Last updated at 11:44 BST, Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fairy tales

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What's your favourite fairy tale?

Join the conversation. What's your favourite fairy tale? Use the form below to let us know.

The Express English team

Most people love them. And three were mentioned: Jack and the Beanstalk, the Princess and the Pea and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Some people like the happy endings. But one man thought they might be patronising and they have many stereotypes.

Did you know?

Fact

Fairy tales were told or enacted and handed down from generation to generation. The oldest known written fairy tales appeared in ancient Egypt, around 1300 BC.

Language tip

It is traditional to start fairy tales with the words:'Once upon a time'.

'Upon' also means 'on' but it is rarely used because it can sound too formal. E.g. I rely upon/on my servants to move my heavy luggage.

Cultural tip

In many tales from Bangladesh the wicked stepmother of European fairy tales is replaced by a jealous wife.

End of Section

Now tell us what you think

What's your favourite fairy tale?

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    • 1. At 2:43pm on 15 Aug 2011, mohamed wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 2. At 3:56pm on 15 Aug 2011, Elkagirl wrote:

      Pinocchio is my favourite fairy tale. The 'touch-feely' part is when a lonely old woodcarver got his dream of getting a real boy from a wooden puppet. Though it was not nice at first but then the naughty boy was paid by his deed and repented.

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    • 3. At 4:37pm on 15 Aug 2011, Soler wrote:

      When I hear fairy tale I always recall my childhood, which was quite beautiful in relief against fairy tales. I was reading The Brothers Grimm's and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and I remember how I was waiting every night, because I liked reading them before sleep.

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    • 4. At 5:11pm on 15 Aug 2011, trangnhkt wrote:

      ( i'm Vietnamese and i want to improve my english. I just know a little about English. Can you help me to correct my grammar?)
      My mom used to tell me very fairy tales when i was a child. They're magical and interesting!
      Cinderella was a fairy tale i liked most.
      Reading fairy tales is a way to relax when i feel weary, because stories about how i should behave!

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    • 5. At 7:16pm on 15 Aug 2011, Vera_Kuzub wrote:

      My favourite fairy tales are Little mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. I liked to watch these fairy tales on the VCR when I was the little girl. I watched them almost every day.

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    • 6. At 8:16pm on 15 Aug 2011, Liigucca wrote:

      My favourite fairytale since childhood is Red Ridding Hood. I love

      the story of this fairytale. In my opinion this fairytale is suitable

      for people in any age even 80 or 100 years old people

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    • 7. At 10:13pm on 15 Aug 2011, Phelippe wrote:

      My favourite fairy tale is beauty and the beast.... it's just amazing !

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    • 8. At 00:11am on 16 Aug 2011, vicente neto wrote:

      My favourit faire tale are those who express the enviroment and its mystical characters.

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    • 9. At 01:05am on 16 Aug 2011, Luiza wrote:

      I love fairy tales. My favourite is "The Beauty and the Beast". I enjoy especially the scene when they dance the Celine Dion's song!

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    • 10. At 01:29am on 16 Aug 2011, mariamas wrote:

      There are some fairy tales about a poor boy who starts around the world to look for luck, and he finds it by his cleverness. Ancient people were often very poor, so they used to hope to change and improve their lives.

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    • 11. At 03:10am on 16 Aug 2011, Silvietta wrote:

      My favorite fairy tale is the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. This is a very imaginative and non-stereotyped tale wich is also easy to understand even if touches some of the most fundamental questions about humans behaviours. It can be easly enjoied by children and also by the adults thanks to its simple writing form although brings very deep messages about life. The first time I read this book I was 7 years and now that I am 36 years old I still like it, mostly the chapter 21 wich is talking about the delicate process of becoming friends through the metaphore of taming.

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    • 12. At 03:30am on 16 Aug 2011, t8tg2r wrote:

      Aladin!!!

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    • 13. At 05:01am on 16 Aug 2011, Risiyana wrote:

      when I was child
      I like cinderella story and Aladin and their theme song too..
      Until now I still love them

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    • 14. At 05:25am on 16 Aug 2011, tramdang wrote:

      I love fairy tale. When I was a child, I used to read, watch many stories, cartoons about fairy tale. My favorite fairy tale used to be 'Beauty and the Beast'. I used to love and expect a happy ending, but now I think sometimes it's no need a happy ending, the journey of life is more important.

