Summary| Questions & Answers| Writing| Grammar
Before you read
- Do you live in a small family or a big family? Which type of family do you like? Why?
- How important is family to you? How important is it in your culture?
Read the following text about family and do the given tasks.
At its most basic, a family consists of an adult and his or her offspring. Most commonly, it consists of two married adults, usually a man and a woman (almost always from different lineages and not related by blood) along with their offspring, usually living in a private and separate dwelling. This type of unit, more specifically known as a nuclear family, is believed to be the oldest of the various types of families in existence. Sometimes the family includes not only the parents and their unmarried children living at home but also children that have married, their spouses, and their offspring, and possibly elderly dependents as well; such an arrangement is called an extended family.
At its best, the family performs various valuable functions for its members. Perhaps most important of all, it provides for emotional and psychological security, particularly through the warmth, love, and companionship that living together generates between spouses and in turn between them and their children. The family also provides a valuable social and political function by institutionalizing procreation (reproduction) and by providing guidelines for the regulation of sexual conduct. The family additionally provides such other socially beneficial functions as the rearing and socialization of children, along with such humanitarian activities as caring for its members when they are sick or disabled. On the economic side, the family provides food, shelter, clothing, and physical security for its members, some of whom may be too young or too old to provide for the basic necessities of life themselves. Finally, on the social side, the family may serve to promote order and stability within society as a whole.
Historically, in most cultures, the family was patriarchal, or male-dominated. Perhaps the most striking example of the male-dominated family is the description of the family given in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), where the male heads of the clans were allowed to have several wives as well as concubines (lovers). As a general rule, women had a rather low status. In Roman times the family was still patriarchal, but polygamy was not practiced, and in general the status of women was somewhat improved over that suggested in the Hebrew Bible, although they still were not allowed to manage their own affairs. The Roman family was an extended one. The family as it existed in medieval Europe was male-dominated and extended.
In the West, industrialization and the accompanying urbanization spawned (reproduced)—and continue to spawn—many changes in family structure by causing a sharp change in life and occupational styles. Many people, particularly unmarried youths, left farms and went to urban centres to become industrial workers. This process led to the dissolution of many extended families.
The modern family that emerged after the Industrial Revolution is different from the earlier model. For instance, patriarchal rule began to give way to greater equality between the sexes. Similarly, family roles once considered exclusively male or female broke down. Caring for the home and children, once the exclusive duty of the female, is often a shared activity, as, increasingly, is the earning of wages and the pursuit of public life, once the exclusive domain of the male. The structure of the family is also changing in that some couples choose not to marry legally and instead elect to have their children out of wedlock; many of these informal relationships tend to be of short duration, and this—as well as the rise in levels of divorce—has led to a rapid increase in the number of one-parent households.
Family law varies from culture to culture, but in its broadest application it defines the legal relationships among family members as well as the relationships between families and society at large. Some of the important questions dealt with in family law include the terms and parameters of marriage, the status of children, and the succession of property from one generation to the next. In nearly every case, family law represents a delicate balance between the interests of society and the protection of individual rights.
The general rule in marriages until modern times was the legal transfer of dependency, that of the bride, from father to groom. Not only did the groom assume guardianship, he usually assumed control over all of his wife’s affairs. Often, the woman lost any legal identity through marriage, as was the case in English common law. There have been exceptions to this practice. Muslim women, for instance, had considerable control over their own personal property. The use of dowries, an amount of money or property given to the husband with the bride in compensation for her dependency, has long been practiced in many countries, but it has tended to disappear in many industrial societies.
In general, modern marriage is best-described as a voluntary union, usually between a man and a woman (although there are still vestiges (ruins) of the arranged marriage that once flourished in eastern Europe and Asia). The emancipation of women in the 19th and 20th centuries changed marriage dramatically, particularly in connection with property and economic status. By the mid-20th century, most Western countries had enacted legislation establishing equality between spouses. Similarly changed is the concept of economic maintenance, which traditionally fell on the shoulders of the husband. Though many laws still lean toward this view, there was increasing recognition of a woman’s potential to contribute to the support of the family. At the beginning of the 21st century, family law and the notion of family itself was further complicated by calls for acceptance of same-sex marriages and nontraditional families.
