IELTS Cue Card Sample 71 - Talk about a pet that you or someone you know once had

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Talk about a pet that you or someone you know once had.

You should say:

  • What kind of animal it was
  • What kind of care it needed
  • What you liked/ disliked about it

and explain why this is a popular type of pet.

Sample Answer 1:
It is a very long time since I had a pet!  However, when we were small my sister and I did both have pets, I’m going to tell you all about them.  What kind of animal, how we looked after them, why we liked them and what makes them to this day a popular children’s pet.

The animal in question was a guinea pig!  My sister and I had one each, mine was called Treacle, and her’s was called Toffee.  They were father and son, Treacle was the older guinea pig and Toffee was a bit younger.  Despite their name, guinea pigs are neither from Guinea and nor are they related to pigs.  They are rodents, with distinctive front teeth, they are quite small, compact, rounded creatures, fur covered, with short legs and no tail.  They are also highly social, I think they come from South America, and ‘naturally’ would live in groups of up to ten individuals so it is really important they are kept with others when in captivity or they become very stressed and unhappy.  

The guinea pigs lived together in a shared hutch in the garden.  They weren’t difficult to look after, but they did need a lot of daily care.  First thing in the morning we would open the hutch and let the guinea pigs out so they could run around the garden.  They never strayed very far, and kept the lawn beautifully short, they ate grass in preference to any of the planted flowers.  Whilst they were running round we would clean out the hutch every day.  The hutch was in two parts, an enclosed sleeping area, and a larger living area with a wire mesh side.  We would take everything out in the morning and replace it with new bedding.  First a layer of sawdust and then newspaper covered by lots of soft fresh hay in the sleeping area so it was warm and cosy.Then in the living area, we would scatter a deep layer of sawdust before putting out fresh food, a mixture of vegetables – carrots and cabbage, together with a special guinea pig food we brought from the pet food shop which contained grains like crushed maize as well as grass pellets.   They also had a water bottle hanging up which we filled up freshly each day.  The guinea pigs spent all day in the garden, but as evening fell they would put themselves to bed in their hutch.  Last thing at night we would check they were safe and well, and lock them in and pull a cover down over the front of the hutch.  This kept them warm and dry even if the weather was bad and protected them in case foxes might visit at night.

I loved my guinea pig.  He was a beautiful warm chestnut colour.  He had sort of rosette shapes in his coat – not like smooth haired guinea pigs which I think are more usual today.  I liked to cuddle him, which he tolerated, but honestly, when I look back I don’t know if he really enjoyed it as much as I did. Poor Treacle.  He and his brother Toffee were very talkative.  They made a delightful squeaking and chattering noise when they were excited – for example when they could hear you were on your way over to feed them.

Guinea pigs are really good pets I think.  They are gentle and not too difficult to look after.  However, it’s really important they have the companionship of the same species, a proper diet, fresh food and water every day and lots of room to move about.  They are incredibly active, running around for about 20 hours each day.  Having a pet is a big responsibility, but I think I learned a lot from looking after our guinea pigs.  You have to care for them every day, and that is an important lesson for a child to learn. Sadly, in time they grew old and died.  We were very upset, but that was perhaps a useful life lesson too.  I gained a lot from my friendship with Treacle, but even so, I worry about animals being kept as pets, they are not all looked after as well as they should be.  If children are given pets, I think it’s really important they know how to care for them properly and that an adult is around to supervise, then everyone can be satisfied that the animal is safe and well and that the children and  pets are both as happy as each other!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris |  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

 

Model Answer 2:
My uncle had a dog almost 10 years ago and we called it Dave. We stayed at our uncle's house for about 6 months at that time and I often played with Dave. This dog was around 2 years old and very fond of us. We used to feed him and that's why he became so close to us. My uncle placed it at a pet training centre when it was 1 years old. So he was a dog who needed a little care. We used to bath him 3-4 times a week. He was very choosy about his sleeping place and we needed to make him a cozy dog room. When he became sick, we needed to take him to the nearest pet hospital. We used to tie him with a belt him sometimes when we took him to unknown places. Mostly keeping him clean and dry was the care he needed most.

I liked the pet very much mostly because the way he treated us. Whenever I returned home he came to me and acted so fondly. It seemed like he understood my moods and gestures and acted accordingly. I liked the pet because he was a good accompany.  

Tips for talking about this IELTS Cue Card topic:

For this cue card topic, you have to talk about a pet you had or someone else whom you know had. If you observe closely the cue card topic you will find that it asked for a pet that you or someone else had (NOT currently have). So do not talk about the pet you or someone else you know have. It is expected that the pet is no longer with you or your known person and you should talk about your past experience of such a pet.

Some of the most common pets that you can talk about are listed below:

1. Cats
2. Dogs
3. Freshwater fish
4. Birds
5. Horses
6. Ferrets
7. Goat
8. Cow
9. Rabbit
10. Sheep

First state the pet type and for how long you/ someone else you know had. Then describe how you actually obtained it and then describe what type of care this pet usually needed. Talk about your memory about it and then describe how much time you spent with it.

For the second question, describe what you did with this pet and how amusing it was for you. If you are a pet lover or the person who had it is a pet lover, mention most of the good things (your liking/ the person’s soft corner about the pet) and then mention some of the disadvantages of it.

Among the advantages/ Reason for liking the pet mention:
How good you felt about owning the pet.
How much interactive and amusing it was.
How it helped you to spend some good time with it.
How it related you with some of the good things you did.
How interactive and interesting it was.

For the disadvantages/ Reason for disliking the pet mention:
The extra effort you needed to clean it and take care of it.
Other’s notion about this interest of yours.
How bad you felt you when you had to leave it.


For the final question, mention some of the points why people like to have this particular pet. For this part you can mention the advantages of this pet you have mentioned earlier in a different tone and angel.
 

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