Saturday, 31 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 92. Relationships. Extra Speaking









A. You have a few minutes to think of an answer to these questions. Remember that you are expected to give full answers.
1. Comment on the pictures and relate them to the topic of relationships.
2.  Do emotions get the better of people at weddings sometimes? of whom? Why?
3. What kind of problems can put a great strain on a relationship? 
4. Describe the personalities of your family members. Are there any characteristics that run in your family?
5. What do you think of the fact that political parties jettison members of their own party because they fail to toe the party line? Do you think all politicians have an axe to grind?
6. When is it appropriate to divulge a secret and how should it be done?  
7. What celebrity news has knocked you sideways recently?
8. Everyday more than 25,000 girls under the age of 18 are married worldwide. For many child brides, a future of poverty, exploitation and poor health awaits. What do you think can be done about forced marriages? What do you think about arranged marriages
9. Think about a wedding you attended. Whose big day was it? Do you know who popped the question, and where? Who proposed a toast? Who did you raise your glass to? Did they sing someone's praises? If so, whose? Did anyone break down in tears? If so, who and why? Did the wedding go off without a hitch? If not, what happened? 



B.  LONG TURN 
Read the quote and comment on the following aspects:
"I'm not saying that there's anything better than mated bliss at its best, but I'm saying that living alone is as good in its own way. But we haven't quite given ourselves permission to recognize that."
-Barbara Feldon-

Are there more benefits or drawbacks to living alone nowadays? Is it possible to be unattached and happy? How can single people overcome some of the residual negative stereotyping that remains in our society? Should people be left to their own devices? Can you think of reasons why in the modern world more than 50 percent of adults are single, and why so many love living alone? Can people get easily into a rut when they live alone? Why are more millennials choosing to be childless? Why do you think more and more single women are resorting to IVF treatment and single men to surrogate mothers in order to have babies? Why do you think there are campaigners against it? Think about someone who got divorced or split up. What turned their relationship sour? Why do people sometimes sever all contact with their family or friends? Talk about the rise in solo-living and the sociology behind it.



Vocabulary
Question 1 
Picture 1
Agreeing and disagreeing



at loggerheads (with somebody) (over something) in strong disagreement. E.g. Tom is at loggerheads with Bill. We are at loggerheads with each other. The twins were at loggerheads over who should take the larger room. The two governments are still at loggerheads over the island. The British and Irish governments are still at loggerheads over the deal. The two families were always at loggerheads, making it difficult to celebrate holidays together.





be at odds (with somebody) (over/on something) to disagree with somebody about something He's always at odds with his father over politics.




be at each other’s throats (of two or more people, groups, etc.) to be fighting or arguing with each other. If two people are at each other’s throats, they are arguing in an angry way. E.g. The neighbours are at each other's throats over who should repair the fence. As soon as politics comes up, they’ll be at each other’s throats. It was a very dramatic trial, with the prosecutor and the defence attorney constantly at each other's throats.



fight like cat and dog: to argue violently all the time. E.g. We get on very well as adults but as kids we fought like cat and dog. We fought like cat and dog the whole time we were together.



Take issue with somebody (about/on/over something): (formal) to start disagreeing or arguing with somebody about something. Sp. Discrepar. E.g. I must take issue with you on that point. I would like to take issue with some of his criticism.     


take exception to something: to object strongly to something; to be angry about something. E.g. I take great exception to the fact that you told my wife before you told me. No one could possibly take exception to his comments.




Decry somebody/something (as something) /dɪˈkraɪ/ (formal) to strongly criticize somebody/something, especially publicly. Condemn. E.g. The measures were decried as useless.



Anger


give somebody a piece of your mind (informal) to tell somebody that you disapprove of their behaviour or are angry with them. E.g. He gave his daughter a piece of his mind.




tetchy: /ˈtetʃi/ bad-tempered; likely to get angry easily or without good reason. Irritable /ˈɪrɪtəbl/. E.g. He sounded tetchy when I asked him where he’d been.




ire: /ˈaɪə(r)/ anger. Wrath /rɒθ/. E.g. to arouse/raise/provoke the ire of local residents (US English). To draw the ire of local residents. The plans provoked the ire of the conservationists.




Fiery: /ˈfaɪəri/ quickly or easily becoming angry. E.g. She has a fiery temper. A fiery young man.




feud (with somebody) /fjuːd/ to have an angry and bitter argument with somebody over a long period of time. E.g. He has been feuding with his brother for years. feuding families/ gangs/ neighbours.




Bottle something up: to not allow other people to see that you are unhappy, angry, etc, especially when this happens over a long period of time. Sp. reprimir. E.g. Try not to bottle up your emotions. Bottle up a problem/ emotions.




Grudge: /ɡrʌdʒ/ a feeling of anger or dislike towards somebody because of something bad they have done to you in the past. Rencor E.g. I bear him no grudge. He has a grudge against the world. She has harboured a grudge against me for years. I don't hold any grudges now.




strife: angry or violent disagreement between two people or groups of people. Conflict. E.g. civil strife. The country was torn apart by strife. 




quick-tempered: likely to become angry very quickly (Sp. irascible): e.g. a quick-tempered woman.




spark to cause something to start or develop, especially suddenly. E.g. The proposal would spark a storm of protest around the country. Spark something off The riots were sparked off by the arrest of a local leader. A wheelie bin has sparked off a dirty war between two neighbours.




wheelie bin: a large container with a lid and wheels, that you keep outside your house and use for putting rubbish in.




