IELTS Speaking Vocabulary – Friends and Family
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In this lesson, we discuss IELTS Speaking vocabulary to answer cue cards about friends and family.
We look at exam-style questions for IELTS speaking parts 1, 2 and 3 along with model sample answers and a vocabulary list with collocations highlighted.
Vocabulary to talk about friendship and contacting old friends
- bad at keeping in touch with: not good at maintaining contact with someone
- get back in touch: contact someone again
- have in common: share the same interests
- be into something: enthusiastic about something
- hit it off right from the word go: become friends from the very beginning
- tell (you) straight to (your) face: express feelings and opinions directly to someone
- in keeping with: according to the typical stereotype
- go our separate ways: take a different path in life
- far and few between: less and less frequent
- be largely down to (me): mainly my fault or responsibility
- come across by chance: find unintentionally
- it was she who tracked down his email: she investigated and found his email
- start out where (we) left off: continuing again from the last time we met
- our friendship was as strong as ever: we were still as good friends as before
- catch up and fill in the gaps: share details about what’s been happening in your life
Vocabulary to speak about family and friends
- A lifelong friend – A friend that you have had for most of your life
- A relationship of trust – a connection with another in which you have faith and confidence
- Arrange a dinner date – Plan to share an evening meal
- A shoulder to cry on – Someone to sympathize with you
- Close-knit family – A close family with common interests
- Dear to my heart – Someone that I care about
- Distant cousins – People who share a common ancestor but are not closely related
- Extend the hand of friendship – Reach out to someone in a friendly manner
- Extended family – Uncles, aunts and cousins form part of the extended family
- Face to face – In person
- Get to know one another – Learning different aspects of each other
- Get together – Meet up
- Immediate family – Spouse, parents, children, grandparents
- Long lost friend – A friend that you have lost contact with
- Long-term relationships – A committed relationship between partners
- Nurture our friendships – Looking after our relationships with friends
- Professional relationships – The relationships that we have in the workplace
- Relationship problems – Difficulties with people with whom we interact regularly
- Share a common background – The share a similar heritage or culture
- Share the same ideas – To have similar opinions and views
- Stand the test of time – To last a long time
- Struck up a friendship – To make friends
- To enjoy someone’s company – To enjoy spending time with someone
- To have a good working relationship – To work together well
- To have a lot in common – To have shared interests
- To hit it off – To like each other straight away
- To keep in touch with – To keep in contact
- To lose touch with – To lose contact
Vocabulary to talk about Toys
- go back a bit: make you think of a time in the past
- soft toys: toys which look like animals made of cloth and filled with soft material
- stand out in the memory: something important from your past you will always remember
- wrap (something) up: cover something like a gift in soft paper
- the look on (my) face: the expression on my face (of happiness or any other emotion)
- give (something away): show how you feel by your expression or behaviour
- lash out on (something): spend a lot of money on something
- spoil (someone): to be too indulgent to a child
- set up: organise, put something together
- a learning tool: an object (a game, a platform) that can help you learn something
- educational toys: toys designed for learning
- stretch (your) imagination: make you think about things in a new way
- spend quality time: a very enjoyable time with someone, especially parents with children
- let someone win: allow the other player to wine
- hand something down: pass on things from one generation of the family to the next
IELTS speaking part 1 - sample questions and answers
Examiner: Do you come from a large family?
Answer: My immediate family is not very big. I have a large extended family that includes many uncles, aunts, and cousins. We are a close-knit family, and we like to keep in touch with one another, so birthdays, and other celebrations, are noisy crowded affairs.
Examiner: When was the last time you had a family function?
Answer: Our extended family got together last year to celebrate my grandfather’s eightieth birthday. He is very dear to my heart. He has kept up healthy relationships with the whole family, so it was a happy occasion that we all enjoyed.
Examiner: Would you take a friend on a family holiday?
Answer: I have. My family and my best friend got to know each other quite well, as she visited me quite frequently at my home. My family believes that we should nurture our friendships, so they encouraged me to bring my friend along when we took a seaside holiday last year.
IELTS speaking part 2 - sample question and answer
Tell me about your best friend
To answer this question in full,
- discuss who the person is,
- the circumstances of your meeting,
- and what it is that you like about them.
Answer: My best friend and I got to know each other when we were still very young. We lived in neighbouring houses. We had a lot in common, so we soon hit it off.
As we have grown older, we have moved apart. Because of this, we have to some degree lost touch, but anyone who has had a lifelong friend would understand that she will always be dear to my heart.
When we do find ourselves in the same city, we arrange a dinner date, so that we can enjoy each other’s company. We share the same ideas, and we share a common background.
We enjoy reminiscing about our past exploits. When we struck up a friendship, as children, we were inseparable. In those early days, we built up a relationship of trust that time and distance cannot break.
Describe an old friend you got in contact with again
You should say:
- Who he or she is?
- What he or she is like?
- How you got in contact?
- And explain how you felt about it. Read and listen to the sample answer here
Describe a toy you liked in your childhood
You should say:
- what kind of toy it was
- when you received it
- how you played with it
- explain how you felt about it
Read and listen to the sample answer here
IELTS speaking part 3 - sample questions and answers
Examiner: Do you think that after-hour friendships between working colleagues are appropriate?
Answer: I think that it is important to have a good working relationship. Colleagues should extend the hand of friendship to newcomers in the workplace. I don’t believe, however, that professional relationships should extend into the domestic domain as this may affect office politics.
Examiner: Do you think that social media is changing the way that we relate to our friends and family?
Answer: In some ways yes. Social media allows us to build up relationships with distant cousins, even with those that live on foreign soil. It also helps us to make connections with long lost friends, who we may never have spoken to or seen again. On the other hand, we often spend far too much time on our digital devices instead of socializing face to face.
Examiner: Do you think that people who enter into a long-term relationship, should continue with their friendships from their single days?
Answer: I think that it is important to nurture our friendships whether or not we are in a long-term relationship. Not all relationships stand the test of time, and if you have relationship problems you may one day need a shoulder to cry on. In my view, too many people abandon their friends when they become involved in relationships.
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