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English Conversation – Family

Friday, March 11, 2011 @ 04:03 PM
posted by Jo

This is an English Conversation lesson about family. Watch a video about a very big family; learn idioms that we use in English when discussing our family, and read a list of conversation questions that people might ask each other when talking about this popular subject.

Watch a video about a big family

  • Would you like to live in such a big family?
  • What are the advantages of having a big family?
  • What are the disadvantages?

Idioms we might use when talking about family...

  • The black sheep - A 'black sheep in the family' is someone who is different from the rest of the family. It is usually meant in a negative way, but not always.
  • To push one's buttons -  Someone who knows how to 'push your buttons' is someone who knows exactly how to annoy or irritate you. It is usually said that a person's family knows how to 'push their buttons'.
  • Runs in the family - If a characteristic or trait runs in the family it means it appears in many or all members of the family.  For example, hair colour or a personality trait, like stubbornness.
  • Chalk and cheese - if two people are like chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other

Questions about families

  • Tell me about your family. You could mention…
    • Mother, father, brothers, sisters, children
    • Ages, oldest, youngest etc.
    • Characteristics, likes and dislikes
    • Occupations
    • Extended family
  • What does the word ‘family’ mean to you?
  • How many people are in your immediate family?
  • How big is your extended family?
  • How often do you have big family get-togethers?
  • Is there a black sheep in your family?
  • Do you live in a nuclear family or an extended family?
  • In your country, do most people live in a nuclear family or an extended family?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of these types of family?
  • Some people say that the whole world is like a family, what is your opinion of this?
  • How far back do you know your family tree?
  • When do people need their families the most?
  • Are chores or duties assigned to different people within your family?
  • What is the best memory you have of your family doing something together?
  • What do you and your family like to do together?
  • Do any of your family live in other countries?
  • What impact has divorce and/or modern day living had on the family?
  • What was the most important thing your parents taught you?
  • Describe the perfect family
  • What are some of the reasons why people get married?
  • What are some of the ways that family can ‘push our buttons’?
  • How are Royal Families different from other families?
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