A2 Basic UK 9307 Folder Collection
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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
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
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
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
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they think it is very old fashioned, out of
date - belonging to a different time.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
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
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
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
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!
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Talk about marriage in 6 minutes!

9307 Folder Collection
colinsyuan published on April 20, 2018
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