Describe Your Favorite Animal: IELTS Speaking (3 Cue Cards With Example Answers)

You could get a favorite animal cue card in part two of the IELTS Speaking test. In this post, we’ll practice how to easily describe your favorite animal for a good band-seven score. 

First, we’ll look at ideas on what you can talk about. Then some tips on answering part-two questions. Finally, there are three example answers (go straight to the answers here). 

What You Can Say

It’s important to choose an animal that’s easy to talk about. If you have a pet, that might be your best option.

When you choose an animal, you could say:

  • Why you like that animal so much
  • Where you’ve seen that animal before
  • What it looks like
  • How it behaves
  • What it eats
  • If you have it as a pet
  • If you’d like to have it as a pet
  • Any interesting features it has
  • Anything else that comes to mind

Tell a Story in Your Answer

It’s a good idea to prepare a story about an animal, or even prepare a few stories. You can use these stories in many different kinds of part-two questions.

A story makes it easy to keep talking for 30 or 60 seconds. You can also show the examiner that you have good past tense.

For this animal question, you could tell a short story about:

  • When you first saw this animal
  • Something interesting or charming your pet did
  • When you first bought this pet
  • A documentary you watched 
  • A movie with that animal in it
  • A vacation when you saw this animal
  • Any other experience you can remember related to an animal

Use Word Groups

A great way to improve your score in part two of the speaking test is to use lots of interesting vocabulary. 

And one excellent way to use interesting vocabulary is with word groups. A word group is a collection of interesting words and idioms that describe one characteristic of a person or thing or place or experience.

For example, if you prepare a ‘loyal person’ word group, it might include words like ‘loyal, dedicated, steadfast, dependable, devoted, through thick or thin, in good times and bad, a true friend…’

You can use many words and phrases in this word group to describe a friend, someone you admire, or a dog, perhaps. 

See how word groups are used in the example answers below (and you can learn more about word groups here).

Vocabulary for Describing Animals

Here are some useful words we can use when describing animals.

  • Fur
  • Furry
  • Fluffy
  • Hairy
  • Cute
  • Adorable
  • Playful
  • Majestic
  • Strong
  • Agile
  • Swift
  • Dangerous
  • Sharp
  • Teeth
  • Fangs
  • Claws
  • Whiskers
  • Hooves
  • Wings
  • Talons
  • Scaly

And here are some verbs often used to describe the actions animals do:

  • Run
  • Jump
  • Fly
  • Swim
  • Hunt
  • Climb
  • Crawl
  • Growl
  • Roar
  • Hiss
  • Bark
  • Meow
  • Chirp
  • Slither
  • Trot
  • Gallop
  • Peck
  • Scratch
  • Nibble
  • Sniff

Example Answers

Now, take a look at these three example answers. The word groups used here are ‘playful person, loyal person,’ and ‘tough person.’ You could also use words from an ‘affectionate person’ or ‘intelligent person’ word group to describe an animal you like. 

These word groups are to describe people, but you could use them for animals too. You could also use an object word group to describe an animal, like ‘beautiful object’ or ‘interesting object.’

Think about the words and idioms you can borrow to use in your own answer.

Favorite Animal Cue Card 1

Describe your favorite animal.

You should say:

  • What kind of animal it is
  • Where you can find this animal
  • What its behaviors are

And say why this is your favorite animal.

I think I’d say my favorite animals are cats. I have two playful and affectionate cats that I bought as cute little kittens. They’ve always been energetic and full of beans, from the first moment I brought them home. They like running around and exploring their surroundings. As kittens, they were super curious, always finding new and adventurous ways to play.

Their fluffy fur and adorable faces are just a couple of the charming traits that make them so lovable. My cats are always cuddly and mischievous, with a really playful energy. 

I know that not all cats are playful, but mine certainly are, living their simple lives with abandon. They’re always bundles of energy, romping and rolling around. They bring so much joy and happiness into my life. Their playful nature always puts a smile on my face.

Cats also have a way of making me feel calm and relaxed, and I love the sound of their purring while they curl up in my lap. They are great companions and never judge me, no matter how I am feeling.

Also, one of my favorite things about cats is their independence. While they love attention and cuddles, they are also perfectly content to entertain themselves. You don’t need to take them for walks every day as you do with dogs. I appreciate that as I have quite a self-sustained, independent personality myself. I guess people always get pets that reflect their own personalities. 

Word Group Used: Playful Person

Even though it’s an animal, we can use lots of words from the ‘playful person’ word group here. So I focused on describing cats as playful. Here is the word group:

  • Playful
  • Lively
  • Affectionate
  • Frisky
  • Mischievous
  • Curious
  • Energetic
  • Adventurous
  • Charming
  • Cute
  • Sassy
  • Feisty
  • Full of beans
  • Living life with abandon
  • A bundle of energy
  • All play and no work
  • Acting the kitten
  • A cat on a hot tin roof
  • A live wire
  • Romping and rolling
  • Frisky as a kitten

See more about using word groups here.

