IELTS Cue Card Sample 467 - House/ apartment that someone you know lives in

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

Describe a house/ apartment that someone you know lives in.

Please say:

  • whose house/apartment this is
  • where the house/apartment is
  • what it looks like inside

and explain what you like or dislike about this person’s house/apartment.

Sample Answer 1: (House in Sheffield, England)
Well, at first, I was a bit flummoxed by this topic. I suppose that’s because it is easy to take for granted the sorts of accommodation people live in, and not really pause to think about it all that much. I have moved around a lot for work and so try not to get too attached to houses or flats I’ve rented as I am never sure how long I might be in them. The location of the accommodation is usually the most important thing for me when I’m choosing where I live, and so I don’t really tend to judge other people’s living situations as they too can be precarious. However, now you have given me the topic to talk about, I can think of one example of where a friend lives that immediately comes to mind. I’m going to tell you all about her house, where it is, what it’s like (as best I can) and the pros and cons of her choice of home.

So, this friend of mine is someone who I’ve known for years. She is married, and shares her home with her husband and two almost grown up children. They are quite a sporty household, interested in lots of activities like walking, cycling, running and music. Both her sons play in student bands. My friend also runs her own business (mail-order cookies) from the basement of her home, so it’s quite a busy household!

The house is in Nether Edge, which is an established residential suburb in the south-west of the City of Sheffield, England. This is in colloquial terms quite a ‘posh’ area of Sheffield! It is a relatively affluent area with wide tree-lined streets and lots of little boutique shops, delicatessens and even its own well-established amateur theatre in the area. It has a real community feel, everyone there seems to know their neighbours and take an interest in what is going on on their doorstep. The houses tend to be Victorian, built of solid stone.  The grandest houses have their own walled gardens and are packed with ‘original features’ like large windows, beautiful old fire-places, picture rails and wooden floorboards. Some of the houses have now been sub-divided into flats, and there are a few newer properties tucked away within the region. Generally, though, it’s a very pretty area of the city, with a mix of attractive terraced houses and some larger detached properties. It is certainly a very ‘desirable’ place to live, particularly for people with families, as it is safe, with a community feel and properties large enough to accommodate the biggest of families.

The house my friend lives in is a beautiful rambling Victorian home. It has many original fireplaces with black hearthstones and attractive tiles along the sides of the open fire grates. There are wooden floors a-plenty, high ceilings and the house goes up three floors high as well as down into the basement. She has converted this area into a lovely kitchen for her business on one side of the basement, the other side has racks of bikes carefully stored away in the dry. In the walled garden, she can keep a few chickens – which is a relatively rare privilege in what is almost a city location. Because the house is usually a hive of activity, the kitchen is always a warm and friendly place where you can sit at the large kitchen table and catch up on gossip over a cup of coffee. From the hallway, there is a large reception room where in winter you can snuggle up in front of a roaring open fire on one of the two squidgy sofas placed in their for guests. The house has great character, a little bit of faded grandeur perhaps, but it is really impressive.

What do I like about the property! Well, it’s gorgeous, I love the quirkiness of the Victorian property, the luxury of a real fire and the original features are stunning. It is a busy household where there is always something going on and a warm welcome too, it isn’t just the architecture of the building and the possessions within it that make it an attractive property, it is the family within it!  In my dreams, I’d love to live in a property like this, however, the reality could be a bit different. The tall ceilings and large rooms are indeed gorgeous, but they aren’t very practical in an English winter. The property is hard to heat and the electricity bills must be huge. All those open-fires and so many stairs and rooms make it hard to keep clean. Old houses don’t tend to have much in the way of storage, so there is a constant battle to find ‘homes’ for the clutter of living. Still, I reckon that would be a small price to pay for such a lovely home, one day perhaps... In the meantime, I feel very lucky that my friend is so willing to welcome me and others to come and visit her there and enjoy it too. I’ve had some very happy times in that lovely home, but you know what, if she had to move I’m sure as she is so hospitable, I’d find I quickly became just as attached to her new home even if it was a complete contrast and a small, modern flat in a high rise block. It is people that make a home, not the bricks used to construct the walls that surround them!

