An adventurous person – telling a story to describe a person

This lesson looks at how you can describe an adventurous person in part 2 IELTS speaking. Describing a person is perhaps one of the harder tasks in part 2 as there is a good chance that you run out of things to say. I suggest that you should think of trying to tell a story as this will help you with vocabulary and should give you plenty to say. To help you do this, you will find a sample answer to listen to with useful vocabulary.

The cue card

An adventurous person

Describe an adventurous person who you know.

You should say:

  • who the person is
  • how you know this person
  • what this person does that is adventurous

and explain why you think this person likes to take risks.

Preparing your talk

Describing a person is sometimes quite challenging and you need to think carefully about what you want to say before you start speaking. If you are not careful, this is one of those tasks that you may find that you don’t speak enough about and so lose points for fluency. The “trick” here is to look at the cue card and decide how you can use it to make sure you have enough to say. Typically, with this type of task, you want to focus on telling a story rather than thinking of ideas and vocabulary.

The problem with ideas and vocabulary

If you spend your minute trying to think of words, you may end up with little or nothing. This is what I did in 1 minute:

  • adventurous: daring: bold
  • risks: take risks: risky
  • excitement: danger: dangerous
  • extreme sports: rock climbing
This is not bad and these are words you can think of using. However, it is unlikely that these words are going to get you through 2 minutes. You need something else. Likewise, if you want to impress the examiner, you really want some more specific vocabulary.

Look at the cue card: think of a story to tell

If you look at cue card, you see that it asks you to talk about how you met the person and what they do that is adventurous. If you stop and think, you should see that this is the beginning of a story. What you can do is:

  1. describe the circumstances when you met: the place/the time/how long ago it was/who introduced you etc
  2. a particular example of something adventurous they did: again with the time/place etc

The trick here is to add as many details as possible. These details are where you can show off your English by using precise and accurate vocabulary.

How to tell a story?

Some people are much more natural story tellers than others. One way you can help yourself is by asking yourself the WH questions:

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • when
  • how
You should also relax about thinking that everything you say needs to be exactly on task and related to the topic. In this part of the speaking it is acceptable to add details that may not be 100% relevant provided you answer the main points on the cue card.

Listen to my story

This is my response to the cue card. I tell a story about one of my friends. It is a simple story but because I am thinking of detail, I get to use quite a lot of precise vocabulary:

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Read the story, see the language

Topic vocabulary

Telling a story can help with more topic vocabulary. Here I get to use words from school/university and law as well as “adventure” words

See the topic language

I’m going to talk to you about someone who I know who is adventurous. The person I’ve chosen is Peter, my best friend. I’ve known him I suppose since we were at primary school together and we first met aged 7. First day at school in our school uniforms. I was shaking of course but Peter was quite unconcerned, really quite untroubled and really just interested by the new experience.

And when I say that Peter is adventurous, he’s not someone who enjoys physical danger particularly. He doesn’t take part in extreme sports or anything like that. Rather he’s just prepared to go ahead and do things – even when he doesn’t know what the outcome is. An example here is we also went to university together and studied law there. I did the normal, conventional thing and went on to become a lawyer, a solicitor in the city. Peter, however, decided that that wasn’t for him. And he just took off, he went to Greece. he had no idea what he wanted to do there. He just thought that was the place to be. And to me this was very adventurous indeed – to go a foreign country, not knowing the language. Just because he felt like it.

What makes him like that? What makes him like to take risks. I’ve really no idea. I guess it’s in his nature.

 

Sentence structure and linking phrases

Telling a story is quite straightforward as it allows you to use short simple sentences connected by “and”. You just keeping adding detail. This is a sensible approach in part 2 speaking. You also want to use some other linking phrases though and I have highlighted the phrases I use.

See the sentence structure

I’m going to talk to you about someone who I know who is adventurous.

The person I’ve chosen is Peter, my best friend.

I’ve known him I suppose since we were at primary school together and we first met aged 7.

First day at school in our school uniforms.

I was shaking of course but Peter was quite unconcerned, really quite untroubled and really just interested by the new experience.

And when I say that Peter is adventurous, he’s not someone who enjoys physical danger particularly.

He doesn’t take part in extreme sports or anything like that.

Rather he’s just prepared to go ahead and do things – even when he doesn’t know what the outcome is.

An example here is we also went to university together and studied law there.

I did the normal, conventional thing and went on to become a lawyer, a solicitor in the city.

Peter, however, decided that that wasn’t for him.

And he just took off, he went to Greece.

He had no idea what he wanted to do there.

He just thought that was the place to be.

And to me this was very adventurous indeed – to go a foreign country, not knowing the language.

Just because he felt like it.

What makes him like that?

What makes him like to take risks.

I’ve really no idea.

I guess it’s in his nature.

Useful spoken phrases

This passage is full of good spoken phrases that you can borrow to help link your spoken language.

See the spoken phrases

I’m going to talk to you about someone who I know who is adventurous. The person I’ve chosen is Peter, my best friend. I’ve known him I suppose since we were at primary school together and we first met aged 7. First day at school in our school uniforms. I was shaking of course but Peter was quite unconcerned, really quite untroubled and really just interested by the new experience.

And when I say that Peter is adventurous, he’s not someone who enjoys physical danger particularly. He doesn’t take part in extreme sports or anything like that. Rather he’s just prepared to go ahead and do things – even when he doesn’t know what the outcome is. An example here is we also went to university together and studied law there. I did the normal, conventional thing and went on to become a lawyer, a solicitor in the city. Peter, however, decided that that wasn’t for him. And he just took off, he went to Greece. he had no idea what he wanted to do there. He just thought that was the place to be. And to me this was very adventurous indeed – to go a foreign country, not knowing the language. Just because he felt like it.

What makes him like that? What makes him like to take risks. I’ve really no idea. I guess it’s in his nature.

 I’m going to talk to you about – a useful way to start

quite unconcerned, really quite untroubled - this use of “quite” and “really quite” to mean “very” and “very very” is excellent spoken English

And when I say that – a good spoken linking phrase

or anything like that - a useful spoken phrase meaning etc

An example here is - giving examples is always good practice. This is more idiomatic than “for example”

And he just took off … He just thought - this “just” is very idiomatic. It has little meaning but is good spoken English. (take off here means to go away)

And to me - a spoken phrase meaning “I think”

I’ve really no idea – another way of saying “I don’t know”. The “really’ adds emphasis and is stylish spoken English.

It’s in his nature – this is another way of saying that it is natural for him.

 

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15 Responses to An adventurous person – telling a story to describe a person

  1. aida November 28, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    tnx

  2. balpreet June 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    good thank u for ur ideas really thank u we are inspired from u

  3. guri August 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    thanks

  4. megha August 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    thanxxxxxxxx aa lot

  5. Anonymous September 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Excellent presentation for the preparation course in the IELTS exam

  6. John October 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Really useful essay, thank you!

  7. mano sweeto October 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

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    • Anonymous April 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      it’s realy a good tips about speaking task

  8. Julia Robert January 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this nice post.IELTS Speaking is also very important and students should follow the IELTS Speaking tips for better result in IELTS.

  9. Saad kalyar July 25, 2013 at 12:11 am #

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  10. sabbirsenglishworld.com August 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    really so easy method…

  11. Anonymous September 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    VERY HELPFULL THANKS ALOT

  12. Neetu December 28, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    very well written sir..it very lucrative for my cue card practice..

  13. Anonymous October 8, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

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