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April 30, 2010


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Thanks Simon for this lesson.

could you plz help me..
in my last exam in the speaking test the examiner spoke very fast and she just read from the paper very fast ,and in part 3 i lost my concentration.

in this case what shall i say?
my exam is next week.
thanks a lot

Hi Tahani

Try to stay calm in the exam. Don't worry about what the examiner is doing - sometimes examiners seem serious, but this doesn't mean that they are giving you a bad score.

Just concentrate on your answers, and if you don't understand something, or if you miss something, just say to the examiner: "Sorry, I missed that, could you repeat the question please?"

Good luck next week. Don't worry - be confident!


I would like to ask a question so it will solved my confusion. In this given speaking explanation, you explained a BIRD and the question itself ask to explain about an ANIMAL. Animal and Bird are distinctive to eachother, and if question is about the animal then how much score we will get to describe a bird in answer? Thank you

Hi Amrish

A bird IS an animal. Maybe this is a translation problem because 'animal' is a very general term in English. Within the category of animals, 'mammals', 'birds', 'reptiles' etc are different groups, but they are all animals.

I hope this solves the confusion


Hi Simon,

Is it okay to say ' I guess I could begin by saying what it is and I think I would have to pick up tiger, which is a wild animal that is common in the Arab areas. This creature has 4 legs and very dangerous. On top of this it is on the brink of extinction' ?


Hi Abdul,

This is ok, but I don't really like "I guess I could begin by saying what it is and I think I would have to pick up tiger".

Just start in a simple, clear way:
"I'm going to talk about the tiger, which is..."

Don't complicate your introduction. It will just sound confusing.



hi simon,
are lizards wild animals?

Hi z,

I'd say yes they are.

This is my description : I like to describe the fox.it looks like a dog but it is little bit smaller with a long tail and a red fur covering its body .it is very fast. it lives in farms, near rivers. people especially farmers do not like it because it hunts the domestic animals like hens and small sheeps. they also tried to get ride of it either by shooting or poisoning .

Good ideas Hasan.

Hi, Simon I am living in uk so can I speak about Robin bird too. But basically I am from India. Or it will give my bad impression to examiner?.

Hi Veena,

It's fine to talk about the Robin. Just say that you live in the UK, and that you are going to describe an animal from that country.

Hi Simon,

Is there a difference between these two questions?

1.- What does the lion look like?
2.- What is the lion like?

I'm from Mexico, and I can't find the difference.

I thought the first one is about appearance and the second one for personality but in the books they use both to ask about appearance.

Hi Mercedes,

Yes, there is a difference:

1. look like = describe ONLY the appearance
2. is like = describe the character/personality (and sometimes ALSO appearance)

Hi Simon,

Is it okay to lie to the examiner in speaking section?

Yes, it's ok.

Thank you Simon,
your description about Robin is give me some idea about pigeon.

My description:
1. I am going to describe a sheep, which is a domestic animal. This animal has 4 hooves and a short tail. Sheep’s skin is covered with the wool except their feet and face. The sheep can be in certain colours, such as brown, white, black and the mixed form of these colours.
2. Most farmers in Azerbaijan keep a flock of sheep in a farm condition in exchange for their favour. As it is a domestic animal they are also being kept in a house with a large garden. Most peasants build a small structure for them in order to be protected from severe cold and hot and being nourished well.
3. Sheep have a special place in our religious believes and people’s lives. We celebrate an ancient holiday related with our religion which we call “The holiday of Kurban” and translated into English it means “the holiday of salughtering”. So that in those days everybody should taste the meat of slaughtered sheep. Besides, sheep provide our people with necessities, such as milk, clothes and meat.

I am going to describe the 'Kangal' which is a dog.The Kangal have got less and more black patches on the faces.Therefore the Kangal is known as 'Karabaş'(black head).They are clever,brave and agile.Furthermore they are stubborn.The Kangal is very good guard dog because they are attacted to their owners.
Especially they live in Sivas,Turkey.People feed them at their garden.
The Kangal get attention around the world.Competitions are organised for these dogs.

Well! First I had no idea how to answer this question. Then I did a little bit of research and here's what I'm gonna say:

I'm going to talk about 'boar' also known as wild pig which is a common wild animal in Iran. The Iranian boar is quite big, sometimes exceeding 250 kilograms in weight. Unlike the domestic pig, boars have a dense coat of coarse fur. Besides, they have a quite funny body; a large head and relatively short legs! Their color usually varies from brown to black.

