In your IELTS Speaking test, a common part-one topic is your neighborhood. You might be asked the question, “Do you know your neighbors?”
Let’s look at how you can give a wonderful answer to this question, with 10 good examples (go straight to the answers here).
How You Can Answer
To answer, say ‘yes, I do’ or ‘no, I don’t.’ Then you can talk about one or two of these things:
- Which neighbors you know
- How well you know them
- What you know about them (their jobs, family details, hobbies, and interests)
- How you know them (how you met, how you got to know them)
- How long you’ve known them
- Why you like (or dislike) them
- How helpful, considerate, friendly they are
- Why you don’t know any neighbors
- If you’d like to know your neighbors, or not
- If you knew your neighbors in the past, perhaps when you were a child
- How friendly (or unfriendly) your local community is
- Anything else that comes to mind
Focus on Fluency, Not Vocabulary
Remember that in part one, you can’t get a very high score. Part 1 is really just to warm you up.
The questions are supposed to be simple and easy, and you can give simple, easy answers.
So try to relax a little in part one, and save your most wonderful vocabulary and grammar for parts two and three.
For a part-one question like this, just focus on fluency; answer quickly, without hesitation.
And try not to make (many) mistakes.
This way, you will warm up nicely and give a great first impression to the examiner.
The Three-Step YES Method
For all your part-one questions, practice answering like this with the YES Method. Just say:
- Your answer (‘yes, I know my neighbors’ or ‘no, I don’t’)
- Explain your answer, or add a few more details (just one or two more sentences)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Here are 10 good band-seven answers to this ‘neighbor’ question.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I know almost all of my neighbors. I live in a small village which has a close-knit community, where everyone knows each other. So I know my neighbors really well.
2. Yes, I’ve been friends with one of my neighbors for many years. We met when I first moved in and she knocked on the door to welcome me to the building.
3. Yes, I do. My closest neighbor is called Marco, and he’s a very nice man. We often see each other in the hallway and stop for a chat.
4. Yes, I suppose I know a few of my neighbors. I used to have more friends in the area, who I knew very well. But they moved away.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
5. No, to be honest, I don’t know any of my neighbors, which is really a pity because I’d like to have some local friends in the neighborhood.
6. No, actually I don’t know any of the people in my apartment building. But I think that’s quite normal these days when you live in a big city like I do.
7. Well, no, I don’t think I know my neighbors. And to tell you the truth, I don’t really want to meet them. I’m quite a private, introverted person and I don’t need lots of friends nearby.
‘Not Really’ Answers
8. I see my closest neighbor every now and then, and we say ‘good morning’ and sometimes we make small talk. But I don’t really know much about him. I don’t even know his name.
9. I kind of know my neighbors because we have a meeting once every few months for all the residents of my apartment building. The meeting is to talk about maintenance issues and things like that.
10. To be frank, I only know my upstairs neighbor because she sometimes asks me to keep the noise down. But she’s always polite about it, so I don’t mind.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “Do you know your neighbors?”
Answer as quickly and clearly as you can, following the YES Method.
Remember to stop, don’t ramble. Ten or 20 seconds is fine.
Then listen to your recording, write it out, and try to improve upon your answer.
If you repeat this process a few times, you’ll soon find you can give a very nice band-seven score answer to this part-one question of your IELTS Speaking test.