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Digital Subscriptions > Learn Hot English > 180 > The Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar

THE BODY OF WATER BETWEEN SPAIN AND NORTH AFRICA IS KNOWN AS THE STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR. IT'S HAD A FASCINATING HISTORY.

The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow passage between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Gibraltar, which is primarily a rock on the Spanish peninsual, is owned by Great Britain, even though it is physically part of Spain. Spain ceded Gibraltar to the British after the War of the Spanish Succession* in 1713. Since then, Britain has used the territory as a navy base. But the story of Gibraltar is much older than that, and its importance goes back hundreds of years.

It all started with the legendary Greek hero Heracles. Heracles was famous for accomplishing a set of Labours, ortasks too difficult for normal humans. One of the Labours involved going far to the west, where he found a great mountain. Instead of climbing it, he used his superhuman strength to smash the mountain in half. This created the passage between Europe and Africa. Ancient Greeks and Romans called Gibraltar one of the Pillars of Heracles*. These days, the 426 metre-high mountain is now called the Rock of Gibraltar.

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About Learn Hot English

The latest issue of Hot English (180 – the May issue) is out now! Learn over 300 useful words and expressions and improve your listening skills with Learn Hot English! This month: How to speak on the phone! Learn how to use your tone of voice to speak more effectively, and also how to work out what other people are saying or feeling. This will help you at work and with your personal life, as well as improving your ability to speak and listen over the phone in English. Plus, 12 useful “travel” words, 10 useful past tense verbs, 8 words and expressions for describing the weather, 10 words for talking about fast food, useful expressions for describing power, “knife” idioms, “work” phrasal verbs... plus: Grammar – confusing travel words. Language – “like” versus “as”. Film – a clip from the Simpsons movie. Competition! – win a free book! Travel – islands to visit. Psychology – colour and personality. Phone – how to rent a car over the phone. Drinks – learn how to make a “Nojito”. Mystery – 6 unsolved mysteries. History – the story of Gibraltar. TV – the TV series Lost! Business – how to save a failing pub! Slang – learn some useful slang terms! Work – bullying at work. Useful phrases – expressions with numbers! AND LOTS, LOTS MORE! By reading and listening to all this great content, you'll improve your English reading and listening skills and learn up to 300 useful words or expressions. Plus, you'll get a better job and pass English-language exams more easily. Guaranteed!
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