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October 21, 2011


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Thank you Simon for your valuable advice.

For many students, it is very hard to imagine how easy Part1 quetions can be.
I mean, all you need to do is use simple English to directly answer the questions.

But there is a problem... the truth is that many of the students nowadays don't even know how to express themselves like a native kid (speak without mistakes in very simple grammar), and they still try so hard and keep wanting to use formal vocabulary for such simple questions.

Just to share something with everyone, the other day I had the chance to skim through the materials from an ESL intermediate level course in my little town, and to my surprise, a lot of the questions were very similar to both Part1 and Part3 questions...

With this in mind, I think it is very important to master the basics of the English language before even attempting to use better or "advanced" vocabulary and grammar.


You are so right Martin.

I also think that students tend to forget they answer most of the Part 1 questions on a daily basis. Like when they meet someone new for the first time, or go on a first date.

Your instructors remind you again and again, this is not the time to get clever with vocabulary, use the words you know, and use them well.

Be as natural as you can, you do not want to sound like a robot that has been programmed to answer the questions.


is it true that in speaking exam if you look into examiner's eyes it effects your result?

Hi Simon,
When we talk about a film or a book that we find interersting, should we use present tense or past tense???
Thank you very much!!!


Please read the comments by Martin and Magi (both IELTS teachers) - they're really useful.

Thanks guys! I completely agree with you.


Hi Nahid,

No, that's not true. Try to speak naturally and make some eye contact, but the language you use is the most important thing.


Hi Dung,

Probably present tense (e.g. it is my favourite book), although you might use some past tense (e.g. I read the book last year).

hi simon, i need some help with the following speaking topic;-

do you think there will be greater choice of food available in future in restaurants?

how important is it for a country to grow food it needs, without importing from outside?

Hi Nav,

The ideas below are not given as full sentences (you could try to make the sentences yourself):

1. Yes, the world is becoming smaller, globalisation, migration of people to live in different countries, they bring their food culture with them, examples of multicultural cities with restaurants from many nationalities.

2. Nowadays it's not so important, it's easy to import food, it's often cheaper to buy food from countries with better climates/conditions for growing/producing it, e.g. the UK imports foods like bananas, tomatoes from countries with warmer climates.

Q2 could I say yes but trying to induce laughing could be an offence to others
Could I give an example by entertainers whose professions obligate them to laugh but may be they are sad deep inside.
Any better alt for obligate!

Hi Moka,

Yes, you can express any idea that you want (if it is relevant to the question), so your answers are fine.

'require' might be better than 'obligate'.

Hi Simon,

My IELTS teacher from Australia said that the candidates should avoid answering "Yes, of course" in speaking test because it is rude. But I read above that you wrote "Yes of course".

What is your opinion about this?


Hi Sekar,

It depends how you say it. I agree that it can sound rude if used in the wrong way. I think I used it naturally and politely in the answer above, but if you're not sure, just say "yes".

I have a lot problem to speak english i do not know what do i do? can you help me ?

Plz I need some one to talk with him or his english plz to improve my language?

Amosh you can talk with me.because i need someone to speaks english .my skype:saeedeh.firoozeh

Hi Simon. This examples was definetely good for me. I can speak English for 1 minute. My problem is how to explain my experience at IELTS interview. As you know I must tell about myself and my lifestyle. I can't say anything about. What can I do?

What are the tips Simon to exaggerate things?

If anybody interested with me in speaking . then contact me asap .
skype = saadtahir231

Hi sir i m neha from india

My qustion is that in speaking test if we dont understan cue card then what should we do at that time ?????

What if you are shy,but you have what to say???

Just some questions are really funny,and they themself make me laugh,just crazy questions)))

1) when I see something funny around me that makes me laugh apart from this while watching comedy episodes or hearing funny jokes by people turns my laughing mode on .
2) certainly true,I love to make my friends laughing for that I do several activities like making funny facial expressions,sharing funnier moments which we had experienced together.
3)definitely it is pivotal for human beings because when people laugh their organs turn in jogging mode which keep them healthy beside this it shows the feeling of happiness.
4)Not exactly, laughing is something which makes people happy for certain period of time where as happiness is that when a person is completely satisfied with his or her life,work ,achievements .

What kind of things make you laugh?

Well, mostly sarcastic memes on internet tend to make me laugh. When I am with my friends and family, someone is pulling each others leg, things go really tickling. Other than that, the comedians who take sarcastic note on the things happening in real life, I find them funny.

Do you like making other people laugh?

Oh! I love it. I believe, humor is that one thing that make people more comfortable with each other. Even it is really good during those heavy times. So, I really like people smiling and try and make more people smile.

Do you think it is important for people to laugh?

Yes, laughing makes things easier.Just imagine, someone is state of misery, but even they can smile at that time, it makes misery look very small. More importantly, we have got this one life, not laughing because of some stupid tensions, does not makes sense to me.

Is laughing the same as feeling happy?

I think it is not exactly the same, feeling happy is more of like a state of mind. So, people may be happy when they achieve something or when they are with their loved ones, it does not mean they need to laugh. On the other hand, laughter is more like an expression, you tend to laugh when something funny happens.


I'm trying to get ielts certificate. But it requires a huge vocabulary base. I think using the formal words in any case also valuable. From my own practise :I know a lot of academik words however I couldn't use it on time.

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