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For Students: Talking about Age

Updated: Mar 21

If you’re reading this in the office, take a look at someone in the office you don’t know well and have a guess of their age. Are they in the early mid – or late 20s/30s/40s ? Do they look like they are pushing 50? This is how we guess someone’s age. We don’t really say he’s 22 without knowing, we’d say he’s in his early 20s or if we want to use a specific number we use the phrase ‘he’s about/around 22’ Of course, you can also say he is in his 20s, but that still makes us have to use our imagination because that can be early mid – or late, so we often use those words to help narrow the 10 years down.

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There is a saying in English which is age is just a number, but do you believe that? If you are in your 50’s, but feel like you’re in your late 20’s what’s the problem? Should people be limited just by the date on their birth certificate? And what about when it comes to relationships, how big is too big for the age-gap?

Note: Russian and Ukrainian speakers will often say "I have 23 years" 1. We always need the verb Be(is,are,am) and not have to talk about our age. 2. We don't say years. We simply say 'I am 23" or " I am 23 years OLD"

It’s a process we can’t control. Some people age better than others and some people look after themselves and keep in shape, better than others. I am guilty of being out of shape. This week I am going to turn 36, that means I will now be closer to 40 than 30. I’m no spring chicken anymore, but I’m not middle-aged yet and there is no mid-life-crisis happening any time soon. I don’t worry about getting older, but I am reminded of my age when I do lessons with teens and they haven’t heard of people and things everyone in my age-group has, but it does also work in my favour as I can also learn about what’s cool and that way I can be down with the kids

We all grow up somewhere, and we are all brought up by someone. Usually our parents, but in some cases grandparents and in more extreme circumstances an orphanage. Our upbringing can have a big effect on how we see the world and our opinions on certain things. Different generations are brought up in different societies. Nowadays, we often read about millennials. This generation is seen as snowflakes and the generation of being soft, oversensitive, and easily offended. They are also seen as a generation who want to make big changes that some older generations don’t agree with. These people from these generations who don’t want change can be seen as dinosaurs.

One day, if we are lucky, we will all retire. If we have a decent pension, we might be able to enjoy retirement. Of course, that’s only if we are still mobile and our mental health is OK and/or we don’t find ourselves in a care home. Let’s not think about that far ahead now, let’s enjoy the moment, but remember if you have loads of money, don’t forget to write/make a will. And, if you have nobody to leave it to, I’m happy to accept money, property, jewellery, or cars…… :)

Cheers – English language teacher and native speaker in Lviv, Ukraine - FREE online English speaking club - The school that makes you SPEAK!

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Can you think of any famous people who have aged-well?

What’s the age-gap between you and your partner and your parents?

Where did you grow up?

What is the retirement age in your country?

Do you have care homes in your country, what are they like?

Are you easily offended?

How old were you….

When you first went abroad?

Got drunk for the first time?

Got your driving license?

Kissed someone for the first time?

Left home?

Had your first job?


Early (20-23) Mid (24-26) Late (27-29)

Pushing <age> - when you are very close to the next decade of age

Birth Certificate – the document your parents are given when you are born

Age-gap – the number of years between you and someone

Age-well – to look better as you get older

Look after yourself – to eat healthy and exercise often

(Keep) in shape – not to be overweight or fat with good levels of fitness

Out of shape – to be overweight or fat with poor fitness levels

Turn <age> - Each birthday we turn another year older

No spring chicken – not very young and quick/fast

Middle-aged – the age range considered the halfway point of life

Mid-life crisis – when someone is middle-aged and starts to behave and do things people their age don’t really do. A cliché is buying an expensive sports car

Age-group – people grouped by a similar age for instant 32-36

Down with the kids – to know what all the young people are interested in

Grow up – the place where you went from a child to an adult

Bring up – someone who takes you from a children to an adult

Orphanage – a home for children who don’t have parents

Upbringing – the time of being a child to an adult

Generations – an age gap of around 10 years

Millennials – people born between 1981 – 1996

Snowflake – someone who is very easily offended by things

Soft – not very strong emotionally or physically

Sensitive – someone whose emotions are easily affected

Easily offended – someone who can be hurt or affected by the opinions of others

Dinosaur – someone whose views and ways are not part of the modern world

Retire/Retirement – to stop working officially

Decent – better than average

Pension – the money you get when you retire

Mobile – the ability to move

Care home – a special house where older people live and are looked after by workers

To write/make a will - a legal document that is written to say where you want your wealth and possessions to go after you die

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