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Last updated at 17:08 GMT, Thursday, 30 January 2014

When does adulthood start?

A group of young people

When do we really grow up?

At what age do we become adults? Many people assume it’s 18. It's an age when many leave home for university and also when we can vote in elections the UK.

But new guidance for psychologists in the UK says that adolescence - the time when we change from being a child to an adult - now lasts until the age of 25. Does this mean we are growing up later, or are there other factors?

Neil and Finn discuss this subject in 6 Minute English and look at some of the language of growing up.

This week's question:

What is the youngest age a man can legally marry in Bangladesh? Is it:

a) 15

b) 18

c) 21

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.


When does adulthood start?

End of Section



the period of life when you are an adult

stand on your own two feet

be independent; look after yourself


behaving and thinking like a grown up


period in your life when you change from being a child to an adult


person who studies the human mind, their emotions and behaviour


chemicals in the body that influence the development, growth and sex of an animal

formative years

period of time when someone develops their character and beliefs

social death

embarrassing situation


over protecting or doing too much for someone


young person but not yet considered an adult



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