IELTS Cue Card Sample 19 - Describe a friend you like to spend time with

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

Describe a friend you really like to spend time with.

You should say:

  • when and how you met
  • how often you meet this friend
  • what kind of personality your friend has

and say why you like to spend time with this particular friend.

[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.]



Follow-up Questions:
Is friendship important in your culture? How many close friends can you have?   
Are friends more important than family? 
What are the important things among good friends?
Do you have any friends from a foreign country?
What are the differences between real life friends and pen friends?


Model Answer 1:

He was my childhood friend, but I lost him about 15 years ago when his father had to leave my home town to live in another big city in order to carry on the job he was holding. Since then, I didn’t really see him until, of course, one day I met him about a couple of years ago at a local fish market where I live. I could barely recognize him after more than 15 years as he had become a “big man” in his mid 20’s by then. In fact, I would probably have never recognized him unless his uncle, the only relative of him I knew, was kind enough to introduce him to me after so many years, leaving me completely speechless and ecstatic!

After meeting Ivan, my childhood friend, with whom I got along nicely until the day he left our home town, we both wanted to visit each other as often as possible in an effort to renew our friendship.  But, because of the long distance between us, it wasn’t really possible. So, the only time we could meet is when I travel to his city in order to do some shopping, which seldom more than once a month.

Being the only child of his parents, Ivan could be moody and demanding sometimes. Having a reserved personality, Ivan told me that he didn’t really have many friends except me and a few others from his college.  

I like spending time with Ivan mainly because he is very serious about his life and career. Besides, I could trust him like a brother with my life since my childhood as he would never reveal our “secrets” (friends have “secrets”. Don’t they?). In fact, he treats me more like a brother than a friend, since he doesn’t have any siblings, advising me at every opportunity to take good care of my elderly parents, which I really appreciate. Finally, I like to spend time with Ivan because he appreciates and understands the value of my time, and that not too many people would befriend him because of his introvert personality (even though he is a great person once you get to know him).



Sample answer 2:

The friend I like to spend my time with more than any other friend is Steven. I met him when I was only 8 years old and was in primary school. After that, our intimacy developed and we became best friends.

One day he forgot to bring his physics book to the school and I helped him with my book. We talked for a long after our classes and our friendship started to begin. We went to college together but we got admitted to two different universities. Since we are studying in the same city now, we can meet each other and spend time together whenever we want.

We are yet to finish our graduation and both of us are busy with our own stuff but whenever we get vacations, we spend time together. Since we live in the same town, we visit each other's house and thus we meet at least twice a month.

He is a kind and talented person who helps people and always wished the best for others. He is studying mathematics and he has a talent in mathematics. Sometimes he explains some complex mathematical theories in a very simple and interesting way which helps me a lot in my studies. He is passionate about reading books and often shares his books with me. We often exchange our thoughts about books and politics.

I like to spend time with him because we have many common interests. I never feel bored spending time with him. Since we are friends for a long time, we understand each other very well. A good friend always extends helping hands when we are in need, and Steven does it always for me and for others. We do so many fun stuff together and help each other in our studies. Good friendship, understanding and common interests make us close friends and those are the primary reasons I like to spend time with him so much.



Sample Answer 3:

I happened to meet this person who later became my friend in a yoga and meditation class which I joined lately. It was quite a chance that this person who goes by the name "Gajender" sat beside me during the class.

After these classes, it has been quite a regular feature that we spend time together, almost every weekend. Yet another reason why I like spending time with Gajender is the humorous character that he possesses.

I always find him in a jubilant mood in spite of the fact that he went through some troublesome experience in life. He lost his only son and that too at a young age of 25. I must say, he is one of the persons who has really made a positive impression on my mind and has contributed a lot in the way I have started looking at life.

The reason why I like spending time with him is the positive vibes that I feel out of him. He is one of the persons, rather the first person in my life, who has a very positive attitude towards life.

[ Written by  - Neeraj ]

 

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

This cue card should be an easy one for you. You should already know a lot about a friend you would like to talk about. Topics like 'Describe a museum' needs some brainstorming, remembering things about a museum and then organising answers for the topic, but when you are asked to talk about a friend, you already know a lot about what you need to talk about. All you need to do is focus on the questions asked and then answer them in details.

For this cue card topic, tell the name of a friend. Remember that you have picked a friend to talk about which means she/he is special to you. Talk about "for how long you two are friends?", "how you met him/her?" and "how did your friendship start". Then say "the stuff you two do together", "reasons you like him/her", "the type of person he/she is" and finally the reason you like to spend time with him so much".

 

Following are some hints for the questions asked in this cue card topic.

