– Grown-ups and children are said not to understand each other. This problem is called a generation gap. Complete the mind map with the things your parents complain about.

1. a) Circle the adjectives that best describe your parents.

generous / narrow-minded / stern / supportive / overprotective / quarrelsome / loving / caring / demanding / authoritarian / conservative / old-fashioned / knowing

b) Choose the words which you think characterize you best as a child.

obedient / fussy / obstinate / easy-going / aggressive / naughty / brainy / short-tempered hard-working / sensible / mature / arrogant / rebellious / ambitious / adventurous / respectful

2. Put the following complaints under the correct headings

break the rules / set hard rules / don’t listen to advice / nag about chores and school / mistrust / have bad manners / don’t respect privacy / don’t allow enough freedom / overdo makeup/ don’t share tastes and views / disapprove of the circle of friends / wear ugly clothes / misbehave / neglect studying / fail in responsibilities / give not enough pocket money / always dissatisfied

Teens about parents
Parents about teens

3. Fill in the appropriate prepositions: about/of/to/with/out/for/on/at. Choose the statements that are true for you.

1) My parents disapprove 1) _____ going to parties and never let me stay 2) _____ late with my friends. They say I must concentrate 3) _____ school and think more 4) _____ my future. My parents are rather conservative and old-fashioned.

2) I always quarrel 5) _____ my parents because they don’t give me enough pocket money. Also, when I have a row with my parents, I ignore their bans and sneak 6) _____.

3) I get 7) _____ really well with my mom and dad. I never make decisions myself, parents are always there to help me 8) _____. I lean 9) _____ my parents’ support, and act so that they are proud 10) _____ me.

4) I normally agree 11) _____ my parents and often ask 12) _____ their advice. I know my parents worry 13) _____ me. Although they may seem overprotective, but I try to listen 14) _____ what they say to me and obey their rules.

5) My family are dissatisfied 15) _____ my results. They blame me 16) _____ making mistakes, not thinking ahead, not acting more grown up, not working hard enough, not paying attention, not keeping agreements, not behaving responsibly. And the list goes on...

4. You are going to hear a story of a teenage girl about her problems with parents. Look at the photos and try to predict what kind of problems Ann had faced.

1) Ann’s problem is that her parents _____

a) are too authoritarian and demanding.

b) don’t want her to make friends.

c) don’t give her enough freedom.

2) Ann and her parents argued about _____

a) pocket money.

b) going to parties and staying out late.

c) her bad performance at school.

3) Ann was embarrassed because _____

a) she couldn’t stay late at the party.

b) her father was going to pick her up.

c) her parents didn’t let her get a Saturday job.

4) How did Ann behave with her parents?

a) She was obedient and respectful.

b)She was obstinate and broke the rules.

c) She was demanding and always wanted more.

5) What do you think the parents’ problem was?

a) They didn’t let their daughter make decisions herself.

b) They loved the daughter too much and didn’t want to share her with friends.

c) They were too conservative and overprotective.

5. Explain the meaning of the phrases and words below. Fill them into the sentences. Listen to the recording once more and check your answers.

Saturday job / dye hair / to cover face in makeup / folks / to get dog-headed / to become cross / to bug asking

1) I wanted a _________, but my parents ordered me to stay at home and study for exams.

2) I _________ dark blue and _________ before I went to school to provoke my parents.

3) Every time I went out, my parents started _________.

4) They _________ me _________ who I was going with and where we were going.

5) I kept silent and the _________ became strict and firm.

6) The more they tried to keep me in house, the more _________ I _________.

6. Read the article about the generation gap and number the paragraphs in the order they are supposed to be in.

____Generation gaps have often been attributed to rapid cultural change since the 1960’s, particularly with respect to such matters as food, musical tastes, fashion, and politics. These changes lead new generations to rebel against societal norms, as reflected in songs, behaviour, fashion trends and spoken language. How many times have you felt that your parents don’t understand you, that they have no respect for you as an individual? How often do you complain about them and blame it on the “generation gap”? You feel like strangers forced to live under the same roof, right? Wrong! There is a way of making things better.

____Generation gap refers to the differences that exist between individuals from different generations – between people of a younger age and their elders. It occurs when people do not understand each other because of their different experiences, opinions, habits and manners. Young people want to express themselves and to enjoy independence and freedom. In their turn, parents want to be sure that their children are safe and sound; they want the best for them. That is why adults think that their children are too young to make decisions alone. As a consequence, this leads to conflicts and causes them to argue.

____Parents and children spend less and less time with one another. Children’s time is taken up with after-school activities, homework, dating, and all the rest. Parents are forced to throw themselves into their work in order to provide a family living, give time to commute to and from work, keep up the house, entertain, and so on.

As parents and children have fewer common interests, it makes it difficult for the family to reduce the alienation between each other and give individuals a place where they can let their hair down and be themselves.

____At the same time, parents are satisfied when they see their children succeed. They are pleased when their children walk at an early age, talk before their peers, are better looking than other children on the block, perform well in athletics, get good grades, graduate at the top of their class, go to college, earn good salaries, and so on.

