Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex

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Overview

Rediscover the most famous relationship book ever published

Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to Earth and amnesia set in: they forgot they were from different planets.

Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus has helped millions of couples ...

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Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships

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Overview

Rediscover the most famous relationship book ever published

Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to Earth and amnesia set in: they forgot they were from different planets.

Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus has helped millions of couples transform their relationships. Now viewed as a modern classic, this phenomenal book has helped men and women realize how different they can be in their communication styles, their emotional needs, and their modes of behavior—and offers the secrets of communicating without conflicts, allowing couples to give intimacy every chance to grow.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“Gray offers a Berlitz of the heart, a translation of that foreign language your spouse is speaking. And hearing.”
USA Today
“Gray offers a Berlitz of the heart, a translation of that foreign language your spouse is speaking. And hearing.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060574215
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/6/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 323
  • Sales rank: 34,872
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John  Gray, Ph.D.

John Gray, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading relationship experts, and an authority on improving communication styles for couples, companies, and communities. His many books have sold more than fifty million copies in fifty different languages worldwide. John lives with his wife and children in northern California.

Biography

To those well versed in therapy-speak and the self-help world, the name John Gray can provoke some eye-rolling and sarcasm: Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We genders need to "learn" to "communicate."

What's remarkable is Gray's role in making this concept so well known. In 1992, when Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was published, the idea was anything but pedestrian. Indeed, Gray sparked both revolution and debate in the world of gender politics.

His case is simple: "Men mistakenly expect women to think, communicate, and react the way men do; women mistakenly expect men to feel, communicate, and respond the way women do. We have forgotten that men and women are supposed to be different. As a result our relationships are filled with unnecessary friction and conflict," he wrote in the first chapter of Men Are from Mars. Though the idea is not radical, the implication met with criticism from feminists who said that it tried to reinforce stereotypes; and with accolades from stricken couples who found that Gray did, in fact, help them communicate and understand each other better.

Though naysayers have called into question both Gray's message and his credentials, his appeal is undeniable. Word-of-mouth has proved strong enough to drive sales of Gray's book and its companions -- targeted at everyone from dating singles to coworkers -- into bestsellerdom, with the first title alone selling more than 15 million copies. He has also become a cottage industry of gender relations, with seminars, media appearances, and audio titles bolstering his books.

Gray's style tends to be simple and direct, with analogies along the lines of the title: "Men Are like Blowtorches, Women Are like Ovens" and "Men Pursue and Women Flirt" are typical chapter headers. For those mired in the tricky morass of dealing with the opposite sex, the author's no-nonsense approach is appealing.

In 1999, Gray departed from his relationships milieu to the broader palette of life fulfillment with the parenting guide Children Are from Heaven and How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have, a guide to achieving success while bolstering one's spiritual life via meditation and awareness of worldly challenges. It's a strong statement coming from someone who lived for several years as a monk, but Gray's strong suit with readers remains his relationship tomes. Since the original Mars/Venus title, he has created a franchise that now straddles the realms of love and personal success. His advice obviously rings true with millions of readers.

Good To Know

Gray lives with his wife and three children. He was formerly married to self-help author Barbara De Angelis; the two divorced in 1984.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was made into a musical stage comedy that opened in Las Vegas. It has also been translated into more than 40 languages.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., Maharishi European Research University; Ph.D., Columbia Pacific University, 1982
    2. Website:

First Chapter

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex

Chapter One
Children Are from Heaven


All children are born innocent and good. In this sense our children are from heaven. Each and every child is already unique and special. They enter this world with their own particular destiny. An apple seed naturally becomes an apple tree. It cannot produce pears or oranges.

 As parents, our most important role is to recognize, honor, and then nurture our child's natural and unique growth process. We are not required in any way to mold them into who we think they should be. Yet we are responsible to support them wisely in ways that draw out their individual gifts and strengths.

Our children do not need us to fix them or make them better, but they are dependent on our support to grow. We provide the fertile ground for their seeds of greatness to sprout. They have the power to do the rest. Within an apple seed is the perfect blueprint for its growth and development. Likewise, within the developing mind, heart, and body of every child is the perfect blueprint for that child's development. Instead of thinking that we must do something to make our children good, we must recognize that our children are already good.

Within the developing mind, heart, and body of every child is the perfect blueprint for that child's development.

As parents we must remember that Mother Nature is always responsible for our children's growth and development. Once, when I asked my mother the secret of her parenting approach, she responded this way: "While raising six boys and one girl, I eventually discovered there was little that I could do to alter them. I realized it was all in God's hands. I did my best and God did the rest." This realization allowed her to trust the natural growth process. It not only made the process easier for her, but also helped her to not get in the way. This insight is important for every parent. If one doesn't believe in God, one can just substitute "genes" -- It's all in the genes.

