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  • Neil: Hello welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

  • Rob: And I'm Rob.

  • Neil: Now Rob, Can you complete this

  • saying: "Love and marriage go together

  • like"...

  • Rob: Love and marriage go together like...

  • a horse

  • and carriage!

  • Neil: That's right, and when was the last

  • time you saw a horse and carriage?

  • Rob: Well that would have been quite a while

  • while ago - they're quite rare these days.

  • Not an everyday sight.

  • Neil: Indeed. And according to recent

  • statistics,

  • marriage in the UK is getting rarer too.

  • Not as rare as seeing a horse and

  • carriage, but

  • the numbers are falling. Before we look at

  • this topic in a bit more detail, a little

  • quiz for our listeners.

  • Rob: Yes, according to UK's Office for

  • National Statistics, how many opposite-

  • sex marriages were there in 2015?

  • Was it: a) 239,000

  • b) 309,000 or, c) 339,000

  • Any idea Neil?

  • Neil: I have no idea but I'm going to have a

  • guess and say a) 239,000.

  • Rob: We'll reveal the answer a little later in

  • this programme. And whatever the

  • correct number,

  • the trend is downwards. Year on year

  • there are fewer opposite sex couples

  • getting married in the UK.

  • Neil: So why might this be? Are we falling

  • out of

  • love with marriage? Let's hear from a

  • couple of people with different views.

  • First, here's Tom from BBC Learning

  • English - what doesn't he like

  • about the idea or concept of getting

  • married?

  • Tom Banks: I'm not that enthusiastic

  • about the idea of

  • marriage, to tell you the truth. I think it's

  • a bit of an archaic concept these days and

  • I'm a bit of a commitment phobe - I don't

  • like the idea of signing a piece of paper

  • that says I have to be with someone for

  • the rest of my life and can never escape

  • from that person I suppose - although I

  • am in a very happy relationship at the moment.

  • Rob: So that was Tom there. Not a fan of

  • marriage.

  • But what were his objections Neil?

  • Neil: Well he described marriage as an

  • archaic concept.

  • When someone describes something as archaic

  • they think it is very old fashioned, out of

  • date - belonging to a different time.

  • Rob: So that was one of his problems

  • with marriage,

  • but he also said that he was a

  • commitment phobe. The suffix phobe

  • means someone who

  • is afraid of something. In some cases it

  • can also be used as a standalone word,

  • but it means the same. So a commitment

  • phobe is someone who is afraid of, or

  • doesn't like the idea of commitment.

  • Neil: And when talking about

  • relationships, commitment

  • means being with one person and giving

  • up the idea of being free to do whatever

  • you want and see whoever you want

  • romantically.

  • Rob: So for commitment phobes,

  • commitment means losing something.

  • Neil: But that's not true for everyone.

  • Here's Dan, also from BBC Learning

  • English. What's his view of marriage?

  • Dan O'Brien: In general I think it's quite

  • good. It has a very stabilising

  • effect on society and it declares publicly

  • to the world that you have

  • found the right person for you and that

  • you're in a committed relationship.

  • Rob: So Dan is a fan. He thinks marriage

  • has a stabilising effect on society. He

  • sees marriage

  • as being good for society as a whole - it

  • makes society stronger, more stable.

  • Neil: And he also sees it as a way to say

  • to everyone

  • that you have a strong relationship, you

  • are with the one person you love.

  • Rob: So for Dan, commitment and being

  • in a committed

  • relationship is a good thing.

  • Now, back to our question at the top of

  • the programme. I asked how many

  • opposite-sex couples

  • got married in the UK in 2015?

  • Neil: And I took a guess, didn't I, and I said

  • a) 239,000. Am I right?

  • Rob: You are definitely right. The answer is 239,000

  • or 239,020 to be precise. That figure was

  • 3.4% lower than 2014. So what do

  • relationship experts think is the reason

  • fewer people are getting married?

  • Neil: Well, there could be lots of reasons.

  • in some countries the way society is

  • changing means that there is less

  • pressure to get married

  • or stay married. As a result, there are

  • more divorces. So perhaps children of

  • divorced parents are less likely to get

  • married themselves.

  • Right, well before we go, let's recap the

  • vocabulary we highlighted today. The first

  • word was trend.

  • Rob: A trend is the direction that

  • something is

  • changing over time. When it comes to

  • marriage, the trend is for fewer

  • marriages. And the

  • trend for 6-Minute listeners is the

  • opposite - going up, particularly when you

  • are presenting Neil.

  • Neil: Ah, that's very nice of you, you're very

  • kind. The next two words were an archaic

  • concept. Archaic is an adjective for

  • something dated or old-fashioned.

  • Rob: A bit like your fashion sense!

  • Neil: Just when I was beginning to like you!

  • Rob: Sorry about that, you know I don't

  • mean it. In the interview archaic was used

  • to describe the concept of marriage, not

  • your fashion sense. Concept is another

  • word for an idea or belief.

  • So an archaic concept is an old-fashioned

  • idea.

  • Neil: Our next expression was

  • commitment phobe.

  • We use this phrase to talk about someone

  • who is scared of the idea of a long-term

  • relationship because they see it as giving

  • up some freedoms.

  • You're obviously a compliment phobe!

  • You're afraid of saying nice things about

  • someone so you always say something

  • nasty as well!

  • Rob: I said I was sorry.

  • Neil: And finally we had the adjective

  • stabilising.

  • Something that is stable is strong and

  • something that makes something strong

  • can be described as stabilising.

  • Dan expressed his belief that

  • marriage had a stabilising effect on

  • society.

  • Well, that's it for this programme. For

  • more, find us on Facebook, Twitter,

  • Instagram and our YouTube pages, and of

  • course our website at

  • bbclearningenglish.com where you can find

  • find all kinds of other activities, videos

  • and quizzes and things to help you

  • improve your English. Thanks for joining

  • us and goodbye!

  • Rob: Bye!

Neil: Hello welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 UK rob marriage archaic commitment married concept

Talk about marriage in 6 minutes!

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    colinsyuan posted on 2018/04/20
Video vocabulary