Part-one questions in the IELTS Speaking test often include questions like, “Do you live in a house or an apartment?” or “Do you live in a house or a flat?”
Remember that in the US, they say, ‘apartment’ and in the UK we say, ‘flat.’ Both are good English for IELTS.
Now let’s take a look at the best way to answer this question. Below, you’ll also find 20 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What You Should Talk About
In your part-one answers, you should always say more than just one word. A few short sentences will do.
First say which one you live in, ‘house’ or ‘apartment.’
Then, you should add one or two sentences. You could talk about:
- If you rent or own your home
- When you moved in (how long you’ve lived there)
- Why you chose that house or apartment
- How big it is (how many rooms it has)
- What you like about it
- Who you live with
- What the neighborhood is like
- Anything else you can think of
Use the Three-Step YES Method
You should say more than one word. But it’s also important not to say too much.
Remember, part one is only to warm you up. It’s supposed to be easy.
So you can just give very simple answers. Speak for 10 or 20 seconds, then stop.
The YES Method will help you to do this. Just say:
- Your answer (‘house’ or ‘apartment’)
- Explain your answer, or add a few more details
- Stop talking (just stop and let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
Focus on Fluency
In part one, just answer as confidently and fluently as you can. Try not to hesitate. Use simple English.
You can save your advanced vocabulary and grammar for parts two and three of the speaking test. For part one, keep it simple.
Let’s take a look at 10 sample answers.
1. I live in a house with my parents. It’s a very nice house in the suburbs of Frankfurt with a small and pretty front garden, which is full of flowers.
2. I live in a house, which I bought eleven years ago. It has three bedrooms. There’s one bedroom for myself and my wife, one for my son, and one guest room for visitors.
3. I’m currently renting a house in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I’ve only lived there for three months and I’ll leave next year. I’m a digital nomad. That means I make a living online, so I tend to move from place to place.
4. I live in a beautiful house which I built myself. I come from a small Polish town called Opole and it’s a Polish custom to buy land and build your own house to live in when you settle down.
5. I live in a house. I’m still a student and to save money, I’m living with my parents. It’s a nice, spacious house on the outskirts of Hanoi, with a garden and front porch. I’ve lived there all my life and I’ll miss it when I move out.
6. I’m currently living in a house on a short-term rental through Airbnb. I live there with my girlfriend. We sold our apartment at the start of this year and we’re looking for a new permanent home now.
7. I live in a small two-bedroom house in Madrid, Spain. I love how cozy and pretty it is. The decor is very warm and welcoming. I’ve lived there for six years now.
8. I live in a house in a quiet suburban neighborhood in southern Xi’an in China. I used to rent an apartment, but two years ago I bought my own house, and I’m very happy living there.
9. I’m renting an apartment near the center of Austin. I’d like to buy my own apartment one day, but I have to save up for a long time first because buying a property is extremely expensive these days.
10. I live in a flat, which I share with my girlfriend and our pet dog, Bandit. I love the location because it’s close to all the best cafes in town, where I often go to work on my laptop.
11. I’ve been living in an apartment for two years now. I used to live in a nice big house, but I had to travel so far to work, so I decided to buy a smaller apartment closer to downtown.
12. Well, I live in a flat, which is very close to the river in my city. My flat is in a nice, quiet neighborhood with a lot of trees and greenery.
13. I live in a spacious apartment with a lovely view of the river. I’m renting, but that doesn’t bother me. It means I’m more flexible because I can move easily if I want to.
14. I live in my parents’ apartment near the center of a city called Ostrava in the Czech Republic. I’m very comfortable living there because I get on with my parents really well. And it’s a beautiful old apartment in a great location.
15. I’d like to live in a house, but I’m afraid I live in a tiny apartment. It’s quite cramped and I share it with three flatmates, so it’s crowded too. But at least the rent is cheap and it’s not far from my workplace.
16. I live in an apartment. I’ve lived there for twenty years since I bought it after I graduated from university. I never want to move because all my friends and family live nearby.
‘Student Halls’ Answers
17. I’m a student so I live in student halls at the moment. My room is quite small and cramped but I like it nonetheless because my flatmates are so wonderful.
18. I’m still a student so I’ve been living in student halls for the past few years. I’ll graduate next year, so then I’ll find a job and a proper place to rent for myself.
19. I live in very pleasant student accommodation on the grounds of my university in Da Nang, Vietnam. I decided to live there instead of staying with my family because I want to be more independent.
20. Neither, unfortunately. I live in student halls on my university campus. I have a small room to myself with an ensuite bathroom, and I share a kitchen with nine other students. I can’t wait to find my own apartment when I graduate.
Now, Try To Answer Yourself
It’s time for you to try. Practice giving an answer to this question using the YES Method.
Set up the recorder on your phone, and ask yourself aloud, “Do you live in a house or an apartment?”
Answer as fluently as you can, without hesitation.
Then listen to your recorded answer, and notice any mistakes or hesitation. Try to answer it again, and again, a little more fluently each time.
Keep repeating this process and you’ll soon be ready to give an excellent band-seven answer to this part-one question in your IELTS Speaking test.