Vinod Gambtoo’s IELTS Speaking Conjecture, Part 2

  1. Describe a time when you were cheated/when someone lied to you/someone did not tell you the complete truth
  • What the occasion/situation was
  • When this happened
  • Who the person was
  • What he hid about
  • Why you think the person did not tell you the whole truth

      Or they could ask to talk about a time when you lied to someone

  • About cheating or lying, I guess everyone faces this immorality (=dishonesty) on many occasions
  • It’s sad that it’s a part of our life, but we cannot help it
  • I would like to recount (=tell, narrate) one of the incidents that I’d gone through recently
  • I wanted to buy a belt, so I visited one of the premium shops in town
  • The sales officer, named Jenny, attended my purchase order
  • She showed me many belts from the display and went on pitching striking points/qualities of each belt. I settled with one of my choices and placed the order
  • I am an animal lover, and therefore, I abstain from using genuine leather products. I don’t want to be a part of animal killing or brutality
  • I shared this resolution with her and asked her to show me only those belts which were made of the artificial material that looked like genuine leather
  • She very well understood my point, but she went on withholding (=conceal, hide) information with respect to the belt material and presented false information
  • She confirmed proudly that the belt was made of artificial material only
  • Two days later, my father happened to see that belt, and he liked it. He wanted to try it on, and while doing so, he told me that it was made of genuine leather. He knows how much I love animals. He was surprised at my decision to buy the belt made of genuine leather
  • Jenny sold the product with lies and deception (=betrayal, disinformation). Therefore, I returned it after three days
  • It’s undesirable and unacceptable. I was upset with her lies and felt cheated
  • I don’t know why she had to lie to customers. Maybe she would get incentive on each order, and because of making extra bucks, she might have done it. But whatever it is, she shouldn’t have done this, especially when someone like me who is an animal lover would be much annoyed at such deception

Follow-up questions:

  • Do you think telling white lies is acceptable sometimes?

Surely (=admittedly), it must not be ever. I believe there must be a severe penalty for lying. Anybody who lies on any matter cannot be trusted ever. Whether it is once or frequently, I think we should take a serious note of all forms of lying. Unfortunately, in some cultures or countries, lying is not seen as a big (=significant) offense as other crimes, and people take it casually. I am afraid of this behavior and treatment for people who lie and deceive. This could lead to colossal (=enormous, huge) fraud or crimes at some stage. Therefore, I would say that we should nip the evil in the bud (=kill the evil at the start).

  • Do you think honesty is the only important (=outstanding) quality that should be in person?

It’s not the only quality that people should possess, but it’s, undoubtedly, essential to the core. Just imagine if a person is dishonest, he may set a false narrative in the relationship. In some cases, people are devious and take advantage of innocent people by peddling lies and dishonesty. They may rob of peace of someone with their harmful agenda. Hence, I give a lot of significance to honesty, but there are other qualities, too, which cannot be ignored at all.

  • Do you think children should be taught honesty at a young age?

It goes without saying. The foundation plays a vital role in good qualities, such as honesty, etiquette, discipline, compassion, and others. Once the child grows and becomes a teenager, it’s hard for parents and schools to mold him for these basic (=necessary) qualities. Because he becomes adamant and stubborn on a certain (=particular, specific) issue or might have built the foundation of non-cooperation. Initially, children may get mad at us for being the enforcer of consequences. But if we don’t do that now, they will be a huge (=massive) liability for everyone.

  • Do you think that being completely honest at all times can be not good?

It’s true that sometimes your steadfast honesty turns on to you. Regardless of its consequences, we must not bend our ethics. However, we must make one exception on this topic. We’ve seen many intellectuals are dishonest, and they engage themselves with depravity (=wickedness, degradation). You cannot defeat them straight, so you have to change your rules to beat them. For example, in Mahabharat, Duryodhana fought the war with Pandavas and justified it, but his justification was wrong in spirit.

  • Why do people lie sometimes?

Well, I’ve no idea why they do so. Maybe they get benefitted from a pack of lies, or perhaps they get the sadistic (=ruthless, brutal) pleasure of putting someone down. I guess there’s a remote possibility that some people are born for lying and manipulating. That comes from their lineage (=clan, origin, pedigree), or they learn from their parents.

  • How would you define white lies?

It is straight. Some people refuse to accept reality, no matter what happens. If you tell them that the earth is round, they will fight you with lies and make you feel that the earth is flat. Such manipulators or better I call them as intellectually dishonest people present ingeniously (=skillfully, aptly, deftly) pack of lies.

  • Some people say liars are those who have a good memory; what do you think?

I’m not sure about this thing. But I know of one thing sure that liars have to memorize a lot because they need to present the same lie over and over again.

  • What are the other ways to teach children about honesty, except having parents or teachers teach them?

I believe the school foundation plays a vital role in establishing certain habits and hacks (=strategy, technique) of life. Children should be rewarded for every small act of their honesty. At least once in a week, there must be a class that gives importance to ethics, morality, discipline, and other essential qualities in our life. Inspiring stories that centralize honesty as a virtue should be included in the school curriculum.

2. Describe your idea of a perfect home or dream house

  • Where this place would be (is)
  • What it would look like/what it looks like
  • When you would like to live there/when you want to live there
  • Explain why it is ideal for you
  • Currently, I live in a three-bedroom apartment in the city
  • It’s the location which offers comfortable access to all places of the city and well connected with public transportation
  • If I were to have my dream house, it would be a penthouse surrounded by trees and located in the suburbs for some reason
  • I think the house beautifully decorated from flooring to a state-of-the-art kitchen boasting a 14-feet ceiling makes sense
  • I would love to have an airy living room leading to the spacious terrace with the white oak flooring. Such a decorating setup makes the home lively and refreshing
  • Along with these, I would love to see French windows all around my home because it allows more natural light, and they look elegant
  • My home must include integrated lighting, irrigation, and audio. The open terrace will be like a garden with a private space created by using green climbers where you can sit and enjoy some private moments
  • Flowering plants of all size to give color and simple wooden benches with artistic chairs for sitting will be the part of my living
  • I guess to build my dream house is very expensive, and I don’t think that it will be done sooner; might take another ten years to accumulate that much of fund, so I guess it will be when I’m in my thirties (or you can say after ten years or so).
  • Such a house will give everything that I want
  • First of all, I’m a nature guy who loves trees, serenity, chirping of birds, and fresh air. When I’m home, the rich (=luxurious) wooden furniture will always give me a sense of living in a beautifully-designed home. And, when I go out to my terrace, flowering plants and green climbers will give (=provide me with) me a glimpse of the garden, and I can watch a bright blue sky with birds flying
  • This whole package makes my home perfect; in fact, more than perfect
  • I have been dreaming of such a place to live whenever I get an opportunity for long. Unfortunately, I can’t do that right now because, for this dream house, I need to make a lot of money, and I guess it will take some years to fulfill my dream
  • I see home is more than four walls because you live there, enjoy every moment of life, and there are emotions attached to it. There’s no place like your home in the world; no matter how busy you are or how far you travel for various activities, but the real pleasure we get only when we return to our home

Follow-up questions:

  • Do most Indians live in an apartment or a house?

My country is blasting with the population, and you see people everywhere. Unlike other countries, land per person is not enough because of a high density. And, that’s the reason prices of the land always go north every year. Most Indians don’t have the luxury of owning a house but live in an apartment.

  • Do young people in your country like to live with their parents or by themselves?

Well, the answer is Yes and No both. It all depends upon the disposition (=frame of mind, personality) of the person. Some young people believe in living in a joint family, whereas others see it as an infringement (=invasion, violation) in privacy. On the whole, our society is structured culturally in a manner wherein people enjoy living with parents, and they don’t like to separate them.

  • Do Indians like to rent a place to live?

Again, it rests on personal choice. But broadly, I believe that Indians love to own the place as they believe that taking a home loan and pay an EMI because you become a property owner (=landlord) after some years. But this logic doesn’t apply to those people who have a transferable job. I’ve personally met those people in my life, and they get really disappointed at losing on to an opportunity to buy a house or make a decision.

  • Would you live abroad in the future?

Maybe Yes, and that’s why I am taking this English test. I’m planning to study abroad for a few years, and then I may settle there as long as all the immigration rules go in my favor.

  • How is modern home design in your country different from that of the past?

