Family Vocabulary Part 5

English Listening Practice Family Vocabulary 5

Advanced ESL listening Practice for Adults Family Vocabulary 5

Welcome to our Daily English Listening Practice with this week’s series:

Family Vocabulary

Divorce isn’t a very happy subject, but it happens quite a bit, so of course it might come up in conversation. When it does come up, you’ll feel more comfortable talking about it with today’s English Family Vocabulary.

Please listen to the audio files for explanations.
Transcripts unavailable.

Notes from the Audio Files

Divorce – Vocabulary

  • Get a divorce: we become divorced
    • We’re getting a divorce. We need to get a divorce. I want to get a divorce.
  • File for divorce: submit the legal paperwork to become divorced
  • File the paperwork: submit the legal files
  • Grounds for divorce: reasons to get divorced
  • Clean split: the divorce process went smoothly
  • Collateral damage: the people who get hurt who are not involved in the divorce
  • Messy divorce: lots of arguing, disagreeing and interruptions in the divorce process
  • Dragged on for some time: negative, took a long time to complete, goes very slowly
  • Get custody: gaining the right of the protective care of someone or something
    • One person takes care of the person or thing
  • Shared custody: sharing the right of the protective care of someone or something
    • You both have to take care of the kids/ things

How to use it:
“I think it took a year from the moment they said that they were getting a divorce to the moment they finally filed the paperwork. It wasn’t messy, but it was expensive.”
“They had a fairly clean split – and thankfully their children still get to see both their parents often.”

Divorce – Culturally

  • Taboo: topics that most people don’t feel comfortable talking about, may not talk about them at all
  • Not that it’s not serious: it is serious
  • Amicable reasons: may not be “friendly” but without disagreement or problems
  • Not working out anymore: not going smoothly,
  • Social networks: websites online to meet and talk to people, possibly date
  • Divorcees: a person who is divorced
  • Gone through a divorce: completed the divorce process
  • The younger you are, the more likely you are to…
    • The lower your age, the higher the possibility that you are to do something
    • The longer you listen to loud music, the more likely you are to hurt your ears.

How to use it:
“I think it’s pretty normal to meet people in their 40s or 50s who have been through a divorce. I think it’s probably more surprising to meet people who are still together.”
“I think I know two or three people in their twenties who are already divorced, all of them married right after university.”


  • Physical baggage: luggage, suitcases
  • Has to do with your past: it’s about your past
  • A crazy ex: an old partner or person in your life that you were romantically involved with who causes a lot of trouble in your life
  • A lot of problems = a lot of issues
  • Carefree: doesn’t have any worries or problems to think about
  • Difficult to let go of: hard to stop thinking or worrying about
  • Getting over that: forgiving and forgetting a problem

How to use it:
“I hate to be harsh, but if she’s got this crazy ex who hates seeing her with a new boyfriend, there’s no way you guys can have a healthy relationship with that kind of baggage.”
“Baggage feels inevitable as you get older, you can’t expect people not to live their lives before they meet you.”


  • Someone has passed away: someone has died
  • Widow a female whose partner has died
  • Widower: a male person whose partner has died
  • Unlikely to get remarried: probably will not get married again

How to use it:
“Her husband passed away away about 10 years ago. I think she’s finally getting back out there, meeting new people, but no doubt it’s been hard.”
“She’s actually the window of a famous businessman, and I think she inherited his fortune after he passed away.”
Extra note: Both Mark and I thought about it later and many people also use “my late husband/wife” for a partner who has passed away. This is probably the most common.


  • Step-parent: the new person your parent married
  • Step-kids: the kids of your partner (not your children)
  • Step brothers/sisters: not related by blood but by marriage
  • half-brothers/sisters: siblings who have one parent in common
    • Same mom or same dad
  • Biological father: the father you were born to
  • Pick up on the fact that: realize something

How to use it:
“Well, now that my mom’s gotten remarried, I technically have two step-siblings, and a step-dad, but I don’t really think of them that way. I usually just call him “my mom’s husband”. ”I remember we moved to my new step-father’s house. It was a little strange at first, and I still call him by his first name, but we have a healthy relationship.”

What is divorce like in your country? Do you know anyone who has gotten remarried? You can practice the vocabulary in the comments below 🙂


Kat and Mark


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