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    • 15. At 05:26am on 16 Aug 2011, PatRiciA wrote:

      My favourite fairy tale is Thumbelina. When I was young, I always imagined to be reduced as small as Thumbelina so that I could live in my doll house.

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    • 16. At 08:05am on 16 Aug 2011, Alice wrote:

      I liked Winny the Pooh because i think he's cute and his voice is like a little yellow bear baby.

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    • 17. At 10:22am on 16 Aug 2011, Virag75 wrote:

      When I was a child I loved fairy tales. My grandfather used to read tale-books up for me all the day. My favourite tale was Sleeping Beauty. I knew it by heart before attending the primary school. And it's so interesting. I'm adult now and I'm really a sleeping beauty who is just waiting for the prince in vain ...

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    • 18. At 11:09am on 16 Aug 2011, Noah wrote:

      Tales from 1001 Nights is my favourite. It delivers many exciting stories. When I was child I have liked the stories.

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    • 19. At 11:16am on 16 Aug 2011, FRANZ wrote:

      The Wizard of Oz is my favourite and the Lord of Rings :-)

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    • 20. At 12:41pm on 16 Aug 2011, Luwia wrote:

      Cinderella, what can be better, than endless story of true love:)

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    • 21. At 4:03pm on 16 Aug 2011, Sillysissy428 wrote:

      My favorite one is The Little Mermaid. When I was a child, I always believed that there are such a beautiful creatures living under the ocean, and howtheir life like in the sea. And I still believe so. If we have last lifes, maybe some one was a mermaid.

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    • 22. At 4:57pm on 16 Aug 2011, castleontheriver wrote:

      I adore the fairy tales!, and I prefer those that have happy end. I also understand that the fairy tales are constructed with social stereotypes of dominant classes; nevertheless, its value is in what in the fairy tales are represented the deepest conflicts of the human soul, those that cross all the times and all the cultures. My fairy tales favorite is The Beauty and The Beast.

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    • 23. At 8:02pm on 16 Aug 2011, ALFONSO wrote:

      Hi everyone,
      Down memory lane,I remember the first book my mother gave me out when I was six years old."The most famous Fairy Tales" was the name. Furthermore,it was a collection of fairy tales as Pinocchio,Cinderella,Snowhite and the seven dwarfs and many others.My favourite at that age,was Pinocchio and;indeed, still on my mind.

      All the best,
      Alfonso

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    • 24. At 8:20pm on 16 Aug 2011, ROWANHOSPI wrote:

      I loved fairy tales during my childhood. I liked so much that my parents bought me that books of 365 tales for every day of the year and I used to read the whole book in one week.

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    • 25. At 8:30pm on 16 Aug 2011, N_Dreams wrote:

      Fairy tales.. They are all just wonderful.. Each time u watch a new Fairy tale film- U say " thats my favourite".. :) In fact, when i was still young, i always believed in fairy tales.. like one day u will meet your prince charming and live happy ever after.. but then i slowly woke up from that dream.. I grew up, i now know what the real world is.. But still each time i watch a Fairy Tale Film, That feeling of believing in Magic revives.. :) I hope that believing in the MAGIC of FAIRYTALES will one Day Bring "magic" in my life... And who knows, Maybe that can also happen to the one who is reading my comment.. you :) ....

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    • 26. At 8:54pm on 16 Aug 2011, Aleena wrote:

      I adore fairy tales. I can't even choose one to mark it special for me. Even now when I'm 23 I like watching them from time to time. In fact, fairy tales preserve a lot of life things we often forget like pure love (with no too Freudian implication), bravery, honesty, respect, etc.

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    • 27. At 10:19pm on 16 Aug 2011, Juan wrote:

      I remember two fairy tales which I enjoyed a lot. They were Little prince and the Lion King. First one was fantastic because I readed and I can "dream" with its story. And second tale it story its beautiful for every child.

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    • 28. At 02:12am on 17 Aug 2011, luscinia wrote:

      Hiii
      My favorite fairytale is Cinderella. I always liked the part of Cinderella loses the crystal shoe.

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    • 29. At 07:48am on 17 Aug 2011, greenraisin wrote:

      I adore with the fairy tale named Cinderella. She is a very beautiful women and actually I saw her in Disney Land , Hong Kong. Also I like the end of this story that the prince and the prince get married. I heard about this story since I was very young from my mother and teacher. I additionally had my own book at home providing me a chance to read it many times as much as I want.

