In part one of your IELTS Speaking exam, you may well be asked a question like, “Do you use public transport?”
In this post, we’ll look at how to give a great answer to this question, with 10 good examples (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Say
To answer this question, simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ nad then talk about:
- The type of public transport you use
- Why you use it
- How often you use it
- If you like it or not, and why
- Any other transport you use, if you don’t use public transport
- Anything else that comes to mind
Focus on Fluency, Not Vocabulary
Remember that part one is supposed to be the easiest part. It’s only there to help you warm up your English.
You aren’t going to get a high score from part one, so don’t worry about complex grammar and advanced vocabulary.
You can think more about vocabulary in part two of the test.
For the part-one questions, to get a band-seven score, you only need to focus on fluency. Answer as quickly as you can. Try not to hesitate.
Just say whatever comes into your mind. Use simple English, clearly and quickly.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
A good system to follow for any part-one question is the YES Method. Just say:
- Your answer (say if you do or don’t use public transport)
- Explain your answer, or add more information (add another quick sentence or two)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
The following 10 example answers can give you some ideas.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I actually use public transportation every weekday to get to work and back. It’s quite crowded in the rush hour, but I don’t mind because it’s cheap and convenient.
2. Yes, I usually get around by bus or train, which suits me just fine as it’s fast and affordable, and I can read the news on my phone while I travel.
3. Yes, I live in London so I’ve been using public transport for most of my life. I suppose there’s no choice in such a big city. Driving is a nightmare in London, because of all the traffic.
4. Yes, I use public transport every now and then. I walk to work in the mornings, but if I need to go shopping or meet friends downtown, then I usually hop on a bus or take the metro.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
5. No, to be honest, I try to avoid public transport because I don’t like big crowds of people. I usually get around by car or taxi.
6. I haven’t used public transport in donkey’s years. Not since I moved to a smaller town where you can walk or cycle everywhere. And to tell you the truth, I don’t miss public transport at all.
7. No, I rarely use the bus or subway because public transport isn’t very good in my town. It’s often late and the trains are quite dirty. So most of the time, I just use my car.
8. I work from home so I rarely need to use public transport of any kind. If I need to buy something I just order it online. I don’t get out much, to be honest.
9. Not very often. I sometimes catch the bus to work, but that’s about it. If I need to travel across town, then I drive or take a taxi.
10. Well, I rarely use public transport in my daily life. But I usually travel by plane or train when I go on a trip to other cities. I really dislike driving long distances, and trains and planes are so comfortable.
Notice that you can use a few connector phrases (to be honest, actually, I suppose, etc). These make you sound more fluent.
And you can also use connector words (so, because, but, which, etc). These help you to make longer, more fluent sentences.
There are also a few nice words here (rush hour, nightmare) and a few idiomatic phrases (get around, in donkey’s years).
But don’t worry about trying to use clever English in part one. It’s nice, but not necessary. In parts two and three, you can begin to show off your English more.
Just answer your part-one questions as quickly as you can using simple English.
This will create a great impression on the examiner. And it’s all that’s required for a band-seven score.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Set up a recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “Do you use public transport?”
Answer as quickly and smoothly as you can.
Then listen to your recording, write down what you said, and see if you can improve upon the answer.
If you keep doing this process for many part-one questions, you’ll soon become ready for your IELTS Speaking test.