There has been a lot of transition and transformation in home designing in my country over the years. I guess in the past, I mean I’m talking about some 50 years ago before my birth, people in India loved home design inspired by the living of our kings and rich history. But with time and an increasing population, people moved to small apartments as the land cost became expensive. Therefore, they couldn’t fit those heritage designs in modern apartments. These days, we’ve a neat and clean design, mainly in a straight-line pattern. The modern home design looks slick and attractive and doesn’t waste any space. For example, homes are getting smaller these days, so every inch in your home counts. I personally believe that both sorts of home designs look amazing, depending upon the size of your property. But I must admit that the modern design involves lesser efforts to design and leaves more space for use.

  • In your country, what types of homes do most people live?

India is a vast country with 1.35 billion people. We’ve people from all classes, rich and poor, settled both in rural and urban areas. Plus, the weather remains different depending upon the place from North to South and East to West. For example, if you go to hilly areas of Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh, you will see homes having the shape of hut and made of pure wood because they control the chilly weather during winter. But if we see homes in other regions, they’re made of cement and bricks. Rural India, at times, is opposite to big cities. You’ll see some homes right in the middle of the farm or nearby. Depending upon the spending budget, city, and region, people live in apartments, palaces, bungalows, penthouse, affordable flats, rowhouses, and also slum areas.

  • Do people prefer to live in modern homes or older-styled homes?

I reckon people love to live in modern homes owing to modern facilities that are available in modern homes. Older-styled homes look grandeur (=magnificence, opulence, majesty, greatness) and an epitome (=exemplar, embodiment, type) of royalty, but our lives have changed dramatically over the centuries, and we need homes that offer the best functionality. I guess modern homes address all the solutions to comfort our day-to-day life. Additionally, maintenance time and cost play a significant role in choosing the home. And those go in favor of modern houses.

  • How are modern homes different from older homes?

As I said to you, there is a massive difference in both styles. Older homes offer decent heights, natural light, and grandeur furniture to make you feel like a Maharaja. But modern homes have all the answers to our day-to-day life. People may not have time and money to maintain homes, and what they want is functional features such as spick and span (= neat, clean, and well looked after) premises, well-lit area, use of every corner of the home in this expensive world, the right type of electrification that supports several gadgets and white appliances (=goods) and others.

3. Talk about someone who encourages you to achieve goals or someone who encouraged you to achieve a goal

  • Who the person is
  • How he/she is related to you
  • How he/she encourages you
  • What this person encourage you to do
  • Something about that person which you like the most
  • Why this encouragement helped you to achieve this goal
  • It’s a golden question
  • In many battles of life, either we win or fail. But when we fail, we more often get emotionally negative for various reasons. And it’s hard to get unstuck on many occasions
  • Such events impact adversely on you, and at times, you do something unimaginable and hard on you further
  • So, the bottom line is we need to remain focused on our goal. However, it’s easier said than done. Therefore, you need someone who could lift your spirit and turn your negative thoughts into positive actions
  • In my life, I look up to my mommy as the best person who always takes me out of the swamp (=marshland, mud) when needed
  • If I’m out of sorts, or feeling overwhelmed with emotions owing to desperations of being left out to reach my goal, my mommy comes to rescue me to bring back normalcy
  • She always tells me, “Your chimp is the reason that puts you down, so control it.” You know we have a chimp inside us, not the real one, but the one who keeps talking to you always and steer your life.
  • She tells me that it’s me who has to guide my chimp to become either a monster or a victor. And, yes, she is right in that. Ever since I’ve tried to control my chimp (myself) from inside, things changed dramatically, and it turns a negative perspective to a positive one
  • The best thing I like about her is the way she tackles my frustration and guides me to get rid of it rapidly. She’s untiringly calm when it comes to addressing my issues. She is as cool as a cucumber, whereas I’m, at times, impatient. Therefore, this chemistry works wondrously in my case
  • Her wisdom helps me steer out of danger and brings me back to the point. In this extraordinarily competitive world, we want to be a winner professionally. Plus, as I said to you about the Chimp who thinks 100 times faster than you – whether it’s positive or negative. Hence, there’s a big deal of maintaining calm. For example, when you’re close to your target, you become overboard (=crazed, enthusiastic, zealous), and there we’ve got to control. At the same time, when things don’t go as you think, it takes you down, so we’ve to see that we’re not mired into a swamp

Follow-up questions:

  1. Why is it important for teenagers to set their goals?

If children aren’t (ain’t) inspired to make their careers at the right age, they probably are not able to become responsible citizens ever in life. They become a burden on parents and the state also. For example, I see many people who are in their twenties or thirties in my country, but they are not at all worried about their life and life of people around them. It pains many, and they not only ruin their lives but also of others. Therefore, it is ‘US’, I mean parents, society, teachers, and the surrounding, who have to ensure them of the right guidance and check (=stop) them from indulging into any sort of nuisance at large.

  • What will encourage children to learn more?

Well, there could be many things that encourage children to learn more. I guess the first thing is their own natural motivation. I mean, some people are born to learn new things, and they need no push at all. In some cases, parental guidance and stature of parents constantly influence them to push their limits. Some children grow hearing chitchat between parents about ambitions, challenges, innovative ideas, and other things that inspire them further. Lastly, I believe successful stories of winners motivate children. Humankind has an inclination to share and tell stories of those people who have made a difference in our life. Some children start idolizing those people and try to be them or better than them as well. This is how we’ve a positive environment, which works well for children.

  • Do parents and teachers punish children these days?

Yes, I think so, but maybe not in a harsh way the way it used to be in the past. In the past, children were controlled harshly in some cases, but gone those days now. It’s the need to discipline children before they go astray. Because when we’re very young, we’re restless and think as if we own the world. But the reality is quite the opposite of this fact. Therefore, teachers and parents need to check on them time after time for their good. The absence of supervision from these both parties could be detrimental to their careers.

  • Who do you think has a greater influence on the goal-setting of children? Teachers or parents?

I think both play a critical role in inspiring children to do something extraordinary. We cannot place the sole responsibility on parents or on teachers. If we do the math, children broadly spend their one-third of time at school and the same amount of time at home and the rest in sleep. So, what they learn at school must be supplemented and supported by parents equally, or the whole exercise gets defeated.

4. Describe a time when you first met someone

  • Who the person was
  • Where you met
  • When it was
  • How was your experience?
  • We meet several people in our life on many occasions
  • Some of them stay with us forever, and others just disappear with time
  • Those who leave a long-lasting positive impression on our minds either become friends or someone to deserve a special honor for their benevolent (=benign, caring, generous) acts
  • I’m the guy who generally doesn’t make friends quickly as I’m introverted by disposition (=tendency, personality)
  • But I do get gravitated to those people with who(m) my ideology gets aligned
  • I recount (=tell, narrate) one of the incidents which gave me a good friend, and I’m thankful to God for rendering (=give) such an opportunity
  • A few years back, I remember passing by Queen’s Street on Prince Edward Island and happened to see an injured cat paining and meowing
  • She hurt her leg and was in excruciating pain. The moment I saw her sorry plight, it tugged at my heartstrings (=to cause strong feelings of love or sympathy), and I rushed to rescue her
  • I had my limitation as I was not a vet (=veterinarian), so I wanted to help her get rid of pain and nurse her wound but helpless
  • Luckily, a girl named Georgina was passing by, and she saw us and immediately pulled over her car to check on us
  • She is as much animal lover as I am. Fortunately, she is a vet. Plus, she enjoys helping stray animals and dedicates her some time to go around the city and reach out to such patients
  • She and I took the injured cat to her dispensary, where this cat was carefully attended. She took me to a tour of a shelter house on her property that she had built for this cause. I was taken aback (=surprise) to see her efforts, dedication, and sympathy. She is a good Samaritan (=someone who gives help to people and others who need it)
  • From that incident, we became good friends because there was one thing in common in both of us was the animal love
  • We shared various stories of how we tried to assist stray animals in our ways and found a good reason to be friends forever
  • So, this injured cat who we named ‘Gucci’ connected us to become good friends, and both of us are thankful to ‘Gucci’. Gucci is doing good now and delivered three kittens in the following year before she was spayed (=remove the ovaries of a female animal)

 Follow-up questions:

  1. Do you think it is strange to make friends online?

Well, I believe it’s not advisable as we’ve no idea about the stranger’s background. Another thing is why to make friends online? We may have 1000 friends on Facebook, but with how many we hang out? That doesn’t make any sense. Traditionally, we make friends by going out and about. We travel, walk the dog, volunteer some specific causes, frequent cafes, or clubs, or attend evening classes. These have been ways to discover new people over the decades. Maybe, people in thirties or forties yet prefer these ways to make friends. Things may change with the youngster. They have entirely (=quite) new ways to come across others. These days, we’ve seen many mobile apps where you discover new friends, or sometimes you sit behind a computer and start blogging on the ‘WordPress’ platform, which enables you to find friends across the world easily. Online gaming is another tool wherein youth happens to meet new friends as well. But, overall, I believe meeting new people in person and knowing them rather than being all over virtually and never happen to see each other. Strangers, at times, put you in trouble as well, and we’ve heard many such negative stories, too.  