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    • 30. At 08:13am on 17 Aug 2011, Remi wrote:

      I like momo(peach) taro.
      Once upon a time, old man and woman lived in the depth of a mountain. He was going to the mountain to gather firewood and she to a river to wash clothes. On her washing, such a big peach had flown from the upper reaches. And, she brought it to their house, hoping to eat it with her husband.
      After her husband came from the mountain, he was about to cut the peach with a kitchen knife. But, from its inside, a baby came out. He was named as momo taro, where taro is a name of a boy.
      He grew up well and strong, and one day he said to his foster parents that he would go to an island which is a base of ogres.
      On his way to the island, he met a monkey, a pheasant, and a dog. On each time, he gave them a piece of dumplings, so that they became his subordinates.
      And, they exterminated ogres and brought back to his house with a lot of treasures ogres had. With that treasure, old man, woman and momo taro lived a happy life.








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    • 31. At 12:02pm on 17 Aug 2011, salih wrote:

      Well one that I can think of off the top of my head is "artifical intelligence" by steven spielberg if this one can countable for fairy tales. Though its catagorie is science fiction but I see this film as a fairy tale, especially for children. It impressed me very deeply. Its scenario and end is perfect. It includes lots of emotional scene that affects people deeply. Characters are perfectly suitable for their roles. This film includes both science fiction and fairy tale.

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    • 32. At 2:55pm on 17 Aug 2011, nhokti wrote:

      I like all of the fairy tail stories and cartoons. its scenario and end is perfect...but to have the happy ending, the main characters have to overcome a lot of difficulties and challenges. They teach us how to behave and never give up.

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    • 33. At 03:23am on 18 Aug 2011, Anjual wrote:

      My favourite fairy tale is Cinderella that is very traditional tale. That tale has all the things that is lesson has: once upon a time, wicked stepmother, and lovely fairy!

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    • 34. At 07:01am on 18 Aug 2011, Maria wrote:

      The wind in the willows is my most favourite fairytale.

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    • 35. At 09:53am on 18 Aug 2011, kyntire wrote:

      I do agree with Maria in saying that The wind in the willows is a very nice, funny and witty fairy tale. The animals who are the characters of the story with their peculiarities are absolute delight. However, I find another fairy tale deserves to be mentioned and this is The little grey men by B.B.. Even if it's a story written about 5 decades ago, it keeps on telling us grown up children about the adventures of three little gnomes who travel a long way in the name of the friendship toward one comrade of them. While making this journey, they show us many aspects of real life, often funny but sometimes even cruel, and the message that we easily and naturally get is that anything is possible in life if you just believe it is and have friends around you. By the way, the book is illustrated with delicate drawings so that it turns up to be even more enjoyable.

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    • 36. At 11:33am on 18 Aug 2011, Tenzin wrote:

      My favorite fairly tale is about a rabbit and a tortoise. The story is all about racing competition between a rabbit and a tortoise. The rabbit ran so fast that the tortoise could not follow it, creating miles distance. Then, the rabbit slept on the way to destination. Fortunately the rabbit enjoyed a deep sleep, unfortunately the tortoise came slow and steady, finally taking its legs on to the destination, at first.

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    • 37. At 1:35pm on 18 Aug 2011, majki26 wrote:

      It is a lot of nice fairly tale, in Slovakia we have our national fairy tale from slovak writter Pavol Dobsinsky. Lot of him fairy tale were filmed. Very important is, if good wins at bad.....

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    • 38. At 4:01pm on 18 Aug 2011, ivelina wrote:

      I've read a lot of fairy tails,but perhaps my favourite one is Cinderella.I'd love to think that no matter how bad the circumstanses are at present everything can change and good people will eventually find happiness.

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    • 39. At 4:03pm on 18 Aug 2011, Lenaton wrote:

      In my country (I'm russian) fairy tales about Ivan The Fool are very famous and popular. They teach us: you don't have to be hardworking or very clever to get success. Everyone has a chance! You need only be brave and honest. It's true. Sometimes spontaneous action brings better result than following good plans. Don't miss a good opportunity!

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    • 40. At 4:06pm on 18 Aug 2011, Rich wrote:

      Does anyone know some chinese fairly tales?

