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Arranged marriage

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Catherine Catherine | 18:15 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

Hi Pravin

Decisions, decisions! It seems there are advantages and disadvantages of both methods of finding a spouse. I suppose you just have to put your trust in providence and do your best to be a responsible husband with realistic expectations of married life... I hope you will let us know when you eventually find the future ''Mrs Pravin''!!

Here in London there is a very big wedding coming up soon - the marriage of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton will take place on April 29. It is most definitely a love marriage - and you can learn more about their courtship (and improve your English) by visiting our special BBC Learning English series A Royal Romance.

On to the English lesson: as usual, you've written a very lucid accound of your views of marriage. I'm particularly impressed by some of the vocabulary and phrases you've used - maintain the tempo; it's you who is responsible for the consequences; you can't blame anyone except yourself; I am neither against love marriage nor against arrange marriage.

In your blog, you've used 2 different noun phrases - 'arrange marriage' and 'arranged marriage' to talk about the same thing. The second one - arranged marriage - with d on the end of arranged is the correct one to use here. The word arranged is actually a past participle, which works as an adjective to describe the word marriage. Another way to understand the grammar of the phrase 'arranged marriage' is to look at the word arranged as a 'passive adjective'. Somebody arranged the marriage, so we use a 'passive participle' to indicate this: arranged marriage.

There are a lot of adjective-noun combinations that work like this, including: fried eggs (somebody fried the eggs); broken glass (somebody broke the glass); timed exam (somebody timed the exam); fixed price (somebody fixed the price) etc.

If you would like more information on this language point, have a look at this Learn it page.

Today's homework comes in 2 parts:

Part 1
Have a look at these 2 lists of words:

List 1: frightened, broken, fallen, developed, abandoned, stolen, missed, elected
List 2: country, tree, child, leader, building, heart, opportunity, money

Now match each word from list 1 with a word from list 2 to make 8 adjective-noun phrases.

Part 2
When you have made your adjective-noun phrases, write a short paragraph (you can choose your own topic), using as many of the phrases as you can.

I'm looking forward to reading your paragraphs, Pravin and everyone!

The last thing I want to do today, Pravin, is to send huge congratulations to your wonderful Indian cricket team for getting all the way to the finals of the Cricket World Cup. I hope you get the result you want in the final!!!

Very best wishes

Useful vocabulary

spouse - husband or wife
providence - fate, destiny
courtship - the time when a man and woman have a romantic relationship with each other, before they get married
lucid - clear, easy to understand


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi mis Catherine
    Directly to the homework answer :

    part 1 :
    - elected leader
    - broken heart
    - fallen tree
    - developed country
    - frightened child
    - stolen money
    - missed opportunity
    - abandoned building

    part 2 :

    developed country depend on an educated population and on an elected leader of the achievements , in the third world country most of population are not educated and the elected leaders do not work honestly , corruption is spreads in most of the country departments such as bribes , stolen money from the suspicious contracts , the roads are not developed , fallen trees which are block the roads has not removed , as well as abandoned buildings that are deform the tourist features . citizens broken hearts missed the opportunity to elected the right person in the right place .

    have a nice weekend everybody . ( enjoy the derby between Milan vs Inter )
    Best regards

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Catherine,

    I’ve recently joined this blog. I would like to thank you and all BBC LE stuff for teaching us. You give us an excellent opportunity to improve the language.

    Now this is my homework.
    Part 1:
    a frightened child
    a broken heart
    a fallen tree
    a developed country
    an abandoned building
    a missed opportunity
    an elected leader
    (the?) stolen money

    Part 2:
    The last phrase from this list made me recollect a story that happened long ago. Once I was going by an overcrowded bus when I noticed that my handbag was open. I took out my wallet and realised that it was empty! There was the virtuoso work of a thief. Instead of doing shopping I had to get off and go home. This was an unexpected result of my trip. All the day I was in a depressed mood and couldn’t help thinking about stolen money. By the end of the day I’ve decided that it would be better to forget about this money. Since then I’ve been careful when I’m in a crowd.

    Best wishes

  • Comment number 3.