  • Why do some people have few friends?

Having many friends or not all depends upon our personality type. Some people are extroverted and vocal, whereas others are introverted, or they love being with few friends only. I guess some people want limited numbers of friends and believe in maintaining a healthy relationship throughout their life. There is no point in having hundreds of friends, because sometimes when you need them, they are nowhere in sight.

  • What is more important – a new friendship or an old one?

I reckon both types of friendships are equally important in our life. Yes, there is some difference, especially when you are connected to someone over the years. There’s a kind of exceptional bonding because relationship matures with time. Having said that, it also works against it as, in some cases, we carry forward a little animosity (=opposition, strong dislike, anger) if any that occurred years back to our present life as well. A new friendship is all about unlocking a new experience. For example, we get married, and our partner could also become a new friend, and s/he must be needed more than anyone else in the world. Additionally, our dynamics change, like moving from one school to another, one job to another, and one place to another. These all-new settings also impact our relationship. Distance and availability, to some extent, sweeten our relationship with friends.

  • How do companies welcome their employees?

Large corporations send an electronic greeting to new recruits and sometimes with the greeting card and welcoming ceremony within the department. I’ve no idea about small corporations because it’s managed by the boss or manager wholly. Therefore, it all depends on the disposition (=personality, tendency) of them. Some bosses are extraordinarily congenial (=harmonious, friendly), and they treat each employee as a family member, whereas other bosses distance themselves from day one, citing specific reasons for it.

5. Talk about a newly built public facility (such as parks, cinemas, etc.) that improves/influences local life quality in your city

  • Which the facility is
  • Where it is
  • How it improves life quality
  • How you feel about it
  • I would like to talk about a park which was built, I guess, one year ago in the vicinity near my home
  • The municipality has named it ‘Maharaja Ranjitsingh Park’
  • I guess it is in the remembrance of Maharaja Ranjitsingh who was one of the bravest kings that my country had produced centuries back
  • It’s located around one kilometer from my home, so I think it is well placed for me because whenever I desire to visit this park, I can walk to it, which offers me some warm-up before I arrive at the garden
  • Recreational clubs, playgrounds, and parks are essential parts of our life to refresh, especially in my country, which has a population of over 1.35 billion people. It’s the most densely country on this earth when we see the land area per head (person)
  • Parks offer us ‘me time’, and you could rewind yourself by sitting in a serene (=cool, comfortable) environment, on the lush green grass surrounded by various types of beautiful trees. On top of it, chirping of birds animate your inner feelings, and you have nothing but to fall in love with nature
  • I’ve seen people from all walks visit and enjoy life in this park. This park is something special compared to others as it houses a lake in the center. Sometimes, you happen to see flamingoes and tortoises (NB=check pronunciation) and small fishes, too
  • Personally, I like this park enormously for many reasons. It’s a huge garden and has everything for all aged people. I like its walking track the most because it is covered by tall trees on both ends. So, when you walk, it makes you feel that you are being welcomed by nature and protects you from the sunlight. Therefore, I’m able to conserve some more energy and stamina, which invariably helps me stretch my jogging rounds
  • Plus, as I said that there is a lake in the center. I believe that’s a well-thought plan by the urban designer. My city has no seashore, so, at times, we miss an opportunity to experience water frolic and a glimpse of it. This suffices

Follow-up questions:

  1. What measures should be taken to deal with damage to public facilities?

Public property damage is a nuisance everywhere in the world. People act recklessly and don’t feel ownership of anything until they pay from their wallets. Hence, whatever public properties are around us are taken for granted. Two things we can think of implementing to stop this menace (=nuisance). One, we need to educate people at the elementary level about civic sense and morality. Children grasp and apply whatever they learn at the school rapidly. Once they are grown up, it’s hard to discipline them because there are chances that they become rebellious. These children, when grow, become responsible citizens and value for everything – be it personal or public property. Second, all public places must be put under surveillance. Through CCTV cameras, we can catch anarchists and damagers.

  • What is the difference between the old facilities and new facilities?

It’s a slightly difficult question to answer. Anyway (X= not anyways), old facilities were built according to time and need, and today things and tastes of people have changed dramatically. So, maybe they are not much wanted. Additionally, most of them are worn out and lack of finesse and attractions. On the contrary, new facilities address all those issues. They are with time and taste both. What was something popular may not be the same in the current scenario. For example, when I go to my club to play tennis these days, the club administration has placed a device that dispenses sanitizer for members. This was not in need previously, but, after the coronavirus pandemic, such small facilities address the needs of today.

  • What facilities do young people and old people like in your country?

Well, I can’t typecast (=establish, estimate) the choice of the young and old people since it rests on personal inclination. But, broadly, I would say that old people love socializing people of their time, and they more often prefer parks, temples, and also recreational clubs where they sit and enjoy times. About the youth, they always love recreational clubs, playgrounds, or eateries, where they could hang out with friends.

  • What is the difference between facilities in the countryside and the ones in the cities?

I think the overall setup remains unchanged, whether it’s a rural or urban area in developed countries. But that may not be true in a country like mine because there is a massive difference between what’s offered in cities and the countryside. What I said just now would be available in cities, but in the countryside, you may not see such facilities. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that people in the countryside don’t enjoy their life. They have natural scenic places and lakes where they hang out with friends. They’ve plenty of land on which they build a deck and play actual drama to entertain people.

Vinod Gambtoo’s IELTS Speaking Conjecture, Part 1

  1. Describe a uniform you wear (at your school or company).
    • When you wear it
    • Who bought it for you
    • What it looks like
    • How you feel about it
  • I don’t need to wear a uniform these days
  • But I recount (=tell, narrate) my school days when it was mandatory to put on the school uniform
  • The fundamental idea of the uniform is to treat everyone equally
  • Some companies have made regulation of putting on the uniform for a variety of reasons
  • Some large corporations (=company, firm) believe the uniform decreases the dress-based discrimination (=prejudice, bias) at the workplace
  • My parents bought me the uniform every year. And the fun part was that I knew that it was going to be the same every year, but getting rid of the old one offered renewed joy
  • I always loved my school uniform. It had a combination of blue and white
  • We had to wear blue pants (X = not pant) and a white shirt
  • More than the uniform, I was always fascinated (=strongly attracted) by the belt. It was a stripe-designed strap with the emblem (=symbol, figure) of our school on the plate style buckle
  • I also loved our school logo on the shirt. It was beautifully designed with a lamp and Goddess Saraswati in it
  • On a sports day, usually on Saturdays, we had to put on a round-necked blue T-shirt with grey-colored sweat pants
  • While talking to you right now about my school uniform, it takes me back to my golden days of life
  • School time is something that you treasure (=cherish) forever, and If I had an opportunity to ask for something now, I would certainly like to have those golden days back.
  • We all looked amazingly handsome and beautiful in our school uniform. No matter how pricey clothes that we buy now and put them on, but there’s nothing like our uniform. It was simple and attractive. Maybe it’s linked to our school time, and then we were quite young and restless hence, with the uniform, so many things are attached
  • Some friends of mine hated to put on the uniform, citing it was compulsion imposed on us because we looked upon students who were going to college or university at that time, and they were exempted from this code of wearing
  • But if I talk about myself, I never shared such a mindset then. On the contrary, I enjoyed it. Yet I’ve my old uniform of the year 10 as reminiscences (=memory, recollection), and I take it out, at times, to relive those moments. So, it comes down to how people think on this point

Follow-up questions:

  1. Why should students wear uniforms?

Wearing a school uniform is a symbol of identification and pride, and it also makes a personality for a school. It’s the imperative piece of being a school student. It also teaches students to take pride in their appearance. Wearing a uniform is all about being in the organization or school together

2. On what occasions should people wear uniforms?

It depends upon who (m) you’re associated with, and you need to size up the occasion (that) you will be attending. Otherwise, you don’t feel confident if you’re over or underdressed, so we’ve to ensure that we’re dressed in an outfit that is the right to the occasion. For example, in a school, the uniform gives a sense of togetherness, and we all look good, no matter whether we are thin or doughy (=fat) or whatever. When we grow up and start our career, some corporations have a dress code. You’ve no choice but to align with the philosophy and policy of the corporation. In some cases, when we’ve got an annual meeting or any roadshow for promotion, we wear uniforms.

