IELTS Speaking Part 1 | When did you last receive a gift?

Suggested Answer:

The last present I received was an advent calendar from my wife about a month ago1. Every year we buy each other chocolate advent calendars2 at the end of November, so it’s become a bit of a family tradition3.

Notes:

1 – When discussing a time/date that is not exact, you can add about or around to clarify the fact that you are being inexact. This usually sounds more natural when the time/date you are talking about is obviously not precise.

I went to China about a year ago.
I’ll leave the pub at around midnight.

2 – Paraphrasing is very important in IELTS. However, often words/phrases don’t have synonyms. One way to avoid sounding repetitive when using the same words/phrases is to add adjectives to them

I received an advent calendar. … We buy each other chocolate advent calendars.
I wear shin pads. … I bought a pair of expensive shin pads.

3 A bit of is a good phrase to demonstrate something is more informal or on a smaller scale than might be expected. Family traditions can date back hundreds of years, but in this case my wife and I have only been buying each other advent calendars for a few years. It’s a bit of a family tradition clarifies that it is not a serious thing.

I’m going to walk to the shops. It’s nice to get a bit of exercise.
I’ve invited a couple of friends to my house for a bit of a party.

Please note that this kind of speech is informal, so please don’t use a bit of in this way when writing an academic essay.

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