IELTS Cue Card: Describe a family member you spend the most time with

IELTS Cue Card: Describe a family member you spend the most time with


Describe a family member you spend the most time with.
You should say:
  • Who this person is
  • What kind of person they are
  • What you usually do together
And explain why you spend the most time with them.

Part 3:
  • What are the benefits of younger and older generations living together? How about the drawbacks?
  • Which do you prefer most: support from family or support from friends? Why?
  • Is it important to visit family members? Why?

Part 2 — Sample Answer:

I think I spend the most time with my mother. I don’t really have a lot of family, and I don’t have any brothers or sisters. My mom is my closest relative and over time we’ve become good friends.

We don’t happen to live to each other, and I’ve moved away to a country that’s nowhere near her.

My mother is a really kindhearted person that wants the best for everyone. She’s also a very talkative and lively person. Whenever she’s talking she uses a lot of gestures and talks with her hands as much as she uses her voice.

In between the times when we’re able to see each other in person we call and email each other. It’s a good way of communicating but no substitute for actually seeing each other face to face.

Every so often, I take a trip to see her. It’s a long journey, usually involving a taxi, a bus, a plane, and two trains. It’s quite an ordeal to get to her, but it’s worth it.

When we do finally see each other, the first thing we do is give each other a warm hug. Like most mothers, she’s always trying to feed me something or another. She knows the kind of foods I like and usually has them on hand for when I arrive.

We love to catch up on each other’s news. We’ll chitchat and gossip endlessly about anything and everything. I think we spend more time laughing over more mundane things than I do with most of my friends.

When it’s time for me to go home, we always hug and she makes me promise to email her when I get home to let her know I’ve arrived safely.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Over time (adverb)
Something that happens gradually.
Example: Over time there were more cars on the road and traffic jams became more frequent.

Happen to (verb)
If you happen to do something, you do it unintentionally or experience it by chance.
Example: I happened to see your mother today at the mall.

Move away (phrasal verb)
To stop living somewhere and to go live in another place.
Example: He used to live in Boston but he moved away a long time ago.

Kindhearted (adjective)
Someone who is kindhearted likes other people a lot and always wants to help them.
Example: Your mother is a really kindhearted person.

Talkative (adjective)
Someone that talks a lot is talkative.
Example: Your mother is a really talkative person.

Talk with their hands (idiom)
If you talk with your hands, you move your hands around a lot while speaking as a way of emphasizing your words.
Example: He never sits still when he’s talking, and he’s always talking with his hands.

Face to face (adverb)
If you do something face to face you do it in person and can actually see each other.
Example: I’d rather talk face to face rather than over the telephone.

Every so often (idiom)
If something happens every so often it happens sometimes but not frequently.
Example: Every so often she emails me.

Ordeal (noun)
If you experience something really unpleasant, especially if it lasts for a long time, you’d describe it as an ordeal.
Example: Her seven month stay in the hospital was quite an ordeal.

Worth it (adjective)
If something is worth it, it’s worth the cost or work involved to attain it. The benefits will outweigh the costs.
Example: Getting up early to jog is tough but worth it.

On hand (idiom)
If something is on hand it’s ready and available, for example money, resources, etc that can be available for use immediately.
Example: He always kept a supply of firewood on hand for cold nights.

Catch up (phrasal verb)
If you catch up on something, you do something you didn’t have time to do earlier.
Example: She’s staying late at the office to catch up on some work.

Chitchat (informal noun or informal verb)
As a noun, it describes a conversation about things that aren't very important, such as gossip, the weather, or anything else that doesn't matter that much. A synonym would be small talk.

As a verb, it means to talk about things that aren't very important.

It's more commonly used as a verb.
Example A (Noun): She really doesn't have time for chitchat.
Example B (Verb): I really love chitchatting with my friends.

Mundane (adjective)
Something that’s not very interesting or exciting, especially because it happens too regularly.
Example: She finds paying bills and shopping for food extremely mundane.

Part 3 — Sample Answers:

What are the benefits of younger and older generations living together? How about the drawbacks?

I think the number one advantage is that the younger generation can take care of their older family members. A lot of older people have disabilities and mobility restrictions. They aren’t able to do simple daily things as easily or quickly as they were able to do in the past. Their children and grandchildren can act like an extra pair of hands for them at times.

A lot of older people are quite lonely and if they live with their younger relatives they’ll always have someone to keep them company. This can also be for their safety too because of a lot of old people suffer falls and accidents. Their relatives can keep an eye on them and make sure they get medical help if they need it.

As for the drawbacks, it can be burdensome for their kids to take care of someone else when they already have to juggle their own responsibilities while trying to have a social life. A lot of people might feel trapped by the obligation to take care of their grandparents when they’d rather be doing something else like traveling.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Extra pair of hands (idiom)
If someone else helps you do something, you could say they’re an extra pair of hands.
Example: I think we need an extra pair of hands to help clean the house.