Streak: /striːk/ a part of a person's character, especially an unpleasant part. Sp. vena. E.g. a ruthless/ vicious/ mean streak. A streak of cruelty.




Ruthless: /ˈruːθləs/ hard and cruel; determined to get what you want and not caring if you hurt other people. Sp. despiadado. E.g. a ruthless dictator.




ruthlessly: in a hard and cruel way; determined to get what you want and not caring if you hurt other people. E.g. I have to be ruthlessly honest with you. They should be punished ruthlessly for what they have done. An industry that so ruthlessly fleeces its customers shouldn't be surprised when some bite back.

 



ruth: a feeling of pity, distress, or grief. E.g. in this business I have neither ruth nor pity. Her honesty is never ruthless in the strict sense of the word; there is ruth, or mercy, even for the worst. But when it comes to making personnel decisions, Johnson is legendarily ruthless; not an ounce of ruth in him.




Vicious: /ˈvɪʃəs/ violent and cruel. Brutal. Sp. despiadado. E.g. a vicious attack. A vicious criminal. She has a vicious temper.




flare (up): (especially of anger and violence) to suddenly start or become much stronger. Erupt. E.g.
Violence flared when the police moved in. Tempers flared towards the end of the meeting.




Outburst: a sudden strong expression of an emotion. E.g. An outburst of anger. She was alarmed by his violent outburst.  
 



Wild-eyed glaring in or as if in anger, terror, or madness. E.g. Outbursts of wild-eyed, foaming-at-the mouth fury.
 



Glare: to look at somebody/something in an angry way. E.g. He didn't shout, he just glared at me silently.I looked at her and she glared furiously back.




Foam at the mouth: to be extraordinarily angry. E.g. She was almost foaming at the mouth when she heard about the cost of the car repairs. Walter was foaming at the mouth with rage. 




Call sb names: to use insulting words about sb.




blow a fuse(informal) to get very angry.



irate: very angry



go berserk: /bər'sɜ:rk / || /bə'sɜ:k/  To be very angry and out of control. Sp. Desquiciado, frenético, ponerse hecho una furia.



blow your top (BrE) (NAmE blow your stack)(informal) to get very angry.



tantrum: a sudden short period of angry, unreasonable behaviour, especially in a child (pataleta, berrinche, rabieta):
to have / throw a tantrum. Children often have temper tantrums at the age of two or thereabouts.



lose / keep your temper (with sb)to fail / manage to control your anger:
She lost her temper with a customer and shouted at him. I struggle to keep my temper with the kids when they misbehave. 
 


Picture 2 

Behaviour

disruptive: causing problems, noise, etc. so that sth cannot continue normally (Sp. perjudicial): e.g. She had a disruptive influence on the rest of the class. 



troublesomecausing trouble, pain, etc. over a long period of time. E.g. a troublesome cough/child/problem.



unruly: difficult to control or manage. E.g.  an unruly class. Unruly behaviour. There have been complaints about her unruly behaviour.



obnoxious: /əbˈnɒkʃəs/ extremely unpleasant, especially in a way that offends people. E.g. obnoxious behaviour a thoroughly obnoxious little man.
 



infamous: /ˈɪnfəməs/ well known for being bad or evil. Notorious. E.g. a general who was infamous for his brutality. The most infamous concentration camp.




subversive: /səbˈvɜːsɪv/ trying or likely to destroy or damage a government or political system by attacking it secretly or indirectly. E.g. subversive activities.




skullduggery (also skulduggery/skʌlˈdʌɡəri/ dishonest behaviour or activities. E.g. A tale of skullduggery and dirty dealings (business activities).




faux pas /ˌfəʊ ˈpɑː/ (pl. faux pas /ˌfəʊ ˈpɑːz/) an action or a remark that causes embarrassment because it is not socially correct. Sp. papelón, metedura de pata. E.g. I committed a faux pas that my friends have never let me forget.



amicable: /ˈæmɪkəbl/ done or achieved in a polite or friendly way and without arguing. E.g. an amicable relationship. An amicable settlement was reached. In spite of their disagreement they parted on amicable terms. It was an amicable divorce. The government and the union managed to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute. Less amicable than it seems.




Look up to somebody: to admire or respect somebody. E.g. He looked up to his older sister and cousins as an example and was influenced by their ways and the music they listened to. 




To look down on sb/sth: to think that you are better than somebody/something. E.g. She looks down on people who haven't been to college. Do you know any teachers who look down on their pupils?




To look down your nose at sb/sth: (informal, especially British English) to behave in a way that suggests that you think that you are better than somebody or that something is not good enough for you. E.g. He looked down his nose at them. He criticized and screamed at employees. He publicly humiliated any employee who made a mistake.




put somebody down: to make somebody look or feel stupid, especially in front of other people. Humiliate. E.g. Do you know anyone who is always trying to put people down?





Give somebody the cold shoulder: (informal) to treat somebody in an unfriendly way- ignoring them.




Go to your head: to make you feel too proud of yourself in a way that other people find annoying. E.g. Don't let all this praise go to your head




Big-headed: having a very high opinion of how important and clever you are; too proud. E.g. I’m trying not to get too big-headed.





turn your back on sb: to reject somebody/something that you have previously been connected with. E.g.  She turned her back on them when they needed her. Some newspapers have turned their backs on discussion and argument. Have you ever turned your back on anyone? Do you know anyone who has?




