1. Talking About Personal Habits 2. Expressing Likes and Dislikes 3. Expressing Reasons for Likes and Dislikes 4.

Expressing a Preference 5. Comparing 6. Talking About Recent Changes 7. Contrasting 8. Suggesting 9. Expressing Opinions 10. Giving Reasons for Opinions 11. Explaining 12. Speculating ( = Guessing When You Don¶t Know) 13. Speculating ( = guessing) About the Future 14. Expressing Plans, Intentions and Hopes for the Future 15. Clarifying 16. Explaining a Word When you have Forgotten (or don¶t know) the Word 17. Speaking in General ******************************************************************* ****** 1. Talking About Personal Habits Example question: What do you usually do in the evenings? 1. I usually « 2.I often « 3.While I¶m studying I usually «

I don¶t mind « 11. I hate « (extreme language) 17. (if there¶s some special news that I¶m interested in. Expressing Likes and Dislikes Example question: What kinds of music do you like? 1. These are shown in italics.Whenever I can I « 1 Don¶t say. ³I¶m addicted to «´ if it¶s something that you do very . not . 1 Only say.Sometimes I «.) For example. I dislike « 15. But males say that when talking about their girlfriend or wife. As a rule.´ unless your meaning includes the word µif¶ (or includes the idea of µif¶ without using that word.I enjoy « 4. I¶m crazy about « 8. the following answer is ok because it includes the idea of ³if´: ³How do you usually get your news?´ ± ³I usually get my news from the TV or the internet but sometimes. place extra stress on the key word.I¶m really into « 10. 12. My favourite « is « 2. 5.I¶m (quite/rather) keen on « 5.´ However.I like « 3. try to use facial expressions to accompany your words. As far as «. I don¶t care too much for « = I¶m not really into « 13. the following answer is not correct: ³What do you do in the evenings?´ ± ³Well. I just love « 6. My least favourite «. I « 6. is concerned. for example.4. after I have had my dinner I will usually watch some TV and chat with my parents. I can take it or leave it.´ 1 The word µalways¶ means . I¶m addicted to « 9. ******************************************************************* ******* 2. I find « 1 When you express your feelings.I absolutely adore «. ³I absolutely adore «´ is more suitable for females to say.) I¶ll buy a newspaper and read more about a topic (that) I¶m especially interested in.. is « 14. including your likes and dislikes. 7. 1 When expressing strong feelings. ³I will . I can¶t stand « 16. ³I absolutely adore «´ 1 The expression.

is «. (A Band 4 level mistake. I prefer « because 2. The thing I like best about «. most people like both rice and noodles.My preference is « because « 3.´ 1 Definitely do not say.. the suitable answer is: ³I have no preference. If I had the choice. Expressing a Preference Example question: Do you (or.. ³I¶m addicted to chocolate ± I eat some chocolate almost every day. ³I (very) much prefer «´. I¶ll + V «.I prefer A to B because « 4.If I have the choice.frequently and almost can¶t control. For example. ³Very much + verb´. . ³very like´. ³I¶m addicted to the internet´ or.What I like best about «. That¶s because I find it «« ******************************************************************* ****** 4.g. ³Very + verb´. I¶d + V « because « ( ) ) 5. some boys are addicted to computer games. ³I certainly prefer «´ and ³I definitely prefer «´. « because « 2. (a real possibility for the future) ‡ You can also say. we say.´ ‡ µPrefer¶ questions are also asking you to make some comparisons between two things.) In English we do not say. I¶d rather + V« because « ( 6. to say.. really ± I like both of them equally. 5. ‡ Never say. such as. ³I like both of them´ is a poor answer. Instead.´ or some similar answer. 1. ³addicted´ as an exaggeration. If I ask you which do you prefer. I don¶t like that very much because it¶s too «« 8. In this situation..The main reason I like«« is that it¶s «« 4. is «« 6. ³I like both of them. For example. You should use some of the language of comparing when you give your reason(s) for your preference.The best/worst thing about « is « 7. ******************************************************************* ****** 3.If I had the choice. ³Verb + very much´ or. a friend) 1. English speakers also say.« since « 3. would you) prefer to travel alone or with others? (e.

