In part one of your IELTS Speaking test, you’ll sometimes be asked about unusual topics like farms and farming. One possible question is, “Have you ever visited a farm?”
Let’s look at how to give a great answer to this question, plus 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Focus On Using Past Tense
When the examiner asks you a ‘have you ever…?’ question, they want to see if you can easily use the present perfect and past tenses.
So answer by first saying ‘yes, I have’ or ‘no, I haven’t.’
Then try to remember a time when you visited a farm, or perhaps when you went into the countryside. And use the past tense to say a few things about that memory.
If You Have Visited a Farm
First, say that you have. Then you can talk about:
- What you remember from that visit
- What you saw
- Any crops (food plants) you saw
- Any farm animals you saw
- Any farm machinery you saw
- What you did on the farm
- Who you went with
- Why you went to the farm
- Who you met (farmers, farmworkers, tractor drivers…)
- How much you enjoyed it (or didn’t enjoy it)
- Where the farm was
- Anything else that comes to your mind
If You Haven’t Visited a Farm
No problem. You can say that you haven’t. Then talk about:
- Any similar experience you’ve had
- Farms you remember from TV shows or movies
- If you’d like to visit a farm one day (or not)
- What you would like to see on a farm (crops, fields, barns, animals, machinery…)
- Any other thoughts you have about farms
Speak As Quickly As You Can
Part one is all about warming you up.
So it’s best to speak as fluently as you can. This means speaking quickly, without hesitation.
Don’t worry too much about trying to remember advanced vocabulary relating to farms. Just speak quickly, using simple English.
That’s fine for part one of the test. In part two, you need more advanced vocabulary, but you’ll also have time to prepare your answer.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
It’s also important to stop yourself from saying too much in part one.
Many students feel nervous and so they talk and talk and talk and…
Stop. Don’t do that!
A short, fluent, 10 to 20-second answer will be fine in part one.
Use the reliable three-step YES Method to answer your part-one questions. Just say:
- Your answer (say ‘yes, I have’ or ‘no, I haven’t’)
- Explain your answer (with one or two sentences)
- Stop talking (smile and wait patiently for the next question)
Here are 10 example answers, which you can use for ideas.
‘Yes, I Have’ Answers
1. Yes, I have. When I was a child my father took me to visit a farm in Norfolk, which is a rural area near London. I remember walking through a large, smelly field full of cows.
2. Yes, I have. Near my hometown, there are some farms where you can go to pick strawberries. I’ve visited them with my children a few times, and it’s always a lot of fun.
3. Yes, I have. I grew up on a farm because my parents are farmers in rural Indonesia. When I was a child, I had to help with some of the farm work, which included looking after the crops and livestock.
4. Yes, I have. I worked on a banana plantation in Israel for a summer when I was nineteen. It was back-breaking work, but I really enjoyed it. I even drove the tractor a few times.
5. Yes, I think I have. My work required me to visit a farm once. I was consulting the farm owner on how to improve his financial management software. But I didn’t see much of the actual farm, only the farmhouse.
‘No, I Haven’t’ Answers
6. No, I haven’t. But many families in my hometown have small vegetable gardens which are like tiny little farms, I suppose. I’ve been to a few of those.
7. No, I haven’t. But I’d like to visit a farm one day. I think it would be fascinating to see where all our food comes from.
8. No, I haven’t. But I’ve seen a lot about farms on TV. I remember watching a documentary about these amazing, enormous machines that farmers use to harvest their crops these days.
9. No, I haven’t been to a proper farm. But in Spain, when you’re hiking in the mountains, you often come across many little terrace farms. I’ve seen plenty of those.
10. No, I haven’t. And to be honest, I have no interest in visiting a farm. I’m really a city girl, and I wouldn’t want to go near all that mud and dirt and all those smelly farm animals.
Your Turn To Try
Now try to answer this question yourself.
Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “Have you ever visited a farm?”
Answer as smoothly and fluently as you can, without hesitation. Use the three-step YES Method.
Afterward, do it again a few times. Try to improve your answer a little each time.
If you keep repeating this process, you’ll soon be ready to give an excellent band-seven answer to this IELTS Speaking part-one question.