Pretentious: /prɪˈtenʃəs/ trying to appear important, intelligent, etc. in order to impress other people; trying to be something that you are not, in order to impress. E.g. That's a pretentious name for a dog! It was just an ordinary house—nothing pretentious. He's so pretentious!




Haughty: behaving in an unfriendly way towards other people because you think that you are better than them. Arrogant. E.g. a haughty face/look/manner. He replied with haughty disdain.




Scornful: showing or feeling scorn. E.g. He was scornful of such ‘female’ activities as cooking.




Scorn: a strong feeling that somebody/something is stupid or not good enough, usually shown by the way you speak. E.g. She was unable to hide the scorn in her voice.




Pour/heap scorn on somebody/something: to speak about somebody/something in a way that shows that you do not respect them or have a good opinion of them. E.g. He heaped scorn on the government's handling of the economy. 




Disdainful (of somebody/something): showing disdain. E.g. She's always been disdainful of people who haven't been to college.
 



Contemptuous:  /kənˈtemptʃuəs/ feeling or showing that you have no respect for somebody/something. E.g. The company has shown a contemptuous disregard for Henry's complaints. He was contemptuous of everything I did.
 



Contempt: /kənˈtempt/: the feeling that somebody/something is without value and deserves no respect at all. E.g. She looked at him with contempt




ostracize somebody (formal) /ˈɒstrəsaɪz/ to refuse to let somebody be a member of a social group; to refuse to meet or talk to somebody. E.g. He was ostracized by his colleagues for refusing to support the strike. She was declared a witch and ostracized by the villagers.
 

 



Obsequious: / əbˈsiːkwiəs/ trying too hard to please somebody, especially somebody who is important. Servile . E.g. an obsequious manner. Smiling obsequiously.
 



Servile: /ˈsɜːvaɪl /wanting too much to please somebody and obey them E.g. Parents have no right to demand servile obedience from their children
 




Crawl (to somebody): (informal, disapproving) to be too friendly or helpful to somebody in authority, in a way that is not sincere, especially in order to get an advantage from them. E.g. She's always crawling to the boss.
 



Creep (to somebody): (British English, informal, disapproving) to be too friendly or helpful to somebody in authority in a way that is not sincere, especially in order to get an advantage from them. E.g. They creep to the boss and claim good work by somebody else as their own and shift any blame to somebody else.
 



Suck up (to somebody): (informal, disapproving) to try to please somebody in authority by praising them too much, helping them, etc, in order to gain some advantage for yourself. E.g. I never sucked up to my teachers, and I'm not going to start now.
 



Butter sb up: to say nice things to somebody so that they will help you or give you something. E.g. Stop trying to butter me up! He's always trying to butter up the boss.
 




Creep: a person who is not sincere but tries to win your approval by being nice to you. E.g. He's the sort of creep who would do that kind of thing!
 



Crawler :a person who tries to get somebody's favour by praising them, doing what will please them, etc. E.g. Don't be such a crawler.
 



Brown-noser (offensive); arse (Br E) /ass (Am E) kisser/licker (offensive); Butt licker/kisser (less offensive): a person who is too friendly to somebody in authority and is always ready to do what they want. E.g. He is a butt kisser who just wants to be told he's a "good boy." 
 



Teacher's pet a person who is given special attention by somebody, especially in a way that seems unfair to other people. Favourite. E.g. She's the teacher's pet.




Denigrate somebody/something: /ˈdenɪɡreɪt/ (formal) to criticize somebody/something unfairly; to say somebody/something does not have any value or is not important. Belittle. Sp. Menospreciar. E.g. I didn't intend to denigrate her achievements.




Loathe: /ləʊð/ to dislike somebody/something very much. Detest. E.g. I loathe modern art. They loathe each other.




Mendacity: /menˈdæsəti/ the act of not telling the truth. Lying. E.g. politicians accused of hypocrisy and mendacity.




Mendacious: /menˈdeɪʃəs/ not telling the truth. Lying. Sp. mentiroso. E.g. mendacious press statements.




Revel in something: /ˈrevl/ to enjoy something very much. Sp. disfrutar enormemente. E.g. She was clearly revelling in all the attention. He revelled in the freedom he was allowed. Some people seem to revel in annoying others. She revelled in defying the critics.





Display: an occasion when you show a particular quality, feeling or ability by the way that you behave. Sp. demostración. E.g. a display of affection/strength/wealth.




Con to trick somebody, especially in order to get money from them or persuade them to do something for you. E.g. con somebody (into doing something) I was conned into buying a useless car. Con somebody (out of something) They had been conned out of £100,000. 




fleece somebody (informal) (V) to take a lot of money from somebody by charging them too much or swindling (cheating) them. E.g. Some local shops have been fleecing tourists. The city’s cab drivers are notorious for fixing fares and fleecing tourists.

 



fleece: (N) the wool coat of a sheep; this coat when it has been removed from a sheep (by shearing ) 




gullible: too willing to believe or accept what other people tell you and therefore easily tricked. E.g. The advertisement is aimed at gullible young women worried about their weight.  




trusting: tending to believe that other people are good, honest, etc. E.g. If you're too trusting, other people will take advantage of you.