When and how you two met:
Answer from your own experience. If you are out of ideas, you can say:

» You met him/her at the school/college/university.
» He/she is your neighbour and you two met on a family occasion.
» You met him/her in a playground/stadium while you were playing/ enjoying a sports competition.
» You met him/her at a relative’s house.
» You met him/her in a situation when she/he needed help and you were there to help him/her.
» You met him/her in a situation when you desperately needed some help and he/she was there to help you.
» You two met at a shopping mall/auditorium/park or even on a train/ aeroplane.
» Sometimes friendship starts from minor disagreement and fight. You can mention that you had a disagreement about something but later, you two become close buddies.
» A friend can be an online friend whom you have never met. In this scenario, your friendship can start from an online chat-room or from a social networking platform.

How often do you meet?
To answer this question you need to focus on the previous question and its context. If you talk about a friend who lives in the same street you live in or if she/he studies/works with you, then you probably meet him daily. If you pick a friend from your hometown where you no longer live, then your meeting frequency would be 2-5 times a year or so. For online friends whom you have never met, simply say that you two have never met in person but you talk/chat over the internet almost every week.

What kind of personality your friend has:
For this question, say that he/she is very friendly, helpful and caring and values your friendship. For his/her personality, say that she/he is talented, creative and has an attractive personality. Also, mention that she/he is understanding and well-behaved.

For an online friend, mentioning personality is not easy as you might have never met him/her.  In this case, say that s/he is caring and have positive attitudes and his/her opinion on different issues seems very positive and constructive. Mention something she/he does for the benefits of others and you are passionate about some of his activities and interests.

Why do you like spending time with this particular person?
Naturally, people like to spend time with people who share common interests and have positive attitudes. So you should mention what common interests you two have and what you do together (for online friends, say the topics you discuss and share). Also, you can say that you have learned many positive things from him/her and you two have a great understanding. Finally, say that s/he is a good friend who is ready to support you no matter what and has already advised you or helped you on different issues.

 

Your preparation for this cue card topic should help you answer the following topics as well:

1. Talk about a childhood friend you remember.
2. Describe a friend from your hometown.
3. Describe one of your online friends.
4. Describe an activity you do with your friends.
5. Describe a friend you like to spend time with.
6. Talk about a friend who helped you once.
7. Talk about a friend whom you helped.
8. Describe a friend from your college/university.
9. Talk about a friend whom you met accidentally.

 

Part 3: Follow-up Questions:

Q. Is friendship important in your culture? How many close friends can you have?  
Answer: Friendship is really important and I think that it should be of paramount importance in all cultures worldwide. Our friends are our siblings and they are the people we chose to have in our lives. Moreover, a friend is a person you can call whenever you are sad, happy, angry, excited and so on. We should take into account that many people in different countries consider their pals to be more valuable than their family. As far as I’m concerned, I believe that someone can have two or three close friends.

Tip: This is just a personal opinion about the number of friends someone can have. It's up to you and your experience.

Q. Are friends more important than family?
Answer: That’s a really difficult question to answer. It is widely accepted that parents are the people with whom we are connected by blood and they are also our closest relatives. Friends, on the other hand, are just some people we come across during our lifespan and it’s our choice whether we will keep them in our life or not. But, as I mentioned earlier, there are some who consider that friendship is more important than family and the reasons for this may differ. From my point of view, I would argue that parents and friends should be equally important in someone’s life because a fulfilling and complete life consists of both family and sidekicks. I believe, life without parents are like a tree in the desert and life without a friend is death without a witness.

Tips: You can say that "family and friends are equally important in someone's life", or "the family is more important than friends" and even "friends are more important". In either case, cite arguments and examples and state your personal opinion.

Q. What are the important things among good friends?
Answer: First and foremost, people should take into account that friendship is a sacred notion in someone’s life and a two-way street as well. Friends should invest in real feelings and there are some virtues that are crucial. For example, true friends must be honest with each other, compassionate, be there when needed, affectionate, tender and supportive to mention but a few. Every friendship has its ups and downs but when emotions are real any hindrance can be eliminated. To conclude, a wise and useful phrase that comes to my mind is “a friend in need is a friend indeed”.

Q. Do you have any friends from a foreign country?
1st Possible Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t, but I really hope to make new acquaintances and meet people from overseas. In this way, I am convinced that I’ll become more broad-minded and tolerant.

2nd Possible Answer: Actually I do. I live and study in England; so I have met many people from different countries even from different continents. I really like consorting with them because we can swap opinions, make helpful and substantial conversations and learn new things about culture, custom and religion. In addition, we can travel to each other’s country and accomplish dreams and desires that otherwise might be unachievable. Last but not least, we can immerse ourselves in a new language and gain more knowledge.

Q. What are the differences between real life friends and pen friends?
Answer: The difference is significant because in the first case, there are stronger bonds. For pen friends, the existing ties are loose. The former, are the people whom we see in the flesh and blood, share our sad and happy moments, spend time with, have frequent contacts and share some intrinsic moments. The latter, are people that correspond with each other and it could be considered as a kind of distant relationship. Furthermore, a real friend is able to be with you whenever you need him/her, while for a pen friend this is not feasible.

[ Part 3 answers are written by - Mary, UK, Economist with Main Field of Studies in Business Economics]

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