The weekly column
Article 96, April 2002
A Multi-Word Verbs in Context Classroom Activity
By Robert Wyss
The target verbs for this unit are:
An increasing number of Europeans are choosing to live alone at an ever earlier age. This isn't the stuff of philosophical meditations, but a fact of Europe's new economic landscape. "The shift away from family life to solo lifestyle," observes Italian sociologist Giovanni Cintura, "makes up an important part of the trend of individualism over the last century".
The communications revolution, the shift from a business culture of stability to one of mobility and the mass entry of women into the work force have wreaked havoc on Europeans' private lives. More and more of them are remaining on their own: they're living longer, divorcing more and marrying later--if at all. British marriage rates have dropped off by more than 30 percent in the past ten years. INSEE, France's National Institute of Statistics, conducts surveys focused on domestic demographics and a recent study revealed that the number of French people living alone doubled between 1994 and 2002.
The home-alone phenomenon remains an urban and a Northern European trend: people who live in rural areas--as well as the Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, and Irish--tend to stick to families. The Scandinavians, Dutch, and Germans like to live alone, as do 7 million Britons.
In the next 15 years, the British population is expected to decline, but the number of houses is expected to go up by 25 percent--an increase mainly accounted for by single people. In London, luxury complexes with tiny flats, gyms, and easy access to urban pleasures are springing up for young professionals. When single people move into the neighborhood, say geographers, latte bars, gyms, local music bars, art galleries and restaurants are sure to follow.
Women, it seems, enjoy the single life more than men. "Women are still expected to be the housewife in couples," Cintura notes. "It's very difficult for women to overcome the traditional stereotypes, so the only way they can achieve sexual equality is to live alone." Anna De Kergolay, a London-based photo-journalist, has chosen to live alone but hasn't ruled out the idea of marriage. "If I got married," she explains, "I would still want to have my own room - a place where I could be by myself. I wouldn't give up my freedom for a man."
By contrast, the bachelor tends to stay in. "The man who lives alone is more often a sad case, especially with older men," says British psychologist Mark O'Keefe. "They often have no one to reach out to for help when they need it and they tend to socialise less frequently than the women."
Separable or Inseparable? Transitive or Intransitive?
Decide which of these sentences are correct (C) and which are incorrect (I).
We cannot rule out any of the possibilities. C
1 She really should give up smoking. ___
4 Could you look at the report for me? ___
7 There's no accounting for the financial loss. ___
10 We need to focus it on. ___
13 Prices keep going up. ___
16 I'll drop off the books at the library. ___
Which word or phrase best follows each phrasal verb?
the financial slump * in value * all the issues * a story and sit down * the problem * the missing soldiers * tonight * the overdue library books
1. go up in value
A word-square worksheet for phrasal verbs is available for downloading and printing here
Robert Wyss is currently employed as Director of Studies at a language school in Milan, Italy. He has also taught several years at a Roman college preparatory school (Lyceo Classico Statale). His undergraduate degree is in Journalism/Anthropology and he has recently completed a Master of Arts Degree in Applied Linguistics from Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA.
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