____To conclude, people of all ages must become more tolerant, open-minded and interact constantly. There cannot be more truth to this than the fact that communication plays the most important role in bridging gaps not only between parents and children, but also in every relationship that we can think of. When we communicate respectfully with our family members, we let them know we are willing to do all it takes to reduce the age gap and accept their points of view.

____So, if you really want to improve your relationship with your parents, try listening to them, as you listen to a dear friend. Do we ever try to understand them? Parents are under a lot of stress, too. Today, when you come back from school, ask your mom or dad “How did your day go today?”, or “Tell me a little more about your job.”, or “Is there anything I can do to help you around the house?” you’ll see the visible difference it makes to the atmosphere at home. And each day, try to keep your promises, do your homework, clean your room, text or telephone if you are away from home.

7. Match the phrases in colour from the text to the correct definitions below.

a) to complain about or protest
b) to fill up the blank spaces
c) to be the best student in class
d) to relax and take it easy
e) an emotional distance
f) to do the cleaning and cooking for your household

Grammar bank


We use the PRESENT or PAST CONTINUOUS + always, constantly, forever to talk about a habit which is repeated more than usual, and which the speaker finds irritating or annoying.

E.g.: Parents are constantly telling Ben that he spends too much time on the computer. My sister was always going into my room and taking things without asking.

We use WILL/WOULD + infinitive without “to” when talking about behaviour which is typical or characteristic of the person now. They can describe both pleasant and annoying habits.

E.g.: She’ll turn up at eleven and act as if nothing’s wrong. We’d watch TV and eat takeaway pizza together

We use USED TO + infinitive to talk about a past state or repeated past actions and habits, which changed with the flow of time and are not true anymore.

E.g.: I used to feel more like a father than an older brother.

She used to go on peace marches and campaign to ban the bomb.

USED TO can introduce new topics with no need to specify time.

E.g.: I used to eat a lot of chips and burgers, but now I eat healthy food.

We use WOULD when talking about habitual repetitive actions that have changed since the past, usually with specification of time.

E.g.: My dad would (used to) work nights. He’d come home at six in the morning and we’d have breakfast together, then he would (used to) take me to school.

NOTE! Used to is used in all types of sentences, and is possible both with states and actions, but would goes only in statements telling about past habitual actions. Would is not used to talk about past states and does not have a question.

The PRESENT or PAST SIMPLE can be used for talking about habits and states, that didn’t change.

E.g.: She doesn’t speak much English. Parents always tell her to be home by ten. She was fit and healthy because she played outside every day. She never understood the concept of privacy.

8. Choose the best alternative to complete the sentences.

1) Boris and Mark wouldn’t/didn’t use to get on, but now they’re the best of friends.

2) Sam really gets on my nerves. He is always moaning/will moan always about his life.

3) We spent/would spend a few weeks travelling around Asia last year.

4) My father would always read/ was always reading me a bedtime story when I was little.

5) If there are free tickets on offer, Susan will be/is the first in the queue.

6) I don’t live/will not live alone. I will share/share a room with my cousin.

7) My family would/will always stay in a caravan for the summer holidays.

8) My cousins would always visit /was always visiting us at Christmas.

9) When I went to primary school I would often stray/often strayed into the corner sweet shop on my way home.

10)I’m not very fit now, but I used to/will play professional football when I was in my twenties.

11) She will keep/keeps interrupting me when I’m trying to say something. It’s so irritating.

12) Why are you constantly criticizing/do you constantly criticize everything he does?

13) My brother loves school and he will always ask/is always asking for more homework on Fridays.

9. Cross out the verb forms which are not possible in these sentences. In some cases both are possible.

When my sister was a teenager there’d be/used to be a lock on our house phone to stop her making calls on it. Now she has her own phone and her bills must be enormous: she‘s talking/ “ll talk on it for hours. She’d work/used to work as a hotel receptionist, and she’d tell/used to tell us funny stories about the hotel guests. Then one afternoon she used to come/came home early because she had lost her job. Apparently, she was always chatting/she’d chat on the phone instead of doing her work.

10. Work in groups. Talk about the things that have changed in your life. Tell how different you have become since your childhood. Tell about habits, manners, behaviour, interests, family traditions, special rituals with friends, your tastes and views.

11. Work in pairs. Look at the pictures and pick one for each of you. Discuss it with your partner. Follow the plan and explain your answer. Ask some more questions to your partner.

– Describe the cross-generational relationship in the picture.

– Describe the relationship between you and your parents.

– In the future, will you raise your children in the same way your parents do with you?

12. Prepare a report about the life of teens in the 1920s (or choose another period). Describe their way of life, spheres of interest, types of entertainment, problems and anxieties, difficulties they faced, opportunities they had. Express your opinion about that period; tell how you think it was better or worse than today. Was the generation gap an issue for the society then?

Матеріал до підручника Англійська мова 11 клас Нерсисян, Піроженко 2019

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