Today there are many more cars on the roads than there were thirty .******************************************************************* ****** 5. ‡ ³A is not nearly as good as B. ³A is much better / worse than B´. 20 years) Yes.B is not as big as A. but not quite.´ Or.´ ‡ ³In comparison to B.´ ‡ ³A is almost as important as B. it has. ³A is quite big in comparison to B´. Talking About Recent Changes = Comparing the recent past and the present Example question: Has your hometown changed much in the past few years? (e.´ ‡ ³B is nowhere near as big as A´ ‡ ³A is not quite as important as B. ‡ ³Compared to B. For example.g.´ ******************************************************************* ****** 6. A is bigger than B. 2. « 1. You can also use some of these: ‡ Use ³much´ as in. Comparing Example question: What are the differences between modern art in China and traditional Chinese art? 1. A is a lot bigger. A is quite big.

you . we had very few high-rise apartments buildings in our city. The air pollution is much worse/much better than it used to be. (Today ______ are + + past tense) whereasthirty years ago 1. More people today own a car than was the case thirty years ago. However. Compared to thirty years ago. (______ has + in the last thirty years) 1. since the grammar of the comparing answers (see above) is more difficult.years ago. the population of the city has increased by about two million. more and more people are living in high-rise apartment buildings whereas thirty years ago. you can use a contrasting statement. More and more large-scale supermarkets are being built nowadays but there were very few of them in my hometown thirty years ago (More and more ________ are being + but + past tense thirty years ago. (More _________ today + present tense than was the case thirty years ago. ( ______ is more ____ than it used to be. _______ has + ) 1. The population of the city has increased by about two million people in the last thirty years. Today. ( « there are/is more_____ than there were/was «. The question is usually µa compare question¶.) 1. (Compared to thirty years ago.) nowadays ******************************************************************* ****** 7.) 1. When you answer one of these questions.) 1.

I'd ... When you speak a sentence with a contrasting statement. 8. ³I was on my way to work but he was on his way home. (The examiners are looking for these stressed words. Examiners use contrast statements as part of their assessment of your pronunciation score.. Example: ³A is big but B is small. rather than by using contrasting statements. not so much your grammar score. say. 9.. In the example above...´ 1 Of course. ³A is quite big while B is rather small.. ³He works quite slowly whereas I work quite fast´ or..´ (____ is _____ but _____ is ____) 1 A contrasting statement has two parts and the second part basically repeats the first part in grammatical form but the idea expressed in the second part is the opposite idea to the first part.. ³A is quite big but. the two ideas expressed are the adjectives µbig¶ and µsmall¶ but you can use adverbs or phrases as well. For example.´ 1 The verb form doesn¶t have to be present tense ± any suitable verb form is possible. Suggesting Example questions: What would you suggest a visitor to your country see and do? What do you think the government could/should do? 7. (The yellow words are given extra stress because they are words in contrast. (suggest.. For example..´ The words µbig¶ and µsmall¶ have the greatest sentence stress but µA¶ and µB¶ are also stressed. on the other hand. It¶s possible but not necessary to include the expression.´ 1 Instead of µbut¶ you can use. Maybe/perhaps/possibly . It would probably + (be a good idea. µwhile¶ or µwhereas¶. ³on the other hand´. tell him/her/them) .will impress the examiner more by mostly using that.. + could / should . be useful. it is important to stress the words that are in contrast. recommend. B is rather small. help) if + past tense form of verb .+ past tense form of verb 10.) For example: ³A is quite big while B is rather small.) For example.. 8. it¶s much better to add words such as µquite¶. It might/may help if .

