IELTS Speaking Part 1 | When do people give gifts in your country?

Suggested Answer:

I suppose1 … the two main gift-giving occasions in the UK are at Christmas and on people’s birthdays. If you didn’t give someone close to you either a Christmas or birthday present, it would usually be construed2 as pretty rude3. Other than those occasions, wedding guests normally buy presents for the bride and groom4, and it’s common for adults to buy children chocolate eggs at Easter.

Notes:

1 – Using I suppose at the start of a sentence is a good way to show uncertainty in your answer. Do not use this phrase for obvious facts, “I suppose I come from Pakistan.” I suppose is often followed by a pause and an an answer you are not 100% certain about.

I suppose … I prefer playing football to watching it.
I suppose … I’d like to become a doctor when I’m older.

2 – The verb to construe means when words or actions are interpreted in a particular way. If your friend makes a joke about your new haircut, he might think it is funny, but you might construe it as an attack against you.

I was tired, so I didn’t speak much. Maybe they construed that as unfriendly.
You can construe his text message in different ways.

3 – In spoken English, try softening your speech by making opinions sound less factual. Look at the following two examples:

Football is the best sport to watch.
I think football is probably one of the best sports to watch.


Although the first version is okay, if every opinion you have is stated as a fact, it can sound a bit rude. Adding uncertainty to opinions sounds more natural and will make you more likable!

It is construed as rude.
It would probably be construed as pretty rude.

4 – To increase your lexical resource (vocabulary) score, introduce specific names of people rather than generic words and phrases:

People normally buy presents for the people getting married.
Wedding guests normally buy presents for the bride and groom.

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