By applying positive-parenting skills, parents can learn to support their children's natural growth process and to avoid interfering. Without an understanding of how children naturally develop, parents commonly experience unnecessary frustration, disappointment, worry, and guilt and unknowingly block or inhibit parts of their children's development. For example, when a parent doesn't understand a child's unique sensitivity, not only is the parent more frustrated, but the child gets the message something is wrong with him. This mistaken belief, "something is wrong with me," becomes imprinted in the child and the gifts that come from increased sensitivity are restricted.

Every Child Has His or Her Own Unique Problems
Besides being born innocent and good, every child comes into this world with his or her own unique problems. As parents, our role is to help children face their unique challenges. I grew up in a family of seven children and, although we had the same parents and the same opportunities, all seven children turned out completely different. I now have three daughters ages twenty-five, twenty-two, and thirteen. Each one is, and has always been, completely different, with a different set of strengths and weaknesses.

As parents, we can help our children, but we cannot take away their unique problems and challenges. With this insight, we can worry less, instead of focusing on changing them or solving their problems. Trusting more helps the parent as well as the child. We can let our children be themselves and focus more on helping them grow in reaction to life's challenges. When parents respond to their children from a more relaxed and trusting place, children have a greater opportunity to trust in themselves, their parents, and the unknown future.

Each child has his or her own personal destiny. Accepting this reality reassures parents and helps them to relax and not take responsibility for every problem a child has. Too much time and energy is wasted trying to figure out what we could have done wrong or what our children should have done instead of accepting that all children have issues, problems, and challenges. Our job as parents is to help our children face and cope with them successfully. Always remember that our children have their own set of challenges and gifts, and there is nothing we can do to alter who they are. Yet we can make sure that we give them the opportunities to become the best they can be.

Children have their own set of challenges and gifts, and there is nothing we can do to alter who they are.

At difficult times, when we begin to think something is wrong with our children, we must come back to remembering that they are from heaven. They are perfect the way they are and have their own unique challenges in life. They not only need our compassion and help, but they also need their challenges. Their unique obstacles to overcome are actually necessary for them to become all that they can become. The problems they face will assist them in finding the support they need and in developing their special character.

Children need compassion and help, but they also need their unique challenges to grow.

For every child, the healthy process of growing up means there will be challenging times. By learning to accept and embrace the limitations imposed by their parents and the world, children can learn such essential life skills as forgiveness, delayed gratification, acceptance, cooperation, creativity, compassion, courage, persistence, self-correction, self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and self-direction. For example:
* Children cannot learn to be forgiving unless there is someone to forgive.


* Children cannot develop patience or learn to delay gratification if everything comes their way when they want it.


* Children cannot learn to accept their own imperfections if everyone around them is perfect.


* Children cannot learn to cooperate if everything always goes their way.


* Children cannot learn to be creative if everything is done for them.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex
. Copyright © by John Gray. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 220 )
Rating Distribution

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(98)

4 Star

(49)

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(21)

2 Star

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(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 220 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am not a Womens activist, but if someone was really being an active reader they would have caught on to the hidden cues in this book. John Gray has issues with women and wrote this book to help men negate all accountability and responsibility for their actions. Men instinctively go to their caves! They don't know they're doing it! While men are in their caves women should go talk to their friends or go shopping! How condescending. Sure, he added some flavor to help the women reading the book believe that he was really interested in helping them, and added some catch phrases to sell it , but I'm not buying this bull! Everything we say and do has meaning, right! Well, why do men go to caves? Caves make us think of cavemen who symbolize strength, and aggression. The hunter! Tell me why we are claimed to dwell in a well when we need time out. A well makes me think of something deep, dark, dirty, far beneath the earth. Is this Hell? The well is a symbol of darkness, aloneness, despair. Wow, are women pathetic in the eyes of John Gray. I refuse to read anymore of his books until he comes back from Mars and lands on planet Earth

    15 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2003

    Absolutely Right

    This book helps women and men understand each other better. It helps women to understand why men do the things they do and say the things they say. It helps men understand how women feel and why we feel the way we do. The book serves as a mediator, it tells each party where they went wrong as far as communicating what you have to say and interpreting what was said. This book has helped me to understand my partner better and respect his need to go into his cave. Women are capable of doing more than one thing at one time, but men aren't. So while we as women are talking, listening and thinking a man is either talking, listening or thinking.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2003

    A must read for women!

    I wish I'd read this in high school, I never would have bothered dating. A woman wants two things from a relationship: someone who cares about the events of her day and listens to her, and someone who invests his time in improving her quality of life. In this book, two very important points are made clear: (1) no man wants to hear a woman talk about her day, he considers it nagging and (2) the more a woman does for a man, the less he will do for her in return. The only thing the author never explains about marriage is what's in it for women?

