In IELTS Speaking Part 1, the Examiner will introduce themselves and then ask you some basic questions on a range of familiar subjects which will last between 4-5 minutes. One such topic which the Examiner may ask you could be related to holidays. In today’s IELTS tips, we look at how best to talk about holidays with the IELTS Examiner in English.

Common Questions

Have a look at the following questions and think about your answers. It would be best to write your answers down and then practise recording yourself.

  • What do you do when you have a holiday?
  • Where do you like to spend your holidays? Why?
  • Can you describe a typical day in your holidays?
  • Why are holidays important to you?
  • If you could take a holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

How To Extend Your Answer

As with any speaking, it is best to extend your answer by asking yourself how you. For example, if you are asked a question, such as “Where do you like to spend your holidays?”, you can simply provide a basic sentence but you could extend your answer by explaining where you last went on holiday and then link it to where you like to spend your holidays: “I last went to Barcelona on holiday and it was nice, but I prefer to go to a quieter place such as spending time in a small village, having some local cuisine and getting to know more about the area”.

If you are able to provide a bit more information to the question, it shows that you are able to express more than just what is asked and this shows that you are confident, can use a variety of tenses and know some good vocabulary to talk about holidays.

Common Idioms To Talk About Holidays

There are some great idioms that you can incorporate when talking about holidays. Here are a variety of expressions you could use when speaking:

  • Off the beaten track
  • In the middle of nowhere
  • I packed everything but the kitchen sink
  • To have a whale of a time
  • To recharge your batteries
  • Getting away from it all

Any ideas what the phrases above mean? How would you use them to talk about holidays?

Holiday Grammar

If you are talking about holidays, you could use a variety of grammar forms to help you express different ideas. Below is a list of how you could use different grammar forms to incorporate for speaking:

  • “I’m thinking about going to … in the future” (Future)
  • “I’d like to visit … because I’ve heard it is a great place” (Future)
  • “I normally go to … on holiday” (Present)
  • “I enjoy visiting … in the winter” (Present)
  • “I used to go to … on holiday but nowadays I go to …” (Past and Present)
  • “I went to … but next year I would like to go to …” (Past and Future)

Combining future tenses with both present or past forms would make you sound more fluent and confident when speaking English.

Holiday Vocabulary

You can use a variety of vocabulary when describing holidays in English and I would recommend that you learn this to help you when speaking.

  • To stay in a hotel
  • To stay in a hostel
  • Go on a camping holiday
  • Go glamping
  • Go on a weekend trip
  • Go on an extended trip
  • Escape the city

Hello, my name is Martin and I have been teaching IELTS Preparation to many students from all around the world. If you are preparing for the IELTS, I can help you.

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