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Talking about Family Relationships

Two university students, Cindy, and Kate are working together on a thesis about family relationships. They are discussing some ideas...

Cindy: The modernisation and growth of technology has affected a lot of things in our lives, especially our family relationships – Don’t you think, Kate?

Kate: Yes, I completely agree. Nowadays, I think that everyone is so busy doing things for themselves and spending time using technology that we don’t have much time for each other…

Cindy: Exactly! We spend so much time on our computers and smartphones which means that we don’t have time for having conversations and sharing our feelings with our families. What do you think a family home should be like, Kate?

Kate: I think that our family home should be a happy place for us, and a port in a storm.

Cindy: That’s completely true. And, if you feel confident and happy at home with your family, your life outside is more likely to be positive too!

Kate: Exactly. Research shows that children who grow up in a happy and peaceful family home are more likely to be successful and optimistic individuals in the future.

Cindy: Also, I think that a family must be cultivated like a garden, with time, effort, and imagination to keep the relationships flourishing and growing...

Kate: I agree, that’s a great way of thinking about it. Let’s write down our ideas…


images related to the title of the conversations
Talking about Family Relationships


Phrasal verb
Example sentence
To let down someone

To make someone disappointed when you have not fulfilled a promise.

She promised that she would be there but she let me down.

To break down

1.  To become very upset.

2.  When something stops working

1.  She broke down when she opened her results.

2.  The lift broke down.

To bring somebody/something down

1.  To make someone lose their powerful position.

2. To make something end.

1.  He brought his boss down by exposing personal emails.

2.  The rise in export prices could bring the hospitality industry down.

To bottle something up

To refuse to talk about things when someone is worried or upset.

After his father passed away, he bottled his emotions up and wouldn’t talk to anyone.

To get something across

To make someone believe or understand something

He tried to get his point across but his manager wouldn’t listen.

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