IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.
Describe a friend who you really like to spend time with.
You should say:
- When and how you met.
- How often you see this friend.
- What kind of personality your friend has
and say why you like to spend time with this particular friend.
• Is friendship important in your culture? How many close friends can you have?
• Are friends more important than family?
• What are the important things among good friends?
• Do you have any friends from a foreign country?
• What are the differences between real life friends and pen friends?
Possible answer 1:
The friend I like to spend time with is Steven. I met him when I was only 8 years old and was in primary school. After that, our intimacy grew up and we became best friends. One day he forgot to bring his book to school and that day I helped him with my expire books. After that, we talked for a long after school and our friendship started to begin. We went to college together and then got admitted to different Universities. Since we were studying in the same city, we can meet each other and spend time together.
We are yet to finish our graduation and busy with our own stuff but whenever we get vacation we spend time together. Since our hometown is same, we go there together and thus we meet each other at least twice in a month. He is a helpful and talented friend who helps people and always wished best for people. He is studying Mathematics and he has a talent in Mathematics. Sometimes he explains some complex mathematical theories in a very simple and interesting way. He is passionate about reading books and that makes a good bonding with me. We often exchange our thought and criticism about books and politics.
I like to spend time with him because we have many common interests between us. I never feel bored spending time with him. Since we are friends for a long time, we understand each other. A good friend always extends helping hands when in need and I’ve found Steven by my side always. We do so many fun stuff together and help each other in our study. Good friendship, understanding and common interests make us close friends and those are the major factors for what I like to spend time with his.
Sample Answer 2:
I happened to meet this person who later became my friend in a yoga and meditation class which I joined quite lately. It was quite a chance that this person who goes by the name, Gajender, sat beside me during the class.
The reason why I like spending time with him is the positive vibes that I feel out of him. He is one of the persons, rather the first person in my life whom I have met having a very positive attitude towards the life.
I always found him in a jubilant mood in spite of the fact that he had a very troublesome incident in his life. He lost his only son and that too at a young age of 25. I must say, he is one of the persons who has really made a positive impression on my mind and has contributed a lot in the way I have started looking at life.
After these classes, it has been quite a regular feature that I spend my time in his company, almost every weekend. Yet another reason why I like spending time with Gajender is the humorous character that he possesses.
[ Written by – Neeraj ]
Tips for answering this cue card topic:
This cue card should be an easy one as you would already know a lot about a friend you would like to talk about. Topics like ‘Describe a museum needs some brainstorming, remembering things about a museum and then organising answers for this topic. But when you are asked to talk about a friend, you already know a lot. All you need to do is focus on the questions asked and then answer the questions in details.
For this cue card, tell the name of a friend. Remember that you have picked a friend to talk about that means s/he is a very close and special friend of yours. Talk about for how long you two are friends, how you met him and how your friendship started.
Then say the things you two do together, why you like him/her, how is he/she and why you like to spend time with him.
Following are some hints on the questions asked in this cue card topic.
When and how you met:
Answer from your own experience. If you are out of ideas, you can say:
You met him/her at the school, S/he is your neighbor and you two met on a family occasion, you met him/her in a playground while playing, you met him/her in a relative’s house, you met him/her in a situation when s/he needed help and you were there to help or the vice versa, you can also mention you met at college/university or even all of a sudden in a shopping mall/ auditorium/ park. Sometimes friendship starts from fights and quarrel and for this, you can mention that you had a fight in an issue but later you two become close.
A friend can be an online friend whom you have met only a few times or maybe never met. In this scenario, your friendship can start from an online chat-room or from a social networking platform.
How often do you meet?
To answer this question you need to focus on the previous question and the context. If you talk about a friend who lives in the same street or study / work with you then you would meet him daily. If you pick a friend from your hometown where you no longer live, then your meeting frequency would be 2-5 times a year or so. For online friends whom you have never met, simply say that you have never mate him/her in person but you talk/ chat over the internet almost every day.
