IELTS Speaking : Home Town

IELTS Speaking tip

In the IELTS Speaking exam, 25% of your mark is based on grammatical range and accuracy. Grammatical range means using a variety of tenses and types of sentence. Accuracy means not making mistakes.

One way to improve your accuracy is to use correct verb forms.

1We left home and set up house together in another part of town. (informal) (begin to live independently in a house)

2The first thing you must do is to find some accommodation. (somewhere to live or stay)

3The town has 20000 inhabitants. (people who lives in a country, town, etc.)

4Are you resident in the UK? (If your home is in a particular country, town, etc. you are a resident of that place)

5I haven't met my next-door neighbour. (a person who lives in the house nearest to yours)

6I am native of London. (a person who was born in a particular place)

7If you get lost, ask one of the locals. (a person who lives in a particular place)

8 Homelessness is a growing problem in inner-city areas. (the condition of being homeless)

9A lot of people / homeless sleep rough / live rough in cardboard boxes. (you sleep outside because you have no home)

10The families were evicted for not paying the rent. (to force a person to leave the building or land where they live)

11We're moving house next week. (you go and live in another house)

12We must vacate the flat by the end of the year. (you stop living in a house and take your belongings away)

13We haven't met the people who have moved in next door. (you bring your belongings to a new house and being to live in it)

14We have got used to a better standard of living. (the level of money and comfort that people have in their everyday lives)

15Some people live on bread and water. (to have something as your only food)

16In most big towns, there is a commercial centre. (an area with lots of banks and company offices)

Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous?

Your choice of grammar should reflect whether your living situation is permanent, long term or temporary.

  • Present perfect (permanent or long term)
    I've lived in this city all my life.
    My family has lived in this area since my grandparents moved here in about 1950.
    I've lived in the same house for 15 years. I think it's time to move.
  • Present perfect continuous (temporary)
    I've been staying with friends for the last few weeks.
    I've only been living here since last Tuesday.
    I've been looking for somewhere to live which is closer to work.

    However, with live for longer-term but non-permanent situations, often both forms are possible.
    I've lived in university accommodation for the last two years.
    I've been living in university accommodation for the last two years.
    The second version emphasises that the situation is not permanent, but these two versions could be interchangeable in many situations.
  • Natural English: be instead of live
    It's common to use a form of the verb to be to imply live.
    I'm in rented accommodation at the moment.
    I've been in a college residence since I started my course.
    We're on the seventh floor.

Some useful words to describe cities

17People who prefer the countryside to big towns often say towns are noisy, dirty and polluted, stressful, and crowded; however, the countryside is quiet and peaceful, clean; calm and relaxing, and has lots of open space and is safe. People who prefer big towns have a different point of view. They say, in towns, there are plenty of things to do, and life is exciting; there is a wide range of shops and lots of night - life; however, in the countryside, there's nothing to do; it's boring, and there are only a few shops; there's no night-life.

18Every day, particularly in the rush-hour, we are / get stuck in a traffic jam. (the times each day when there is a lot of traffic because people are travelling to or from work; not able to move because of heavy traffic)

19The streets get so packed with traffic that travel is very slow or even comes to a standstill. (extremely crowded; a situation in which there is no movement or activity at all)

20This is really stressful for commuters who travel to work in the town.. (someone who travels a long distance to work every day)

21Vandalism is one of the major problems of big cities. (the crime of deliberately damaging things, especially public property)

22He grew up in the East London slums. (a house or an area of a city that is in a very bad condition and is poor)

23A picturesque new England village in the fall. (pretty and interesting, especially in an old-fashioned way)

24These are a lot of historic buildings in the village. (old)

25I've had a pretty hectic social life. (very busy or full of activity)

26In big towns, you can see a continual bustle of people coming and going. (energetic activity)

27It is a run-down inner-city area. (an area that is in a very bad condition)

28A lot of people are moving out of rural areas to urban areas. (connected with a village: connected with a town or city)

29It's a city of six million inhabitants / citizens. (a person who lives in a town or city)

30The (whole) town was on the streets. (the people who live in a town or city)

31We're moving downtown. (to or in the centre of a city)

32Which part of town district do you live in? (an area of a town)

33Many people live in the suburbs and travel to work in the centre of town. (an area of a town where people live, outside the centre)

34I live on the outskirts of Bradford. (the parts of a town or city that are farthest from the centre)

35We lived on the other side of the square. (an open space in a town or city that has buildings all around it)

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