IELTS Cue Card Sample 1 - Describe someone in your family

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

Describe someone in your family who you really like or admire.

You should say:

  •  what relation this person is to you
  •  what are your first memories of this person
  •  how often you see this person

and explain why you really like/ admire this person.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Part 3: Follow-up Questions:

Q. What are the values of family in your country?
Q. How family bonding is necessary for happiness in life?
Q. What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?
Q. How family value and bonding have changed over the last decade?

IELTS Cue card - describe someone in your family

Model Answer 1: 

I am never really a kind of person who likes to admire other persons (well, for a girl, I am a rather “free-spirited” person) even when they should be. But, when it comes to my elder sister, I can’t help admiring her even on her worst days.

My sister is about 5 years older than me, and since my childhood, she is the person who looked after me in the absence of my parents (they were both working parents). I can still vividly remember those days when I was allowed to play outside with my friends, and I didn’t want to return home, but it was my elder sister who had pulled me up with her two hands and pretty much “snatched” me from the playground. I can also remember those special times when my elder sister kept playing cartoon movies one after another until I actually chose the one which I decided to watch in the end. My elder sister and I loved baking chocolate cake together, and this memory goes back to those days when I had just probably learned to write a full sentence and draw an elephant without any help. Anyway, I don’t really see my elder sister now because we both have different work and school schedules these days.

I really admire my sister mainly because she is a truly loving and patient person for her age. In fact, in my 25 years of life, I have never seen my elder sister get mad at me even though I have done plenty of things to annoy her. As an elder sister, she knew her role perfectly well in the absence of our parents as I remember her cooking for me and feeding me even during the days when she fell sick. Finally, I admire my elder sister because of her sheer determination which made her study for a PhD degree at night after having a full-time job during the day time. 


Model Answer 2:

I have got a nuclear family that has only five members. All of us love each other very much and we share a strong bond and affection. It's quite hard to pick someone among them I admire the most. Well, if I have to choose someone, it would be my mother. I would like to thank you for this nice topic and for the time you have allowed me to talk about the person in my family I admire deeply.

I love my mother from the deepest core of my heart. I revere my mother for her adorable behaviour on top of her smartness and loving nature. She is the person I can share everything with and that's the reason I worship her so much. She is perky, charismatic, optimistic and the ray of sunshine in my life.

Possibly she is the first person I saw when I opened my eyes to this world. Someone's relationship with his or her mother is divine. I can still remember a childhood day when I was late to return home due to a programme at the school I did not know about. After an hour or so, I noticed my mother at my school. I was horrified that my mother would be angry with me and she would punish me. But, when my mother saw me, she had a warm smile on her face. Then she hugged me passionately. At that very moment, I realised how much she loves me and cares for my safety and wellbeing.

To describe her more, I would say she is kind to all in a unique way and yet proactive and in control. She loves cooking, decorating homes with innovative ideas, helping others and reading. O. Henry is her favourite writer. She hates speed driving and liars, you know what I mean!

I spent my 19 years or so with my parents but I now stay in a metropolitan city for my higher education. Whenever I get a vacation, I visit my family. On an average, I spend 2/3 months in a year with my family, hence with my mother as well. But I talk to her over the phone almost every day.

The reason I admire her, well - she is caring, compassionate, and possesses kindness and love for everyone. She is an ideal mother who raised three children and ensured their quality education and moral values. She has sacrificed a lot and had never complained about anything to us. She is the person who reminds me of the power of love and affection. How could not I admire her unconditionally?


Sample Answer 3:

A person I admire is my “mother” because she is a fighter. You may ask why? To start, my mom got pregnant with me at the age of 18 and she did not have the support of my grandparents. Her own parents wanted to kick her out of the house when they found out. She convinced them to let her stay, but she could not ask them for any help when raising the baby. Knowing all this my mom still decided to have the baby - and that's baby is me. How could I not adore her with my every breath!

Besides not having the support of her parents, she did not receive any help from my father either. Although my father cared about me, he never gave my mom money or clothes to help her maintain me as a baby. She had to provide for me on her own. Going to school and working was killing her, but she wanted me to have a good life, so she did anything that she could. My mom got pregnant again two years later, with the same man. The only difference was this time - it was worse! He abandoned her completely and her dad was sick. Now, not only did she have to provide for her two babies, but also for her parents. She was overwhelmed by everything happening; she didn't know what to do.

Finally, she decided to attend a college and become a teacher to support the family. It was not an easy thing to do. After she finished college, it took her a while to find a job. It is not easy to find a job in Nicaragua. However, my mom never quits, no matter how hard things get for her she fought through it. To provide for her offsprings and parents. I see her every single day and I wish to be with her for the rest of my life. I have never seen anyone so determined and caring and she deserved to be admired and loved.

[Written by – Rafael]


Sample Answer 4:

I have got six family members and all of them are very dear and close to me. If I have to pick a family member I genuinely admire that would be my father. My father’s name is Alfred Brooke and he is approximately 50 years old. He is the kind of person I would want my offspring to be. Thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about my father.

