooked
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
4 Arthur MacPherson
MacPherson’s tireless afforts to promote Russian sport earned him a unique Imperial honour, and the enmity of the Communists.
5 The Aspden Cup
British factory workers started a historic three-cornered league in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
6 Rugby League
The less glamorous code of Rugby football, but the best for sheer speed and strength.
page 2
7 Rebel Rugby
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.
8 Ranji
A young Indian student from Cambridge was selected for England’s cricket team after public pressure.
9 Max Woosnam
Max fully deserves his reputation as England’s greatest all-round sportsman.
10 How Britain Brought Football to Chile
British expats in Valparaíso kicked off the Chilean passion for soccer.
11 The Ashes of English Cricket
How the cricketing rivalry between England and Australia got its name.
12 West Auckland, European Champions
A team of amateurs gave Europe’s finest a drubbing.

Word Play: Subject and Object

Use each of the words below as either the subject or the object of a verb.

Fight. Queen. Life.

New Stories
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.
After Louis XIV’s grandson Philip inherited the throne of Spain, the ‘Sun King’ began to entertain dreams of Europe-wide dominion.
New Puzzles
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Try writing complete sentences using these nouns as either the subject or the object of a verb.
Try writing complete sentences using these verbs in either the active or the passive voice.
Polyword ‘Nuts’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TALL and finish with SHIP.
Do you know ‘a temperature scale’ (6 letters), and ‘a bit of useful advice’ (3 letters)?
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘complaint’ (4 letters), and ‘be the right size and shape for a space’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
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letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

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numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Maths Gym Mental arithmetic