 



trustful: having or marked by a total belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone. E.g. I became very nervous and less trustful of people. He is too trustful and does not realize what people are capable of doing to him.




mistrustful: having no confidence in somebody/something because you think they may be harmful; not trusting somebody/something. E.g. mistrustful (of somebody/something) Some people are very mistrustful of computers. Since the accident he has become withdrawn and mistrustful.




trustworthy: that you can rely on to be good, honest, sincere, etc. 




untrustworthy: that cannot be trusted.




trusty: that you have had a long time and have always been able to rely on. E.g. a trusty friend. She spent years touring Europe with her trusty old camera. 




wary: /ˈweəri/ careful when dealing with somebody/something because you think that there may be a danger or problem. Cautious. E.g. Be wary of strangers who offer you a ride.




neighbourly: friendly and helpful. Kind. E.g. It was a neighbourly gesture of theirs.




be/feel hard done by  to be or feel unfairly treated. E.g. She has every right to feel hard done by—her parents have given her nothing.



point a/the finger (at somebody): to accuse somebody of doing something. E.g. The article points an accusing finger at the authorities.

 



scapegoat: /ˈskeɪpɡəʊt/ a person who is blamed for something bad that somebody else has done or for some failure. E.g. She felt she had been made a scapegoat for her boss's incompetence.

 



stingy: /ˈstɪndʒi/ not given or giving willingly; not generous, especially with money. Mean. E.g. You're stingy! (= not willing to spend money)



Keep (yourself) to yourself: to avoid meeting people socially or becoming involved in their affairs: E.g. Nobody knows much about him; he keeps himself very much to himself.



Picture 3

Family



get-together: an informal meeting; a party. E.g. a family get-together at Christmas.

 


saga: /ˈsɑːɡə/ a long story about events over a period of many years. E.g. a family saga.

 


White lie: a harmless or small lie, especially one that you tell to avoid hurting somebody. E.g. Parents often tell their children white lies like "it's chicken" so that they will eat their food.




Hold together: To keep sb/sth united. E.g. It’s the mother who usually holds the family together.




Pamper somebody to take care of somebody very well and make them feel as comfortable as possible. Sp. mimar. E.g. Pamper yourself with our new range of beauty treatments. A spoilt and pampered child. 




Kinship: 1. the fact of being related in a family. Sp. Parentesco. E.g. the ties of kinship. 2. a feeling of being close to somebody because you have similar origins or attitudes. Affinity.Afinidad E.g. we tend to feel kinship with those who share the same values. 




nurture: /ˈnɜːtʃə(r)/ care, encouragement and support given to somebody/something while they are growing. Sp. crianza, educación. E.g. The study seems to show that nurture is more important than nature in shaping a child's character and future prospects. These plants will need careful nurture.

 

 

 

Come to terms with something: to accept something unpleasant by learning to deal with it. E.g. She is still coming to terms with her son's death.

 

 

 

grieve:  to feel very sad, especially because somebody has died. E.g. grieve (for/over somebody/something) They are still grieving for their dead child. Grieving relatives. Grieve somebody/something She grieved the death of her husband.




uproot: to leave a place where you have lived for a long time; to make somebody do this. E.g. We decided to uproot and head for Scotland. Uproot yourself/ somebody E.g. If I accept the job, it will mean uprooting my young family and moving to Italy.

 

Picture 4

Friendship



Rub along (with somebody/together): (British English, informal) (of two people) to live or work together in a friendly enough way. Sp. Llevarse bien con alguien, tener buen rollo. E.g. We manage to rub along together fairly well.




Take to sb/sth: to start liking sb/sth: E.g. I took to my new boss immediately. He hasn’t taken to his new school.
 




hit it off (with somebody) (informal) to have a good friendly relationship with somebody. E.g. We hit it off straight away.
 




Turn to sb/sth: to go to sb/sth for help, advice, etc.: E.g. She has nobody she can turn to.
 




Go / turn sour: to stop being pleasant: E.g. Their relationship soon went sour.

 


click: to become friends with somebody at once; to become popular with somebody. E.g. We met at a party and clicked immediately. E.g. click with somebody He's never really clicked with his students. When I met Melanie I just clicked with her straight away, and I have always got on with her. We clicked together in a special way and I am sorry to say that in later years we lost touch with one another.




get on like a house on fire: (of people) to become friends quickly and have a very friendly relationship.
Do you and your parents get on like a house on fire? Do you get on like a house on fire with  
anybody?



take a liking:  the feeling that you like somebody. E.g. She had taken a liking to him on their first meeting.
Can you tell us about the last time you took an instant liking to somebody?



Have you ever taken an instant dislike to anyone? Were you proved right or did you have to change your mind later on?



Which of your acquaintances gets on your nerves? Why?

 

Have it in for sb: (informal) to not like sb and be unpleasant to them.
Did any of your teachers ever have it in for you or any of your classmates? Why? 




Take to somebody take to something: to start liking somebody/something. I took to my new boss immediately. He hasn't taken to his new school. Think about someone you have never actually taken to.




Fall out (with sb): to have an argument with sb so that you are no longer friendly with them




rapport: /ræˈpɔː(r)/ rapport (with somebody) rapport (between A and B) a friendly relationship in which people understand each other very well. Sp. buena relación, entendimiento. E.g. She understood the importance of establishing a close rapport with clients. Honesty is essential if there is to be good rapport between patient and therapist. There was little rapport between the two women. She felt an instant rapport between them




strike up something (with somebody) to begin a friendship, a relationship, a conversation, etc. E.g. He would often strike up conversations with complete strangers. Sumner and Georgia strike up an unexpected friendship leaving Sophie out in the cold.  



leave somebody out in the cold to not include somebody in a group or an activity.  




