Juvenile delinquency (= teenage crime) is on the increase. Young offenders (= young criminals) are becoming more violent and they know exactly what they are doing. Research shows that poor parental supervision is the main factor in delinquency. The increase in juvenile crime is connected with high divorce rates and family breakdown. Most young criminals come from deprived backgrounds (= the environment lacking the necessities of life) where using foul language (= offensive, vulgar language) and even physical violence is the norm. Without a role model (= a person who is a good example to follow) at home young people start looking for an authority in the streets. At the beginning they only swear (= use vulgar language), but soon they get involved in illegal things, such as burglary or drug offences. The vicious circle at play (= a situation in which one problem causes another) is that in such environments young people are more likely to become teenage parents. Owing to the fact that they are unable to provide their own children with proper care they are not capable of preventing them from turning to crime too.


More contexts for the new words:

  • For stealing the car he was sentenced to 6 months in a boot camp (= a type of prison for young criminals with strict discipline).
  • He hit his head as he stood up and cursed loudly (= used vulgar language).




Match the halves:


  1. juvenile
  2. deprived
  3. boot
  4. role
  5. vicious
  6. foula) camp
    b) circle
    c) delinquency
    d) language
    e) background
    e) model




Complete the question with correct words. Then answer the questions.

  1. Is it OK to ___________ if you are really angry about something?
  2. How should young _____________ be punished for their crimes?
  3. Have you ever been in a situation you could call a vicious _________?




In this lesson we are going to discuss adverbials of reason.

These can be put in two groups.

First, there are phrases which are followed by a noun. They include: because of, due to, owing to, thanks to.

They didn’t go for a walk because of the heavy rain.

Due to is normally found after the verb to be.

The failure was due to poor maintenance.

Due to and owing to are more common with the things we don’t want to happen.

Thanks to is usually used with the things we want to happen.

Flights from London were cancelled owing to bad weather.
Thanks to this treatment her condition has improved.



Adverbials of reason include also words which are usually followed by a clause. These are: as, because and since.

As and since are more common at the beginning of the sentence.

Since you insist, we will take a vote.
As nobody has objected, we will proceed as planned.


Because does not normally start a sentence.

I went home because I was tired.







The Minister FOUGHT TOOTH AND NAIL to have the proposed road safety law accepted.

If you fight tooth and nail for something you fight with energy and determination.





  1. When something like war, violence or fire BREAKS OUT, it begins.

War broke out when two leaders couldn’t reach an agreement.


  1. When you BEAT SOMEONE UP you hit or kick somebody hard many times.

He was badly beaten up by a gang of hooligans.





Decide if the sentences are true or false.


  1. If you fight with determination you fight foot and nail for something.
  2. If you beat someone up, the person will probably be badly injured.
  3. When we want to say that something like war or violence starts, we say it breaks up.







Twelve-year-old Sean Lewis was playing with a little girl of 7. Claiming that he pretended to be a professional wrestler, he punched, kicked and stamped his friend so hard that she died. Medical experts compared her injuries to those being the result of a fall from the top of the building. Sean was tried as an adult and was sentenced to life in prison. The latest trend in criminal justice is that if you are old enough to kill, you are old enough to face adult penalties. The trend is spreading just as the crime rate among young people is increasing. It is especially common in the USA where there is widespread access to guns, and research shows that most juvenile crimes are gun related. There are, however, opponents of this trend. Children’s rights activists claim that children should not be tried as adults. Now they are demonstrating against sending Sean to prison for the rest of his life.



  • to punch – hit somebody hard with your fist
  • to stamp – put your foot down heavily on something
  • injury – harm done to a person’s body.


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Ex. 1

  1. c
  2. e
  3. a
  4. f
  5. b
  6. d


Ex. 2

  1. swear/ curse
  2. offenders
  3. circle


Ex. 3

  1. False – you fight tooth and nail
  2. True
  3. False – it breaks out