33 Family Size

Six people discuss what they prefer, a big family or a small family.

Mixer Topic

Akane, Canada
speakerIs it better to have a big family or a small family? Well, I've always like the idea of having a big family so I think that having a big family is a really good thing. I come from a small family. I only have one brother, so if I could afford it, I think I would really like to have a big family When I get older.

Jeff, Canada
speakerA big family or a small family? Which is better? I grew up in a big family and it was really good: four brothers and one sister and my parents and a dog, so there were lots of people around and I think a big family is good. You're never lonely and there's always someone to hang around with or play with or do something with and lots of things to share and you learn some good values about sharing and beint patient and, yeah, I think big families are better than small families.

Jeyong, Korea
speakerI think it's better to have a big family because for instance, I have a family of six members: my dad, my mom, older sister, younger sister and a younger brother and me, so when we are all together, the six of us, it's very fun talking and eating food. It's interesting how everybody is very different from each other.

Ruth, England
speakerBig or small? Well, I'm from a small family, which I think is really good because we're really close knit and we get to spend more time together because we are small, but having said that, probably because I am from a small family, I would like to be from a big family, because in a big family, you always have company. You have a wider variety of people to spend time with, and I associate big families with fun and laughter, so I think I would prefer a big family even though I like my small family.

Simon, Canada
speakerYeah, I think to be part of a small family is better. I'm an only child, so I've only known life in a small family. Definitely if you're part of a small family, or you're a child in a small family, you're the number one banana. You're parents do everything for you. They take care of only you, or if you have one other sibling, you know, if you live in a family of eight, you know, love and things like that have to shared more so, that's that.

Todd, The United States
speakerI think for the child it's better to have a big family because then you have more brothers and sisters to do stuff with and you'll have special memories and when you get older you'll be able to look back and think of all the good times you had with your brothers and sisters, but I think for parents, these days it's better to just have a very small family, maybe just one or two children because things are so expensive and it's just really hard to raise a big family these days.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson!

hang around with


There's always someone to hang around with or play with.

To 'hang around with someone' means to do things together with him. Notice the following:

  1. On weekend's I usually hang around with my friends.
  2. Living on campus is great. There are so many people to hang around with.



You learn some good values about sharing and being patient.

Our 'values' are what we believe is right and wrong, and what is important in life. Notice the following:

  1. My grandmother has very old-fashioned values.
  2. Different cultural values can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

close knit


We're really close knit.

We use the phrase 'close knit' to talk about families or groups that are held together by love, support, good communication and often, cultural ties. Notice the following:

  1. He comes from a close knit family.
  2. My home town in California has a close knit Vietnamese community.

the number one banana


You're the number one banana.

'The number one banana' is a funny, informal idiom that means a special person. Notice the following:

  1. At your birthday party, you are the number one banana.
  2. I'm nobody special, but as a teacher, I'm the number one banana in class.

be able to look back


When your older, you'll be able to look back.

To 'look back' means to think about the past. Notice the following:

  1. After graduation, we'll be able to look back and remember the good times.
  2. Now that I have kids, I'm able to look back and appreciate the hard work of my parents.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
hang around • values • close knit
one banana • looking back
  1. , I don't know how you did all of that. I would have been exhausted.
  2. It is important to have the same as your boyfriend or girlfriend.
  3. We should go to the beach and on Saturday.
  4. I don't have many good friends where I live now, but my group back home is very .
  5. He doesn't really like to be the number .