Posted in Phrase of the Day

Proficiency Phrase of the Day #18: Come to terms with

Today’s phrase is…

to come to terms with

Introduce it by showing your students the photo on the left. Have them discuss the meaning in pairs. Lead them towards the idea of the empty nest as the family home once all the children have moved out. Ask them to discuss how parents tend to feel when they become “empty nesters”, then show them the sentence below:

It can be difficult for parents to come to terms with being empty nesters.

It can be difficult for parents to come to terms with the fact that their children are independent adults who can fend for themselves (mostly).

Lead them to the meaning of the expression: to accept a new and painful event or situation.

Put students in pairs and have them discuss the following questions:

How would you describe the process of accepting/adapting to the following important changes in life and how long do you think the process takes?

  1. The death of a family pet
  2. Breaking up with your childhood sweetheart
  3. A romantic partner cheating on you
  4. Your child becoming a teenager
  5. Your football team being relegated
  6. Retirement from a job you loved

What unique challenges does each situation involve?


Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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