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Best relationship book ever!

    This book was a great help to my husband and myself. We wouldn't be together if we didn't read it. The book doesn't tell you what to do or anything like that. It is meant to give you a deeper understanding of men or women and how they interact. It help us understand our differences and that it is ok to be different. I am deeply greatful for this book, it has helped me save my marriage.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    John Gray's Audio Book: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

    The content is excellent. However, the author's reading of the material is monotonous and therefore hard for us to remain focused on the audio. The reading needs a little more of depth of emotion to it. It sounds too much like reading instead of a conversation on a very important topic. If you want a good example of what I'm saying, I suggest listening to Dr. Bruce Lipton on "The Biology of Believe" or Antony Robbins' "Awakening the Giant Within". These authors can put emotion in their reading.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    A very good book

    I know that I am still in high school and I know that kids don't understand true love yet, but this is a wonderful book that changed my views about men. It helped me understand my boyfriend more. I'm glad I read it while I was still in high school.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is an interactive self-h

    Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is an interactive self-help/relationship book, a best selling book, and for good reason. John Gray Ph.D deserves to be a New York Times best selling author - he is a relationship guru! Gary fills 321 pages with relationship advice: from acknowledging that men and women come from different planets, studying each other’s languages, learning how to provide support through stressful times, examining how men and women score ‘points’ differently in a relationship, the actual ‘seasons of love’, and so much more! Gary shares second hand experiences he knows of from participants of his seminars and emails from his readers. Stories of success and happiness that are a product of not only attending his seminars or reading his books but utilizing his techniques. Numerous accounts were mentioned throughout the book about marriages that were not only bettered, but even saved - from divorce! When couples are knowledgable of the differences between them and their partner, they are more understanding. When this understanding of differences is mutually understood, marriages have been brought back from the dead and given a second chance. Gary also gets intimate with his readers as his entire introduction to his book is a narrative of his personal life, and the influence his own failing marriage had on his writing. He also shares his own success story of how realizing the differences he has from his wife and daughters allows him to be more understanding and has led to him being a better husband and father! This book was not necessarily a gut-wrenching love story but was certainly a page turner! I loved the way each topic seemed to connect to my life, in one way or another; my relationship, my parent’s relationship, and stories of relationships I have only been a victim to hearing about. I could not help but nod my head in agreement, and chuckle at how spot on Gary was about the way women think and act and react to men and other life situations, it was amazing! However, periodically there was a bias that the book was clearly written by a man. None the less, Gary did a wonderful job of rooting for both teams and of dissecting the thoughts, feelings and motives behind why men and women act and react the way they do. I would recommend this book to anyone in a relationship, even if things are currently going smoothly, if even to prevent or understand the rough waters that are to come. It is a good resource to come back to over and over again, to review techniques or get motivated from others’ success stories! There is no reason to not read this book, it can do no harm, but maybe open your eyes to realizations you might have been turning a blind eye to, but this text, unlike many novels is beneficial to you and those around you. A must read! Or at a must least skim, and take good notes. Two thumbs up!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    informational!

    my friend recommended me to read this book when i was 20. that was the time i realized a lot of things between me and the opposite sex. i find most of the information in book true, and it was really a great help. i understood the opposite sex more, and it gave me a smoother kind of relationship. my boyfriend once told me that nobody understands him better than i do. that made me say 'thanks to Mars and Venus'. since then, i recommended this book to most of my friends so they will understand their partners better. we just can't judge people based on their actions. there are a lot of things that we have to take in consideration. First is that they think differently and they were raised differently. i got that from the book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    1955 revisited?

    This book has some valuable insights. Having said that, I find the authors style to be condescending and irritating. Within the first chapter I found myself thinking of the widely spread 'Good wife's guide' published in 1955 by Housekeeping Monthly. He suggests that it is a woman's duty to restrain from bothering her partner while he is locked away (literatlly) in his private 'cave' space for WEEKS AT A TIME. Give me a break! (And this is okay because great lions too sit in silence as they look out over their kingdom!) How disappointing.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    Avoiding The Drama

    I wish I had read this book earlier in my life. I just went through a hard breakup that is non-repairable. I had several friends who recommend that I read this book. All I can say is I truly believe if I had read it earlier, I probably could have avoided the drama I have been going through. My relationship had gone through almost everything in that book and I just didn't understand how to handle the emotional part, the cave, the well, the childhood issues, etc. If you haven't read this book, you might continue to make the same mistakes like I was doing. I'm much more confident going forward.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Classic relationship manual

    The best advice resonates deep inside you, causing you to think "of course, I knew that." As you read this classic by relationship guru John Gray, you'll find yourself smiling, nodding your head in agreement, and marveling at the simplicity and truth of his advice. Groundbreaking when first published, this manual details the differences between how men and women process emotions, handle stress, and communicate needs and feelings. It also explains how they want their partner to love them. Gray points out how men and women often overlook these essential differences when dealing with each other in relationships. getAbstract predicts that once you read Gray's guide, you'll understand why people often refer to it as "the book," and why it has helped millions of couples everywhere.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Learned so much..