Favourite Animal Cue Card 2

Describe your favourite animal.

You should say:

  • What the animal is
  • Where this animal lives
  • How you know about this animal

And say why you like this animal so much.

Dogs are my absolute favorite animals. I love how they have unwavering loyalty and devotion to their owners. Dogs truly are man’s best friend, always there to offer a wagging tail and a comforting presence. I have a deep appreciation for dogs because of their dedicated and trustworthy nature. I don’t think any other animal is as loyal as dogs. 

When I was a child, my family had a dog named Benjamin. He was a Golden Retriever with a warm, friendly character. Benjamin was always by my side, whether I was playing outside or just hanging out in the house. 

One of my fondest memories of Benjamin was when he would come running to greet me after school every day. He would jump up and down, wagging his tail. It was as if he had been waiting all day just to see me and it always made me smile. 

I think Benjamin was a great example of a dog’s loyalty and dedication. He was the epitome of a devoted friend, always ready to stand by my side no matter what, just like all dogs are, I reckon. 

Another memory of Benjamin was when I was feeling sad one day, and he came over and kind of cuddled with me. He put his head on my lap and looked at me with his sad eyes and I remember feeling comforted. It’s really quite amazing how expressive a dog’s face can be sometimes, and how they can sort of sense your mood. 

Unfortunately, Benjamin eventually passed away due to old age. I was heartbroken when he died. Nowadays, I don’t have a dog of my own but I would love to get another one in the future. 

Word Group Used: Loyal Person

By focusing on describing dogs as loyal, we can use the ‘loyal person’ word group for lots of nice vocabulary and idioms:

  • Loyal
  • Dedicated
  • Trustworthy
  • Faithful
  • Dependable
  • Committed
  • Reliable
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Steadfast
  • Devoted
  • Unwavering
  • True
  • Constant
  • Ride or die
  • Loyal to a fault
  • Stands by their word
  • In it for the long haul
  • The rock of the group
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed
  • Always has your back
  • A true blue friend
  • A steady hand in troubled times
  • Thick as thieves

Favorite Animal Cue Card 3

Describe your favorite animal.

You should say:

  • What kind of animal it is
  • What it’s habitat is
  • What it eats

And say why it’s your favorite animal.

Well, I suppose my favorite animal is the honey badger. They’re just so cool and tough. I think honey badgers might be the toughest animals in the entire animal kingdom. I first discovered a fascination for honey badgers while watching a documentary about them. I was amazed by their thick skin and indomitable fighting spirit.

Honey badgers are built like a brick and have a really tough-minded attitude. They don’t scare easily, making them the perfect animal to have on your side in a pinch. It would be amazing to have a honey badger as a pet but I think they’re too dangerous for that. Honey badgers really like to fight. 

Honey badgers may be small, but they are absolute powerhouses. Honey badgers really are as strong as a bull and as tough as old boots, which makes them a force to be reckoned with. They’re known for pulling no punches when they fight and they always stand their ground, making them as hard as nails.

Despite their size, they are fearless and don’t back down from a fight, no matter the size of their opponent. In fact, I recently saw a video of a honey badger fearlessly chasing away two lions! It was unbelievable.  

And they never ever give up. They have an indomitable spirit that sets them apart from other animals, making them seem unbreakable. They’re fighting fit and always ready for a battle, no matter what the odds are. I’d like to have more of those qualities myself. So in my opinion, it makes honey badgers quite admirable. 

Word Group Used: Tough Person

See how many words we used from the ‘tough person’ word group here. This is the full word group:

  • Tough
  • Strong
  • Hard
  • Powerhouse 
  • Tough-minded
  • Rock hard
  • Indomitable spirit 
  • Unbreakable 
  • Fighting fit 
  • Built like a brick 
  • You can’t shake him
  • Doesn’t scare easily 
  • You’d want him on your side in a pinch
  • As tough as old boots 
  • As tough as nails 
  • As hard as nails 
  • As strong as an ox
  • As strong as a bull 
  • Pulls no punches 
  • As sound as a bell 
  • Salt of the earth
  • A down-to-earth person
  • A straight-shooter 

Now It’s Your Turn

Give this question a go yourself. 

First of all, prepare a word group to use. And think of an animal that’s easy to talk about.

Then set up the recorder on your phone and ask yourself aloud to describe your favorite animal. 

Spend just 60 seconds writing down ideas on what you can talk about and also words and idioms you could use. 

Then start talking and try to keep going for two minutes straight. 

Afterward, you can listen to your answer and see how you might improve it next time.

Recording and improving your answers is a wonderful way to prepare for part two of your IELTS Speaking test.

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