8th December 2020
Talking about present activities and future plans
Here’s a chance to explain what you’re doing now, then to say what you want to do in the future:
NOW // DISCOURSE MARKER // FUTURE
Currently // however // I plan to
At the moment // although // I would love to
Right now // though // I have my heart set on
Currently I am studying however I plan to work in business.
Now that was a very basic response, no way adequate for an IELTS class, so how to extend it, using L-FWs and idioms.
REMEMBER: always be thinking of a suitable idiom. The subject is study, so we have:
burning the candle at both ends // put my nose to the grindstone // pass with flying colours
So, let’s rock ‘n’ roll !
Currently I am studying at ABC University, which is in District 7, putting my nose to the grindstone in order to pass with flying colours. However I plan to find a job in the business field such as banking or investment in order to buy a modern house as well as supporting my family, who have supported me through my studies.
NOW … YOUR TURN
Make IELTS sentences from these details:
saving up money
working with a charity
Choose the one you that appeals most to you.
To assist : At the moment, I am working for an animal charity because I detest the horrific treatment of animals although I would love other people to share my views
Explaining your answers – give examples and reasons
Some people are cruel to animals: explain – give an example (s) and then your reasons. You will have to use Part III styles introductions because the subject is so broad and general.
For a blog specifically on Part III responses, click here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/15/ielts-speaking-test-part-3-how-to-nail-it/
Language to use:
I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me …
I have heard that …
I remember reading somewhere that …
Personally I disagree with … however I can understand …
Maybe the government should change the law …
One reason could be that …
Use these phrases to ask each other about problems in your country such as pollution, litter, education, or … you decide.
23rd November 2020
Introduction to sentence building and complex sentences, with exercises as well as vocabulary and idioms, can be found on this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/23/ielts-introduction-to-complex-sentences/
27th October 2020
Practice making complex sentences, with two clauses at least, from these simple sentences.
Johnny always went to the cinema when he was a child.
As a child, Johnny always went to the cinema.
GRAMMAR NOTE – the first word after the supporting clause has to be the subject.
Answers at end of exercise
We always played games when we had Mr Tony as our teacher.
He speaks English well although his written work is rather poor.
The Who were formed in west London in the early 1960s. They are a very famous, influential band despite never having a Number 1 hit single.
My neighbour only works in a convenience store. She thinks she is a big star. She is constantly taking selfies.
When we had Mr Tony as our teacher, we always played games.
Although his written work is rather poor, he speaks English well.
Despite never having a Number 1 hit single, The Who, who are from west London, are a very famous, influential band.
Although she thinks she is a big star, constantly taking selfies, my neighbour only works in a convenience store.
I have written another blog about complex sentences which you can access here:
Complex sentences, which you will need to get a respectable IELTS score, are actually quite simple to form as they merely require two or more pieces of information in one sentence.
Ms Jane is from Seattle which is the biggest city in Washington state, USA.
We know where Jane is from as well as something about the city of Seattle. Now, we can add more information by saying something about Jane, such as her profession.
Ms Jane, who is a medical students, is from Seattle which is the biggest city in Washington state, USA.
Do you know this actor ?
Mr Bean, who is played by the actor Rowan Atkinson, is extremely popular and tremendously successful, being shown all over the world, not forgetting his appearance at the London Olympics in 2012.
This example has been extended by adding more adverbs and adjectives. We know the actor’s name, how popular he is, as well as learning that he was part of the UK Olympics and when that was.
DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by repeating or rephrasing the question:
That’s a very interesting question
Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ?
It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about …
One of my students mentioned that she was saving up for a pair of Converse trainers:
It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about what I would buy if I had the money.
I have my heart set on buying a pair of Converse, which is an American company with a star logo, who make very fashionable footwear.
To make the sentence more interesting, as well as complex, I simply stated the country, the logo and what they produce … piece of cake, hey ?
OK, your turn … write a complex sentence about these products. Additionally, practice writing different types of introductions:
22nd July 2019
Here are some tips to help you expand your sentences, as well as incorporating language use that IELTS examiners will expect. Also bear in mind that the way you speak, the para-linguistics, is equally important.
Sentence building – becoming fluent and coherent
- opinions phrases
- linking words and discourse markers
- new vocabulary
EXAMPLE: I like coffee
- how MUCH do you like it (adverbs) ?
- What kind of coffee (adjectives) ?
- What do you think about this ? (opinions)
- WHY do you like it (give reasons)
- interesting words, phrases, idioms
I enjoy coffee (a little / incredibly) because it helps bring people together as well as making our minds become quite active and somewhat excited. Coffee, from my point of view, is essentially useful if we use it in moderation. On the other hand, coffee can be a dreadful waste of money not to mention having a detrimental effect on our health such as insomnia. Despite the negative aspects, coffee makes me feel over the moon!
EXERCISE: Where do you drink coffee ?
Introduction: one complex sentence.
Where do you go ? Do you go to many different types ? What do you usually order ?
Why do you go there ? What are the good points ? How often do you visit ? With whom do you go ? How long do you spend there ?
Compare the store with another (price, choice, comfort, amenities).
Are there any negative aspects ? Price, location, crowds, parking etc.
Conclusion: one sentence summary of what you have said.
IF you don’t drink coffee, then you can explain why not, and where you like to go to hang out with friends. Even if you never go out, you can talk about that as it will afford you the opportunity to give reasons and build more complex sentences.
Practice adjectives by describing this photo.
Increase your word power
Match the basic words with others of similar meaning
For example boring = tedious
interesting attain on time fascinating
forgetful miserable live (I live in) jovial
smart (clever) exhausted
get (a qualification) environment
What is your favourite beer ?
Well, I like many beers but my favourite is Czech beer. For example, Pilsner, Budweiser or Staropramen. I think the taste is very good as well as being excellent quality.
Along with Czech beer, I also really like Mexican beer such as Corona or Desperado.
Having said that, these beers can be expensive so sometimes I just drink Vietnamese beer, maybe Saigon Red or 333 because they are much cheaper.
1 Answer the question in a proper sentence
2 Give examples
3 Give reasons
4 What else ?
5 An opposite conjunction (but, however, having said that, on the other hand)
6 What instead ?
Remember to use adverbs and adjectives to make your speech more interesting
Well, I like many beers but my favourite is Czech beer.
For example, Pilsner, Budweiser or Staropramen.
I think the taste is very good as well as being excellent quality.
Along with Czech beer, I also really like Mexican beer such as Corona or Desperado.
Having said that, these beers can be expensive
so sometimes I just drink Vietnamese beer, maybe Saigon Red or 333 because they are much cheaper.
Ask each other some of the following questions:
The interviewer must keep asking questions until the speaker has nothing more to say.
Interviewer can ask, ‘Why do you say that?’, ‘What other reasons?’ ‘Why else ?’
Do you think sports are good ?
What do you like about working for your company ? / Attending your school ?
Do you spend, save or invest your money ?
What films do you like best ? Do you go to the cinema or watch at home ?