    This was one book that I know helped inspire me to go into psychology. The simple terms used, and the way it was presented made deep ideas reachable, and goals obtainable with regards to men!


    Thank you for writing this! I have friends that read it, and it literally saved their marriages!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    The lightbulb came on!

    Faced with a conflict with my husband that began quite small but became rather large is what led me to this classic. Because I gained a better understanding of what a man's basic needs are, I was able to accept my part in the conflict. From this book, we both have gained essential tools that we can use to deepen our relationship, help us grow in love and even avoid future potential conflicts. Thank God for this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2002

    Read this book carefully

    I thought the most interesting relationship suggestion John Gray gave was in releasing negativity through the love letter technique. He suggested composing a letter to your partner, to write out your feelings, including five parts: anger, sadness, fear, regret and love. In doing this, you can understand your feelings, allowing you to open up to your partner and let the negative feelings go, so you can reach the love. Sharing your love letters in an appropriate way leads to a better understanding of your needs. Your partner will respect your feelings and respond in a loving, safe way. This is one way to communicate your love to your partner. If you only read one section of this book, don¿t miss Chapter 9 because it explains how to deal with differences and disagreements in couples. When couples disagree, their discussions can easily turn into arguments and then intensify even more. The best thing to do is to avoid an argument, take a time out, trying to understand why you are upset. To prevent arguments, it helps to develop good communication skills with each other, learning to communicate with love, validation and approval. Understand and remember what our partner¿s needs are and try to give it to them. Life will be easier and more fulfilling for both. I think the most intriguing quote John Gray said in the entire book is, ¿Men and women generally are unaware that they have different emotional needs¿. Men need trust, acceptance and encouragement. Women need caring, understanding and respect. When trying to improve a relationship, you must understand the primary kind of love our partner needs. One way a man can take care of a woman¿s needs is through communication. Just to listen to her feelings without trying to solve her problems can be a truly wonderful gift.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2001

    Guide to perfecting your relationship

    I have read this book three (3) times! Along with his other books and tapes, John Gray leads us down the path of outstanding enlightenment. I love his books. I realized that I was going about dealing with 'martians' all wrong and now I am confident that I will find lasting love. We truly are different beings from different planets and once we learn how to deal with the opposite sex, everything else in our lives becomes more enriching. I highly recommend his books tapes videos - whatever you prefer- to both men and women - his information is truly worthwhile.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    I read this book many years ago to try to fix a bad relationship

    I read this book many years ago to try to fix a bad relationship. Although the relationship fell apart, I had a better understanding as to why it didn't work. Now that I am in a new relationship, I am reading it again to refresh my memory.
    There are a lot of good points in this book. It forces you to think and evaluate your role in a relationship. As with most things in life, this is not a perfect fit for everyone. Read it and take away what applies to you. The bad reviews on this
    book amazes me. It is not meant to make excuses for the behavior of our partner. If people would read with an open mind they would get more out of the book.  It is a given fact that men and women think and act differently. Dr. Gray gives 
    the reader insight on how to deal with those differences. Some things in life 'just are'. This book is all about understanding, perception, and acceptance.

     If you are a headstrong, stubborn person who believes that you are perfect, or if you believe that you can change your partner then this book is not for you. If you accept the fact that
     men and women are different and you want to understand those differences a little better then I highly recommend this book. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    One of My Favorite Books

    This is by far one of my favorite books, never before has anyone been so dead on when it comes to relationships. I found myself laughing while reading, due to its description of my very own relationship. Of course I made my boyfriend read it but I think we've both benefited from it. I personally think this book should be made mandatory to get a marriage license!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2002

    This is a WONDERFUL BOOK!

    I love this book! It helps me understand men better than before and I now know the reasons why men may act the way they do sometimes. I also know what to say and what not to say to men. I would read it a 2nd time! Gray is a wonderful author! Feel free to e-mail me and we can talk about the book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    Most Helpful Information Out There

    This book may seem a little tiedious at first because you'll know what he's talking about. After you get into the book it teaches you a lot about the different sexes. You'll learn more from this book than you can from any other and any expieriences you'll ever have. John Gray Ph D. knows what he is talking about. This book has helped me in many ways of dealing with relationships. It will help even more if you and your partner read the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Relationship saver

    This book can help you understand how your partner thinks and why they react the way they do. It can also help you to see your own problems and give you ways to better the communication in your marriage

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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