man and woman holding hands

Changing Your Name After Marriage


Read through the following text and look up any vocabulary you are not sure about before answering the questions.

In many western countries, particularly the UK ad the US, young women continue to take their husband’s surname when they get married. In the US around 70% and in the UK almost 90% of women take their husband’s surname.

Although taking the man’s surname is by no means compulsory, some find it surprising that women choose this option as historically it represented that the man now “owned” his wife.


Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary
  • marriage (noun)
  • couple (noun)
  • surname (noun)
  • marry (verb)
  • be in favour (idiom)
  • tradition (noun)

The Question

Try and have a conversation for 2-3 minutes answering the following question.
Should women stop taking their husband's surname when married?

Additional Questions

Keep the conversation going with these follow questions related to Changing Your Name After Marriage
  • Do women take the man’s surname in your country?
  • Do you think it is a tradition that shouldn’t continue?
  • Why do you think many women now choose to take the man’s surname?
  • Would you be in favour of a law preventing women from taking a man’s surname?
  • What potential problems can you see if women keep their original surname?

Teacher Resources

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