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I. Discuss these questions with a partner. Share your opinions with the rest of the group.

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  6. B) Choose one of these sections and make up a short story.
  7. C. Answer the questions alongside the text.

1. In your opinion, what are the three commonest reasons people decide to get married?

2. Do you think marriage is 'a thing of the past'?

3. Do you know someone who has had a long and happy marriage? Why has it lasted?

4. Why do you think there is such a high divorce rate in many developed countries?

5. Are married people treated differently from single people in your experience? In what ways?

II. Read this newspaper article and answer the questions below in pairs or small groups:


A group of unmarried male friends in New Jersey made a strange bet 20 years ago when they were all still at high school. They drew up a contract and set up a special bank account to hold the money they had each bet.

The pot of money grew until it was several thousand dollars and John Cheney was the lucky winner - because he is now the group's last remaining bachelor. He collected his winnings from his friends at a pub last Saturday. '"I guess I just haven't found the right person," said Cheney, now 38 years old.

The whole story started when two of the group bet a six-pack of beer over which one would be the last to get married. The group eventually grew to nine men, all 1981 graduates of Haddonfield Memorial High School.

"We all thought we'd be bachelors for a long time," said Mike Koontz, also 38. He was the first member of the group to get married, walking down the aisle in 1987. He always thought John would win the money. "He's a real confirmed bachelor," said Mike.


1. What was the prize?

2. Why hasn't Cheney got married?

3. Why did they make the bet?

4. Do you think a group of young women would have made the same bet?

5. Was John Cheney's wait worth it?

6. What is a 'confirmed bachelor'?

'Belinda, will you make me the happiest man in the world and divorce me?"

III. Divide the following expressions into two groups:

B = before marriage A = after marriage


1. go on honeymoon 12. propose to them
2. meet someone you like 13. have an affair with someone
3. talk about marriage 14. walk down the aisle
4. become friends 15. get engaged
5. get pregnant 16. start going out with them
6. meet their family 17. see a marriage counsellor
7. plan the wedding 18. get separated
8. have a stag / hen night 19. get divorced
9. have kids 20. find someone attractive
10. bring up children 21. start to get close
11. start having marriage problems 22. get back together again

With a partner, choose 10 of the expressions in the box and put them in the ideal order for you.


IV. Discussion. a) In 2002, Rutgers University in the US released the results of a study which lists the top 10 reasons men are waiting longer these days to get married. In pairs or groups, discuss if you think each is a valid argument.


1. They can have sex outside marriage more easily than in the past.

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.

5. They are afraid that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.

6. They are waiting for the perfect soulraate, and she hasn't yet appeared.

7. In the US there are few social pressures to marry.

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.

10. They want to enjoy life as a single man as long as they can.

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C) Study the diagram and in pairs, think of two events typical of each stage.| b) With a partner, choose one of the following situations. Prepare your part in the conversation for 2 minutes, then have the conversation.

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