You might be asked about your weekends in part one of your IELTS Speaking test. A common question would be, “How do you spend your weekends?” or “What do you usually do on weekends?”
In this post, we’ll look at how to answer this question really well, with 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
At the Weekend vs On the Weekend
In the US, we usually say ‘on the weekend’ and in the UK we usually say ‘at the weekend.’
Both are good English but it’s more common to say ‘on the weekend’ because US English is more commonly spoken around the world.
What You Can Talk About
Simply explain what you usually do at the weekends. It doesn’t have to be very exciting or interesting. You might mention that you:
- Catch up on sleep (have a ‘lie in,’ which means staying in bed for longer)
- Spend time with your kids
- Meet up with friends
- Relax at home watching TV, playing games, reading books
- Do household chores
- Run errands
- Go grocery shopping
- Do a hobby
- Attend English classes
- Do overtime work
- Do your homework
- Go on trips
- Anything else that you do at the weekend
Tip: Use Frequency Phrases
This kind of question is a good opportunity to talk about frequency (how often you do something) and use some interesting frequency words or phrases.
To talk about how often you do something, you can say:
- Every now and then
- Every other weekend
- On occasion
- Most weekends
- I’m in the habit of
- More often than not
- Once in a while
Keep It Simple and Fluent
In part one, there’s no need to try very hard to use advanced vocabulary and grammar.
Part one is only to warm you up. So the best thing you can do to impress the examiner is to speak quickly, without hesitation.
This means trying to be fluent. And it’s easier to be fluent if you don’t slow down while trying to think of clever vocabulary.
In part two, you will have more time to think about your answer. So save your advanced vocabulary for then.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
You also don’t want to say too much in part one. Your answers should be short and sweet (about 10 to 20 seconds is enough).
To help you give the right kind of part-one answer, follow the three-step YES Method. Just say:
- Your answer (one or two things you do on the weekends)
- Explain your answer (say how often you do those things, why you do them, or describe them in more detail)
- Stop talking (fall quiet and wait patiently for the next question)
Here are 10 good example answers to this question. Read them and think of ideas for your own answer.
Chores and Errands
1. Well, most weekends, I do chores like cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and ironing my clothes. I also run errands, such as grocery shopping and collecting deliveries, and things like that.
2. I’m so busy during the week that I only really have a chance to meet my friends on the weekend. We usually play poker on Saturday night, and sometimes we have a big dinner together as well.
3. I love to stay in shape, so at the weekend I wake up early and go jogging, the same as I do on weekdays. I also go to the gym for yoga classes and on Sunday afternoon I play tennis with my friends, more often than not.
4. I work in a language school, so I have unusual working hours. Saturday and Sunday are actually my busiest days for work. My days off are usually Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s when I relax and do leisure activities.
5. My teachers give me so much homework, which I have to finish over the weekend. If I do it really quickly, then I usually have some free time to hang out with my friends.
Take Kids to the Park
6. I’m in the habit of taking my kids to the park on the weekend if the weather’s nice. I’m very busy during the week, so the weekend is the only chance I get to spend quality time with them.
7. I like getting out of the city on the weekend. Every other weekend I go hiking with a few friends. There are two mountains near my city, which are lovely to climb.
8. These days, I spend my weekends studying English. I attend at least four classes each weekend, and also do plenty of English exercises by myself at home.
9. Usually, I try to visit an interesting place on the weekend with my family, like a museum or famous sight or a beautiful garden. And every now and then, we go on a day trip to another city nearby.
10. To be honest, I never want to do anything on the weekend. I just like to have a good long lie in to catch up on sleep. And then I stay at home, watching TV, chatting with friends, or playing phone games.
Now It’s Your Turn to Try
Give this question a go yourself.
Turn on the recorder on your phone and ask out loud, “How do you spend your weekends?” or “What do you usually do on weekends?”
Answer as quickly and fluently as you can. Use the three-step YES Method.
When you’ve finished, listen to your recorded answer. If you notice any mistakes, think about how you could say it better.
Then do it again, and again, and again.
This is a great way to prepare yourself for any part-one question in your IELTS Speaking test.