Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 499 - Describe a useful thing that you once borrowed

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

Describe a useful thing that you once borrowed.

You should say:

  • what it was
  • who you borrowed it from
  • why you borrowed it

and explain why it was important for you to borrow it.

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


Model Answer 1:
I have borrowed many things from my friends and family members, especially, when I was a high school student. Of course, I needed to borrow those things because they were important to me. Anyway, today, I would like to talk about one such important thing, which I had to borrow about 9 years ago, and the thing I borrowed was a bicycle.

When I was a 10th-grade student, I used to provide home tutoring in math to the lower grade students. I used to do it, not only because it offered me the opportunity to earn some extra pocket money, but also to become even better in this subject by practising it more and more. Besides, this home tutoring thing didn’t exactly cost me too much of my valuable time since all of my students and apprentice used to live close by my place and within walking distance except one, who used to live a bit too far away from me. But, that too wasn’t really much of a problem for me since I could easily take a bus and arrive at his place.

Then suddenly, one day, I came to know that the bus was not going to run for the next couple of days because all the bus drivers of my town were going to observe a “strike” for a pay raise. Needless to say, I panicked a bit after learning the news since I knew that I wouldn’t be able to walk that far to give lessons to that one student of mine. And it was at that time that I decided to borrow the bicycle from my cousin, who gladly gave his bicycle to me.  

Anyway, it was important for me to borrow the bicycle because the student was in the middle of some important math tests and quizzes (actually a few of them in a row), and I really needed to help him with his subject so that he could at least have an average grade. After all, he was a really poor student in math.

Sample Answer 2:
Well, this candidate task card reminds me of several occasions when I had to borrow something useful and important from others. I would, however, go with my first instinct and talk about the event that came first in my mind. It was a recent event when I borrowed a thermometer from a neighbour. Though a thermometer is a small tool and is required only a few times, in particular, when someone suffers from fever, it is quite useful in my opinion.  

It was almost midnight and all of a sudden my younger brother, Sam, started feeling ill. He was complaining about feeling very cold and that was a symptom of getting caught by the seasonal flu. I rang one of my doctor friends and he told me not to worry too much unless Sam's body temperature was really high. He also advised me some medicines and assured me that he would visit our home in case things get worse. It was at the beginning of the last month and my younger brother suffered from fever for about 5 days. Luckily he recovered sooner than many others I know about, who were caught by the same viral flu.

Speaking of that night, after I finished talking to my doctor friend, Rick, I searched for the thermometer to check Sam's temperature. I assumed we would have at least two thermometers at our house, one in my desk and another one is in the fast-aid box that my father had. To my surprise, I could not find a single one! I searched everywhere and after 30 minutes of ceaseless searching, I quit and decided to borrow it from Paula, who was one of our closest neighbours.  

I called her and she was luckily awake. I explained her Sam's condition and that I needed to borrow a thermometer from her. In 10 minutes she rushed to our house with the thermometer and talked to Same for a couple of minutes. She also brought some vitamin C enriched fruits with her and advised me to stay awake for a couple of hours to accompany Sam. She also talked with my parents and after an hour she left. She is still a caring and tender-hearted women who we consider our family friend.

The thermometer I borrowed from Paula was really needed at that time. We had to check Sam's body temperature every 30 minutes. In the next morning, I bought three thermometers and gave my father one to keep it in his fast-aid box. I returned Paula's thermometer after a couple of days and thanked her for her support and care for us.


Cue Card Answer 3:
This is a nice topic for me to discuss as I have a great reputation (!) for forgetting things and I often need to borrow from my surroundings for this characteristic or nature. Last month, I had borrowed the laptop from my cousin to complete a university project.

In fact, I forgot to replace the battery of my laptop as it was having an extremely poor power backup. It is my insincerity that did not allow me to get the battery in due time and gradually the last week of the project submission appeared. Five days before the project submission, I had to borrow a laptop from my cousin. Though he delivered some angry words for my negligence, he rescued me from a negative situation I was supposed to get involved. The project was quite important as it carried more than 30% marks of the entire course.      