3. Should companies ask employees about the design of their uniforms?

Well, my answer is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ both because there could be several suggestions if asked. Imagine a corporation which has over 1,000 employees, people will pour in ideas and recommendations, and everyone has his own preference. In that case, it’s slightly tricky to narrow down the final decision. But this exercise can be used for gathering ideas and preferences and anything that comes close to the conclusion of the management, that dress code should be taken.

4. Can people tell someone’s personality by his or her clothes?

Of course, yes. I believe that your clothing sense reflects your personality and, in some cases, your royalty, too. People get attracted to those who have a neat and sharp clothing sense. And it also depends upon an occasion. I’ve seen people wearing a pair of jeans and a round-necked T-shirt while attending any wedding event, and they certainly look horrible in that. It’s tacky (=tasteless, gaudy). At the same time, when somebody is dressed in an appropriate outfit grabs the attention of the audience.

5. What color would catch people’s attention most?

It’s subjective. For some boys and men, they don’t imagine trying colors other than black, white, navy blue, and beige. And bright colors look good on girls. In fact, I feel jealous because women have a plethora of colors to choose for their attires, whereas boys have no such choices. It’s sad (with a smiling face).

2. Describe a special day that made you happy.

  • When it was
  • What the occasion was
  • Why it made you happy
  • There are countless moments and days when I felt happy
  • In fact, I’m grateful for something every day as I listen to my inner child
  • The special day that I recount (=tell, narrate) now is my last birthday. Usually, people love their birthdays, but any birthday which brings a surprise is incredible
  • That’s what happened to me last year
  • I had been thinking of buying the latest iPhone over the months, but it was beyond my budget
  • Additionally, I didn’t want to force my parents to buy me an expensive phone, so what I did was I started to save some money every month
  • Yet I was short of around ₹30,000, and it was a big amount for me to manage
  • I don’t know how my parents observed my longing (=wish, yearning) for a new phone, but I’m sure they kept their eyes on this wish of mine
  • I remember this surprise because it gave me a smile of the century on my face
  • I got up in the morning and was waiting for my cup of tea to be served
  • Instead of tea, my mommy hugged me and gave me the gift-wrapped box
  • I asked her what was in it. She said, “you open it up and see yourself”
  • And guess what! It was iPhone XR. I couldn’t believe that for a while, but it was happening
  • The thing that I had been longing for (=wanting, wishing, desiring) quite some time was right there in front of my eyes
  • I felt I was on cloud 9 (=state of perfect happiness) and thanked my parents for that incredible gift
  • I know it’s something beyond my imagination and never knew that my parents were so much attentive to my wishes
  • Anyway (X= not anyways), parents are always there to cheer your special moments

Follow-up questions:

  1. What are some things that made you feel happy?

There are many things, in fact, that makes me feel great many times. Whenever any positive piece of news that breaks for which you have been waiting for so long is one of them. I cheer when Team India wins the match, or also I feel elated (=happy) at the playing opportunity for either an indoor or outdoor game. I personally believe that fulfilling hobbies bring unimaginable (=incredible, unbelievable) joy to your life.

2. Do you think artistic activities can make people happy? (Why/Why not)

I’m not sure about it because it varies from person to person. I’m the guy who is not overly inclined to artistic activities, so it doesn’t matter to me. But I’ve seen a lot of people enjoying themselves when they employ themselves in creative activities. There’s a classic case in my family. My sister lives in a world of arts, so she finds tremendous joy whenever she gets associated with artistic activities.

3. Do you think people who have more talent are happier than others? (Why/Why not)

I don’t agree with this notion. Happiness has nothing to do with talent (=ability). It’s all about how you see your life and try to extract pleasure (=happiness) from small things around you. For example, I feel much convinced when I feed animals, but my neighbor, who is a renowned doctor, abhors (=hates) it. He might be feeling happy with other activities. I’ve also seen talented people being grumpy (=bad-tempered, waxy), and at the same time, people who live by the road enjoy better than us on many occasions.

4. Do you think money makes people happy?

My answer is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ both. Money is not everything but not lesser than anything, too. That’s a paradoxical (=contradictory, incongruous) statement, but it’s true for sure. Life becomes beautiful with money, but it also becomes trash if you’re deprived (=strip, deny) of sound health. So, money does buy medicines but unable to get your health on many occasions. Again, I’ve seen the happiest people with lesser wealth and the most frustrated with riches on this earth.

5. Are the things or events that make people happy today the same as several decades ago?

Of course, the definition of happiness, excitement, surprise, and other emotional triggers remains unchanged. Maybe the mode, nature, and sources of joy might have changed with time. For example, people in the past enjoyed a cup of tea in the garden, and today they go to a cafe.

6. Why do people feel happy when they are with members of their family?

By all means (=of course), they’re your family, and for every moment, whether we’re happy or not, they stand by us. Another important aspect is that we don’t need to fake anything with them. Whether we are good or bad, they love us untiringly and incessantly (=regularly, constantly, endlessly). Such unconditional love ties the members of the family. To me, the family is first!

7. What are some examples of family activities that make people happy?

I guess there are many family activities that make our lives whole. A cozy dinner with your folks or maybe going on holiday with them or could be with them for watching just a movie are some of the activities. I personally like a candlelit dinner with my girlfriend at the beachfront restaurant, which provides the perfect end to the day.

8. Some people say the happiest time in people’s lives is the period when they are at school. Do you agree?

There’s no doubt about it because we’re young and restless with no external concerns of career-making or sustaining any type of relationship or so. In school time, we enjoyed small things which seem to be inconsequential (=unimportant, insignificant) if we think about them right now, but that’s the all joy that we had. We never judged anyone or were judged by our friends, too. We seized every moment and enjoyed life more even if when something went wrong, it didn’t impact much the way it happens now. I wish I could reclaim those golden days of my life now, but it’s just not possible.

9. Do young and older people find happiness in the same things?

Yes, I think so. Some moments and activities bring the same joy regardless of your age and other factors. I can give you an excellent example to substantiate (=confirm, prove) my agreement. My dad, mommy, sister, and I play Ludo game on the tablet, and you’ll be surprised to see the intensity, excitement, and happiness when we beat each other. We all become kids once again and fight hard as they do so.

3. Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake.

  • When it happened
  • Why you were sleepy
  • Why you had to stay awake
  • And how you stayed awake
  • Sleep has been called ‘force multiplier’. It means it can worsen or enhance your performance
  • I personally cannot stand the sleep deprivation (=hardship, loss) and need at least eight-hour sleep to stay in the right mood
  • Usually, I ensure to have deep sound sleep, but there are occasions where I couldn’t keep up the same
  • I remember the night before the paper of Math (X= not Maths) during the Year 12 exam. I always struggled with calculus in my school time, so needed additional time to cover my study
  • As I said that the course of math always scared me, so it was boring (=tedious). And you know that when you do some boring job, it makes you feel drowsy and uninterested
  • So it happened that night particularly. I had to cover my pending portion of the exam preparation, and I felt sleepy
  • I hated that moment, but I knew that if I hadn’t stayed awake, I would have to pay a heavy price for it
  • I had no choice but to stay awake at any cost
  • Then what! People have their own ways to stay awake; some have energy drinks, and others believe having tea or coffee
  • I don’t know how far it is true that such beverages containing caffeine help you stay awake, but it certainly doesn’t work for me
  • If I’ve to stay awake for some reason, I will rather watch some interesting videos on YouTube or maybe music also
  • So, during that hard time, I watched any song of my choice and got charged and got back to my studies, and then whenever I felt sleepy, I repeated the same

Follow-up questions:

  1. On what occasions do people need to stay awake even when they are tired?

There could be several occasions where you need to stay awake even if you hate to do so. When we’ve to write an exam, it’s an integral part, and I’m sure most students go through the same situation. When we grow up and are burdened heavily with some backlog of jobs, it takes away our sleep in order to meet the deadline. And the worst of all is when you have unwanted visitors at home, you don’t want to spare some time for them, but you do so just to sustain the relationship.