What kind of personality your friend has:
For this question, say that s/he is very friendly, helpful and caring. S/he values your friendship and always raises a helping hand. For his/her personality, say that s/he is talented, creative and has an attractive personality. Also, mention that s/he is understanding and well-behaved. For an online friend, mentioning personality is a bit tough as you might have never met him/her. In this case, say that s/he is caring and have positive attitudes and his/her opinion on different issues seems very well thought and positive. Mention something s/he does for the benefits or others and you were attracted to some of his activities.
Why do you like spending time with this particular person?
Naturally, people like to spend time with people who have common interests and have positive attitudes. So you should mention what common interests you have and what you do together (for online friends, say the topics you discuss and share). Also, you can say you have learned many positive things from him/her and you two have a great understanding. Also, say that s/he is a good friend who is ready to support you no matter what and has already advised you or helped you in different issues.
Your preparation for this cue card topic should also help you answering the following topics:
1. Talk about a childhood friend you remember.
2. Describe a friend from your hometown.
3. Describe one of your online friends.
4. Describe an activity you do with your friends.
5. Describe a friend you like to spend time with.
6. Talk about a friend who helped you once.
7. Talk about a friend whom you helped.
8. Describe a friend from your college/ university.
9. Talk about a friend whom you met accidentally.
Part 3: Follow-up Questions:
Q. Is friendship important in your culture? How many close friends can you have?
Answer: Friendship is really important indeed and I think that it should be of paramount importance in all cultures worldwide. Our friends are our siblings and those people who we have chosen to have in our lives. Moreover, a friend is a person you can call whenever you are sad, happy, angry, excited and so on. We should take into account that many people in different countries consider their pals to be more valuable than their own parents. As far as I’m concerned, I believe that someone can have two or three close friends and I can tell that from my personal experiences.
Tip: This is just a personal opinion about the number of friends someone can have. It’s up to you and your experiences.
Q. Are friends more important than family?
Answer: That’s a really difficult question to answer. It is widely accepted that parents are those people with whom we are connected by blood and also our closest relatives. Friends, on the other hand, are just some people we come across during our lifespan and it’s our choice whether we will keep them in our life or not. But, as I mentioned earlier, there are many adults who consider that friendship is more important compared to family and the reasons for this may differ. From my point of view, I would argue that parents and friends should be equally important in someone’s life because a fulfilling and complete life consists of both family and sidekicks. Besides, life without a friend is death without a witness.
Tip: You can say that family and friends are equally important to someone’s life, the family is more important than friends and cite arguments and examples and finally friends are more important than the family and cite arguments and give examples.
Q. What are the important things among good friends?
Answer: First and foremost, people should take into account that friendship is a sacred notion in someone’s life and a two-way street as well. Friends should invest in real feelings and there are some virtues that are crucial. For example, true friends must be honest with each other, compassionate, be there when needed, affectionate, tender and supportive to mention but a few. Every friendship has their ups and downs but when emotions are real any hindrance can be eliminated. To conclude, a wise and useful phrase that comes to my mind is “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
Q. Do you have any friends from a foreign country?
1st Possible Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t but I really hope to make new acquaintances and meet people from overseas. In this way, I am convinced that I’ll become more broad-minded and tolerant.
2nd Possible Answer: Actually I do. I live and study in England so I have met many people from different countries even from different continents. I really like consorting with them because we can swap opinions, make helpful and substantial conversations and learn new things about cultures, customs and points of view. In addition, we can travel to each other’s country and accomplish dreams and desires that otherwise might be unachievable. Last but not least, we can immerse ourselves in a new language and gain more knowledge.
Q. What are the differences between real life friends and pen friends?
Answer: The difference is significant because in the first case there are stronger bonds and in the second the existing ties are slack. The former, are people that can be seen in the flesh and any person can spend some time with, have frequent contact and share some intrinsic moments. The latter, are people that correspond with each other and it could be considered as a kind of distant relationship. Furthermore, a real friend is able to be with you at whatever moment, while for a pen friend this is unfeasible.
[ Part 3 answers are written by – Mary, UK, Economist with Main Field of Studies in Business Economics]