Rabbit on (about somebody/something): (British English, informal, disapproving) to talk continuously about things that are not important or interesting. E.g. Stop rabbiting on about nothing, will you, and go to sleep. Once my wife gets on the phone with one of her friends, they rabbit on for hours.




E-pal: (also e-friend): a person that you make friends with by sending emails, often somebody you have never met. E.g. She now has e-pals all over the world.




talk somebody into/out of something: to persuade somebody to do/not to do something. E.g. I didn't want to move abroad but Bill talked me into it. Talk somebody into/out of doing something She tried to talk him out of leaving.


Picture 5 

Help

 

Bend/fall/lean over backwards (to do something): to make a great effort, especially in order to be helpful or fair. E.g. I've bent over backwards to help him. I bent over backwards to make it easier for her and she didn't even notice




Pull together: to act, work, etc. together with other people in an organized way and without fighting. Sp. Aunar esfuerzos. E.g In times of crisis communities pull together. 




(Do somebody) a good turn: (to do) something that helps somebody. E.g. Well, that's my good turn for the day.




go to any, some, great, etc. lengths (to do something) to put a lot of effort into doing something, especially when this seems extreme. E.g. She goes to extraordinary lengths to keep her private life private. 
They have gone to great lengths to make us feel welcome. She goes to extraordinary lengths to keep her private life private.



Accommodating: /əˈkɒmədeɪtɪŋ/ willing to help and do things for other people. Obliging /əˈblaɪdʒɪŋ/. Sp. Complaciente. E.g. They are very accommodating to foreign visitors. David was gentle, generous and accommodating to a fault (a lot or even too much).




Thoughtful: showing that you think about and care for other people. E.g. It was very thoughtful of you to send the flowers.




Considerate: /kənˈsɪdərət/ always thinking of other people’s wishes and feelings; careful not to hurt or upset others. E.g. She is always polite and considerate towards her employees. It was very considerate of him to wait.




push somebody/yourself to make somebody work hard. E.g. The music teacher really pushes her pupils. Lucy should push herself a little harder. She will be pushed to the limit.




side with somebody (against somebody/something): to support one person or group in an argument against somebody else. E.g. The kids always sided with their mother against me.



shoulder something to accept the responsibility for something. E.g. to shoulder the responsibility/blame for something. Women who shoulder the double burden of childcare and full-time work.



Picture 6
Love

besotted (by/with somebody/something) /bɪˈsɒtɪd/ loving somebody/something so much that you do not behave in a sensible way. E.g. He is completely besotted with his new girlfriend. He became besotted with a local barmaid.

 

lovesick: unable to think clearly or behave in a sensible way because you are in love with somebody, especially somebody who is not in love with you. E.g.  He’s been wandering around all week like a lovesick teenager.

 

Head over heels (in love): loving somebody very much. A term used to describe the feeling of falling in love.This is used figuratively. E.g. Sara: Look at the look on Laura's face. Steph: Yeah she is head over heels for that guy in front of her. He's fallen head over heels in love with his boss. 



Fall forto be strongly attracted to somebody; to fall in love with somebody They fell for each other instantly. Aaron fell for a florist, but both were carrying quite a bit of emotional baggage (U). Her clear-headed approach becomes clouded when she falls for her new neighbour.



Fall hard for: To become instantly and/or intensely infatuated with.

 


Smitten: /ˈsmɪtn/ smitten (with/by somebody/something) suddenly feeling that you are in love with somebody. E.g. From the moment they met, he was completely smitten by her.  Georgia is smitten with Ben.




Carry a torch for somebody: to be in love with somebody, especially somebody who does not love you in return.  




only have eyes for/have eyes only for somebody to be in love with only one particular person. E.g. He's only ever had eyes for his wife.




Colourful: interesting or exciting; full of variety, sometimes in a way that is slightly shocking. E.g. He opened up to him about his colourful love life, including his tempestuous relationship with his third wife.




Bam: (exclamation) used to show that something happens very suddenly. E.g. I saw him yesterday and—bam!—I realized I was still in love with him.

 

 

 

Wham: (exclamation) used to show that something that is unexpected has suddenly happened. E.g. I saw him yesterday and—wham!—I realized I was still in love with him.




Whirlwind/ˈwɜːlwɪnd/ (adj) [only before noun] happening very fast. Something that happens very quickly and unexpectedly, so that the people involved have little control of what happens and how they feel. E.g. a whirlwind romance. A whirlwind tour of America




old flame a former lover. E.g. She met an old flame at the party. She bumped into an old flame at the airport.




cuddle the action of holding somebody close in your arms to show love or affection. E.g. to give somebody a cuddle. Would you join a cuddle club?




snuggle: /ˈsnʌɡl/ to get into, or to put somebody/something into, a warm comfortable position, especially close to somebody. E.g. The child snuggled up to her mother. Lonely strangers join CUDDLE CLUB for 'non sexual hugs' in upmarket area of London The bizarre Cuddle Workshop, in London, holds mass snuggling sessions where dozens of strangers spoon each other.




spoon: (Of two people) behave in an amorous way; kiss and cuddle. E.g. I saw them spooning on the beach.




Prickly relationship: difficult. Sp. Espinoso. Prickles: Sp. espinas 
 




Uneasy relationship: not certain to last; not safe or settled: e.g. An uneasy peace. The two sides eventually reached an uneasy compromise.
 