2. How do they keep awake when they are tired?

People have ways to keep themselves awake. The most common hack (=strategy, technique) on which people rely on is to consume any drink that contains caffeine. For example, tea, coffee, or energy drink. I’ve seen some people washing their faces with soda. They get a kind of instant zip (=oomph, vitality, vigor, verve) in their mood. I don’t know whether it works or not, but people do that. And there are some people who do some job that interests them the most. Like reading a novel or maybe watching some exciting series on Netflix or YouTube.

3. Why do people feel tired a lot nowadays?

Well! It’s not about these days or yesteryears. People get fatigued (=tired) owing to physical tiredness or psychological reasons. For example, students participate in sports competitions or play outdoor games, which certainly takes their toll because of excessive playing or working out exhaust them. While people who work go through extraordinary pressure of many things at the workplace, along with their own external concerns. The steep competition in the business or at the workplace keeps everyone on the toe forever, and it impacts adversely on their health.

4. What kinds of people lack sleep?

There could be many kinds! Some people work globally from their home place, and the time difference breaks their regular cycle of sleep. The classic example is people working with call centers. There are some people who remain under pressure at the workplace, or even those people who are under constant threat of losing their jobs in this competitive world are deprived of the sound sleep. Some people also suffer from insomnia, and that’s the worst thing we could expect. There could be many others, too.

4. Describe an experience when you played an indoor game with others.

  • What you played
  • Who you played with
  • Why you played
  • How you felt about it
  • I play both indoor and outdoor games
  • It all depends upon the opportunity and time availability, and on some occasions, it’s all about the company of friends or members of the family with who you are
  • I personally love the game of Chess as it is a fascinating (=exciting, interesting) indoor game; usually, it’s played with two players
  • But today I’m going to talk about another game, which is popular these days
  • It’s Ludo, and it’s also known as Boardgame
  • I went to my cousin’s place some days back, and happened to meet his friends there, too
  • We were just killing time by gossiping, and one of his friends recommended to play Ludo game
  • First, we decided to play on the cell phone, but later on, decided to change it to an iPad
  • I find this game exciting, and for every move of your token, you need to use reasoning to beat your rival. You cannot roll your tokens randomly or without giving a thought. If you do so, you may lose
  • This game is played with two to four players, and we decided to team up and played in the partnership of two each
  • So, whoever brings all four tokens to the finishing square wins
  • This game: if played with attention, it brings all sorts of emotional triggers, such as fear, excitement, jubilation, regret, and so on
  • My partner and I were the winners in the end. However, we narrowly defeated our opponents because one of their partners had only one token left to the finish, and luckily we had two sixes, and my partner made it

Follow-up questions:

  1. Do you play any indoor games?

Sometimes I play indoor games, but I rather (=instead) prefer to play outdoor games more. I personally believe that the game must include physical efforts (energy busting) along with skills. For example, I get more satisfaction if I happen to play tennis, badminton, or cricket.

2. Do you prefer to play indoor games or outdoor games?

Outdoor games, any day. That will be the first preference. You get a different kind of joy when you play in the ground, field, or court. And, it also gives a workout to the body.

3. What indoor games did you play when you were a child?

I don’t remember all, but yes, there were games such as playing cards, especially Rummy, Ludo, Candy Crush, Indoor Bowling, and Puzzles, among others. Apart from these, we also played Indoor Obstacle Course and Follow the Leader.

4. Is there any particular indoor game that you liked (when you were a child?

I enjoyed playing all the games. If I have to single out my favorite one, I will go with ‘Road Rash’ on Xbox. There is a particular reason for it because you play it with simulation. It means as if you feel driving the bike, cutting your wave, kicking or getting kicked by your opponent, and so on. It’s really entertaining, especially when you come down from the cliff, staying in the altitude for seconds, and land your bike. You feel as if it were happening to you.

5. What sorts of indoor games do children play now?

I’m not sure about it, because I don’t have any kid in my family at the moment. But let me guess. I guess they play games on Xbox yet. There are countless gaming apps, but frankly speaking, I’m unable to think of any other game. Maybe I never thought of being asked such a question ever.

6. Do you play video games? And what kinds of video games do you like to play?

Yes, and I love it. If I had an opportunity right now, I wouldn’t wait for it. Car Racing and Road Rash are my favorite ones. There could be many other games, but I’ve no idea, I just play those games that offer me pleasure, and these are the games that make me excited and playful.

7. Is it good for young people to play video games?

I don’t see anything wrong with it. I know some people consider it (as) a bad habit, but I think otherwise for a variety of reasons. Video games make players think and make the judgment on their next moves, so it’s like applying your critical thinking. It is fun, isn’t (ain’t) it? In most games, you need to think rapidly and make your moves. If you fail to make the right decision, you face a defeat. In a nutshell, that prepares you at the elementary level to make the right decision, which can be helpful in the career later on.

8. What qualities should a team leader have?

Well! There is a list of qualities for team leaders, but it’s hard to have a composed team leader these days. I think the team leader should be, first of all, a clear communicator since he has to assign duties to team members and get things done on time. Furthermore, he should be confident for his team and patient when things go wrong. In many cases, team leaders wear a lofty (=high, elevated) ego and prejudice (=bias, discrimination), which kills the tempo of the team and impacts productivity. I personally believe that he should be fair, kind, and cooperative. If I’m in a fix (situation), he should roll his sleeves and stand by me.

9. Is teamwork important to individuals?

Yes, it is. In fact, it is of great significance. We must not forget that teamwork makes large corporations. Teamwork means professional diversity. Coordinated efforts give a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to each team member. In some cases, team members learn from each other and develop skills. It teaches several professional traits without which it’s hard to make progress in the career.

10. What do you think about people spending too much time on computer games?

Anything too much always brings disappointment of any sort. I don’t know what drives people to spend their precious time on computer games excessively. It’s an addiction – an unwanted one for sure. I believe many people lose an opportunity to experience this beautiful world outside the four walls. It should be avoided.

5. Talk about something that you borrowed from your friend

  • What it was
  • When you borrowed
  • From whom you borrowed it
  • What you did with it
  • Why you borrowed it
  • No matter how old you are, you can keep lending or borrowing something somewhere in your life
  • I guess it’s an integral part of our society. But it may not go well with everyone
  • I remember having borrowed the motorbike of my neighbor once when I was in the final year of my college
  • I remember that incident pretty well now. It was drizzling on that day, and I guess it’s the weekend
  • My friends called and invited me to go to a movie. It wasn’t planned, but all of a sudden a couple of friends decided about this and connected each other.
  • My motorbike was with the workshop for a regular mechanical service, and I didn’t have any vehicle to go and join them. I kept thinking about my options on how to come and go there, and eventually, I decided to borrow the motorbike from my neighbor for this friends’ gathering cum movie watching
  • My neighbor, Aakash, recently bought KTM 200 Duke motorbike then. This motorbike was amazing, and I had a test drive of it on varied roads before. The engine had a great punch, and I guess its attractive design fails to age yet
  • So, the joy of meeting with friends for a movie and driving the motorbike in the drizzle makes this event unforgettable for me. In fact, when I recollect this incident, I cannot fail to remember those crazy stunts that I performed on this motorbike. In fact, I shouldn’t have done that because I had borrowed it from someone, but you know when you are very young, you become restless and less thoughtful about certain etiquette. Anyway (X= not anyways), this question took me back to the memory lane of my school time

Follow-up questions:

  1. What do Indian people usually borrow?

In my country, well, it’s hard to think that what people borrow from one another. I guess it all depends upon the person and the way he has decided to live. For example, I’ve seen some people who believe not to lend or borrow. At the same time, there are people who cannot resist (=refrain from) this habit. I guess people borrow everything and all things from books to clothes to cars to motorbikes and even money or academic notes, too. I think people do that in any society.

2. Does borrowing things make people uncomfortable?

In most cases, I reckon it makes people uncomfortable as nobody likes to share his stuff with anyone except when someone is very close to him. I personally believe that it’s not a good habit, especially some people aren’t (=ain’t) expressive, and they don’t like to say ‘no’ to them, but at the same time, from deep inside they reject this idea. So, my point is why to make people uncomfortable for this undisciplined act.

3. What to do if you don’t want to lend something to others?

Don’t ask me this question because I’m very much infamous for being straight to my dealings with people. I’ve my ways to decline people’s requests on borrowing. I tell them in a straightforward manner, and my response will be, “Buddy, we’re friends and I respect and understand you and your need. But I never lend any of my stuff to anyone because, on many occasions, it leaves a bitter experience to either party. So, in this case, I’ve no option but to decline your request.”