He did his graduation at a time when formal education was not people’s first choice. They would rather start working rather than going to school. My father fought for his right to education with people who thought working or doing some sort of business has more advantages than going to schools. But my father believed that education shapes a man’s life and is a power that would guide him throughout life.

I have numerous memories of my father and I see him every day now. We share a strong bond and have mutual respect for each other. I still remember my childhood days when I used to wait in the evening for my father to return from his office. He would then play with me and help me complete my homework. I vividly remember the times when he took me to the market and bought me gifts. When I was an infant he moved to a city from our village to ensure better schooling for me. That was a decision that has changed my life path. He helped me finish my lessons and often surprised me with gifts if I could complete my study on time and I cherish these days very much.

He used to work in a Government organisation and for his devotion to work and kindness, he is revered by all of his relatives, friends and neighbours. He is humble yet dynamic, charismatic, and very social.

He believes in humanity, in God and the afterlife, good behaviour, and leads a life that can be exemplary for many. He still does most of his works himself and helps my mom with her household tasks. After retirement, he has picked up two new hobbies- gardening and teaching young children. He is a quiet and intelligent man who has a benevolent heart and that's something that makes him so admirable to me. He is still the pillar of our family and all of our family members love and respect him very much.

Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

You already know a lot about your family members and this cue card should be an easy one to answer. Just focus on the questions mentioned below the Cue card topic. Following questions may appear with this cue card and note the quick answers to these questions:

1. Who is he/she? : My mother / My father/ My brother/ My sister etc.

2. Your relationship with this family member:  She is my mother/ he is my father etc.

3. What you do together:  We walk out in the evening together/ cook together/ study together/ enjoy our conversations/ talk a lot about family issues etc.

4. What is s/he like-  He/ she is kind, talented, energetic, works hard, dedicated, caring, possess a great personality, open-minded etc.

5. How long do you know him /her: From my childhood/ all of my life/ for more than 20 years etc.

6. How often do you see him/her: Every day/ once in a month/ most of the time I stay at home/ in every three months etc.

7. Why do you like him/ her or why do you admire him/ her?: S/he loves me unconditionally, very close to me, very caring, have a good heart, talented, helpful, my best mentor etc.

8. Since grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, etc could be a part of a joint family, you can describe any of them if you live in a joint family.

While talking about what is s/he is like or what qualities he /she has or even why do you like/ admire him/her you can use some of the following points:

     For father: He is honest, brave, had a good heart, talented, leads an ideal life, has sacrificed a lot to up-bring us, is an exemplary person, everybody respects him, is the best person I have ever known, loves me very much, hardworking, punctual, talented etc.

     For mother: She is so caring, loving, hardworking and possesses a good heart, has done a lot to up-bring us, very close to me, very understanding, one of my best friends, knows a lot of things and has so many practical skills etc.

     For brother: He is so brave, talented, well mannered, knows a lot about different things, has always supported me no matter what, he is loved and liked by others, cooperative and we have many pleasant memories together, like a mentor to me, is my best buddy, taught me almost everything he knows, always protects me etc.

     For sister: She is caring, a good friend, loving, a good mentor, helps you with study or on other tasks, supportive, a very good friend, talented and well-mannered.

Necessary vocabulary for this cue card: 

Relatives = Your family members are also your relatives.

Nuclear family = A nuclear family, also called an elementary family, is a type of family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children.

Extended family= An extended family extends beyond the nuclear family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

Sibling = Siblings are your brothers and sisters.

Relationship Synonyms = Tie, link, attachment.

Admire Synonyms: Adore, idolise, respect, revere, honour, held in high regard, think highly of, esteem. 

Memory Synonyms: Remembrance, thoughts, reminiscence, recollection, musing.

Phrases with meanings:

Bring up = Raise a child.
Look after = Take care of.
Rely on = Depend on.
Be close to = Having a strong bonding.
Get along with = Being close and friendly.
Admire = To respect and like someone.
A bubbly personality = A person who is very happy, lively, and often optimistic.
Charismatic = Someone with great charm and attraction, especially one who inspires others.

Vocabulary related to "Family":

Flesh and blood
Blood is thicker than water
Get along with
Rely on/ depend on
Raise/ bring up
To be close
Get together
Have things in common
Family trait
Run in the family
Close-knit family
Extended family
Nuclear family
To Raise
Foster family
Quality time
Juvenile delinquency
To play truant
Single parent
Family tree


If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue card topics as well with very little changes:

1. Describe someone who cares about you a lot.
2. Describe a person whom you like very much.
3. Describe the person whom you admire most.
4. Describe a person you know for a long.
5. Describe a senior person whom you like a lot.
6. Describe a person who has a great influence on your life.
7. Describe someone who is very close to you.
8. Describe someone you like to spend time with.
9. Describe a person who is similar to you.