I borrowed the laptop from my cousin, Henry. He is a freelancer and works online from home. When I was a kid, my parents asked me to follow him on his unique virtues and actually, they wanted me to shape up like Henry. He is five years older than me and looks quite smart with his curly hair and broad cheek. His eyes are dark with a bluish shade. He lives in the opposite direction of our house and my parents are fond of him for his extraordinary qualities. He has turned like an idol for me and I also try to follow some of his qualities. Unfortunately, few of my bad habits are the greatest impediments in following him.
I make delay in everything and this is one of my bad habits. I have suffered a lot for the habit and still suffering in some points. I had to borrow the laptop for the same reason. In fact, I forgot to buy the laptop battery that I have been planning to buy for the past few months. Whenever I attempt to use the laptop, it makes me remember that it needs its battery. At the same time, if I do not complete the project and present the incomplete version to the class and the teachers, I might be unable to get promoted in the next semester. It was a crucial individual assignment for me. If it was teamwork, I could have crossed the barriers easily with support from my teammates.   

Borrowing the laptop was a major issue for me. After completion of the project, the students were to present the ideas and other details to the audiences at the auditorium. Actually, that was not a problem as I proudly own a Dell laptop. The trouble was about its charging issues and the newly built auditorium had no external charging facilities for laptops and other electronic devices. My laptop needed continuous charging to run and whenever the charger was detached, it ran less than ten minutes. As Henry owned three laptops with high configuration, I sought his support in this case. He got angry initially when he heard that my project was quite important and I am yet to finish it. He was familiar with my nature and often advised me to change that. Finally, he extended a hand for unconditional support to me. I am truly grateful to him. By the way, I got B+ in my project and the laptop actually saved me from a disastrous situation.

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

Topic: Describe a useful thing that you once borrowed.

1. Reading is my hobby and often I borrow books from people. So, last week, I borrowed a book from Peter about space science. I borrowed the book because I did not get it on the local bookstall here in California and it was Peter who owned the book on my network. Actually, I cannot stop my curiosity once it begins and after reading the blurb, it appeared that I need the book. Since I cannot manage that, I borrowed it.

2. I borrowed a video game CD from a friend of mine. I borrowed it from Anderson. I wanted to play the GTA V. This is the latest version of the series but did not get that on the internet. By the same time, I could not find it in the local stores here in Brussels. So, I needed to borrow that. I love to play video games and the GTA series is my favourite. I have played the former versions of the game and wanted to play the latest one. But being unable to collect the CD, I borrowed it and installed on my computer.

3. My carpet became too dirty last week due to the weekend party. So, I needed to clean it and thus borrowed the carpet cleaner from my neighbour Mr Moriarty. He is a professor of mathematics at a local university here in England. As I do not own any carpet cleaner, I needed to borrow that. All my relatives gathered at my place marking the birthday of my younger daughter and I allowed everyone with their shoes. So, the carpet got too much dirty with various types of unwanted objects. It needed a proper cleaning.

4. Attending an interview requires formal outfits that I do not have. In fact, as a student of graduate level, I am unable to bear the cost of a suit. So, I borrowed a suit from my friend, Robin. He is also a foreign student like me at the University of Tokyo. I borrowed the suit to attend an interview for a job. In fact, this was the very first interview for me and a local corporation asked to appear with all necessary documents and a formal look at the interview date.

5. I wanted to spend a week at the Utah National Park but I did not have a portable stove to cook for me and my fiancé.  So, I borrowed the stove from a friend of mine named Julia. Actually, I decided to camp for the first time and did not have the knowledge what might need to pass a night in out. When I completed the list, I found that the stove to cook is missing and so, I needed to borrow that. If I failed to manage the stove, I had to take some canned foods. Do you think this is wise to have canned foods in camping at such a nice place? So, I borrowed the stove and it was highly important. 

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