Dissolution (termination) of marriages is one of the areas in which laws must try to balance private and public interest, since realistically it is the couple itself that can best decide whether its marriage is viable. In many older systems—e.g., Roman, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese, and Japanese—some form of unilateral (one sided) divorce was possible, requiring only one party to give notice of the intention, usually the male. Most modern systems recognize a mutual request for divorce, though many require an attempt to reconcile before granting divorce. Extreme circumstances, in which blatant (done openly and unashamedly) neglect, abuse, misbehaviour, or incapacity can be demonstrated, find resolution in civil court. Many systems favour special family courts that attempt to deal more fairly with sensitive issues such as custody of children.
The issue of children poses special problems for family law. In nearly every culture, the welfare of children was formerly left to the parents entirely, and this usually meant the father. Most societies have come to recognize the general benefit of protecting children’s rights and of prescribing certain standards of rearing. Thus, more than in any other area, family law intervenes in private lives with regard to children. Compulsory education is an example of the law superseding (replacing/ overthrowing) parental authority. In the case of single-parent homes, the law will frequently provide some form of support. Legislation on child labour and child abuse also asserts society’s responsibility for a child’s best interests.
The succession of family interests upon the death of its members can be considered a part of family law. Most legal systems have some means of dealing with division of property left by a deceased (dead) family member. The will, or testament (evidence), specifies the decedent’s (dead person’s) wishes as to such distribution, but a surviving spouse or offspring may contest what appear to be unreasonable or inequitable provisions. There are also laws that recognize family claims in the event that property is left intestate (i.e., with no will to determine its distribution).
– Alan John Barnard
Working with words
A. Find the words from the text and solve the puzzle. Clues are given below.
- the custom of having more than one wife at the same time
- to find an acceptable way of dealing with opposing ideas, needs etc.
- the process in which towns, streets, are built where there was once countryside
- the process by which somebody learns to behave in an acceptable way in their society
- ruled or controlled by men
- the act of taking over a position
- done in a way without caring if people are shocked
A. Find the meanings of the following family-related words and use them in your own sentences.
nuclear family, monogamy, sibling-in-law, milk kinship, matrilineal, nepotism, maternity
- Nuclear family: family having a couple and their dependent children
-Nuclear family is the oldest form of the family in the world.
- Monogamy: a practice of being married to one person
–When we got married, we promised to follow monogamy.
- Sibling-in-law: brother-in-law or sister-in-law
–I have three siblings-in-law: one brother-in-law and two sisters-in-law.
- Milk kinship: the kinship arising from adoption or fostering
– Milk kinship was widely practiced in many Arab countries.
- Matrilineal: kinship with the mother or the female line
– Since his mother and two of his sisters have died from cancer, I can only assume the disease is matrilineal.
- Nepotism: the practice of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them job
–The Prime Minister K.P. Oli was accused of nepotism and corruption.
- Maternity: the period during pregnancy and shortly after childbirth/ motherhood
–My sister has been given maternity leave for six months.
c. The following words are from the above Each word has two parts.
polygamy, unmarried, nontraditional, dissolution, inequitable
poly, un, non, dis and in are prefixes. They make new words when they are added to the beginning of other root words.
Make at least five words using the prefixes given. Consult a dictionary to learn how they change the meaning of root words.
pre-, semi-, sub-, mis-, mono-, un-, in-, inter-.
A. The headings of the first five paragraphs of the above text are given below. Write paragraph number next to them.
- Patriarchal family
- Functions of the family
- Modern model of family
- Effects of industrialization on family structure
- Defining family
Headings Paragraph Number
- Patriarchal family- Paragraph 3
- Functions of the family-Paragraph 2
- Modern model of family-Paragraph 5
- Effects of industrialization on family structure- paragraph 4
- Defining family-Paragraph 1
B. Answer the following questions.
- What type of family is thought to be the oldest form of the family?
- How does a family provide security to its members?
- What were the features of medieval European family?
- What caused the dissolution of extended families in the West?
- What change occurred in gender role in the modern family that emerged after the Industrial Revolution?
- What is family law?
- How is modern marriage defined?
- What do special family courts try to do?
- What does the legislation on child labour and child abuse declare?
- What is common among most legal systems regarding property?