Fierce argument: angry and aggressive in a way that is frightening. Showing strong feelings or a lot of activity, often in a way that is violent: E.g. A fierce dog. Two fierce eyes glared at them. He suddenly looked fierce. The scene of fierce fighting. He launched a fierce attack on the Democrats. Competition from abroad became fiercer in the 1990s. Feroz
 




Courting couple: a couple that has a relationship before getting married.
 




Unrequited love: /ˌʌnriˈkwaɪtɪd/ not returned by the person that you love.
 




requite something: /rɪˈkwaɪt/ to give something such as love, kindness, a favour, etc. in return for what somebody has given you. E.g. requited love.
 




infatuated (with somebody/something) /ɪnˈfætʃueɪtɪd/ having a very strong feeling of love or attraction for somebody/ something so that you cannot think clearly and in a sensible way. E.g. She was completely infatuated with him.


Marriage


A change of heart: if you have a change of heart, your attitude towards something changes, usually making you feel more friendly, helpful, etc. E.g. Dan did not want to get married but recently he's had a change of heart.

 


Move in with somebody: to start living with somebody in the house or flat/apartment where they already live.   




Suffocating: /ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪŋ/  restricting what somebody/something can do. Sp. asfixiante, agobiante. Some marriages can sometimes feel suffocating. As a public figure, she had to endure suffocating publicity.

 

 

 

Rocky: difficult and not certain to continue or to be successful. E.g. a rocky marriage.
Can you talk about a couple whose relationship could be described as rocky?




tempestuous: /temˈpestʃuəs/ full of extreme emotions. E.g. a tempestuous relationship.

 


Take somebody/something for granted: to be so used to somebody/something that you do not recognize their true value any more and do not show that you are grateful. Sp. Subestimar. E.g. Her husband was always there and she just took him for granted. We take having an endless supply of clean water for granted. My own grandchildren take everything for granted.





run off with somebody to leave your partner or home to begin a new relationship with someone. E.g. He has run off with a woman he met at the office. He is on the hunt for a handyman after the last one ran off with his wife.

 


Dump somebody: (informal) to end a romantic relationship with somebody. E.g. Did you hear he's dumped his girlfriend?

 


Ditch something/somebody (informal)to get rid of something/somebody because you no longer want or need it/them. E.g. The new road building programme has been ditched. He ditched his girlfriend.

 


Be falling/coming apart at the seams: (informal) to be going very badly wrong and likely to stop functioning completely. E.g. She was falling apart at the seams, spending most of her time in tears. His little world fell apart at the seams.




Broken-hearted: used to describe a feeling of great sadness, especially when somebody you love has died or left you. Sp. destrozado, deshecho. E.g. He was broken-hearted when his wife died.





Cast my net elsewhere: look around for someone else.
Cast your net: to throw a fishing net into the water.

 

debauchery: /dɪˈbɔːtʃəri/ immoral behaviour involving sex, alcohol or drugs. E.g. a life of debauchery. What do you think about this film where a man is given carte blanche /ˌkɑːt ˈblɑːnʃ/ by his girlfriend to enjoy a weekend of debauchery before getting married?



Do people buy their clothes off the peg for a wedding? 
off the peg (British English) (North American English off the rack) (of clothes) made to a standard average size and not made especially to fit you. E.g. He buys his clothes off the peg. Off-the-peg fashions.






Can you tell us about the last time you went to a stag/ hen party? How did you celebrate it?



What kind of presents do the guests to the wedding offer the newly-wed couple?



Do you think weddings can break the bank? What would you prioritise?
break the bank:  cost a lot of money, or more than you can afford. E.g. We can just get a sandwich if you want—that won't break the bank.



tie the knot: (informal) to get married. E.g. The couple - who each have been married twice before - tied the knot 11 years ago in a register office.

 

extravagant: /ɪkˈstrævəɡənt/ costing a lot more money than you can afford or is necessary. E.g. an extravagant present.

 


dowry: /ˈdaʊri/
1 money and/or property that, in some societies, a wife or her family must pay to her husband when they get married.
2 money and/or property that, in some societies, a husband must pay to his wife's family when they get married.

 


prenuptial agreement: an agreement made by a couple before they get married in which they say how their money and property is to be divided if they get divorced





The whole works: everything available. The whole thing. The whole shebang /ʃɪˈbæŋ/.

go the whole hog: (informal) to do something thoroughly or completely. E.g. I’ve bought a new dress – I think I’ll go the whole hog and buy a complete outfit.




Lavish: large in amount, or impressive, and usually costing a lot of money. Extravagant. E.g. lavish gifts / celebrations. They lived a very lavish lifestyle.




To be in awe of somebody: to admire somebody/ something and be slightly frightened of them/it. Sp. sentir gran admiración y respeto por alguien. E.g. While Diana was in awe of her grandfather, she adored her grandmother.


Awe: /ɔː/ feelings of respect and slight fear; feelings of being very impressed by something/ somebody. Sp. veneración. E.g. awe and respect. Awe and wonder. He speaks of her with awe. ‘It's magnificent,’ she whispered in awe.





Question 2

get the better of somebody/something  if an emotion or feeling gets the better of you, it is too strong for you to control and it makes you do something that you did not intend to do. E.g. Smith’s anger got the better of him once again, and he started to attack the referee. His emotions got the better of him and he broke down in tears.


