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Society in Britain and the US is traditionally based on a nuclear family living in the same house and closely involved in each other’s live. Fifty years ago, the typical family was a husband and wife, and two or three children. The father spends all day at work and made most of the decisions about how the money he earned was spent. The mother stayed at home (1)________________. Children were expected to obey their parents.

Many modern families live differently, and because of this some people think that the family unit is dying and society is being weakened. Many couples still get married, but other live together without getting married. A few years ago, couples living together usually got married when they wanted to start a family (=have children), but this happens less now. Another trend is for people to get married later in life (2) ______________, so the size of the average family is shrinking.

Many families are disturbed each year as a result of divorce. In the US about half of all married couples get divorced. In Britain the divorce rate has more than doubled (3)___________. Many children are brought up in single-parent families (=families in which children are looked after by their mother or father, not both) and only see the other parent occasionally. Other children have two homes (4)___________. If their parents remarry (=each marry other people) the children may have to fit into a step-family (= a family in which the parents have been married before and have children from their previous marriages). They may later have half-brothers or half-sisters (5)____________. Families in which some children are adopted (= legally and permanently made part of another family) or fostered (= looked after by another family for a period of time) because their own parents cannot take care of them are not uncommon.


1. Вставьте в пропуски (1-5) буквы (a-e), соответствующие данные ниже:

a) and divide their time between them;

b) and to have fewer children;

c) from the new marriage;

d) to manage the house and look after the children;

e) since the early 1980 s.


2. Отметьте данные ниже предложения как истинные (T) или ложные (F):

1. Fifty years ago, the typical family was a husband and wife and one child. ¨

2. Children were very naughty. ¨

3. Many couples live together unmarried. ¨

4. People usually get married later in life. ¨

5. In the USA two-thirds of married couples get divorced. ¨

6. Families with adopted children are common. ¨

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