But when the examiner doesn't use "would" in the question. "I'd recommend they visiting . Here's an example of #4. "they" can mean "he or she" for this usage. although it is not the usual past tense meaning.". I suggest) they visit the Great Wall and see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian.. Remember.. "she" or "they". "I will . Some examiners avoid using the word.. What do you think the government could do about the pollution problem? "It would definitely help if the government encouraged alternate forms of electricity generation. "he".. instead of "definitely" you can use. "possibly".11. I ." You can also answer using "would". So. it is sometimes possible to answer correctly without using "would".. 2 Notice that the word 'would' is usually used in this type of question and in your answer.. "would" in the question." For example: "What would you suggest someone do if they lost their bicycle?" --> "I'd suggest they (= he or she) report the matter to the police" = "I suggest reporting the matter to the police". (I . recommend. Also notice that... say. You only use the verbal noun when you don't actually say the pronoun. "would" in the question because they don't want to tell you that you should use "would" in the answer .. ." Notice that the past tense. (suggest.. the answer above could also be expressed as: "I'd recommend visiting the Great Wall and seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. These times are when the examiner does not use the word. "suggest".) is suitable to use. "I'd . "suggest" or "recommend" but not after "say". 2 At times.. For example: "Do you have any suggestions for foreigners who are thinking of visiting China?" --> "I recommend (or. say...." 2 Notice the grammar in this answer: "I'd recommend they visit the Great Wall and see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. (suggest. say) ." The same verb form is used after the word." Note: this is most suitable when the examiner does not use "would" in the question. I suggest) visiting the Great Wall and seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. even when the examiner does not use "would" in the question.. "Do you have any suggestions for foreigners who are 18. such as wind farms and solar-power. above. you can use the verbal noun ( ) after the words. Alternatively. That answer could also be made using the verbal noun: "I recommend (or. "probably" and "certainly"." But you cannot say. the example shown at 5. recommend) . don't answer with the words. For example. "encouraged" is used. Instead.they want to see if you know about using "would" in the answer... it does not have to be talking about a group..".

"In my view". because this will "impress" the examiner a bit more... 7 In my opinion. That answer could also be made using the verbal noun: "I'd recommend (or.. feel) ... It is not suitable to use.. "maintain" if the question is something that you have probably never thought about before. 15 My view is that . 18 The way I see it." It is probably best to use "would" in your answers. 5 Personally... I'd suggest) they visit the Great Wall and see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. 2 Don't say. . . "In my eyes". 3 I believe . since the grammar is a bit more difficult when "would" is used. *************************************************************** *********** 9. ..... "Maintain" means you always express this opinion. I (think.thinking of visiting China?" --> "I'd recommend (or.. ... even when you don't need to. believe) that ... 13 I'm convinced that .... 10 I maintain that . 9 I've always + (thought/believed/felt) that . "I firmly believe" when you are talking about a topic that suits a strong opinion and a topic that you have deeply . 16 From my point of view.. I'd suggest) visiting the Great Wall and seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. Expressing Opinions Example question: Do you think that children should always be offered an incentive (a reward of some kind) when parents ask their children to do something? 2 I think .. 6 I tend to + (think... 4 I feel ... instead. feel. 14 As far as I'm concerned. 11 I've always maintained that ... "maintain" a maximum of once in the speaking test. . . And only use.. 19 As I see it. Similarly. 2 Don't say. "maintain" if the topic is something that you have discussed with others many times before. 2 Only use...... 12 It seems to me that . 17 To my mind. Use. "personally in my opinion". . 8 In my view. you should only say. believe. 9...