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    • 41. At 10:35pm on 18 Aug 2011, Malu10 wrote:

      Well, I really dont remember the name of the tale that impressed me very much. I read it when I was nine. I was very unhappy then. The tale was about a little girl who had to choose whether she wanted to be happy when she was a child or when she was an adult. She choosed to be happy when she was an adult.
      That tale helped me in hard times because I believed that one day...

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    • 42. At 08:54am on 19 Aug 2011, EJ wrote:

      Cinderella is one of my favourate. When I was young, I always wanted to be a princess. Cindy was not a princess at first, but she fell in love with the prince and became the queen of the kingdom. This story made me do chores because I want to meet mice or birds that can help me to be a princess like her.

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    • 43. At 09:41am on 19 Aug 2011, orkhan wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 44. At 7:51pm on 19 Aug 2011, Luís Martini wrote:

      My favorite fairy tale is Pinocchio. This tale tell us about some values such as honesty, true and hamful consequences of lying. Fairy tales always theach not only to us but to all generations, about eternal values.

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    • 45. At 11:59pm on 19 Aug 2011, candallina wrote:

      My favourite fairy taile has always been Pinocchio!
      I deeply believe that if someone lie...the nose become bigger than before :P
      My mother used it against me to always say the truth :P


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    • 46. At 02:23am on 20 Aug 2011, katie wrote:

      I love fairy tale especially cinderella which is a dream for every girl.

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    • 47. At 11:25am on 20 Aug 2011, bonki1 wrote:

      And what do you think about fary-tale "Roly-Poly"? :) Amusing main character but odd end..
      I think, sometimes the short Russian stories for the youngest children are rather weird.. and even partly cruel...

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    • 48. At 3:34pm on 20 Aug 2011, marissa wage wrote:

      i love Cinderella and all about princess story like bEAUTY and the Beast or other else.

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    • 49. At 10:31pm on 20 Aug 2011, Citlalli wrote:

      I think or in this moment i dont remmember, but dont have any favorite fary tail but i saw a lot of fary tails movies, bring me very good moment when i was child. :)

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    • 50. At 01:07am on 21 Aug 2011, tigereye wrote:

      My favorite fairy tales is the load of the ring it's very nice it's being loved every era.

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    • 51. At 01:47am on 21 Aug 2011, kim wrote:

      l really like AESOP,S FABLES i read some stories up my daughter is 4 yr who also love these stories that are funny and moral stories.

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    • 52. At 08:53am on 21 Aug 2011, Yulia wrote:

      My favourite tales are "Beaute and Beast" and "Cinderella".

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    • 53. At 6:41pm on 21 Aug 2011, Cesar wrote:

      My favourite fairy tail is Beauty and Beast. I think this fairy is really moving, because you have how the people are inside and not outside.

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    • 54. At 7:06pm on 21 Aug 2011, ABULGASSIM ABAKAR wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 55. At 9:11pm on 21 Aug 2011, Deniz wrote:

      The Little Match Girl.:)

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    • 56. At 11:52pm on 21 Aug 2011, AKI wrote:

      My favorite fairy tale..It's cinderella. I used to read before going bed until 13 years old what's more I collected the dolls and my younger sister too~ girls tend to love that kind of fairy tale which come charming prince who falling love with poor girl.

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    • 57. At 07:12am on 22 Aug 2011, love you 12 wrote:

      When I was young, i loved reading ''The Snow White and Seven Drawfs " much.My mother and I sat and read together. It was a gorgeous memorry.
      Now I grew up but I still read a fairy tale when I feel weary.I knew althought I grew up , a part inside of me is a child that why I love a fairy tale until now.

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    • 58. At 09:18am on 22 Aug 2011, chloe wrote:

      My favourite fairy tale is The Daughter Of the Sea written by Andersen.

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    • 59. At 10:39am on 22 Aug 2011, Yoomin wrote:

      Peter pan is my favorite, every girl dreaming a Peter pan living in their heart.

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    • 60. At 11:04am on 22 Aug 2011, sab33 wrote:

      I love all the fairy tales. When I read those tales, i still feel like a child. I used to read all kind of fairy tales in my childhood. Now I read them every night to my niece and she just adores them.

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    • 61. At 11:14am on 22 Aug 2011, flores_de_mayo30 wrote:

      My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast and The Ugly Duckling. Both stories imbibed in me the principle that we should not judge a person by outward appearance, but by character.

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    • 62. At 11:57am on 22 Aug 2011, sinclair777 wrote:

      i like peter pan
      i want to be like a peterpan
      hate to be adult

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