Note: Answers of above questions are highlighted and underlined in the essay/ passage. Go through those lines and write in your own words.
1. What changes have started to occur in Nepali families in recent days? What impacts will they bring on the society? Discuss.
- Nepali families often used to be of extended type. All the family members including grandparents and grandchildren used to live together under the same roof sharing the same kitchen. However, some changes have occurred in the structure of family due to influence of western culture, globalization, easy access to internet, migration etc.
- First of all, the foundation of our traditional family structure has been disturbed with the imitation of western lifestyles. Since the west has progressed a lot in the field of modern science and technologies, these things are travelling worldwide quickly. With these means, their cultures, traditions and life styles are also moving from one place to another. The westerners are used to with individualism. Marriage, family, rituals etc. are secondary to them. With the adoption of their way of life, many Nepali families have been changed. The extended families have been turned into nuclear family, single parent family, cohabitation family, same sex family etc.
- Secondly, the policy of globalization and liberalization has turned the world into a tiny village. Many people are migrating abroad for the purpose of job, study, business, tour etc. Many of them have settled in the host countries detaching their past families. Moreover, internet and social media have influenced a lot in their life resulting changes in the family structures.
- Changes in the family structures and life styles will bring both negative and positive impacts in the society. Loss of cultural norms, values, intimacy and identities, rise of conflicts, divorces, aloofness and individualism are the drawbacks and destruction of age-old blind faiths, evils, learning new ways of living are some of positive aspects that we may expect in future.
[You are encouraged to write in your own words.]
2. We see many elderly people in the elderly homes these days in Some of them are abandoned while others live there willingly. Do you think Nepali people are deviating from their traditional culture? Give reasons.
- These days, we see many elderly people living at their home either abandoned or willingly. It has been very hard to find active and educated young people in our surrounding due to their migration to big cities and overseas. This tendency has disturbed our established conventional family structure, unity, peace, order and tolerance. I absolutely agree that Nepali people are deviating from their traditional way of life due to influence of western culture, globalization, easy access to internet, migration etc.
- The policy of globalization and liberalization has turned the world into a tiny village. Many people are migrating abroad for the purpose of job, study, business, tour etc. Many of them have settled in the host countries detaching their past families. Moreover, internet and social media have influenced a lot in their life resulting changes in the family structures. They are getting lost in the imported cultures ignoring their roots. Colourful dreams have made them selfish, cruel and inhuman. They are ready to forget their birthplace, parents, neighbours etc. which has destroyed their traditional ways of living.
[You are encouraged to write in your own words.]
- Write an essay on The Importance of In your essay, you can use these guiding questions.
- Why family is important to
- Why family is or is not important for
- How you think families will change in the future.
[Read the following model essays and write in your own words.]
A Model Answer-1
Family is the most pervasive and permanent institution of society. The family comprises parents and children. Every individual is a part of two families, the family of origin and the family of procreation.
The family in which an individual takes birth is his family of origin. It comprises parents and siblings. The family which an individual helps in creating through sexual relationships is called the family of procreation. It includes husband, wife, and their offspring.
The contributions and importance of family are by far the vastest topic of discussion. A family performs every vital function in an individual’s life. To start with, families are prominent because they give rise to the next generation. The reproductive capacity of the family is essential in maintaining the existence of humankind.
A family performs the socialization function in an individual’s life. When a child is born, he does not know anything about human existence and his role in society. As he grows up, he learns that man becomes man only among men and that human interaction is crucial for survival. A family transforms a socially inactive person into a proper social being.
In today’s world, the socialization function of the family has gained maximum focus as parents are more alert to the socialization function of their children. A family teaches the child normative behavior and introduces him to social norms, folkways, and mores. The child learns how to behave in a society, in the company of other people. He determines which attitudes are considered to be socially appropriate and are approved by the community.
A Model Answer-2
One cannot emphasize enough on the importance of family. They play a great role in our lives and make us better human beings. The one lucky enough to have a family often do not realize the value of a family.
However, those who do not have families know their worth. A family is our source of strength. It teaches us what relationships mean. They help us create meaningful relationships in the outside world. The love we inherit from our families, we pass on to our independent relationships.