4. Why do people dislike lending valuable items?

There could be many reasons for it. I think when you help someone by lending something, it may lead to forming a bad habit of dependency. Some people have a habit of relying on others for all their needs. In some cases, the lender faces inconvenience also. For example, if I happen to lend my motorbike to someone, I will face inconvenience in commuting. And, that’s the primary reason that people don’t like to lend their valuables.

5. What would you do if your friends didn’t give back what they borrowed from you?

Well! It all depends on the value of the stuff. If it is highly expensive, then I might pressure him to take my stuff back. If it has no high value, I may let it go and will never lend him anything to him.

6. Why do some people borrow things instead of buying them?

As I said, some people form a nasty habit of borrowing all the time. They are misers and don’t like to spend on themselves. That’s cheap, but what can we do in such a case? Nothing, I guess. You cannot change the habits of people, and they will remain as they are, no matter how many efforts we put in to explain to them. They’re just stubborn in wrong aspirations and demands.

7. What would you do if people don’t return the money they borrowed from you?

First things first, I will request him to give my money back. And if he is unmoved to my request, I may talk to his family for helping me get my money. If I fail here, I will involve people in acquaintance to pressure and convince him to get my money. When all the options are exhausted, I may take serious steps against him.

8. Why are people embarrassed when they borrow money from others?

One word answer is self-esteem. I reckon most people in the world don’t prefer to borrow from others unless they are in deep financial trouble. Self-esteem is invisible in the form, but it impacts us a great deal. It’s like a humiliation for sensitive people, and they feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

9. Do you often borrow things in your daily life?

I try not to borrow anything ever in my life. Borrowing will be the last resort for me when all the options are gone. But this was not the case while I was studying. When I was in school, we borrowed all possible things from friends. But that’s a different time. For example, I took academic assistance from friends wherever I couldn’t cope with (X= not cope up with) certain parts of my studies. These all things are considered acceptable, but once you’re grown up, we’ve several external and internal concerns, and we keep negotiating them for ourselves and family. As long as you’re young and studying, I guess we can offer some leeway (=scope, space, headway), but certainly not when we’re grown up.

10. What things you usually borrow from your neighbor?

Uhhm, not much, in fact, nothing. Yes, once I borrowed the motorbike from my neighbor as mentioned in my previous question. That’s the only incident of borrowing that I recollect now.

11. How do you like when some people borrow money from others?

I don’t see it as a good habit and advise people not to burden themselves on someone for their needs. If there’s a dire (=desperate, critical) situation, they can certainly think of borrowing but not more often. The reason behind this is because everybody is mired (=entangled, trapped) with his own budget and responsibilities these days. It’s hard for people to help others.

12. What kind of problems are associated with borrowing things?

On many occasions, what I’ve seen is that it leaves a bitter experience. For example, when we lend something to someone, they don’t return our stuff on time or sometimes they damage and return it. As far as financial assistance goes, there is a chance that you may lose your money in a relationship. When you try to get your money back, it kills the bonhomie (=sweet) relationship that you’ve developed over the years. In some cases, it leads to the exchanging of unspeakable arguments also.

13. What is your opinion about the phenomenon of borrowing in society?

As long as we’re young, it’s all acceptable to borrow, or to lend, or to even share your things. These days, I’ve noticed that the moment you become financially strong, some people, or friends, or your relative will flock around you for benefits. It’s a dangerous phenomenon that’s emerging in our society. At the same time, I also believe in charity. If you’re financially strong and could help others – maybe, in the form of lending in the beginning and you know that it won’t be returned if there is the case – you should move ahead and help the needy in your acquaintance.

How to write the IELTS Essay

The IELTS test takers face the challenge of how to start and end an essay. A good start is an essential part of the Writing section. The excellent start infuses brand-new confidence and brings the desired outcome in the form of a high band score. 

It is common to see students scratching their heads the moment they think or start responding to the task. In many cases, students are unable to think critically and waste their precious time gathering ideas. Of course, that is not the strategy for them to employ at the last moment. 

I always believe that writing an essay is an art. It is not a hard asking for sure. At the same time, students need to learn it from the basic. Right from the beginning until the end, it has to be cohesive with the right linkers. All sentences and paragraphs must present a unity of thoughts and correspond to each other’s purpose. 

Considering how significant the first and last paragraph is, I thought of presenting model answers of four topics: the first and last paragraph of the different essay category types.

The first paragraph contains the paraphrasing of the topic statement after analyzing the critical elements of parameters. Moreover, the last paragraph is more or less a follow-through and reiteration of the first paragraph. 

1) “Discussion” question 

Nowadays, many students choose to study abroad at the university level. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad, and give your own opinion about whether it is a good idea.

Introduction and conclusion:

It is undoubtedly a new trend that many students choose to study at university overseas. It is true that students making this decision face some difficulties. However, I believe that studying abroad is advantageous for many reasons.

In conclusion, I believe that studying in a foreign country is a positive development as long as students manage to overcome the struggles they are likely to face.

2) “Opinion” question 

When choosing a job, the salary is the most important consideration. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Introduction and conclusion:

More and more people choose their jobs based on a salary package. I personally disagree with the idea that money is the only reason for them while choosing a career because it does not supersede many other vital factors.

In conclusion, while there is no denying that the salary size influences people’s professional choice, I believe that other motivators vastly outweigh money.

3) “Problem and Solution” question 

The problem of litter on the streets of many towns and cities is getting worse. Why do we see more litter on our streets, and what can be done about it?

Introduction and conclusion:

The menace of increasing amounts of rubbish is seen in many public places these days. There are many causes of this problem, and I would argue that education is the only solution to this problem.

In conclusion, litter is mainly caused by dumping rubbish by careless people and the lack of bins, and I believe that educating people for the same is the best way to solve this issue.

4) “Two-part” question 

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work. What could be the reasons for this? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Introduction and conclusion:

Men are indeed more likely to take the role of househusband, while more women are stepping out of the home to earn livelihood in their families. There could be several reasons for this, and I consider it to be an entirely positive trend in society.

In conclusion, men and women’s role is constantly changing in the family due to broader changes in society, and I believe that these developments are prudent.

Infinitive and Gerund Construction – 10 Minute English Learning

Some verbs may take either gerund or infinitive:

Advise

We use the infinitive when the person concerned is mentioned:

  • Thomas advised me to apply for this position.
  • The coach recommends students to read this chapter well before taking the exam.
  • They do not allow us to park in front of the gate.

But we use the gerund if the person is not mentioned:

  • Thomas advised applying for this position.
  • The coach recommends reading this chapter well before taking the exam.
  • They do not allow parking in front of the gate.

Agree

The verb ‘agree’ takes the infinitive, and the same rule applies to its antonym ‘refuse’.

Jay agreed to help them financially, but his mother refused to do so.

But ‘agree to’+ possessive adjective takes the gerund:

She agreed to her leaving early on Thursday. (She asked if she could leave early on Thursday and she was allowed).

Begin

With ‘begin’, you can use either the infinitive or the gerund without any difference in meaning. However, the infinitive is more usual.

            We began working. / we began to work.

Can/could bear (dislike)

‘Can/could bear’ is chiefly used in the negative sense and takes either the gerund or the infinitive.

            I have been living here for 18 years and cannot bear the thought of leaving.

Cease

            My dog never ceases to amaze me!

            The Parle G ceased manufacturing biscuits this month.

Continue

            You have two options: either you cease your operations or continue to bear losses.

            You have two options: either you cease your operations or continue bearing losses.

Forget

            I always forget to sign out my email account, and that is nasty of me.

He never forgets putting anyone down, and that is the reason, people distance themselves from him.

Hate

            I hate to be a bearer of this ugly news.

            She hates walking slowly.

Intend

            We intend to sell this house.

            We intend selling this house.

Like

            She usually does not like to go to the theater.

            She usually does not like going to the theater.

Love

            Alex loves to wind-surf.

            Alex loves wind-surfing.

Mean

When ‘mean’ is used for ‘intend’, it takes the infinitive.

            I mean to clarify this point by attaching this evidence.

When ‘mean’ is used for ‘involve’ (used only with an impersonal subject), it takes the gerund.

My boss is hell-bent over approving this proposal quickly even if it means bending the wisdom of the investment.

Need

“I need you to need me, I love you to love me, I want you to want to me, I am begging you to beg me” – Cheap Trick Song.

