Lesson 2: Age
She’s really robbing the cradle!

I can talk about age and how it affects relationships.

INTRODUCE

Every culture has its own view of relationships with a large age gap, so it’s always interesting to talk about it with foreign friends.

PRESENT

STEP A EXPRESSIONS

I. Go over the expressions with your tutor.

    1. To rob the cradle means to marry or date someone who is much younger than you.

    Robert is 45, but his girlfriend is only 25.

    Yeah, this isn’t the first time he’s robbed the cradle.

     

    2. If someone is pushing [age], it means they’re close to that age but are still a bit younger than it.

    Did you know Mark’s birthday is tomorrow? He’ll be 49.

    Whoa, he’s pushing 50? I thought he was around 35!

     

    3. A May-December romance is a relationship between two people who have a huge age gap.

    I’m 28, and my husband is 52.

    Wow, that’s quite a May-December romance!

     

    II. Do you know of any couples with a large age gap? Talk about them using the expressions above.

STEP B PRONUNCIATION

The is pronounced as /thuh/ when the next word starts with a consonant sound. It's pronounced as /thee/ when the next word starts with a vowel sound.
Phrase Example

the cradle

/ thuh kreyd-l /

He’s totally robbing / thuh kreyd-l /.

the only one

/ thee own-ly wan /

Dylan isn’t / thee own-ly wan / dating someone much younger.

UNDERSTAND

SPEAKING

Naoki is talking with his Spanish coworker Miguel.

Naoki:

So how long have you been together with your girlfriend?

Miguel:

Four years. We’re kind of a May-December romance. (laughs)

Naoki:

Really? You’re pushing 30, right? So, how old is she?

Miguel:

She’s 38.

Naoki:

Oh, wow! She’s really robbing the cradle! Good for her! (laughs)

Miguel:

Honestly, though, I’m really happy with her. She’s very mature, and she pushes me to take my life and career more seriously.

Naoki:

I guess that’s good. Anyway, I’ve noticed that people here in the office are in their mid-30s and still not married, including you. Is it because you want to focus on your career, or…?

Miguel:

Well, marrying late is pretty common here in Spain. The unemployment rate is very high, so many people choose to delay their marriage plans. We’re happy as we are right now, so there’s no rush to get married.

Naoki:

Interesting. Well, as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters!

Miguel:

That’s what I told my parents!

TRIVIA

In Japan, the average age to get married is 30, while in Spain, it’s actually 34.5. Meanwhile, Sweden has one of the highest averages at 35.8 and Indonesia has one of the lowest at 21.9.

PRACTICE

STEP A EXERCISE

Are the underlined expressions used correctly? If not, change the sentences.

  1. Spencer only dates women his age. His friends joke that he’s robbing the cradle.
  2. People say that Greg’s pushing 40, but he doesn’t look in his late 30s to me.
  3. Carmen isn’t interested in having a May-December romance, so she’s looking for someone much older than her.
  4. Laura and Steve were both 21 when they started dating. Laura robbed the cradle.
  5. Hannah is in a May-December romance with a man who’s 16 years older than her.

STEP B EXERCISE

Read the story. Then, complete the summary using the expressions in the box. The form of some expressions may need to be changed.

a May-December romance
be pushing [age]
rob the cradle

1

2

3

  1. At first, Alicia wasn’t sure about being in ____.
  2. She was afraid that her friends would say that she was _____, but they supported her.
  3. Alicia and Ryan have been together for five years. She _____, and she’s never been happier in her life.

CHALLENGE

Challenge 1

Your friend’s 21-year-old brother, Patrick, just got into a relationship with a woman 14 years older than him. Talk about it with your friend.

Today's Expressions

  • rob the cradle
  • be pushing [age]
  • a May-December romance

Challenge 2

Discuss your ideas.

If Time
Allows
1

MAY-DECEMBER ROMANCES

2

DELAYING MARRIAGE

3

PUSHING AN AGE

1

MAY-DECEMBER ROMANCES

  1. What are some advantages of a May-December romance?  
  2. What are some disadvantages of a May-December romance?  
  3. In a May-December romance, does it matter if the woman or the man is older?
  4. Why are many people surprised by May-December romances?

2DELAYING MARRIAGE

  1. What are some common reasons to delay marriage in Japan?  
  2. Do you think the average age to get married in Japan will continue to increase?  
  3. Can delaying marriage affect a couple?
  4. Can you be too old to get married?

3PUSHING AN AGE

  1. In your opinion, why do some people care when they're pushing an age (ex. 30, 50) but other people don't?
  2. In your opinion, what's a good thing to do when you're pushing 20 (ex. go to university, get a job)?
  3. What's a good thing to do when you're pushing 30 (ex. change jobs, buy a house)?
  4. What's a good thing to do when you're pushing 60 (ex. retire early, travel)?

FEEDBACK

I can talk about age and how it affects relationships.

LESSON GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

  • 4
    Very Good

    Could complete the task with ease

  • 3
    Good

    Could complete the task with some clarifications

  • 2
    Fair

    Could complete the task with additional instructions

  • 1
    Poor

    Could somehow complete the task with difficulty

PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK

NEXT LESSON

Chapter 2 Lesson 3 (Reading) - I’ve experienced the best of both worlds.