One interesting question you might be asked in part one of your IELTS Speaking test is, “What do you do to stay happy?”
Here, we’ll talk about how to provide a great band-seven answer, including 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Words and Phrases to Describe Happiness
- Overwhelmed with joy
- Bursting with joy
- Over the moon
- On top of the world
- Walking on air
- On cloud nine
- Grinning from ear to ear
- Having a whale of a time
How You Can Answer
The easiest way to answer this question is to talk about one thing that makes you happy. Just talk about whatever comes to your mind. This might be:
- A hobby like fishing, hiking, painting, cooking…
- A pleasant daily activity like walking the dog, gardening, afternoon tea…
- Spending time with your family or friends
- Playing a sport or doing exercise
- Doing your work well
- Studying and learning
- Watching good TV shows or movies
- Playing computer games
- Thinking of things to be grateful for
- Meditation or yoga
- Anything else that makes you feel happy
Then, say one or two sentences more. You could explain:
- Why this activity makes you happy
- How often you do it
- When or where you do it
- Who you do it with
- How long you’ve been doing it for
- How you first learned to do it
- Any other details you think of
Keep Your Answers Short and Simple
Part-one questions do not require long answers. In fact, it’s best to keep your Part-one answers short and also keep your English simple, so you can focus on fluency.
This means you should focus on answering quickly, without hesitation.
Use clever vocabulary if it comes to your mind, but don’t hesitate while you try to think of some amazing words to use.
In part two, you will have more time to think of great vocabulary.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
In part one, answer as quickly and fluently as you can, and also stop talking after 10 or 20 seconds.
You can use the three-step YES Method for your part-one answers. Just say:
- Your answer (say what makes you happy)
- Explain your answer (say why it makes you happy) or add more details
- Stop talking (patiently let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
Read these 10 example answers, and think of what you can say in your own answer.
Time With Family
1. My family makes me happy. I love spending time with my husband and children and helping to make their lives better. Family life really gives me a sense of fulfillment and meaning.
2. I’m crazy about football and nothing makes me happier than playing football with my friends, or watching my team play. I support Real Madrid and whenever they win a match, I’m over the moon.
3. I feel fantastic whenever I hang out with my closest friends. We’re always joking around and talking about life and going on adventures. I think I’m lucky to have such good friends.
4. I love reading and I think reading a good book really makes me feel very happy and very content. I love that feeling of getting lost in a really thrilling story.
5. For me, happiness comes from learning and improving myself. Because of that, I’m always trying to study new things and challenge myself.
6. Traveling makes me happy because it’s so exciting to visit new places and try new foods around the world. When I get on a plane to a new destination I feel on top of the world.
7. I’ve been meditating regularly for five years now, and it has made me a much happier person than before. I love the feeling of inner peace I get when I spend 10 minutes in quiet meditation.
8. I’m a big fan of movies and I suppose nothing makes me happier than sitting down to watch a really good movie. I’m not sure why that is. I just love movies.
9. I feel very happy when I exercise. I go to the gym almost every day and work out for an hour, and it always relieves my stress and makes me feel great.
10. I get the most satisfaction and happiness in life from my work. I enjoy my job and I feel very cheerful and confident whenever I do a good job and get good feedback from my boss and customers.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope you gained a few ideas from these example answers. Now, try to answer this question yourself.
Set up the recorder on your phone and ask yourself out loud, “What do you do to stay happy?”
Answer as quickly and fluently as you can, using the three-step YES Method.
Afterward, listen to your recording, think of how to improve your answer, and then do it again.
Keep repeating this process and you’ll soon be more than ready for part one of your IELTS Speaking test.