Your hair needs cutting.

Prefer

            I prefer walking.

            I prefer to walk.

Propose

When ‘propose’ is used for ‘intend’, it takes the infinitive.

            We propose to begin this assignment tomorrow.

When ‘propose’ is used for ‘suggest’, it takes the gerund.

            We propose getting your account tallied before leaving the counter.

Recommend

            We recommend students to write an essay every day.

            We recommend writing an essay every day.

Regret

            Samantha regrets spending extravagantly, and now she is broke.

            We regret to inform you that the school will remain closed tomorrow.

Remember

            She remembers having made mistakes in her speech.

            She remembered to post the letters.

Require

            The grass requires cutting.

The grass required to be cut. All students are required to take a diagnostic test before they commence their classes.

Start

            The moment her dad yelled, she started crying.

            The moment her dad yelled, she started to cry.

Stop

            Stop complaining and get to work.

            We had to stop to ask the way.

Try

            They tried hard to hush this matter, but could not succeed.

            They tried hushing this matter, but could not succeed.

Used to

            I used to bunk off the school while I was in grade 9.

            I am used to living in a cold climate.

Want

            Do you want to convince him over this issue? He seems adamant.

            The plants want watering on every other day.

IELTS Writing Topics So Far in August 2019

Academic Training:

  1. Some people think that zoos are cruel and all the zoos should be closed. However, others think zoos are useful to protect rare animals. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Some people believe that sport is nothing but a leisure activity. Others believe that it is important in our society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  3. In many countries, mainly tourists, but not local people, visit museums and historical sites. Why does this happen? What can be done to attract more local people to visit these places?
  4. Some people believe that to be successful in sports one needs a natural ability, while others think that hard work and practice can make them successful. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

General Training:

  1. Some people say drug companies have the responsibility to spend money on researching medicine to help poorer countries. Others think that the main responsibility of drug companies is making money. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Nowadays shopping has become a new favorite pastime for young people. What are the reasons for this? What can be done to encourage young people to develop other hobbies?
  3. Some people believe that entertainers are more important than scientists. Support the reasons and examples from your experience.
  4. Some people believe that technology has made a man more social. Others believe that it is opposite. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Did you know?

You could lose your mark on a very basic mistake. Take a look at:

Most times, your question paper reads part of the answer, such as $…, %…, km…, inches… and so on. In that case, you just need to write the number.

For example,

Incorrect answer: $10

Correct answer: 10

Subject-Verb Agreement – 10 Minute English Learning

Agreement of the verb with the subject is a basic understanding while making any sentence. Students generally know this basic rule of grammar, but in this chapter, I am going to discuss one exception, which is worthwhile to learn it.

a)  If two subjects combined denotes one idea, we use the verb which may be the Singular; as,

  • Thrill and safety goes hand in hand with this car.
  • The long and the short of the matter is this proposal may not have any positive fruition.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. That’s what we were taught by the moral story of the hare and the tortoise.
  • Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  • The horse and carriage is at the door now.
  • Bread and butter is wholesome. Bread and butter is all she takes for breakfast.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose, the great nationalist and leader, is no more with us.
  • Love and hate is a part of human behavior.
  • Rice and curry is my favorite dish for sure.
  • The law and order in town is under control now.
  • Stay away from this parliamentarian. His power and influence is on the rise.

b)  In some cases, two nouns are joined by words/phrases, such as with, besides, as well as, together with, no less than. It also expresses one idea; as,

  • Gold, as well as silver, is a precious metal.
  • The rich as well as the poor takes part in this exercise.
  • No one, besides him, knows how to deal with such situations.
  • Mark my words; your father, not you, has created this gigantic empire of wealth.
  • Sheila, together with other friends of mine, is working on this project at the moment.

Passive Voice – 10 Minute Grammar

The sentence formation of Simple Present Tense follows:

  Active and Passive Active and Passive
1st Person I give = I am given We give = We are given
2nd Person You give = You are given You give = You are given
  He gives = He is given  
3rd Person She gives = She is given They give = They are given
  It gives = It is given  

The sentence formation of Simple Past Tense Follows

  Active and Passive Active and Passive
1st Person I gave = I was given We gave = We were given
2nd Person You gave = You were given You gave = You were given
  He gave = He was given  
3rd Person She gave = She was given They gave = They were given
  It gave = It was given  

The sentence formation of Simple Future Tense Follows

  Active and Passive Active and Passive
1st Person I shall give = I shall be given We shall give = We shall be given
2nd Person You will give = You will be given You will give = You will be given
  He will give = He will be given  
3rd Person She will give = She will be given They will give = They will be given
  It will give = It will be given  

The postman brings letters. (Active Voice)

Letters are brought by the postman. (Passive Voice)

Uses of Passive Voice:

Passive voice is not much used in our native languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi or any other as it looks awkward when it is translated literally. However, it is a usual practice in the English language to use passive voice.

In the IELTS Academic test, passive voice plays an essential role in Task 1 because of its peculiarity in the usage. It is widely used in it because the doer (agent) becomes inconsequential in the sentence construction. In another way, in most sentences in task one and also in our life, we are not inclined to use the doer (agent) over and over again. For example, my car has been moved!

Now, it does not matter who moved it, or I have no idea who did it.

  1. It is used in colloquial speech. ‘Get’ is sometimes used instead of ‘Be’:

The bottle got (= was) broken.

You will get (= be) demoralized if you keep on watching sad news on TV.

There was a brawl at the party last night, but fortunately, nobody got (= was) hurt.

Some exceptions: get married, get divorced, get dressed, get changed (these expressions are not in the passive voice)

  • Some verbs have two objects. For example, give:

Somebody gave her a rottweiler. (Active Voice)

She was given a rottweiler. A rottweiler was given to her. (Passive Voice)

Somebody gave the cops a tip-off about the raid. (Active Voice)

The cops were given a tip-off about the raid. A tip-off about the raid was given to the cops (Passive Voice)

  • In some sentences, the doer is unimportant, so it is not necessary to mention them:

The rubbish has not been collected from the last two days.

The streets are washed every night, wasting away precious drinking water.

You will be ten printed when you apply for the US visa.

  • In some sentences, the doer is unknown, or you do not know exactly or have forgotten who did this particular action:

The prime minister was assassinated (= by someone, but we have no idea who exactly did this).

The report on my table was taken (= by some team member)

  • Sentences using ‘People’ as a doer in active verbs:

She was suspected of having a hand in glove in this corruption case. (People suspected her of…).

The Gandhi family was believed to be a family of saints, but the reports show otherwise. (People believed the Gandhi family…)

  • When we use the indefinite pronoun ‘one’ in the active sentence:

One believes (that) this sort of counseling is as unacceptable. (Active Voice)

This sort of counseling is believed as unacceptable. (Passive Voice)

You can see the advert of Coco-Cola everywhere. (Active Voice)

The advert of Coco-Cola is seen everywhere. (Passive Voice)

  • In some cases, we tend to be more interested in the action than the person who does it:

The office next door has been bought (by a Mr. Patel).

If we happen to know Mr. Patel, we will use the active form:

Mr. Patel has bought the office next door.

  • It is used to avoid an ungrammatical or awkward sentence. We generally do not change the subject:

Before I reached home, my neighbor took Jericho (dog) to a vet.

would be better expressed:

Before I reached home, Jericho was taken to a vet by my neighbor.

  • It is used to disclaim responsibility for disagreeable announcements. It is preferred for psychological reasons:

The bonus on top of your remuneration is being cancelled/will have to be cancelled this year as the company did not meet the revenue target.

