Living on my own

Living on my own

Listen to Jocelyn talking about her experience of moving out of her family home and living on her own in Hong Kong.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


I want to talk about my experience of moving out and living on my own. Moving out to live on your own is not very common in Hong Kong. Many people still choose to live with their parents even though they have a decent job and they're already at (in) their 30s. Many of them would stay with their parents until they get married. There are several reasons behind – firstly, Hong Kong's rent is expensive. Many people would rather save up more money to purchase an apartment instead of renting one. Secondly, the Chinese traditional value of family is that the parents are the ones who brought you up. When you become an adult, you should also take good care of your parents and you should spend more time to be with them. And of course there are people who are still dependent on their parents for food, clothing, household chores, etc.

When I tell people about the idea of moving out, many people's reaction is like, 'What do your parents say?', because they assume the parents would not like their children to leave them. Well, I don't know if my parents like it, but I can tell you my parents support and respect my decision. They think it is good for me to try and live on my own and then I would know it is the best to stay with my family. 

The most important reason for independent living is to save the travelling time to work. It used to take me one hour 15 minutes to travel to work from my previous living place. From my new apartment, it just takes me 30 minutes, so I saved 45 minutes' travelling time. I don't have to get up so early and I save two-third (two-thirds) of my travelling cost. It does not only save my time to travel for work, but also from most of the places in Hong Kong. In addition, I gain my personal space and freedom by independent living. I make my own decision (decisions) all the time, I do not have to say whether I would go home for dinner, I can invite my friends to come up and stay late. 

Of course, there are some trade-offs in living on your own. If you want to rent an apartment, there are lots of preparatory works (work) to do. You have to keep visiting the apartments to search for your ideal one. You have to negotiate with the landlord about the price, furniture inclusion, who is responsible for the maintenance of the furniture and equipments (equipment). My experience was that after we moved into the apartment, it was not until the kitchen cupboard was soaked with water that we found out there was water leakage (leak) in the kitchen sink. 

Money is the main issue in living on your own. You have to be responsible for all the expenses, for example the rent, electricity, gas, water, telephone, internet bills, etc. Therefore, you've got to be well prepared and save up for your bills. Although I find my transportation time much shorter, the saved time is spent on other things, such as cooking and some other household chores. I think preparing and cooking the food do occupy a significant portion of my time; therefore, I always try to make simple meals. On the other hand, I have to regularly tidy up my apartment and wash my clothes, so it doesn't really save much of my time after all. 

Now everything is settled down, I'm getting used to my new life and I am enjoying it. I feel that moving out makes it easier for me to strike a balance between my work, my social life, my study and my family. It may be troublesome, but it may worth (be worth it).


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Average: 4 (4 votes)

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 04:25

Yes, I like the idea of living on my own for many reasons but the most important gain independence because when you have responsibilities you acquire seasonal experience. Independence life has many advantages as well as disadvantages, however with the time you could become stronger and learning how to defeat some obstacles on the trail and regarding yourself. This experience boosts your stamina and acumen for making decisions and so on.

Submitted by Mamta Gusain on Sun, 31/05/2020 - 15:30

Yes, i like the idea. even i do think most of the time moving out and live on my own. But being a part of Indian family, living away from parents is not considered a good decision. although, you have a decent job. for me, there are two main issues behind it. firstly, i am still not independent financially, who can bare all expenses on her own. secondly, might be my parents would not support my decision. but i want to be an independent lady. i know living away from my parents would make me much more responsible person.

Submitted by ragamin on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 15:51

hi what is the difference between proportion and portion ??? it is really confusing !!!
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 31/05/2020 - 08:42

In reply to by ragamin


Hi ragamin,

A portion is a part of a whole. A pizza can be divided into slices and each slice is a portion.

A proportion is a part of the whole described relative to the whole. Proportions are generally expressed as fractions (one half) or percentages (50%).



The LearnEnglish Team

I'm still confused ... aren't they the same in some degree?? a slice of pizza is a small portion of pizza , but a slice of pizza is a fraction of that pizza too , thus it is a proportion of that food ( avoiding repetition of "pizza" ).

Hello again ragamin,

Proportion is not a physical item but a mathmatical concept expressing the size relationship of a part to the whole. As I said, it is usually expressed as a fraction or a percentage. For example:

Q: What proportion of the population is currently unemployed?

A: Around 12%.


A portion is often a physical item. It is a part of a larger whole.


Of course, it is possible to user either word in some contexts. It does not really work with pizza slices unless for some reason you wanted to mathematically measure one or more slices relative to the whole. However, you could analsye the ingredients:

What proportion of the pizza's weight do the toppings represent?

What is the proportion of flour to water in pizza dough?



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by David on Tue, 12/11/2019 - 08:46

Hi teacher, The function Download doesn't work.Please fix it. Thanks

Hello David

I'm sorry about that and thank you for letting us know. We are currently revising this page, which is why the PDF is not available right now. Soon the exercises will be slightly different and then in a few weeks there should be a PDF available for download. You are welcome to copy the transcript and tasks into a document if you need them sooner, as long as it's clearly indicated that they come from the British Council.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team