Question 3


Strain: pressure on sb/sth because they have too much to do or manage, or sth very difficult to deal with; the problems, worry or anxiety that this produces: Their marriage is under great strain at the moment. These repayments are putting a strain on our finances. Put a great strain on a relationship. 
 

Question 4 

Personality



run in the family: to be a common feature in a particular family. Heart disease runs in the family.





timorous: /ˈtɪmərəs/ nervous and easily frightened. Timid. E.g. His timorous wife.




Talk about someone you know that keeps himself / herself to himself / herself.




belligerent: /bəˈlɪdʒərənt/ unfriendly and aggressive. Hostile. E.g. a belligerent attitude He is always very belligerent towards me.




gregarious: /ɡrɪˈɡeəriəs/ liking to be with other people. E.g. She’s very outgoing and gregarious. Hugh was a popular and gregarious man.




Affectionate: /əˈfekʃənət/ showing caring feelings and love for somebody. Loving. Sp. cariñoso. E.g. He is very affectionate towards his children. An affectionate kiss. Your affectionate son, Peter (Sp. tu hijo que te quiere, Peter).




Bubbly: /ˈbʌbli/ always cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic. E.g. Julie's bright, bubbly personality.




pushy: trying hard to get what you want, especially in a way that seems rude (Sp. prepotente, agresivo): e.g. a pushy salesman.

 



demanding: (Sp. exigente) (of a person) expecting a lot of work or attention from others; not easily satisfied: e.g. a demanding boss / child.




unassuming: /ˌʌnəˈsjuːmɪŋ/ not wanting to draw attention to yourself or to your abilities or status. Modest. E.g. he was an unassuming and kindly (kind and caring) man.




Take after sb: to look or behave like an older member of your family, especially your mother or father: E.g.Your daughter doesn’t take after you at all. 




He's very open and friendly - he gets it from his father.
 




We're all very musical - it's in the family.
 




She comes across as quite a shy person when you first meet her, but she's not like that at all.
 




He makes a bad impression on everyone.
 




You'll find him absolutely charming.
 




My son is self-reliant (independent) for his age.
 




Unfortunately, my brother is a social misfit.
 




Everybody likes my sister. She's a really good laugh.




I was a real handful (difficult to control) when I was a baby.




Be down to somebody/something: to be caused by a particular person or thing. E.g. She claimed her problems were down to the media.




sore loser: one who complains or blames others for his loss.  
 

Question 5


Politics


jettison: /ˈdʒetɪsn/ jettison something/somebody to get rid of something/somebody that you no longer need or want. E.g. He was jettisoned as team coach after the defeat. 

 


to toe the line: to say or do what somebody in authority tells you to say or do, even if you do not share the same opinions, etc. E.g. One or two of them refused to toe the line. To toe the party line.
  



have an axe to grind: to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause. E.g. She had no axe to grind and was only acting out of concern for their safety. These criticisms are commonly voiced by those who have some political axe to grind. University professors don't have an axe to grind. Their business is doing research and teaching. In good faith, tey try and produce things that are of value to society in general.

 

 

 

vested interest (in something) a personal reason for wanting something to happen, especially because you get some advantage from it. Sp. interés particular. E.g. They have a vested interest in keeping the club as exclusive as possible. Vested interests (= people with a vested interest) are opposing the plan. She thinks that lawyers have a vested interest in making the legal process move slowly. I've got a real vested interest in making sure that my patients think I am trustworthy.

 

 

 

a rotten (or bad) apple: informal a bad or corrupt person in a group, especially one whose behaviour is likely to have a detrimental influence on the others. E.g. looks like we hired ourselves a bad apple.  




sit on the fence: to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something. E.g. He tends to sit on the fence at meetings. If you have to make a decision, it's no use sitting on the fence. You must choose one or the other.




Heightened tension: intensified. Heighten: if a feeling or an effect heightens, or sth heightens it, it becomes stronger or increases. E.g. Tension has heightened after the recent bomb attack.
  


Question 6

Secrets



divulge something (to somebody)| divulge what, whether, etc… (formal) /daɪˈvʌldʒ/ to give somebody information that is supposed to be secret. Reveal. E.g. Police refused to divulge the identity of the suspect. 
 



a skeleton in the cupboard (BrE) (also a skeleton in the closet NAmE, BrE)(informal) something shocking, embarrassing, etc. that has happened to you or your family in the past that you want to keep secret.



Heart-to-heart: a conversation in which two people talk honestly about their feelings and personal problems. E.g. to have a heart-to-heart with somebody.




Has any public figure revealed a guilty secret recently? 
a guilty secret: a secret that somebody feels ashamed about.  He had revealed his guilty secret to me, a stranger. 




Little children will usually spill the beans without meaning to. Can you think of any examples? 
spill the beans: (informal) to tell somebody something that should be kept secret or private. E.g. In addition to telling us the good, the not-so-good and the surprising news about your relationship with food, you also spilled the beans on your deepest, darkest dieting secrets. Little children will usually spill the beans without meaning to.
 





Have you ever wanted something to be a surprise but someone let the cat out of the bag? How did you feel? 
let the cat out of the bag: to tell a secret carelessly or by mistake. E.g. I wanted it to be a surprise, but my sister let the cat out of the bag.
 



Do you have to try hard not to let slip something you know but you cannot tell?
let slip something: to give somebody information that is supposed to be secret. E.g. I happened to let it slip that he had given me £1000 for the car. She tried not to let slip what she knew.