[Lucy Marris (2016):  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam)]

Model Answer 2:
My younger sister, who is married to a doctor, lives in a large apartment and this is quite an elegant apartment in my opinion. For this cue card topic, I would like to talk about this apartment which is located in the northern part of the (…say the city name here…).

My sister’s name is Emmy and his husband is a renowned doctor. They bought this apartment 2 years ago and live there with their only son Christopher. The apartment is on the 3rd floor of a six-storied building which is located in the 2nd lane of the (… say the area name here…). It is only 20 minutes walking distance from my house. On an average, I visit my nephew and sister twice in a month.

The whole apartment is more than 2600 square feet and has 4 bedrooms, one dining room. The verandahs are quite large and my sister had put several flower pots there which have enhanced the beauty of the whole apartment. The apartment is comparatively spacious and the while coloured indoor looks new to me. The rooms all have attached bathrooms with them and most of the furniture were bought from the most renowned and branded shops. My sister had an interior designing diploma and she has put every effort to make her own house look beautiful. From a neutral point of view, I would say she is a talented interior designer as she has been quite successful to make the interior of her own house impressive. The large wooden furniture, the modern and sophisticated design of most of the furniture and handpicked wall-frames gives a rich impression to a guest who visits this apartment.

I like this apartment because it has got a large space, unlike many other apartments I have visited. The rooms give complete privacy to the house members as they are not adjacent to each other. The interior of the apartment is quite attractive. Moreover, my sister, as an interior designer has designed it perfectly. The apartment gives me the impression of beauty and comfort. For these reasons, I love this apartment. 

More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe the most polite person you have come across in your life.

1. The house belongs to Mr Samuel and this is located in the northeast corner of the main street of the locality I live in Thailand. The house has a grandeur look. The furniture and interior are decorated with modern design. In fact, I was greatly amazed at the inner look than the outer one. I like the house because it is beautiful and spacious. It has a very nice garden in front of the house and all the rooms are capacious. He is also planning to build a small swimming pool inside the house which would increase the attraction indeed.

2. Richard took me to his apartment last month. In fact, I went there to get some music CDs. The apartment is located near the 7central station in Paris. It was a small apartment – around 700 square feet. And the inner environment was not so good. I felt suffocated after entering the apartment. And I also could not like the apartment because it not well organized. My friend Richard is a not an organized person at all. So, he keeps the place untidy which caused irritation to me.

3. Living in a small apartment could be beneficial and Patrick has proved it. He lives in the opposite apartment of mine here in Japan. He is a foreign businessman struggling to settle in Japan. He has nicely decorated his apartment. In fact, he is all set to get married to his fiancé and so, decorated his apartment. The furniture and other necessaries are set in the right place. And I like the apartment for the outstanding colour combination. He has combined different shades together which makes it look wonderful.

4. Marry lives with her parents in a large house here in Germany. The house is located in a prime location in Munich. This is an extraordinary house that is not available in the present days. The inner part of the house is divided into separate sections and the number of rooms is more than I imagined. The house was built a long ago by her forefathers and still bears the testimony of the past days. I like the house for several reasons and the large and spacious corridors are one of them. There are ample spaces too for recreation in large yards.

5. Majority of the houses in India are smaller now and when I went to meet Mr Arvind at his house, I was disappointed to see the house condition. The house was located in a corner of the new street in Mumbai. It did not have a good look. In line with the outer part, the inner side was almost ruined. In fact, it needed a renovation. The inner part of the house was almost ruined and I was unable to stay there for longer times fearing the fall of the roof. Actually, I could not like the house from the beginning because of its too much shabby and almost broken outlook.

Part 3: Discussion topics:

Different types of home:

Q. What kinds of home are most popular in your country? Why is this?
Q. What do you think are the advantages of living in a house rather than an apartment?
Q. Do you think that everyone would like to live in a larger home? Why is that?

Finding a place to live:

Q. How easy is it to find a place to live in your country?
Q. Do you think it’s better to rent or to buy a place to live in? Why?
Q. Do you agree that there is a right age for young adults to stop living with their parents? Why is that?

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