In this online exercise on geographical vocabulary in English, you will learn the names of geographical features that you can find in the mountain regions.

By first reading a text and then doing a quiz, you'll quickly learn and remember the names of geographical features/objects which you'll see when visiting and walking in mountain regions.

To learn the English names of other geograghical features, do our online exercises on 'Water landform names' or 'Coastal landforms names and the sea'.


Exercise:

Read the following conversation between two friends (Juan and Peter). Peter is describing to Juan a holiday to the Alps in Europe that he went on with his family.

From the context, try to guess what type of place or object the words in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Juan:'How was your holiday?'

Peter:'It was really good. We went walking in the Alps for a week.'

Juan:'Cool. I've never been, but I hear it's beautiful. Did you see any volcanoes erupting when you were there?'

Peter:'There are no volcanoes there. The only volcanoes in Europe are in the south of Italy. In the Alps there are only mountains.'

Juan:'Did you walk up any of them when you were there?'

Peter:'Yeah, we walked up 4 mountains when we were there. They are so high, over 2,000 metres tall.'

Juan:'Not like here in England. The mountains here are a lot smaller.'

Peter:'Well, we don't really have any mountains in England. They are too small. We call them hills instead.'

Juan:'So, a small mountain is called a hill. I didn't know that. How long did it take you to walk to the top of the mountains there?'

Peter:'It depends on the mountain. But to get to the summit of most of them from the bottom, it takes around 4 or 5 hours. And it's hard work as well when you are walking up them. The slopes of the mountains are very steep, some of them are at a 60 degree angle.'

Juan:'I've seen what the slopes are like when cyclists are going up and down the mountains in the Tour de France.'

Peter:'And as you are going up the slopes of the mountains, you see boulders next to the path. Really big rocks that have fallen off the mountain which you can climb on.'

Juan:'It doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me. I think I would prefer to relax on a beach.'

Peter:'It isn't easy getting up them. But the views from the tops of the mountains are amazing. You can see for miles and miles. And also in the Alps near the summits you'll see some glaciers, very large pieces of ice moving down the mountains. It's spectacular!'

Juan:'But isn't it dangerous walking in the mountains?'

Peter:'Normally no. But on one day we reached the summit of one mountain and the route we were taking meant that we had to walk along a long ridge that went to the summit of another mountain. It was really windy. And if you fell either to your left or right, you'd drop a hundred metres or more.'

Juan:'A ridge?'

Peter:'A ridge has a shape like a triangle where the two sides/slopes of a mountain meet and it often continues for a long distance.'

Juan:'Isn't that called a cliff?'

Peter:'No, it isn't. Because a cliff is a vertical piece of rock which is normally very tall.'

Juan:'I think I understand. I don't like heights, so I don't think I'd like to go to the Alps.'

Peter:'You don't have to go up the mountains if you don't want to. You can also go walking in the valleys at the bottom of the mountains.'

Juan:'You mean the things which look like a 'V' or 'U' with two slopes/sides going upwards and a river at the bottom of them.'

Peter:'That's right. That's what a valley is. There's one place where we went where there's a beautiful gorge. It's like a valley, with a river at the bottom, but the sides are cliffs, tall vertical pieces of rock.'

Juan:'Sounds good.'

Peter:'Also at the bottom of one of the cliffs in this gorge, there's a cave that you can go into. It's dark inside the cave, but it's cool being actually under the big cliff.'


Click to see more geographical English exercises


Quiz:

Below is a photo/picture of each of the geographical names in bold from the above text. Now choose the name from the question's selection box which you believe matches the photo/picture. Only use one word once. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...). In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Cave:
(noun) This is a geographical feature/landform where there is some space underground and which people can go into. Most 'caves' are made by the erosion caused by water on rock as the water moves underground.

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Cave:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. office exercise photo

These are called              

Mountains:
(noun) A 'mountain' is a type of geographical feature/landform where a piece of land is a lot higher (more elevated) than the land surrounding it. To be called a 'mountain', this elevated piece of land has to be 600 metres (around 2,000 feet) or more higher than the land surrounding it. If it is below this height, then it is called a 'hill'.

Normally, you will find a group of mountains together in the same area. When this happens, the group of mountains is called a 'mountain range' (e.g. 'the Himalayas, the Andes etc...)

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Mountains:

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3. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Gorge:
(noun) It is also called a 'canyon'. This is a geographical feature like a 'valley' where a river or stream has over time cut through rock. Unlike a valley, the sides of a 'gorge' are normally vertical (or near vertical) and are made of rock. Most 'gorges' are normally narrow (there is not much space between the sides).

Some 'gorges' still have a river or stream at the bottom of them, while others now don't.

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Gorge:

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4. office exercise photo

These are called              

Glaciers:
(noun) A 'glacier' is a geographical feature where a large body of ice moves downhill. 'glaciers' are commonly found in mountainous areas which are cold. As 'glaciers' move, they erode the land they pass over and create 'U' shape valleys.

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Glaciers:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. office exercise photo

These are called              

Volcanoes:
(noun) These are basically mountains or hills which have been created by magma (molten rock) from inside the earth pushing the land upwards. Most 'volcanoes' have a crater at their summit/peak.

'volcanoes' can be active (when there is some type of volcanic activity), dormant (when it is basically sleeping, no current activity, but it could happen again in the future) or extinct (where the volcano is dead).

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Volcanoes:

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6. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Cliff:
(noun) A 'cliff' is a vertical (180 degrees) or near vertical rock surface which is normally very tall. Although 'cliffs' can be found in most places on earth, they are most commonly found in mountainous regions and on the coast.

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Cliff:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7. office exercise photo

These are called              

Boulders:
(noun) These are large individual pieces of rock. Although a piece of rock which is bigger than around 25 cm (10 inches) in diameter is technically called a 'boulder', most people normally use the term 'boulder' for very large pieces rocks which are impossible to be moved by people pushing them.

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Boulders:

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8. office exercise photo

These parts of mountains & hills are called              

Slopes:
(noun) This is the name for the side of a valley, mountain or hill. The term 'slope' is normally used in English when the side of a valley, mountain or hill is steep (the gradient or degree it rises/goes up is high).

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Slopes:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. office exercise photo

These are called              

Hills:
(noun) These are basically small mountains. A mountain is called a 'hill' if its height is below 600 metres (around 2,000 feet).

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Hills:

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10. office exercise photo

This part of mountains & hills is called a              

Ridge:
(noun) The top parts of some mountains or hills sometimes continue on for a long a distance. Where this happens, it is called a 'ridge'. Normally, the top part of a 'ridge' is very narrow and has an inverted 'V' shape.

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Ridge:

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11. office exercise photo

These are called              

Valleys:
(noun) A 'valley' is a geographical feature/landform where there is a piece of flat land between and at the bottom of two slopes. 'valleys' are made by erosion.

If a 'valley' has a shape similar to a 'V', it was made by the erosion of a river or stream.

If a 'valley' has a shape similar to a 'U', it was probably made by the erosion of a glacier.

A valley is also called a 'glen' in Scotland and a 'dale' in parts of Northern England.

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Valleys:

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12. office exercise photo

This part of a mountain or a hill is called its              

Summit:
(noun) It is also called the 'peak' or the 'top'. This is the name in English for the highest part of a mountain or a hill.

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Summit:

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