Moreover, families teach us better communication. When we spend time with our families and love each other and communicate openly, we create a better future for us. When we stay connected with our families, we learn to connect better with the world.
Similarly, families teach us patience. It gets tough sometimes to be patient with our family members. Yet we remain so out of love and respect. Thus, it teaches us patience to deal better with the world. Families boost our confidence and make us feel loved. They are the pillars of our strength who never fall instead keep us strong so we become better people.
2. Some people think it is better to live in a nuclear Other people think that living in extended family is more advantageous. What do you think? Write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both.
A Model Answer:
The concept of living in a nuclear family has been booming for last decade. Families have been getting smaller day by day. Concerning to this, it is generally argued that people living with their relatives with secondary blood relationship is an ideal form of family. On contrary, it is also believed nuclear family is more sustainable model of family. Being a supporter of medieval cultures, I prefer living in an extended family, which will be based by further discourse.
There are countless reasons of living in an extended family. Firstly, such a big family lives under blessings of aged family members, who have plentiful amount of experience to spend life with the best possible comfort. The role of grandparents is to offer the family the ways of living sustainably and to look after the children of the family, which can only be possible in presence of them. For example, in this contemporary era, couples of every family have to work for their needs due to high level of inflation and they do not find adequate time to raise their children. In such condition, if people live in an extended family, children do not have to suffer from deprived attention and care of elders. Secondly, with more numbers of family members, the advantage of big scope of entertainment and leisure activities is associated. To illustrate, a family of a score numbers of members has four to five cousin brothers and they find very easy to develop any specific kind of interesting recreational activity, which gives them the feeling of pleasure. And finding the happiness of children, elderly also enjoys peaceful life. This way, the reasons draw implication that being a part of extended family always makes life comfortable.
On the other hand, nuclear families also have few numbers of hidden advantages and due to that only, people prefer to live by it. The prime reason is being an economic concept. Nuclear family, having four to five numbers of members in total, involves a low amount of overall expense. Considering this, the nuclear families do not have to pay gigantic bills or other house-hold taxes. Additionally, smaller the family is, less the noise is generated. In-house environment is noise free generally and small families have less numbers of gathering unlike to big families, in which events and gatherings are organized at regular frequency and for some people, these such events are annoying. However, people choose to spend time lonely, even if being a part of an extended family. Also, the expense and incomes are directly proportional to the numbers of family members; hence, though the expenses increase with family size, incomes will also elevate. That said, the advantages of nuclear family are baseless.
To conclude, from the above-mentioned arguments, it is clearly implied that the advantages for me to support the extended family are ample and convincing. The reasons for others to support the nuclear family are ridiculous. For the betterment of the societies, the first step for nuclear families would be to get united as much as possible and to live under same roofs to pursue parallel goals of peaceful and strong nations.
What are modal verbs?
Modals (also called modal verbs, modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries) are special verbs that behave irregularly in English. They are different from normal verbs like “work, play, visit…” They give additional information about the function of the main verb that follows it. They have a great variety of communicative functions.
Here are some characteristics of modal verbs:
- They never change their form. You can’t add “s”, “ed”, “ing”…
- They are always followed by an infinitive without “to” (e.i. the bare infinitive.)
- They are used to indicate modality and allow speakers to express certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity, ability
List of modal verbs
Here is a list of modal verbs:
can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must
The verbs or expressions dare, ought to, had better, and need not behave like modal auxiliaries to a large extent and may be added to the above list
Use of modal verbs:
Modal verbs are used to express functions such as:
- Lack of necessity
You must stop when the traffic lights turn red.
logical conclusion / Certainty
He must be very tired. He’s been working all day long.
You must not smoke in the hospital.
I can swim.
Can I use your phone, please?
Smoking can cause cancer.
ability in the past
When I was younger I could run fast.
Excuse me, could I just say something?
It could rain tomorrow!
May I use your phone, please?
It may rain tomorrow!
Might I suggest an idea?
I might go on holiday to Australia next year.
lack of necessity/absence of obligation
I need not buy tomatoes. There are plenty of tomatoes in the fridge.
50 % obligation
I should / ought to see a doctor. I have a terrible headache.
You should / ought to revise your lessons
He should / ought to be very tired. He’s been working all day long.