Part 3 - Details Discussion:

Q. What are the values of family in your country?
That's a really important question. First of all, I believe that family values don't differ from country to country and please allow me to say that they should be the same throughout the world. As far as I’m concerned, the most important values of a family are the moral values, which enable people to draw plausible distinctions between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. The lessons learned from the family are invaluable throughout our life. A family is the most important group that makes life worth living.

Furthermore, family values are vital in making decisions and can be obtained by personal and life experiences with close relationships with family members. To be more specific, some examples could be: being honest and trustworthy, courageous and patient, taking up responsibilities as well as adding values to the world are the norms of our family and society. A family is utterly important and we stand for our family members no matter what. Thus 'family comes first' is the morality everyone in our country believes in. We also consider a family as the unit of a society or a country and bonding, relationship, trustworthiness, helpfulness are lessons which come with the close family ties.

Q. How family bonding is necessary for happiness in life?
Our parents are the reason for our existence and with them, we get a family. Parents are the persons we see and rely on when we open our eyes for the first time. Moreover, parents are the primary educator and they teach their children how to develop confidence, social skills, morals, values and views in life. Since they are the base of our family, closeness in a family leads people to have an intrinsically fulfilling and flourishing life.

This can be justified by the fact that children who enjoy strong family bonding tend to be happier and mentally healthier than those who are in a dysfunctional family environment.

Q. What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?
That’s really an interesting question! A nuclear family is preferable to me than a joint family. The reason for my preference is perhaps because I grew up in a nuclear family and it was a pleasant memory for me. Besides, in a nuclear family, the couple and their children have a stronger relationship. Fighting and quarrel are rare in nuclear families.

On the other hand, the second type of family is the extended family or joint family and includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and so on. I prefer a quiet environment than a noisy one. In a joint family, this is unlikely to happen and people often do not have sufficient privacy. Therefore, I strongly believe that a family only with mum, dad and siblings would work better for me.

Q. In what ways can people in a family be similar to each other?
A family can have many members, and yet some of them can be similar to each other in at least two aspects. One of these two aspects can be manifested in their looks and physical attributes. In other words, by looking at their physical attributes, one can rather easily identify them as members of particular parents or a particular family. They can also be similar to each other in the aspect of their behaviours, as in the way they talk, laugh or think. Besides, they can also be similar in the way they like or dislikes things.

Q. In terms of personality, are people more influenced by their family or by their friends? In what ways?
Answer: In my humble opinion, it can be really challenging to distinguish between the influence of friends and family on an individual like that, as this question asks. 

Talking about the influence of family, it does play a very important role in raising a person and instilling values in them. So, from that point of view, families probably play the most vital role in laying the foundation for an individual to grow up with a certain type of personality. On the other hand, people tend to learn a different set of behaviours and values in the company of their friends which they may often find rather useful in the real world. 

Q. How family value and bonding have changed over the last decade?
Unfortunately, the sacred notion of a family has lost its meaning to a certain extent in the last ten years. People don’t invest in feelings anymore and don’t retreat as well. Nowadays quarrels between couples are a frequent occurrence and because women are financially independent, they don’t step back like they did many years ago. Moreover, a principal cause that has led to this situation is the overreliance on the Internet. When family members have some spare time they prefer to consume it by going online instead of having some family conversations. I would jump to the conclusion that people who decide to create a family should let go their ego and in difficult times they should also think that their children want their parents to be happy and together.

[Part 3 answers are written by Maria | the UK ]

Similar Cue Card Samples you may also like:

Describe a teacher who has influenced you in your education.

Describe a person who accidentally became your friend.

A famous person you know in your country.

Describe an old person you admire.

Describe one of your neighbours.

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Tip 1: While describing a family member, be sure to describe some of his/her characteristics and the role he /she plays. Tip 2: Spell out the personality of the person you're describing. Be descriptive and analytical.Tip 3: It is a good idea to talk about that person's interests and hobbies, likes and dislikes.Tip 4: Never overstate the person with some adjectives. Keep it real and give examples.
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Describe someone in your family who you really admire. -- what relation this person is to you -- what are your first memories of this person -- how often you see this personand explain why you really admire this person. The person I adore the most is my father. He is the person who taught me how to fight the adversity and share the joy with others. I can remember him standing outside my schools to take me home and he was never late. He worked very hard to maintain our family and yet never let the heat touches us. I remember him as a teacher when he taught me how to solve math and how to write a story. The memory of him will always be cherished one. He taught me how to play different games and he is my coach. I see him every day and I want to be with him until the end. I wish I can be like him and have the same mental strength he possesses. I admire him the most because he was more than a father to me, a mentor, coach, friend and a teacher. He will always be my role model.
My cue card topic in yesterday's exam was -Describe a place you have been to with your friends. where it waswhen you went therewhat you did therehow much you enjoyed this place.
Describe the person in your family who support you the most.
I am happy that God has bestowed me such a wonderful family. We share a strong bond and my mother is the guardian angel I love the most. She has done so much and she expects so little. God bless her.
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