. One reason why .. One possible explanation (for that) is . know. since .. only start a sentence with the words.. 'honestly'. You could look at it this way: .. 'as' or........ (One reason I say that is because . (understand. ‡ Only use. I don't have a favourite film star because I don't often watch films.. The main reason I say that is because . "is" by saying.. firmly'.. ‡ Basically.. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ... You answer an "explain" question by speaking in some detail..." Similarly. . 7. 7... Well. 6.. be aware that) 8.. Explaining Example question: Why are many older people reluctant to learn computer skills? 3. "Who's your favourite film star?" ± "Frankly. is because / is that . To understand why . 4. 'really' and 'personally'.. *************************************************************** *********** 10. For example. ) ‡ Don't use.. 2. "To be honest...thought about before. 'frankly' when saying something that expresses a rather strong or firm opinion. 'Frankly' is used when you are expressing something in an unusually direct and honest way.. because . 'for' to mean when speaking. In the first three examples above. you first need to .. like a 'small secret'. The reason why ... One of the reasons I say that is because .... Your answers will be better if you include adverbs such as 'strongly'... The main reason why . *************************************************************** *********** 11. you can qualify the verb... "explain" means to give an answer to a "Why?" or "How?" question that is rather complex.. 5. is because / is that . Giving Reasons for Opinions . it's like this: . As well as that... and this opinion is something the listener probably does not expect." when you are expressing an opinion in an unusually direct and honest way. they are too formalsounding and unnatural when speaking. this opinion should be rather unexpected (for the person you are talking to) or be something that you don't usually tell other people.. is because / is that .. . 9.

8. you can also use words such as. 7. I'm not sure but . 6. 2. + a noun 3... + [a noun + ] or + a noun 4.. Speculating ( = Guessing When You Don't Know) (When talking about the present or the past) Example question: Do old people in China have opportunities to attend any forms of classes? 2. 2. be (present tense) bound to . will + adverb (or.. . then your answer belongs to the Speculating language function. "is" from examples 1 to 3 by saying. (V = ) *************************************************************** *********** 13.. I (can) foresee . I imagine / suppose / guess . The language function of explaining is most common in Part 2 ± every Part 2 topic asks you to explain something... "it's quite probable that . "may +V". 7. "possibly". below. In this case. "definitely is" or "surely is".. I imagine .) Example question: How do you think the tourist industry (in China) will develop in the future? 2. compared to now.. "maybe". I'd say . 5.. "it's quite possible that . 2. "might be"."certainly is".. "possibly is".. or "could be". Well.". There¶ll probably / possibly be ....... "it's quite likely that .. 3. "could + V".. I suppose ... be (present tense) likely to . "might +V".. 4..". you could qualify the.. 5. I predict .. . If you don't know and are guessing the explanation for something. .. Speculating ( = guessing) About the Future (Most commonly.. be (present tense) + going to + V ( ) = "will" + V ( 9.. "perhaps".. "probably is".. "probably". I guess . ) .. how the future will change. adverb + will) 6....".. ... Well. *************************************************************** *********** 12. "may be". Since you're not sure. I've never thought about that before but .

2 Be careful of just saying. 13. "I believe" etc. "it will (almost certainly) happen". you should not use an adverb of certainty because. "it is inevitable". And.. We might see / have . I'd be surprised if + past tense/past continuous tense 14..´ You can emphasize your feeling of certainty about the future by saying. "be bound to happen" already has a very exact meaning of. 2 However. For example." 2 The words." You could use "will surely" in the example above: ³China¶s population will surely be bigger than it is now. China will have no people living in extreme poverty. if you want to. some things are certain. 'Will'. thirty years from now. of course. ‡ If you say that something is "bound" to happen. I expect ..10. will be + .´ Of course. 2. "I'm sure". See below. for example. you could say something like.] ‡ Instead of µimagine'. "I will be very surprised if this doesn't happen" = "I'd be very surprised if this didn't happen.. like saying. "there is no doubt that it will happen" or. "I think". For example.will surely" means. [When you are talking about your plans for the future. "certainly" to emphasize this meaning. ".. "In my opinion"..´ 2 "Going to" When you are talking about things happening in the future... "there is no doubt that it will happen". "will certainly". the use of the word "certainly" sounds repetitive and redundant.. "going to" = "I intend to" + "I think it almost certainly will happen". ³will´ with no adverb of certainty. "going to" means. "I think the tourist industry is (certainly) going to expand greatly over the next couple of decades. For the question about the tourist industry. . you can use a simple "will" without an adverb to give your opinion that something µwill definitely¶ or µwill certainly¶ happen by including words such as. µwill¶ is used in English to promise something to someone ± ³I¶ll give you the money I owe you tomorrow.. with no adverb is used in English to talk about something that you are very certain about in the future. ³China¶s population will be bigger than it is now. 'suppose' or 'guess' you could simply say. even though "going to" already includes the idea of "certainly will happen" or "almost certainly will happen".. I'll be very surprised if + present tense/past continuous tense 15. "definitely will" or "will definitely". might be + . . "He's a very intelligent genius" or "He's a tall giant". . 'think' but it's not so impressive to the examiner just to say that. "certainly will". thirty years from now.. µAdverb¶ = µadverb of certainty¶ = definitely / certainly / probably / possibly. 12. you cannot use the adverbs "possibly" or "probably" with "bound to" because those words are in conflict with the meaning of. add the adverb.. 11. you can. "I believe that twenty years from now.." So. "The tourist industry is certainly bound to grow over the next few years". If you say. besides your own plans.

