Usage of England, Great Britain, United Kingdom , Britain and British Isles
We often get confused while referring to England. Mostly we use England for Great Britain or Britain. But they are all different. For the Nations related to these terms wrong use of any of the terms may cause offence.
Usage of the terms
England: England is what we commonly use as substitute to Britain especially in American English. But it strictly refers to a single political division of Great Britain. The term England should not be used in British English because it causes offence in Scotland and Walsh.
United kingdom: United Kingdom is a political term. It is a short name for the whole ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'.
Great Britain: Great Britain means mainland England, Scotland and Walsh and small islands ruled by England too. Though this term excludes Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Island.
Britain : The term Britain has no official status, though we often use it for England or Great Britain. It can mean Great Britain but can include Northern Ireland too.
British Isles: British Isles is only a geographical term which includes Great Britain , Ireland and the surrounding islands indifferent to their political status. That is why Irish people dislike this term but it can be used because there is no other acceptable alternative.