Keep someone company (idiom)
If you spend time with someone, especially who is lonely, you keep them company.
Example: I kept my uncle company for a few hours. He gets very lonely.

Keep an eye on (idiom)
If you keep an eye on someone or something, you take care of it, usually for a short period of time.
Example: You need to keep an eye on that soup so it doesn’t boil over.

Burdensome (idiom)
Something that’s burdensome causes problems or extra work.
Example: I’ve got a lot of burdensome tasks to do at work.

Juggle (verb)
Try to do two or more things at the same time, because you don’t have a lot of time.
Example: Senior executives are under pressure to juggle the increasing demands of their workload.

Which do you prefer most: support from family or support from friends? Why?

I value both equally so I wouldn’t pick one over the other.

My family have always wanted the best for me and have always been there for me. I’ve received a lot of support from them over the years, both emotional and financial. They’ve been there for me when things haven’t quite worked out and I’ve needed help getting back on my feet. I think I owe a lot of my success to them in some way.

On the other hand, the support I get from my friends is equally valuable. I feel like I can be a lot more free and open to talk about the ins and outs of my problems. Some of my closest friends have known me for forever and a day, and are able to give me advice about just about anything. Even if they’re in a different city, they’re just a phone call away and will find the time to chat if I need it.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Work out (phrasal verb)
This phrasal verb can mean a few things. Most commonly it means to exercise, and people work out at the gym. It also is commonly used if you’re successful. It can also mean to figure out how to do something.
Example A: He works out at the gym every day.
Example B: If it doesn’t work out, you can always come back here.
Example C: I haven’t worked out how to do that yet.

Back on your feet (idiom)
You’d say that you’re back on your feet in two situations. The most common one is if you had money problems and now you’re financially stable again. The other one is if you were unwell and now you’re in good health again.
Example: Now that I’ve gotten a new job, I’m back on my feet again.

In some way (adverb)
If something happens in some way, it happens in some unspecified way.
Example: He was connected in some way to the theft.

On the other hand (idiom)
It’s a phrase used for giving two different opinions about something, and is different from the first thing you mentioned.
Example: My boyfriend likes all kinds of food, but I, on the other hand only like cheeseburgers and tacos.

Ins and outs (noun)
All the intricate details or facts about a situation are the ins and outs. Usually it’s a complicated situation or issue.
Example: She knows all the ins and outs of the business.

For forever and a day (idiom)
If something lasts for forever and a day, it can mean a very long time, but not actually for forever.
Example: We’ve been driving for forever and a day and we’re still not there yet.

Is it important to visit family members? Why?

I think so in most cases.

There are some people that have toxic families that they want to escape and leave behind. For these people, they don’t place importance on visiting their family.

I think for everyone else it is really important to see their family as often as possible. They’re the people that most people are closest too, and they’re a link to one’s past. They’re the people you grew up with and feel a strong bond to.

Parents and kids, for example, often miss each other a lot. Sometimes they end up living a long way away from each other, and so they might not get to see each other as often as possible.

I think it’s necessary to visit older family members as they aren’t easily able to get out of the house. They can end up housebound and quite lonely, and visiting them can make them feel happier.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Toxic (adjective, informal)
Something that causes you a lot of harm and unhappiness over a long period of time. You could have a toxic relationship, your job could be toxic, your family could be toxic, or some other situation could be toxic.
Example: I quit my extremely toxic job today and I’ve decided to move to a new country.

Leave behind (phrasal verb)
If you leave behind someone or something, you go somewhere else and don’t take them or it with you.
Example: He had to leave his family behind when he left Chile.

Place importance on (phrase)
If you place importance on something, you decide that it’s important.
Example: Most people place too much importance on money.

End up (phrasal verb)
If you end up somewhere, you go somewhere unexpected or unplanned. If you end up in a situation, it means something happened to you that you didn't expect.
Example A: I ended up in Rome for one more night because the flight was cancelled.
Example B: I ended up choosing to study computer science.
Example C: The cake ended up in the trash because it was bad.
Example D: She didn't want to end up like her father, so she moved to Paris.
Example E: The restaurant was too busy so we ended up going to a different one.

Housebound (adjective)
If you’re housebound you’re unable to leave your home, usually because of sickness, a disability, or old age.
Example: She’s been housebound since her accident a few years ago.

How long will these questions be valid?

At least until the end of April 2020 and possibly beyond.
Three times a year the British Council changes many of the topics and questions they ask. Sometimes they decide to keep a topic for another four months, but oftentimes they decide to replace it. This one is less likely to be replaced with a new topic at the beginning of May 2020, but it won't be known for sure until then. Therefore, it may also be asked on exams up until the end of August 2020.

Just to let you know, there are 49 possible part 2/3 topics on the current exam. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less, and this number changes when the British Council updates the questions.

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I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
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Anglais
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Royaume-Uni
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Anglais
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I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
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