Iranian boars are usually found near permanent sources of water such as rice fields in the northern provinces of Iran. Since these boars can seriously damage these fields while rooting for food, sometimes farmers hunt them. A large number of Iranian boars also live in oak forests of the Alborz and Zagros mountains.

In Iran the Muslim religion considers pigs and boars dirty! So these animals do not receive much respect from people. However, the good point is that since Islam forbids the eating of pork, thus boars are rarely killed for eating. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes they are hunted by farmers for protection of the farms.

Here is my answer,

1.I’m going to describe the ‘panda’, which is a very precious and well-known animal in China. It is covered by colour white and black. And it looks fat and cute. If you’ve watched Gongfu Panda, an animated film made by Dream Works Studio, you know what it looks like. I love that movie, by the way.

2.There used to be many pandas long time ago in China, but because of the impact of human development, their natural living habitats, bamboo forests usually, have been severely destroyed. As a consequence, they are now classified as one of those species that are on the brink of extinction. So most of the pandas are kept in zoos and parks for protection reasons nowadays. The biggest natural panda park is located in Sichuan, a large western province of China.

3.Pandas play a special role in Chinese culture. Though not officially stated, pandas are considered to be culture ambassador of China, and are sent or borrowed to other countries as gifts some times, so local people there can also see these lovely creatures. Everyone will like pandas once they see them in person.

Hi, Simon
I'm really appreciate your useful website. I find that you don't correct any answer. Although there are possible to have lots of mistake in my answer, i still want to post my answer on your website in order to enrich your lecture and website.Thanks so much!
here is my answer:
I’m going to describe a swift which is a small bird that is common in the South Central Coast and Southeast of Viet Nam. Swifts are the most aerial of birds which quite resemble swallow with a fork tail. However, the difference from the swallow is that it has large wings which help them become the fastest fliers in the animal world with some types of switches having been reported flying at up to 169 km/hour. This trait also makes swift every easy to distinguish from other birds.
Being a wild bird, swift live mainly in caves in which light intensity is low. They make nest at high and craggy position in order to escape prays and protect offspring. Because its nature habitant is in cave, hardly are you possible to find them in the urban area of Vietnam. Strikingly, having a propensity to flock, swifts can be found much in the area that they live.
Nest of swift are supposedly rich in nutrients, which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits such as aiding digestion, improving focus and an overall benefit to the immune system. Besides this, this nests are made on the dangerous limestone mountains, which results in having high amount of minerals such as potassium and calcium, magnesium as well as very high cost. Because of economic advance that it gives, almost people in my country give up normal works to find natural nest. Whereas, others built houses with favorable environment for swift living to collect nest.
By the way, i really thank anyone who has assessment of my answer. :))

Hi simon,
I have a doubt.
Peacock is a wild animal or not?

hi simon,
Based on ur answer, I came up with an idea to talk about a kind of chicken in my hometown.
The chicken we called them big bone chicken, as the name indicates that they all have big skeleton.It is becoming famous due to the good taste. it is part of material we used in chinese tradational cusine. they are raised up in the forest. big bone chicken are different with normal ones, their voice are louder, and eyes are brighter and their leathers are shining and birghter. now, they are becoming more and more famous. even, the tourists went to my hometown just for tasting the flavor. the biggest achievement of they was that one famous director made a movie to broadcast this kind of chicken.
Thank u.

Hi Simon,

I don't understand the grammar you use in "... go looking for food". I think it is similar to "go shopping", but is it ok in writing to use go + gerund. Could you explain it?


Yes, it's quite common Phuoc: go swimming, go cycling etc.

Hi, Simon.
I am very lucky to discover your blog today.
Thanks a lot.

1. I am going describe the 'waliya Ibex', which is a rare wild animal that is unique to Ethiopia. The Walia looks like antelopes but it is slightly larger in size and has very long and curved horn. You can find them in variety of colours.It feeds on plants ,such as grass and tree leaves.
2. Walia lives only in the Northern highlands of Ethiopia, usually it is found at mountain tops. The place is one of protected areas in the country. There is a national park in which other unique animals, such as Chlada baboon, are also found.
3. Walia has a special place in our culture. It is a national icon in which everyone is proud of. It is one of the treasures our country have. It attracts many tourists to the area. Because it is very popular, some companies use it as a brand name for their products or services . For example, there are names like Walia transport, Walia tour agency and Walia hotel. In other words, Walia has a social and economic benefit to Ethiopia.

Hi simon, here my answer :D

1. I am going to describe the elephant which is the biggest wild animal in my country. Elephants have many interesting features including giant ears, long tusks, a huge trunk and winkle skin. Elephant’s tusks were used to dig, to find food or to fight.