" Another example: "In twenty years. hydrogen-powered cars. some people might be traveling to the moon for holidays. For example. electric cars. "In twenty or thirty years. "I foresee people working fewer hours per week in the future. Answers based on ideas from science fiction are quite suitable when talking about the future. "maybe".‡ Include some comparative ( ) language when talking about the future. cloning. nanotechnology." (For. For example. Think of how globalization might affect the future of that topic. people will almost certainly be living longer than they do now. brain-wave controlled devices etc. For example: flying cars or traveling to 2. people will probably be buying many things on the internet in the future and people will be studying more on the internet." ‡ An example of #12 is: "I'd be very surprised if people were still driving petrol-powered cars thirty years from now. genetic engineering. not "people will be working". robots. ). 3. as long as you qualify your answer with adverbs such as "possibly".) ‡ "I predict" is similar to "I foresee" in meaning but we usually use "will" after "predict". due to advances in medical science. etc. will work) fewer hours per week in the future. "I'll be very surprised if people are still driving petrol-powered cars thirty years from now. Think of science fiction ( the moon for a vacation. Think about how the internet (or simply. "people work"." (Use." And. computers) will affect the future of that topic. organ transplanting. as the world becomes more of a "global village". "I foresee a decrease in the number of hours people work per week. "I predict people will be working (or." Using #12 or #13 will impress the examiner and help you get more points for grammar. For example. here are five suggestions: 1. ‡ To help you think of ideas about the future of the topic you are discussing with the examiner. wind and solar power. For example. For example. or use the verb "might" instead of "will". For example. 4. people will . "I foresee": "I predict a decrease in the number of hours people work per week." Type #13 is basically expressing the same idea as #12 and you could use them interchangeably. "people will be working" is also possible. "people work". Show the examiner you can say the following kind of sentence: "Thirty years from now." The noun usage after "I predict" is the same as for. Think of recent advances in science and technology and extend these to the future. people will almost certainly be driving electric cars and possibly we'll also have flying cars by then.) ‡ #10 & #11 is the future continuous tense." ‡ "I foresee" is usually followed by + [a noun + ] or a noun. For example. using a noun.

. leading to probable changes in international law. My plan is to . for example.. Ideally.. If everything goes according to plan. 13.K.... .. As an alternative... It's always been my hope/plan/ambition/dream to . = I want to . My heart is set on + Ving ( ) ‡ Don't say. "I¶d like to study in the UK. . Expressing Plans.K. it is not connected to your intentions. "I wish to".be interacting with foreigners a lot more.. social customs. My dream is to . 20. I intend to .. I plan on + Ving ( ) 4." (See note below about "want to".. 10. So don't use "going to" if you are not very sure that this will happen." It's too formal. 15.. .. language. use "I hope to study in the U. 7. 8. "it almost certainly will happen"... It is similar to using "will" but "will" only has the meaning of.. My ambition is to . I¶d like to . My ultimate (= final) goal is to . 3. ‡ See HERE for more detailed examples of the grammar when talking about the future. My immediate goal is to ... 2. 12. 5. business etc. . I'll / I should ... I hope to . I might . ‡ When you are talking about your plans for the future... I'll / I should . Intentions and Hopes for the Future Example question: What are your future work plans? (after you graduate) 1. "will" in the notes for "Speculating about the Future". 18. 17. Instead.. "I want to study in the UK.. I plan to ... 19. Ultimately.. If all goes well... I'm going to .. 6. *************************************************************** *********** 14.. "going to" combines two ideas: "I intend to" + "it almost certainly will happen". 9." and. 14.. I expect to ." or the simpler sentences... 16. 11. Hopefully. "I wish to study in the U... politics.) ‡ See the note about using.