    My Teacher,
    Here I did my home works.


    frightened night
    broken life
    fallen sleep
    developed heart
    abandoned missery
    missed call
    elected advicer
    stolen child

    This time I like to write a poem whether the words will not be perfect .
    A frightened night I came to the long road when everything was fallen sleep.
    Suddenly I got a missed from somebody and he spoke me his broken life and it put a shocked to my develoved heart . I tried to console him instead of our elected advicer. Then he told me finally he can deal everything of his ordeals but that is not something like abandoned missery . Therefore it seems a mother's unpleasant when she face her stollen child .

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi dear Catherine:
    1st.part: frightened child- broken heart- developed country- fallen tree- elected leader- abandoned building- missed opportunity- stolen money-

    2nd. part: I can´t write the paragraph because I would use all the adjective-noun phrases (all negative) for a sad description of some regions of our world that are not developed countries and I don´t want to be pesimistic. I promise a better homework in other opportunity. Thanks for your work. The best for you. Beatriz.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi.I am a new blogger.I just joined this.please let me know how to share writing to this.and please correct me if i commit a mistake in english.I am really keen to improve my english.please help me out.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello Catherine,

    Hope things are going fine for you. Here is part 1 of the homework:

    Frightened child, broken heart, fallen tree, developed country, abandoned building, stolen money, missed opportunity, elected leader.

    The paragraph:

    As you probably know, Catherine, I am from the part of the world, where unfortunately there hasn't been an effective government for almost two decades. And I hope that it's not a surprise for you to hear that our house has become an abandoned building for a couple of times as we started fleeing from my hometown, Baidoa, to escape the violence during the beginning of 1990s.

    We used to come across a fallen tree on our way back from bushes where we would spend days or even sometimes weeks. I remember meeting frightened child or children because of the sounds of the bullets. I have never used or spent a stolen money all my life as it's seen as a sin in our religion and culture.

    Before a couple of weeks, we had a missed opportunity when the striker of my team couldn't score a penalty to put the team on the top of the league table. As you may call it ' use it or lose it' . I have had a broken heart before when my girlfriend tried to drop me, but that didn't happen! I have met an elected leader quite many times, however, he didn't achieve much as expected.

    Now, as I am hoping to reunite with my family that lives in one of the most developed countries in the world, that's the USA, I hope that my English would be as successful as it could be because it's spoken in there. And, of course, I'll not never forget to appreciate the BBC LE team's great job!

    All the very best,


  • Comment number 7.

    I'll never for get, rather.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi, Catherine
    1. elected leader
    missed opportunity
    stolen money
    developed country
    abandoned building
    broken heart
    frightened child
    fallen tree
    2. After a tsunami, the small town is devastated. Streets are filled with abandoned building and fallen tree. A frightened child is looking for his parents. It was such a huge wave wiped out everything. Newly elected leader is trying to soothe the broken heart but nothing avail. It will take time. Humans are small in front of natural phenomena.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Comment number 9.

    Here my answer
    elected leader
    devoloped country
    missed apportunity
    broken heart
    fallen trees
    stolen money
    abandoned building
    frightened shild

    Part 2
    During these events in arab world ;I ask the arab people to continue their revolution until they acheive the freedom wich guide them to make their contries in the ranks of developed countries; with elected leaders .it will be a missed oportinuty when they dispair.

  • Comment number 10.

    Part 1

    frightened child
    broken heart
    fallen tree
    developed country
    abandoned building
    stolen money
    missed opportunity
    elected leader

    Part 2

    Egypt after revolution

    It is our dream to be in a democratic liberal country, ensures a good life and free of speech for everyone.

    We all hope to see our country always in top and as we all saw how the youth sacrifice their lives for their beloved country.

    Actually, before Jan 25, 2011, no one has expected that the Egyptian people could do this, but it was the miracle and now it is the time to rebuild our country and make real progress for us and for our sons.


  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Catherine,

    I like your teaching specially lost your homework part.

    Home work::
    Part 1) Frightened child, Broken heart, Fallen tree, Developed country, Abandoned Building, Stolen money, Missed opportunity, Elected leader

    Part 2} Just few days ago I was going out with my friends then I saw a frightened child near a abandoned building. This building is known as haunted house. Usually nobody likes to go inside, neither I . I asked the boy what happened he said his sister had gone inside and had not come out till then .We decided we would go inside to find out her. We went inside .Floor to floor we were searching her suddenly we saw her talking with our elected leader of our area .Later the leader left the building , we saw the girl was crying .We understood it was a mater of love.
    The leader brooked the relation that was why broken heart girl was crying .


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