2. Almost elephants live in the south of my country, especially in forest of Tay Nguyen province. They used to live in crows and go looking for food together. I have only seen elephants through TV or in the zoo.

3. Elephants are the most favorite mammals in the country. People love elephants very much. Since the war, it has helped us to carry goods and weapons. But currently, elephants are in dangerous situation because there are illegal hunters killing them to get tusks.

Will score a low because I used a domestic animal as an example of wild animal

Hi Simon, I think I have seen this speaking lesson was attached with a recording file. Do it have a file or just my memorial mistake?? Thank you so much!

Hi simon
what about the camel
I am from Egypt and the camel are withdrown from being wild to be domestic
is it right to talk about it and say these information?
I cant find another animal we are famous for other than the camel, can I talk about any wild animal like monkey or elephant.

hi simon,
is pigeon a wild animal?

I am going to describe the fox which is a wild animal in my counrty, Egypt.It is the smallest member of the dog family. It has a gray or ginger fur with a bushy tail.

Foxes live all over my country. They make their homes in the hollow of trees or in the ground borrows. They appear at night as they are nocturnal animals.

Foxes are known for trickery. They hunt rabbits and birds which we bred in our houses, so they are the most dubious animal for us.

Hi All, I hope my answer below is found helpful :)

I am going to describe “gray wolf” that in the past inhabited the eastern parts of Turkey. Gray wolves are a subspecies of coyotes and are known for their short and very sharp ears. Also, they were given their name for their light gray to dark skin colors.

Before 20th century, gray wolves were once widespread among the country, however due to human development and intervention their populations have severely reduced/declined. Nowadays, gray wolves are categorized as endangered species and their number varies around 3,000.

Unfortunately, gray wolves are considered/presumed to be a monstrous/hostile animal among local communities and hunted for bounty. Also, there has been numerous reports by the farmers about the gray wolf attacks and the local folk tend to kill them at sight.

hello m rubab...
m rally nervous actually my exam will next month ...

• I'm going to describe the 'camel ' which is a wild animal that is common in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia . Camels are mammals with long legs, a big-lipped-snout and a humped back. There are two types of camels: dromedary camels, which have one hump, and Bactrian camels, which have two humps.

Actually , The camel's hump is like an energy storage container.
So , According to that Camels can survive up to six months without food or water .

• however, the ancient people called the camel the ship of the desert because their habitats are usually deserts , mountains and arid ( dry and hot ) regions

• In Arab cultures, the camel symbolises patience, tolerance "forgiveness" and endurance. moreover , Camels have played an important role in Arabian culture
for instance , there are various competitions related to camels and lots of poetries that describe the relationship between the camel and its owner.

Hi Simon,
if i talk about an animal from another country that i know more. Should i tell the examiner that: i dont know any animal from my country, but i know one from another country or i heard someone talked about it before, so i would like to talk about this. Is this ok ? Or should i just lie fit is from my country.

I am going to describe partridge which is a wild bird that is common in Kurdistan. The partridge is a medium-sized bird with a light gray back and buff belly.
Its face is white with a black band around it. Partridge has a short tail and coral red bill, which makes it distinguishable from other birds.
Partridge native habitat is rocky hills with grass and cultivation, and they oftentimes prefer high altitudes. Consequently Kurdistan's mountains are a desirable habitat for them.
What is interesting about them is that they prefer to walk or run rather than fly, but if necessary they flies short distances.
The Partridge has been used as a symbol to represent Kurdish nationalism. It can be found in Kurdish songs, poems and ancient carpets. partridge's call has been immensely inspiring for Kurdish musician and they have used it in their songs.

This is bird not animal

Hi, Simon.
Is this sentence grammatically correct one?
The area of red colour makes robins very easy to distinguish from others.
I mean 'makes robins easy to distinguish from others'.I think, it should be '...easy to be distinguished'.
Can you look at it?
Thanks in advance.

Hi simon
I am going to talk about wild pig which is wild animal that disturb his enviroment. Wild pig is short animal and it has a dark fure and looks like sheep or goat

İt is comman animal in my country and lives mountains which has a forest maybe you can see wild pig which cross the road when you travel road
My countires people genarally dont like it

so I am going to talk about hourse which is a domestic animal and some people love to have them as their hobby. hourse is of light or dark brown colour having a long tail and has 4legs. it is used for riding by most of the people . it is also used to earn livelihood by some people as they use it in carrying things from one place to another.

hcan you please tell me . what band score I can get for this in speaking ?
and is it important to use high level words and sentences in IELTS speaking .

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