The examiner will often ask about your hometown in part one of the IELTS Speaking exam. This might include your neighborhood. One common question about neighborhoods is, “What do you like about the area where you live?”
In this post, you’ll read lots of tips on how to give a great answer, and 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What You Could Talk About
You can simply choose one or two things to talk about, such as:
- Convenient public transport
- Parks, gardens, or natural areas
- Your neighbors and friends
- The shops
- The restaurants
- The location
- Nature or scenery nearby
- It’s close to work
- It’s in the center of the city
- It’s in the peaceful suburbs
- Any other reason
Don’t Like Your Neighborhood at All?
If you don’t like anything about the area where you live, that’s fine too. Just explain why.
You could begin your answer by saying something like:
- To be honest, I don’t like anything about the area where I live…
- Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t like anything…
- That’s a tricky question for me, because I really don’t like my neighborhood at all…
You could then talk about what’s missing, such as any of the above points. Or it might be:
- Too noisy
- Too crowded
- Too remote (far from the city center)
- Too boring
- Too expensive
- Something else
Don’t Say Too Much
In all your part-one answers, you need to say a sentence or two and then stop. Remember, this isn’t part two, where you need to speak for up to two minutes on a single topic.
Part one is meant to warm you up. The questions are simple and your answers should be short and simple too.
Remember, in part one the examiner has only four or five minutes to ask you 10-12 questions. That isn’t much time.
So each answer needs to be a quick 10 or 20 seconds. Don’t start speaking for 60 seconds.
Follow the three-step YES Method for your part-one answers, to make sure you say enough, but don’t say too much.
- Your answer (say what you like)
- Explain your answer (say why you like it) or add more details
- Stop talking (let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
Here are some good example answers to this question.
1. I love my neighborhood because it’s right in the heart of the city, close to all the major shopping streets, theatres, and museums. I can easily go out to enjoy myself nearby.
Convenient Public Transport
2. I suppose the best thing about the area where I live is the public transport. There’s a subway line with regular trains, which can take me anywhere in the city very quickly.
Neighbors and Friends
3. I’ve lived in my area for all of my life, so I know the local community really well. I love having so many friends nearby. I have really friendly, helpful neighbors.
4. The thing I like most about my neighborhood is all the great restaurants. I love eating out and I don’t have to go far to find delicious food.
Peaceful and Quiet
5. Well, I live in the suburbs, where it’s very green. And I really like that my home is surrounded by nature. There’s a wonderful park nearby, where I go jogging or walk my dog almost every day.
Close to Work
6. I like how close I live to work. My office is in the same area of the city as me. It’s only a 10-minute commute in the morning, and I can walk there on foot! I don’t even need to catch the subway.
7. Well, I think the thing I like most is my apartment building and all the buildings in the surrounding streets. I live in the old sector of the city, and the architecture is very old and stylish and beautiful.
8. I live in a quiet neighborhood in a small, quiet town in Poland, and my favorite thing is that there are no crowds there. It’s a sleepy town with a slow pace of life, which I really enjoy.
9. I love having a really great gym right next to my apartment building. I’m in there every day, working out. It’s so convenient and it makes it very easy to stay in shape.
10. To be honest, I don’t really like anything about my neighborhood. It’s not a nice area, there’s nothing to do and it’s not very safe. I plan to move somewhere else when I can afford it.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “What do you like about the area where you live?”
Try to answer quickly, without hesitation. Just choose one thing to talk about, and explain it clearly, then stop.
Listen to your recording and write down what you said (so you can easily see any mistakes you made).
Now, think about how you might improve your answer and answer it again.
This is an excellent process, which will prepare you well for a band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.