British Pubs Close Down as Less People Drink

August 11, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pub /pʌb/ (n.) – a public place where people go to buy and drink alcohol
Example: He invited his friends to drink in his favorite pub.

2. sobriety /səˈbraɪ ɪ ti, soʊ-/ (n.) – the state of not being drunk or intoxicated
Example: He will not encounter accidents if he maintains sobriety while driving.

3. downturn /ˈdaʊnˌtɜrn/ (n.) – a decline in a business or economic trend
Example: There was an unexpected downturn in today’s stock market figures.

4. plummet /ˈplʌm ɪt/ (v.) – to decrease in value or amount at a rapid speed
Example: The store has had no customers for a week, so its sales have plummeted.

5. authentic /ɔˈθɛn tɪk/ (adj.) – referring to something that is valuable and significant because of its originality
Example: Drinking in pubs is considered an authentic tradition in British culture.


Read the text below.
More and more pubs are going out of business as the drinking habits of British people rapidly diminish.

In recent years, statistical data have indicated the growing inclination towards sobriety among British citizens. From 2005 to 2012, the percentage of drinking men dropped by eight percent, while the number of drinking women fell by five percent. There is also a rapid decrease among the youth. In 2003, 61 percent of minors were reported to have consumed alcohol at least once. Eight years later, the number fell to 43 percent.

Government statistics further show a downturn in the regularity of people who buy and drink alcohol in pubs. Although there was a 1.3-percent increase in alcohol purchasing, the number of people who drink outside their home plummeted by nearly 10 percent between 2009 and 2012. This is because people prefer to buy alcohol in supermarkets, which are cheaper than the drinks sold in pubs.

Thirty years ago, there were about 67,800 active pubs in Britain. As of 2012, however, the number has declined to 49,433. Pubs that have been shut down were either turned into homes or abandoned. 

Despite the decline in the number of public drinking houses, pubs are still well-known as a British pastime. Indeed, there are people who believe that pubs are an important part of British culture. For instance, British-Canadian celebrity Kiefer [KEE-fer] Sutherland has expressed his interest to own a pub in London. He said that British pubs are not only authentic but also the finest kind of drinking establishment in the world.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Other than expensive drinks, what else could be a good reason why people no longer go out to drink in pubs?
·         Aside from homes, what else do you think old and abandoned pubs can be converted into?

Discussion B

·         What are the cultural pastimes that you think your country should preserve?
·         What is the importance of preserving cultural traditions?

August 11, 2014