For example.. That is to say... .. ." is a little formal-sounding. 5.. "After I go to Canada. and especially if you already have your visa and plane ticket. On the other hand.. Instead. "When I arrive in Australia. 3... 9. "Can" and "must" are only used when referring to now. What I'm trying to say is . "When I arrive in Australia. 11. then the following statement is suitable: "I'm going to start my university studies in Australia in February... "I'm going to sit for the IELTS test again in two months". For instance. The correct sentence is. *************************************************************** *********** . My meaning is . 10. . More specifically. 6.. ‡ Using "That is to say. .. use "will be able to" and "will have to". To put that another way. It is best to only use that when speaking quite seriously about something in Part 3 (or when answering a Part 1 question that is a "Part 3-style" question). In other words. the first thing I must do is find a place to live" is incorrect. Many things could happen to cause this not to happen and. Let me put that another way.5 in the IELTS test! The following examples are suitable: "I'm going to go shopping tonight". . A desire is not always the same as a plan or intention... "I want to" when talking about your plans for the future because it's too simple. and. 7.For example.. if you have already been admitted to a university in Australia and you know your parents have the money. you first have to get your 6... Don't overuse. after all.. The correct sentence is. ‡ Don't use the word "can" or the word "must" when talking about the future. Clarifying 1. I'll be able to practice more English". Similarly. the first thing I'll have to do is find a place to live" *************************************************************** *********** 15. For example: "After I go to Canada I can practice more English" is incorrect.. 2. the following sentence is not very suitable: "I'm going to get a degree in Accountancy in Australia". What I mean is ." ‡ "I want to" is ok but it just refers to your desire. My point is that . 4. . 8.

I like it. Explaining a Word When you have Forgotten (or don't know) the Word "I can't remember the word but . Usually.16... 3. 6. a tool that you use to put air into your bicycle tyre . he's a person who ... As a rule.. "It's a thing. In general. 7. it's a type of . . it's something you ." But it is unsuitable to say.. 5. it's kind of like a . Speaking in General 1.. Generally speaking. "Dogs are friendlier than cats but cats are cleaner than dogs. . (a bicycle pump) *************************************************************** *********** 17. ‡ Use the Present Tense when speaking in general." ‡ These sentences use the present tense because you are speaking in general. " ". Although singular nouns are possible in some cases. use "I like dogs. For example: "I usually get my news from the internet . Examples: "Boys like to play computer games but girls prefer to go shopping.... For example. it's something like . 6. this dog.. 1. "I like all dogs..... "I like pandas" because you don't see different pandas in your everyday life. whenever I see a dog.. 8. you will make fewer mistakes by using plural nouns. 2. On the whole.. 5." "I like dog" is wrong and means. In this case. Typically. ‡ Use plural nouns. For the most part. Generally.you use it like this" (Show the action). 3. 2.. it's a thing that . 4. 7. that dog.. .. 4. it is more suitable to say." ‡ Use the present tense.. "I like the panda" (= "I like the panda species"). . it's similar to ..." "I like dogs" means. Instead. ....

" because that sounds too formal in natural speech... "Someone said") Avoid saying.. "It is said . such as.." Avoid using ³will´ when speaking in general." = "(Many) People say ..because .. ." (Not... "I will usually get my news from the internet because ...

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