In part one of your IELTS Speaking test, the examiner may ask, “Have you traveled to another country?”
Read on to learn how to answer this question. Below, you can also read 10 great example answers (go straight to the answers here).
If You Have Traveled to Another Country
First, say ‘yes, I have.’ Then you need to say a bit more. You can talk about:
- Which country you’ve been to
- How many countries you’ve traveled to
- What your favorite country was to visit
- Why you traveled there
- Who you went with
- What you did there
- If you enjoyed it, or not
- What you liked most about the trip
- If you’d like to return there
- How you traveled there (plane, car, train, boat…)
- Anything else you can think of
If You Haven’t Been to Another Country
No problem. Just say ‘no, I haven’t.’ Then you can say:
- Why you’ve never been abroad
- If you would like to travel abroad in future, or not
- Which country you would like to visit
- Where you’ve traveled to in your own country
- Why you don’t like traveling, if you don’t
- How you would like to travel (plane, car, train…)
- Anything else that comes to mind
Common Grammar Mistake: Using a Finished Time
With the present perfect, you cannot use a finished time. You must use an unfinished time with the present perfect.
A finished time is a time in the past that is finished, for example: yesterday, last weekend, last month, last year, in 2020.
So, this is a good sentence:
‘Yes, I’ve been to Japan.’
And this is an incorrect sentence:
‘Yes, I’ve been to Japan last year.’
If you want to talk about when you went somewhere (in a finished time), you should start a new sentence and use the past tense. For example:
‘Yes, I’ve been to Japan. I went there last year.’
Note that you can use unfinished times with present perfect. Unfinished times are times that are still continuing now. For example: today, this week, this month, this year.
So, this is a good present perfect sentence:
‘Yes, I’ve been to Japan twice this year.’
Focus on Fluency
For all your part-one answers, practice answering as quickly as you can. Focus on fluency, which means no hesitation.
This will impress the examiner.
Remember that part one is only to warm you up.
You cannot get a very high score in part one, so don’t worry about using very clever vocabulary and grammar. Just speak quickly, with quite simple English. That will be fine.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
Also, don’t say too much in your part-one answers.
Just speak for 10 or 20 seconds, then stop with confidence and wait patiently for the next question.
The three-step YES Method can help you give a good-length answer to your part-one questions. Just say:
- Your answer (‘yes, I have’ or ‘no, I haven’t)
- Explain your answer (say where you went) or add a few more details
- Stop talking (stop confidently, and wait for the next question)
Here are 10 good answers to this question about traveling abroad. See if you can borrow a few ideas for your own answer.
‘Yes, I Have’ Answers
1. Yes, I have. I’ve traveled abroad three or four times. I went to Bulgaria last year on vacation with my family. We had a great time.
2. Yes, I have. I love traveling because it’s so much fun to visit different countries and cultures. So I’ve been traveling for most of my life.
3. Yes, I have been to many foreign countries. I live in Europe, so it’s really easy to travel abroad. I usually travel by plane or train, which are both very affordable these days.
4. Yes, I have. I went to the Philippines four years ago on a business trip. But unfortunately, I didn’t have much free time to explore the country.
5. Yes, I have. I’ve been to Thailand, Cambodia, China, and Vietnam. I think my favorite place was Vietnam because I met my girlfriend there.
6. Yes, I have. When I was a child, my parents took me to Colombia during our summer vacation. I remember lots of sunshine and eating really tasty pancakes and pastries.
‘No, I Haven’t’ Answers
7. No, I haven’t. But I would love to travel all around the world. I think traveling abroad would be an amazing adventure.
8. No, I haven’t. But I love to travel around my own country. I’m from China, so there are hundreds of fascinating places to visit.
9. No, unfortunately, I haven’t traveled abroad yet. I’m currently a student, and when I find a job and save up some money, I plan to start traveling.
10. No, I haven’t. To be frank, I’m not really interested in traveling. I’d rather spend my time and money on building my business.
Now You Give It a Go
Set up the recorder on your phone and ask yourself, “Have you traveled to another country?”
When you answer, try to be fluent (no hesitation) and follow the three-step YES Method.
Afterward, listen to your recording and try to notice any mistakes or hesitation. Then answer again, a little better each time.
If you keep repeating this process, you’ll soon be ready to give a great answer to this part-one IELTS Speaking question.