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Luca Nicola

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Hello Minoo,
How are you?

two questions about the articles from an exercise.

Urban life past and present

(0) – young people tend to think that (1) – life was more difficult for (2) - people in the past. Of course, (3) THE lives our parents led were different from (4) THE lives we lead today. For example, they couldn’t rely as much on (5) – modern technology as we do. When my parents were young, (6) - computers were as big as a room and (7) THE mobile phones hadn’t been invented yet!
On the other hand, I don’t think there were as many social problems in those days. This is partly because (8) THE family was very important. For instance, (9) – families took care of (10) THE old and weak so (11) - homelessness wasn’t (12) THE problem that it is today. In fact, in many ways (13) – life was better in the past.

I've found many times this kind of sentence: when my parents were young, when I was young, so I still haven't understood if the correct word is young or younger, and when I have to use one or the other, i.e. the general rule.

Then, why mobile phones need the article the? I thought mobile phones were the same general plural nouns like  computers are.

Best regards,


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  • Head Tutor

Hello Nicola,

1. We use 'young' for people who we consider are 'middle-aged' or 'old' now, and 'younger' for people we consider 'still young'. It's a subjective choice.

2. I agree with you that 'the' is not necessary before 'mobile phones'. Maybe there's a typing error in the exercise.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Head Tutor

Hello Ismail,

Here is the section  of the Study Guide that explains how to study the grammar lessons to be able to remember and use the rules:

In grammar lessons, you learn all the important grammatical structures in English. The example sentences and exercises for different grammatical structures contain common vocabulary and expressions appropriate to the level you are studying. This allows you to learn or review essential vocabulary at the same time. These modules help you to improve all your skills: reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

This is how you should work through grammar lesson

  1. Start with 'Study':
    1. Read the explanations and examples, and take notes.
    2. Watch the video lesson to hear the explanations again with new examples, and take more notes.
  2. Go to 'Exercise':
    1. Choose (multiple choice) or type your answer.
    2. If you make mistakes as you type, our software warns you and helps you to get it right until you get a .
    3. Press the 'play' button that appears after the  to hear the teacher's recording of the correct answer.
    4. Repeat the correct answer out loud before going on to the next exercise.
    5. When you have finished all the written exercises successfully, listen to and repeat all the correct answers out loud one more time.
  3. Finish with the 'Test' to check your assimilation of the grammatical structure.
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