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IELTS Related Topics

Family
  • Your parents and siblings (brothers and sisters) are your immediate family – and your extended family includes all your relatives – uncles, cousins, great-aunts, etc.
  • You can use a family tree to diagram the relationships among your family members. A person who is related to you by a long series of connections can be called a distant relative.
  • If you’re lucky, you have a loving family or a close-knit family – these expressions refer to a family that has good relationships, where everyone loves each other and helps each other. If you were raised in a loving family, then you probably had a carefree childhood – that means you had nothing to worry about when you were young.
  • On the other hand, a family in which the relationships are bad or unhealthy can be called a dysfunctional family. If the children experience abuse, poverty, or problems with the law, we can say they had a troubled childhood.
  • Perhaps the parents went through a bitter divorce – that means a separation in which there were bad/angry feelings between the husband and wife. It’s also possible to have a messy divorce, with a prolonged legal battle involving lots of conflicts about the separation of the former couple’s assets (money and possessions). The decisions about the separation of assets are made in the divorce settlement. A family in which there are divorces or separations is sometimes called a broken home.
  • Sometimes the mother and father fight over custody of the children – that refers to who has the primary responsibility of caring for the kids. A judge can grant joint custody – that means the ex-husband and ex-wife share the responsibility – or sole custody to only one parent. For example, a judge might award sole custody to the mother, and the father has to pay child support – regular payments to help with expenses for the kids.
  • If it was a mutual divorce/separation – that means the ex-husband and ex-wife agreed to separate without fighting – then they will probably stay on good terms with each other (meaning to have a polite relationship without conflicts).
  • If a woman gets pregnant without being married or in a relationship, then she will become a single mother. Some women in this situation choose to have an abortion, and others prefer to give the baby up for adoption. The time when the baby is planned to arrive is called the due date – you can also say the baby is due in mid-October, for example.
  • After the woman has the baby (or gives birth to the baby), the baby is given to the adoptive parents, who will raise the child or bring up the child as if it was their own. Sometimes, when the adopted child is older, he or she tries to find their birth mother (biological mother).
Useful Collocations

immediate family: parents and siblings
extended family: includes all your relatives
family tree: to diagram the relationships
family members: Parents, brothers and sisters
distant relative: related to you by a long series of connections
loving family: a family that has good relationships
close-knit family: everyone loves each other and helps each other
carefree childhood: nothing to worry about when you were young
sole custody: responsibility by only one parent
award sole custody: Gives the responsibility to the mother
pay child support: regular payments to help with expenses for the kids
mutual divorce/separation: the ex-husband and ex-wife agreed to separate without fighting
gets pregnant: bears a baby in her womb
single mother: gets pregnant without being married or in a relationship
have an abortion: to teminate pregnancy illegally
birth mother: the biological mother
stay on good terms with each other: to have a polite relationship without conflicts
dysfunctional family: the relationships are bad or unhealthy
troubled childhood: the children experience abuse, poverty, or problems with the law
bitter divorce: bad/angry feelings between the husband and wife
messy divorce: a prolonged legal battle involving lots of conflicts
divorce settlement: the decisions made about the separation of assets
broken home: a family in which there are divorces or separations
custody of the children: the primary responsibility of caring for the kids
grant joint custody: the ex-husband and ex-wife share the responsibility
give the baby up for adoption: To be raised by adoptive parents
due date: when the baby is planned to arrive
baby is due: When the baby is given the birth
has the baby: gives birth to the baby
gives birth to the baby: come to life
adoptive parents: people who are granted the responsibility of bringing up the bay
raise the child/bring up the child: to have the responsibility of taking care
adopted child: who is given to another family to be raised by

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