Pets might be a topic in part one of your IELTS Speaking test. In this case, the examiner will probably ask you, “Do you have a pet?”
Here, we’ll look at how to answer this question for a good band-seven score, with 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
If You Do Have a Pet
You can say ‘yes’ and then describe your pet. You could also talk about:
- What you like about your pet
- What you like about this kind of animal
- Any interesting facts about this kind of animal
- How it looks
- How it behaves
- How long you’ve had it
- Why you got it
- How you care for it (what you feed it, how often you take it for walks…)
- Something interesting your pet did
- Difficulties of owning a pet
- Anything else you can think of
If You Don’t Have a Pet
You can say ‘no’ and talk about:
- Why you don’t have (or want) a pet
- What kind of pet you would like to have
- Any pets you had in the past
- A friend or family member who has a pet (and describe that pet)
- Anything else that comes to mind
Speak Quickly; Focus on Fluency
Part one is supposed to be the easy part of the test. It is just to warm you up. You can’t get a very high score in part one.
So don’t start thinking of complex grammar to use and high-level vocabulary (if clever words come easily to your mind, great, but don’t worry about it if they don’t).
You can use your vocabulary and grammar in parts two and three.
In part one, just focus on fluency. Answer smoothly and quite quickly. Speak for 10 or 20 seconds without hesitation.
Don’t Speak For Too Long
In part one, you don’t need to say much. A few sentences will be fine.
In fact, if you say too much, you will probably get a worse score.
This is because the examiner has to ask you 10-12 questions in four to five minutes, which is quite a short period of time.
So, help the examiner out by keeping your answers short.
Also, the more you speak the more likely you are to make a mistake.
The Three-Step YES Method
Practice using the YES Method to give the right length of answer in part one. Just say:
- Your answer (‘yes, I do’ or ‘no, I don’t’)
- Explain your answer, or add more details
- Stop talking (let your examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
Check out these 10 example answers, which are fine for a band-seven score. See what ideas you can borrow for your own answer.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I have two cats. I love my cats because they’re so delightful and playful, and they’re also really easy to care for because cats mostly look after themselves. You only have to feed them really.
2. Yes, I’ve got a dog. He’s a German Shepherd called Wolfie, and he’s extremely intelligent and well-behaved. When I take him for a walk every day, he never causes problems with the other dogs. He’s very friendly and loyal.
3. Yes, I do. I have a large fish tank with about nine fish in it. I’ve always liked fish because they have a very peaceful, calming effect on me.
4. I have a cat that has recently given birth to three adorable kittens. They’re so sweet, always meowing and purring and playing with bits of string. My children love them too.
5. Yes, I have three dogs. It’s quite a challenge because they have so much energy and one of them is not very well-trained. I’m trying to train her now. But I love them all, I think it’s true that dogs are man’s best friend.
6. We recently bought a hamster for our daughter. She feeds it and cleans its cage. I think it’s a great way to teach her responsibility and how to look after others.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
7. No, I don’t. I suppose I would like to own a pet cat or dog but I’m too busy with work and I travel a lot. So I don’t have time to properly look after an animal.
8. No, but I used to have a cat when I lived with my parents. Its name was Ginger. It was a large, well-fed cat with thick, soft fur, a white nose, and long whiskers.
9. No, but lots of my friends have pets. One has a pet bird, I think it’s a kind of parrot. Another one has a pet snake, which I don’t like at all.
10. No, I don’t have a pet and I don’t want one. To be honest, I don’t like having animals in the house. I think they’re dirty and they leave their fur everywhere. It’s very unhygienic.
Your Turn To Try
When you’re practicing, it’s best to record yourself. Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “Do you have a pet?”
Then listen to your recorded answer, write down what you said, and try to improve it. Answer again, and again, getting a little better each time.
This is a great way to prepare for a band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.