Reduplicative Words – 10 Minute English Learning

airy-fairy (adjective, informal, disapproving): not clear or practical

I like that place because people out there talk about deals, done-deals, projects, achievements, airy-fairy stories among others.

argy-bargy (noun, uncountable, countable, informal): noisy disagreement 

She had a bit of argy-bargy with her boss over the assignments she was overseeing.

artsy-fartsy also arty-farty (adjective, disapproving, informal): connected with, or having an interest in, the arts

She got annoyed at her consistent response to what she called arty-farty or airy-fairy explanations of how things worked.

chit-chat (noun, uncountable, informal): conversation about things that are not important 

Could you please share a minute for a quick chit-chat?

criss-cross (verb): to make a pattern on something with many straight lines that cross each other

The world was crisscrossed by telegraph lines in the last century, including countless cables under the Atlantic Ocean.

dilly-dally (verb, informal): to take too long to do something, go somewhere or make a decision)

Frankly speaking, I am not a morning guy; dilly-dally during my morning rituals.

harum-scarum (adjective): behaving in a wild and sometimes careless way

Jenny was all set out to start running under the new coach, but her jumping was quite harum-scarum.

helter-skelter (adjective, only before noun): done in a hurry and in a way that lacks organization

In this hectic and helter-skelter world, this was an obvious reminder of the kindness and the Smiths have done it again.

higgledy-piggledy (adjective, informal): untidy and lacking any order

I can see a higgledy-piggledy mess of badly-designed streets in my town.

hocus-pocus (noun, uncountable): language or behaviour that is nonsense and is intended to hide the truth from people

I disagree with the belief that psychology is a lot of hocus-pocus. However, my peers see it otherwise.

hoity-toity (adjective, informal): behaving in a way that suggests that you think you are most important than other people; haughty

My first impression for Islanders was the moneyed and hoity-toity, but soon it was proven wrong the moment I started integrating into society.

hotchpotch (noun, singular, informal [North American: hodgepodge]): a number of things mixed together without any particular order or reason 

Being a coach, it becomes hard for me to explain to students who produce an incoherent hotchpotch in writing.

hurly-burly (noun, uncountable): a very noisy and busy activity or situation

She recounts her hurly-burly of school life on the graduation day.

itty-bitty also itsy-bitsy (adjective, informal): very small

Next to that small area, you can see an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bathroom.

mumbo jumbo (noun, uncountable, informal, disapproving): language or ceremony that seems complicated and important but is actually without real sense or meaning; nonsense

To her naivety, Rebecca could not comprehend a maze of dense and mumbo jumbo legal terms and ended up losing plenty of money.

mishmash (noun, singular, informal, disapproving): a confused mixture of different kinds of things, styles, etc.

The professor made a total mishmash of points to come to the conclusion, and I think the classroom is yet confused and in bewilderment over this topic.

(the) nitty-gritty (noun, informal, singular): the basic or most important details of an issue or a situation

She missed the nitty-gritty of her assignment which dragged her overall score.

ping-pong (noun, uncountable): table tennis

If your daughter is not good at lawn tennis, put her to ping-pong and she might succeed.

pitter-patter also pit-a-pat (adverb): with quick light steps or beats 

When I heard of you, my heart went pitter-patter across the floor.

shilly-shally (verb, informal, disapproving): to take a long time to do something, especially to make a decision

The Fire Safety department started shilly-shallying about the fire mishap in Surat. Their inertia and incompetence engulfed in over a score of students.

teeny-weeny also teensy-weensy (adjective, informal): very small

Next to that small area, you can see an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bathroom.

tittle-tattle (noun, uncountable, informal, disapproving): unimportant talk, usually not true, about other people and their lives; gossip

I reckon the gossip surrounding her love affair with Jason is just that – idle tittle-tattle.

touchy-feely (adjective, informal, disapproving):  expressing emotion too openly

It is unwise for you to get all touchy-feely with your own emotions at the workplace because your co-workers may give you a verbal hug for a while, but they may take advantage of it later on.

wishy-washy (adjective, informal, disapproving): not having clear or firm ideas or beliefs

The right wingers have run over those wishy-washy neoliberals in all parts of the world.

Articles – 10 Minute Grammar

  • We generally do not use ‘The’ before abstract nouns unless they are described in a particular sense:
    1. Men respect life and fear death. (abstract noun)
    1. The death of his father shattered the entire family. (used in a particular sense)
  • Before names of games: Cricket, Tennis, Golf
  • When we say something about or describing nature, where it means the spirit creating and motivating the world of animals and plants etc.
    1. If you do not take care of nature now, your next generation will suffer for it.
    1. I think Mother Nature is going through a worse phase because of global warming.
  • Home: When we use home alone in a sentence i.e, is not preceded or followed by a phrase or descriptive word, the is omitted:
  1. She is at home now. You can go and see her.
    1. She went home early.
    1. My brother arrived home after dark.
  2. Court, church/temple/synagogue/mosque, bed, hospital, prison, school/college/university:

We do not use the before the nouns listed above when these places are visited or used for their primary purpose.

  1. My mother usually goes to bed before 11. (her sleeping pattern)
    1. Let’s meet at church/temple/synagogue/mosque. (for prayer)
    1. When the litigant reached court, he realized leaving important papers behind. (in the case matter)
    1. While returning from school, we decided to visit the dog shelter. ( from school after studying)
  2. Sea: As a sailor when you go to sea, the is omitted. Or maybe as passengers or crew, we omit the.
    1. The commanding officer is going to sea next month and replace his colleague.
    1. I still remember we were at sea last year this time.

However, when we live near the sea or seaside, we do not omit the.

  • Work and office:
    • She is on her way to work.
    • Men are at work.
    • We are getting delayed for a movie because Alex has not returned from work yet.

Office ( a place of work) requires the: Please call me afterward as she is not in the office.

To be in office without the means to hold an official post.

  • Town: Are you in town tomorrow? Oh yes, you can drop in. ( it does not come with the)

Some Useful Phrasal Verbs

  • Peace talks between the USA and Iran have collapsed, and it seems that things are getting messier.

Peace talks between the USA and Iran have broken down, and it seems that things are getting messier.

  • I am trying to calculate which products fetch us good gains and which are dead weights. 

I am trying to work out which products fetch us good gains and which are dead weights.

  • The doctor said, “Initially you will feel intoxicated for some time, but after a few hours the effects of the drug will disappear.”

The doctor said, “Initially you will feel intoxicated for some time, but after a few hours the effects of the drug will wear off.”

  • It is a common sight that people exhaust themselves through overwork. They are unable to enjoy quality time with family.

It is a common sight that people wear themselves out through overwork. They are unable to enjoy quality time with family.

  • Sonali Bendre is a classic example of resilience in adversity. Despite the severity of the disease, she recovered with the help of appropriate drugs.

Sonali Bendre is a classic example of resilience in adversity. Despite the severity of the disease, she pulled through with the help of appropriate drugs.

  • I think we can resolve this issue only by having talks. Or this episode will lead to an acrimonious divorce.

I think we can sort this issue out only by having talks. Or this episode will lead to an acrimonious divorce.

  • When parents start to live apart, it impacts heavily on young children. Because of their troubled childhood, it may lead to juvenile crime in some cases, too.

When parents split up, it impacts heavily on young children. Because of their troubled childhood, it may lead to juvenile crime in some cases, too.

  • Last time, test takers who were not to take the test at our exam center came and we had to turn them away.

Last time, test takers who were not to take the test at our exam center showed up and we had to refuse them to enter.

  • The Chinese government wrongly assumed that India would join the one belt initiative road project, but India stopped being a part of the deal.

The Chinese government wrongly assumed that India would join the one belt initiative road project, but India pulled out of the deal.

  • Indians celebrate Diwali by exploding fireworks.

Indians celebrate Diwali by letting off fireworks.

  • Expecting from those people who do not fulfill their promises will disappoint you in the end.

Expecting from those people who do not fulfill their promises will let you down in the end.

  • She continued working hard after her assignment though she was well aware that she would not do well.

She kept on working hard after her assignment though she was well aware that she would not do well.

  • The journey towards Ontario was delayed because of harsh weather, and no flight took off from the island.

The journey towards Ontario was held up because of harsh weather, and no flight took off from the island.

  • We were expecting a handsome incentive after completion of our project, but the promised incentive did not take place, hurting the sentiments of the whole team.

We were expecting a handsome incentive after completion of our project, but the promised incentive fell through, hurting the sentiments of the whole team.

  • The last cycle of recession wreaked havoc and many employees became jobless.

The last cycle of recession wreaked havoc and many employees ended up jobless.

  • Scientists did some tests on rodents and found medicine had no effect whatsoever.

Scientists carried out some tests on rodents and found that medicine had no effect whatsoever.

  • Large corporations during the winter season in North America spend less on staff costs.

Large corporations during the winter season in North America cut back on staff costs.

  • After a marathon analysis and investigation, the team was successful in removing technical glitches of new software.

After a marathon analysis and investigation, the team was successful in doing away with technical glitches of new software.

  • I was talking to my boss while driving and accidentally the talk was disconnected.

I was talking to my boss while driving and accidentally the talk was cut off.

  • The project manager estimates $10 million to renovate the entire recreational areas and the testing laboratory at university.

The project manager estimates $10 million to do up the entire recreational areas and the testing laboratory at university.