In this online exercise on geographical vocabulary in English, you will learn the names of geographical features that you can find in the countryside which are connected to water. By first reading a text and then doing a quiz, you'll quickly learn and remember the names of geographical features/objects connected to water that are found on land in the interior of a country (e.g. in mountains, forests etc...).

To learn the names of geographical features connected to the coast and the sea, do the exercise called 'English geography vocabulary: Coastal landforms & the sea'.


Exercise:

Read the following conversation between two friends (Juan and Peter). Juan is describing to Peter a walking holiday he recently went on.

From the context, try to guess what geographical features/objects the words in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Peter:'How was your holiday?'

Juan:'Really good! We went walking in the mountains in a part of northern Spain called Picos de Europa.'

Peter:'I've never heard of the place before. What's it like?'

Juan:'It's really green and really beautiful. Here's a photo I took of the mountains with a lake at the bottom of them. Because the water doesn't move in the lake and it's big, it is safe to go swimming in the lake.'

Peter:'Looks beautiful.'

Juan:'Here's another photo of a lake. You can see at one end of there's a tall wall of stone stopping the water leaving. You call that a dam in English, don't you?'

Peter:'It's called a dam. But you don't call the water behind the dam a lake (although it looks like one), because it's artificial/man-made and the water in it goes to people's houses for drinking or washing. In English, we call that a reservoir.'

Juan:'I didn't know that. I have a question. What do you call a small lake in English?'

Peter:'If it's small and not very deep, we call it a pond in English.'

Juan:'So much vocabulary to learn. Anyway, back to my holiday. Everyday we went walking in the mountains. There are some beautiful rivers when you are walking up the mountains.'

Peter:'Were the rivers big or small?'

Juan:'Why do you ask?'

Peter:'We use different names in English depending on the size of the river. If it's big and wide, it's called a river. If it's small and not very wide, then it's called a stream.'

Juan:'They weren't big. So, there are some beautiful streams when you are walking up the mountains. I have a question Peter. What do you call the parts of a stream or river where the water in it is moving very fast over rocks and the water looks white?'

Peter:'They are called rapids in English.'

Juan:'Well, there are rapids in the streams there. And there is an amazing waterfall on one of the streams there. The water of the stream falls vertically in the air for 10 metres.'

Peter:'Cool.'

Juan:'We stopped and had lunch there one day. We sat at the side of the stream below the waterfall.'

Peter:'In English, we don't normally call the land next to a river or stream the side. We call it a bank.'

Juan:'Ok, we sat at the bank of the stream then. One of the good things about Picos de Europa is that you can drink the water, so you don't have carry a lot of it when you are walking.'

Peter:'What! You drank the water from the streams or lakes? Isn't that bad for your stomach?'

Juan:'Not from the streams or the lakes, but from the places where water comes to the land surface from underground. Don't you call a place like this a spring in English?'

Peter:'Yes, you do. It's safe to drink the water from springs normally.'

Juan:'I have another question for you.'

Peter:'Ok.'

Juan:'What do you call a river which is man-made? You have a lot of them in England.'

Peter:'We call that in English a canal. A canal is man-made and unlike a river, the water in it doesn't move.'


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 name 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 landform (e.g. what it is, synonyms, vocabulary connected to it 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             

Waterfall:
(noun) This is when the water in a river or stream falls vertically. In most 'waterfalls', the water falls over rock, but there are some 'waterfalls' where the water falls over ice. The name of the place at the bottom of a 'waterfall' is called a 'pool'.

Close

Waterfall:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

2. office exercise photo

This is called a             

River:
(noun) This is a channel of water that is moving downhill (downwards). Normally, this channel of moving water is called a 'river' when it becomes wide (or large). When a channel of moving water is narrow (or small), it is called a 'stream'.

Close

River:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

3. office exercise photo

This part of a river or stream is called             

Rapids:
(noun) This is part of a river or stream where the water flows/moves quickly because the gradient (the amount/degree) it is going downhill is high. Most 'rapids' are found in mountainous areas.

Because the water is moving quickly, when it hit rocks in the river/stream it often creates what is called 'white water' (when the water looks white).

Close

Rapids:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

4. office exercise photo

This is called a             

Dam:
(noun) This is a man-made structure which is used normally used to create artificial lakes (which are often called 'reservoirs'). When a 'dam' is constructed, the water behind it starts to rise (which creates the artificial lake). The 'dam' is then used to control the depth of the artificial lake, by controlling the amount of water that leaves it.

Most 'dams' are made of stone or concrete and are quite high.

Close

Dam:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

5. office exercise photo

This type of river is called a             

Canal:
(noun) This is a man-made/artificial channel of water. It is similar to a river, but in a 'canal' the water is not moving. A 'canal' can contain either 'freshwater' (water which if clean can be drunk by animals and humans) or 'salt water' (water from the seas and oceans).

Close

Canal:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

6. office exercise photo

This is called a             

Lake:
(noun) A 'lake' is a large area/body of water that is surrounded by land. The water in most 'lakes' in the world is 'freshwater' (water which if clean can be drunk by animals and humans).

A very small and shallow lake is called a 'pond'.

When a lake is man-made and used for drinking water and generating electricity, it is called a 'reservoir'.

Close

Lake:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

7. office exercise photo

Land next to a river/stream is called a             

Bank:
(noun) This is the name for the land which is at the edge of a river, stream or canal. Because a river or stream has two sides, there are two 'banks' on every river or stream.

The term 'bank' is not commonly used for lakes, ponds, reservoirs or seas. With these, the name for where the land meets the water is called the 'edge' or 'shoreline' (this is used with both seas and big lakes).

Close

Bank:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

8. office exercise photo

This is called a             

Spring:
(noun) A 'spring' is the name of the place where water from underground comes to the earth's surface. When it rains, a lot the water is absorbed by the ground. As this water moves downwards, some of this gets trapped in what are called 'aquifers' (an underground storage/collection of water). When place where water comes back to the surface from these 'aquifers', is called a 'spring'.

Close

Spring:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

9. office exercise photo

This type of lake is called a             

Reservoir:
(noun) This is a man-made (or artificial) lake. Normally, 'reservoirs' are built to supply drinking water to people or to create electricity (or both). Some (but not all) 'reservoirs' have a 'dam'.

Close

Reservoir:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

10. office exercise photo

This is called a             

Pond:
(noun) A 'pond' is a 'small lake'. A 'pond' is not only a lot smaller than a 'lake', but it is also a lot shallower too (it's not very deep).

Like a 'lake', a 'pond' is surrounded by land and normally contains 'freshwater' (water which if clean can be drunk by animals and humans).

Close

Pond:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

11. office exercise photo

This is called a             

Stream:
(noun) It is also called a 'creek' or a 'burn' in some countries. This is basically a small river. Most 'streams' are narrow (not very wide) and shallow (not very deep).

Close

Stream:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close






Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.

Blair English online classes