You’d better revise your lessons
Modal verbs are followed by an infinitive without “to”, also called the bare infinitive.
- You must stopwhen the traffic lights turn red.
- You should seeto the doctor.
- There are a lot of tomatoes in the fridge. You need not buy
Links for practice exercises
Exercise from Textbook
Study the given sentences
- Please read this letter for me. I can’t see without my glasses.
- After working for a couple of years in China, I can speak Chinese
- When he was 40, he could earn six digit
- After six hours’ climbing, we were able to reach the summit.
- Yesterday, I lost my I looked for them everywhere but I couldn’t
B. Choose the best answer to complete the sentences.
- ‘How much was your parking ticket?’ ‘Fifty rupees.’ ‘Oh well, it …………
- could have must have iii. should have
- It……………… got lost in the post. These things happen sometimes.
- can’t have might have iii. must have
- ‘Sorry I’m I got delayed at work.’ ‘You……………. called. I was really
worried about you.’
- must have could have iii. would have
- ‘I don’t think he meant to be rude.’ ‘He…………. said ‘
- must have might have iii. would have
- ‘Whose signature is this?’ ‘I don’t It…………… be Manoj’s. That looks
a bit like an M.’
- must could iii. should
- I had it when I left the office so I………….. lost it on the way to home.
- mustn’t have must have iii. should have
- You…………… think it’s funny, but I think it’s
- might should iii. could
C. Complete the following sentences with appropriate endings. Use correct modal verbs.
Example: She could be a doctor; however,…………….…………… .
She could be a doctor; however, she preferred to be an advocate.
- At the end of the course, …………….……………
- If you want to earn a lot of money, …………………………………..
- You were not in your house You …………………………
- I’m quite busy I …………………………………………
- When you were a small kid …………………………………..
- My car is broken. I ………………………………………….
- I’ve got a fast speed internet at home. I ……………………….
- Even though she didn’t study well, she ………………………………..
- There are plenty of newspapers in the You ………..……if you want.
- What do you think you were doing, playing in the road? You …………….
- I have no time. I ……..
- You don’t look You …………..
A. Look at the picture and answer these questions.
- Do you live by yourself or with your family members?
- The girl in the picture looks happy despite living How do you feel about living alone?
B. Listen to the audio and fill in the gaps with suitable information.
- Despite having decent jobs, the………………………………… people choose to
live with their parents.
- There are many people who rely on their parents for food, clothing and
- The speaker’s parents……………………………………… her decisions.
- As she moved to the new apartment, she could save ……………………..
of her travelling time.
- Living on one’s own has some ……………………………
- One of the major issues of living on your own is …………………………
C. Listen to the audio again and answer these questions.
- What is the Chinese traditional value of family?
- How do other people react when the speaker tells them about moving out?
- What problem did the speaker face in her new apartment?
- What occupied most of the speaker’s saved time?
- How does the speaker feel about staying in her own?
- How does it feel to be far away from your family? Talk to your
Arguing/defending a point
- Act out the given conversation in pairs.
Son : Dad, I want to ask you a favour.
Father : What’s it?
Son : Our class is going for an educational tour. Can I go with them?
Father : No, my dear. This is not a suitable time for a tour.
Son : Why, dad? It’s spring. The weather is okay and the temperature is also fine everywhere.
Father : No, not now. Covid -19 pandemic is at its peak and the government has warned us to stay inside.
Son : Yes, but we’ll take every precaution. And, what’s more, we’ll wash hands as frequently as possible.
- Here are some expressions that you can use to argue or defend a Learn them.
- The main idea/thing is …
- The most important idea is …
- The primary argument for … is …
- In addition to that, …
- Not to mention the fact that …
- I agree/admit that …, but we must remember that …
C. Work in pairs. Have a conversation in the given situations.
- You are against the idea of keeping animals in the zoo but one of your friends disagrees.
- You want to study during your leisure time but your sister insists on playing
- Your parents want you to study what they want but you don’t
- Your friend wants to do a job but you want to start your own
- You want to go to a concert but your friend wants to go to a
Work in groups. Find some elderly couples or a widow/widower staying apart from their children because they are abandoned. Ask them what they had expected from their children and what actually happened. Prepare a story and present it to the class.