If someone tells you something in confidence, are you likely to keep their secret or to tell someone else?
 



Do you make any secret of your political allegiances?  



Who would you talk to if you wanted to tell someone your innermost thoughts? Who would you definitely not talk to?



Is it important to have someone you can confide in? Why?
confide in somebody: to tell somebody secrets and personal information because you feel you can trust them. E.g. It is important to have someone you can confide in. She used to confide in him whenever she had a problem.



When was the last time you let someone in on a secret?
 

Question 7

Surprise 

Knock somebody sideways: (informal) to surprise or shock somebody so much that they are unable to react immediately. E.g. The news about his mother's accident really knocked him sideways. 




Bowl somebody over: to surprise or impress somebody a lot. Sp. Dejar boquiabierto. E.g. He was bowel over by our gift.

 

 

Take somebody aback: [usually passive] to shock or surprise somebody very much. E.g. We were rather taken aback by her hostile reaction.

 

 

Flabbergasted: /ˈflæbəɡɑːstɪd/extremely surprised and/or shocked. E.g. Friends were flabbergasted by the news that they'd split up. She was too flabbergasted to speak.

 

 

Dumbfounded: /dʌmˈfaʊndɪd/ unable to speak because of surprise. E.g. The news left her dumbfounded.

 

 

Astonish: /əˈstɒnɪʃ/ to surprise somebody very much. Amaze. E.g. The news astonished everyone. She astonished us by saying she was leaving. It astonishes me (that) he could be so thoughtless. She ran 100m in an astonishing 10.6 seconds.I find it absolutely astonishing that you didn't like it.

 

 

 

Astound: /əˈstaʊnd/ to surprise or shock somebody very much. E.g. His arrogance astounded her.She was astounded by his arrogance. Astounding: /əˈstaʊndɪŋ/ so surprising that it is difficult to believe. E.g. There was an astounding 20% increase in sales.

 

 

mind-blowing: very exciting, impressive or surprising. E.g. Watching your baby being born is a mind-blowing experience. The mind-blowing beauty of Africa.

 

 

dumbstruck /ˈdʌmstrʌk/ (also dumbfounded /dʌmˈfaʊndɪd/): unable to speak because of surprise. E.g. The news left her dumbfounded. She looked absolutely dumbfounded when I told her what had happened. Their disappearance left all the onlookers completely dumbfounded.



Question 8
Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will.

 

Arranged marriage is a marriage in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party in identifying a spouse, although the difference between the forced and arranged marriages may be indistinct.


 

Question 9

big day: a very important day (often a wedding day). E.g. It's Laura's big day tomorrow. 

 

pop the question: to ask somebody to marry you. E.g. My sister's boyfriend, John, finally popped the question.

 

propose a toast (to somebody)/ propose somebody's health: to ask people to wish somebody health, happiness and success by raising their glasses and drinking. E.g. I'd like to propose a toast to the bride and groom. raise your glass (to somebody): to hold up your glass and wish somebody happiness, good luck, etc. before you drink. E.g. let's raise our glasses to the bride and groom.

 


sing the praises of: express enthusiastic approval or admiration of. E.g. Uncle Felix never stopped singing her praises.

 


break down:  to lose control of your feelings and start crying. E.g. He broke down and wept when he heard the news. The groom's mother broke down in tears.




A breakdown: a failure of a relationship, discussion or system. Sp. Ruptura. E.g. the breakdown of a marriage. A breakdown in communications.

 


go off to happen in a particular way. The meeting went off well. The wedding went off without a hitch (a problem or difficulty that causes a short delay. E.g. The ceremony went off without a hitch).



B. Long turn


Unattached: /ˌʌnəˈtætʃt/ 1. Not married or involved in a romantic relationship. Single. E.g. He was still unattached at the age of 34. 2. Not connected with or belonging to a particular group or organization.




stereotyping: beliefs or judgements about people based on fixed ideas about them which are often not true. E.g. sexual/racial stereotyping. Crude/lazy/negative stereotyping.




Leave somebody to their own devices: to leave somebody alone to do as they wish, and not tell them what to do.




Rut: a boring way of life that does not change. Sp. Estancarse. E.g. If you don't go out and meet new people, it's easy to get into a rut.



millennials: people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.  



Childless: having no children. E.g. a childless couple/marriage.



resort to somethingto do something extreme or unpleasant in order to solve a problem. E.g. I think we can solve this problem without resorting to legal action.



have recourse to: /rɪˈkɔːs/ be able to use something that can provide help in a difficult situation. E.g. women should be able to have recourse to IVF as a right.



IVF: /ˌaɪ viː ˈef/ the abbreviation for in vitro fertilization (a process which fertilizes an egg from a woman outside her body. The egg is then put inside her uterus to develop.)



test-tube baby: a baby that grows from an egg that is fertilized outside the mother’s body and then put back inside to continue developing normally.



surrogate mother: /ˈsʌrəɡət/ A woman who agrees, often for pay, to give birth to a child resulting from artificial insemination or the implantation of an already fertilized egg and who surrenders any parental rights to a third party. 



go/turn sour: to stop being pleasant or working properly. E.g. Their relationship soon went sour.



Sever /ˈsevə(r) / sever something to completely end a relationship or all communication with somebody. E.g. The two countries have severed all diplomatic links. She has severed all contact with her family.

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