IELTS Speaking Part 1 | Do you ever take a gift when you visit someone in their home?

Suggested Answer:

Yes, I do.1 Whenever I visit a friend’s house, I always take them2 a present, even if it’s something small. It’s3 really easy to pick up a bottle of wine or a cuddly toy on the way there, and I really appreciate it when others bring presents for my family, so I assume they’ll feel the same way as me. It’s a good to way build up relationships.4

Notes:

1 – For direct yes/no questions (Do you …? Have you ever …? Will you …?), a good way to start your answer is by giving a short, three-word answer. This makes your intention clear, avoids repeating the examiner’s words and is the kind of response a native speaker would give in conversation.

Do you like to travel? Yes, I do. Whenever I …
Can you swim? No, I can’t, but it’s something I’ve always …
Have you ever been on a ship? Yes, I have. Every year my family …

2 – When we do not know the gender of the person, we can use they/them as a THIRD PERSON SINGULAR.

How can I impress my examiner tomorrow? Shall I take them a present?
Next year, I’ll hire a teacher. I hope they‘ll be good.

3 – Native speakers frequently don’t pronounce the full word is. Instead, we contract to ‘s, i.e. attaching an s sound to the end of the previous word. This is usual in spoken English but should be avoided in essays.

Written – Messi is the best player in the world.
Spoken – Messi‘s the best player in the world.

4 – Students often ask what the ‘ideal’ sentence length is, but there isn’t one. Think about how you speak in your native language. Sometimes your sentences are short. Other times they are longer, use multiple verbs and are difficult for non-native speakers to understand. The best advice is to mix up your sentence lengths. Look at the suggested answer above. Sentence 1 is incredibly short. Sentence 2 is fairly long, while Sentence 3 is even longer, containing three independent clauses. Sentence 4 is a short, simple sentence. This mixture of sentence lengths makes the answer sound natural.

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