’Have I told you my wife gave birth to a beautiful girl last week (= our daughter was born)?’
’Congratulations! You must be in seventh heaven now! You wanted to become a father so much!’
’I am happy, but the beginnings were quite hard.’
’What do you mean?’
’Well, Julie had to stay in hospital for a few weeks, it was quite a difficult pregnancy (= she had some problems when she was pregnant). And then she was in labour (= trying to give birth to a baby) for eight hours, poor thing. I was present at birth (= when the baby was born). ’
’But it’s all over now, isn’t it?’
’Yeah. Now the time has come for sleepless nights (= without sleep), feeding (= giving food), changing nappies and all the other joys of looking after a newborn baby (= a baby that’s just been born).’
What did you name your daughter?’
’Helen. My wife liked the name very much. The christening is going to take place next month (= religious ceremony during which a name is given to a child).’
’So, your wife is going to stop working now that the baby is born?’
’Sure. She will be on maternity leave for 4 months (= a holiday women get to look after a child) and then we are thinking of employing a child-minder (= a babysitter) to look after the baby. But we’ll see. How’s your wife doing? I know she is also expecting a baby (= she is pregnant).’
’Yes, it’s due in November (= it will be born). But so far she’s been doing fine.’
’Would you like a son or a daughter?’
’Actually, I don’t mind whether it’s a boy or a girl as long as it’s healthy.’
’So, now I’ll keep my fingers crossed for both of you, or in fact, the three of you …’


More contexts for the new words: 

  • I used to suffer from sleeplessness. Now I fall asleep as soon as I put my head on a pillow.  (= when you can’t sleep at night) 
  • In Scandinavia a lot of men take paternity leave. (= a holiday men get to look after a child)



Complete each gap with one word.


  1. They want to hire a child-………………….. to look after their newborn.
  2. ‘What did you ………………….. your son?’ ‘Eric.’
  3. Poor Jenny was ………………….. labour for twelve hours!
  4. Jessica is now ………………….. maternity leave.
  5. Whenever a baby poops, you have to change the ………………….. .
  6. When a child is born, you face many sleepless ………………….. .



Add the missing vowels (a, e, I, o, u), then answer the questions.


  1. What is the most challenging aspect of looking after a ……………………… NWBRN?
  2. Should ……………………… PRGNNT women have any special rights or privileges?
  3. How long should the ……………………… MTRNTY leave be?





Today we’ll take a look at a phrase which is often used for emphasis, 'very much’. Look at how it is used in the sentence from the lesson:
My wife liked the name very much.

You’ve probably been told many times that 'very much’ as a chunk has to be put at the end of a sentence and that the two words have to be used together, so you cannot say anything like ’She very liked the name.’

It’s all true, but today I’ll show you how to use ’very much’ and put it in a different place in a sentence. When you want to use VERY MUCH to emphasize the action you are talking about, you may also put it before a verb. Look how it is used in context:


’He wanted to go there very much.’ or ’He very much wanted to go there.’
’Josh loves all his children very much.’ or ’Josh very much loves all his children.’

Remember, the second option is much stronger in meaning, especially that ’very much’ comes earlier in a sentence and you stress the phrase.

However, in a sentence like:

I’m against capital punishment. (so, the sentence doesn’t contain 'very much’ originally)
you can use 'very much’ to make the message stronger:
’I’m very much against capital punishment.’






B/ No, he wasn’t. He came from a poor family and worked hard to get what he has.


If you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have opportunities you did not earn, but they come from the influence of your family. The idiom comes from the idea that silver spoons were given at birth to rich children.





  1. When you ARE UP TO something, you do something bad secretly.

The children are being so quiet. What are they up to?

Sam was very nice to me today. I wonder what he’s up to.


  1. When you TELL someone OFF, you criticize them angrily for doing something wrong.

The teacher told me off for being late today.

I’m going to get told off for ruining the project.



Match the sentence halves.


  1. He looks very suspicious – 
  2. The teacher told me off 
  3. As a celebrity child, she was born 


a)  I’m sure he’s up to something.
b) with a silver spoon in her mouth.
c)  for swearing.







It is almost indispensible nowadays to have a personal midwife. With the maternity wards more and more overcrowded, pregnant women think it is impossible to get good “delivery service” without paying for it. And they are largely right – the Internet is packed with stories of women who did not pay extra, and were thus stranded for hours without anyone caring for them.

But few of us know the pitfalls of personal midwife arrangements. First of all, you have to pay the midwife even if caesarean section is necessary. So, essentially, the midwife gets paid without actually doing the job. Secondly, you are not guaranteed the service, especially in the case of national holidays. Ask any mother who had to give birth alone at Christmas or Easter, despite having a midwife arrangement. And finally – the price, which is really high. 



indispensible – really necessary

midwife – a woman who helps with the birth of a baby

maternity wards – parts of hospital where you give birth to a child

delivery – giving birth

stranded – left alone

pitfalls – dangers

caesarean section – birth by cutting open the woman’s belly


download lesson (pdf)







  1. minder
  2. name
  3. in
  4. on
  5. nappy
  6. nights



  1. newborn
  2. pregnant
  3. maternity



  1. a
  2. c
  3. b