If it seems like friendships formed in adolescence are particularly special, that’s because they are. Childhood, adolescent, and adult friendships all manifest differently in part because the brain works in different ways at those stages of life. During adolescence, there are changes in the way you value, understand, and connect to friends.




Fill in the gaps in the video extract with the words in bold below. Then watch the video and check your answers.


intimate            in sync                             at the hip                       mature                 on the same page                      

hang with         hinges on           in step                    hanging out

(…) Early childhood, adolescent and adult friendships all manifest a little differently in part because the brain works in different ways at those stages of life. (…) Teenage friends can seem attached 1. ……… . Scientists describe adolescence as a social reorientation as teenagers begin to spend as much or more time with their friends than with their parents. This drive to 2. ………….. pals may be due to changes in the brain’s reward center, known as the ventral striatum. Its activation makes 3. ……………. with others enjoyable and motivates you to spend more time with them. (…) Teenage friendships can also feel more 4. …………. than the friendships of your childhood. This deeper connection is possible thanks to improvements in what scientists call Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind is the ability to understand others’ emotions, thoughts, motivations, and points of view, and to realize that they may be different from your own. While it may seem intuitive, this ability 5. ………… the careful coordination of various brain regions, sometimes referred to as the social brain. (…)  scientists now know that the Theory of Mind continues to improve and 6. …………. well into your teenage years and beyond. (…) In the closest friendships, it can almost feel as if you’re metaphysically connected – two bodies and minds, perfectly 7. …………… . (…) You and your best friend may not be only 8. …………….., but also scientifically 9. …………… .


Key: 1.at the hip; 2. hang with; 3. hanging out; 4. intimate; 5. hinges on; 6.mature; 7. in sync; 8. on the same page; 9. in step




  • to pale – to seem or become less important
  • to be on the same page – to have the same ideas as someone else
  • in step (informal) – in agreement or harmony; when people walk in step, they lift their feet off the ground and put them down again at the same time


Practice makes perfect

Choose the correct grammatical form [a)-c) below] of the verbs in brackets:


1. …………… (meet) someone and known right away you’d found a new friend? Was it their smile, their laugh, a twinkle in their eye or maybe a clever joke they told? In truth, the clincher 2. ……….. (be) an underappreciated item on your subconscious checklist. As is the case for many mammals, your instant bond 3. ………….. (develop) right after the first sniff.

Whether we notice it or not, we are constantly probing our surroundings with an olfactory radar just like rodents and nonhuman primates. Mice and chimps seem 4. ………… (have) the scent smarts to know immediately who to befriend and who to rebuff. And though we might think of ourselves as apart from our warm-blooded relatives, new research shows that us hairless hominins may not be so different after all.

Yes, we gravitate toward a smile or people we have something in common with, such as age, personality, and even physical appearance, but it seems we might also secretly seek out those who 5. ………. (smell) like us. (…)

Ravreby and her research team did just that by employing a chemical sensing device called an electronic nose, along with a collection of human “smellers” to back up its measurements. Their work—published in Science Advances on Friday—6. ……. (find) that friends who “…… ” (click) when they first ……… (meet) ……. (smell) more alike than random pairs of people, suggesting our nose might play a part in how we know who we 7. …………  (get along) with best. (…)


a) Did you ever meet

b) Have you ever met

c) Had you ever met


a) can have been

b) must have been

c) might have been


a) may have developed

b) could develop

c) can’t have developed


a) having

b) to have

c) have


a) are smelling

b) can smell

c) smell


a) found; had clicked; met; smelled

b) found; clicked; met; smelled;

c) found; had clicked; met; were smelling


a) get along

b) are about to

c) will/’ll get along


In order to read the whole article/check your answers, go to: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-may-pick-friends-who-smell-like-them/

Key: 1b; 2c; 3a; 4b; 5c; 6b; 7c




  • What makes a friend a best friend?
  • Do you have any particularly close friends?
  • Are your childhood friends those you have strongest bonds with?
  • “A friend in need is a friend in deed”, do you agree?
  • Do you sometimes fall out with your friends?
  • Have you ever felt like breaking off a friendship but didn’t know how to?


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