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. The Examiner may ask you to talk about shopping. In this IELTS tips post, we look at how best to talk about shopping with the IELTS Examiner in English.

Common Questions

Have a look at the following questions and practise answering them in your own words. Perhaps record yourself and listen to your answer and improve your pronunciation.

  • How much time do you spend shopping each week?
  • Do you enjoy going shopping? Why or why not?
  • What is your favourite shop and why do you like it?
  • What problems are there with shopping in your area?
  • What was the last thing you bought?

How To Extend Your Answer

When answering a question related to shopping, you could answer what the Examiner has asked you. However, this may not help you as you will need to extend your answer to demonstrate fluency and confidence no matter the topic. If the Examiner asks you “How much time do you spend shopping each week?”, you could extend this by explaining what days you normally go shopping, who you usually go shopping with or the last time you went shopping. Try to anticipate questions and answer these within your answer.

Common Shopping Phrases

There are many English phrases and idioms when talking about shopping. Have a look at the following phrases below.

  • To pour money down the drain
  • To cost a fortune
  • To go on a shopping spree
  • To shop till you drop
  • To pay through the nose
  • Shopping therapy

Can you guess the meanings of the phrases above? How would you incorporate them in answers to possible shopping questions?

Grammar For Shopping

When talking about shopping, you could use a variety of tenses depending whether you mean the past, present or future. As well as tenses, you could also use conditional forms: “If I had £500, I would buy …”. Incorporating conditionals within your answers will help you demonstrate a variety of tenses to the IELTS Examiner.


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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