IELTS Topic: Cities & Towns

Source: graphistock.com

Vocab & Idioms

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Urban (n) – relating to or characteristic of a city or town
Downtown (n) – the main business district of a city or town
Residential area (adj + n) – an area in a city or town where private homes are located; usually no offices or factories
Industrial area (adj + n) – an area in a city or town where there are business and factories, usually no private homes
Suburb (n) – an outlying part of a city or town
Rural (adj) – of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture
Cost of living (n) – the amount of money a person needs to live
Rush hour (n) – the busy part of the day where cities or towns are crowded; usually in the morning and evening when people or going to and coming back from work
Hustle and bustle (idiom) – busy and noisy
Out in the sticks (idiom) – to live in a rural or remote area; countryside

Part 1 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Topic

  • Is your hometown a city or town?
  • Do you prefer to live in a city or town?
  • Would you say your hometown is a good place to live?

Part 2&3 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your hometown. You should say:
    • where it’s located
    • what you can do there
    • what problems your hometown faces
    • and what makes it special.

Part 3 Questions

  • In what ways can your hometown improve?
  • Why do you think people not living in their hometown like going back to visit?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a town you visited. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where it’s located
    • what you did there
    • and why you like or dislike it.

Part 3 Questions

  • Why do some people prefer to live in a city?
  • How can traffic be reduced in a city?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a city you visited. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where’s it located
    • what you did there
    • and explain why you like or dislike it.

Part 3 Questions

  • Is a city more dangerous than a town?
  • Why do some people prefer to live in a town?

Sample Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Part 1 Questions

  • Is your hometown a city or town?
    • The population of my hometown is approximately 18,000 people, so it’s definitely a small town. Some people around the world may even call it a village based on its size.
  • Do you prefer to live in a city or town?
    • By far, I would rather live in a tranquil town, namely one that is situated alongside a river or lake. It’s my dream to live in a home with a view of the water in the countryside or close to the mountains.
  • Would you say your hometown is a good place to live?
    • It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to live a busy lifestyle, I would say no. Although, if you want a laid back and peaceful life, I would say yes.

Part 2&3 Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your hometown. You should say:
    • where it’s located
    • what you can do there
    • what problems your hometown faces
    • and what makes it special.

I’m going to begin talking about my hometown by saying the name is difficult to pronounce. It’s called Ephrata not E phra ta. Lots of people say it the wrong way when they see it. Having said that, umm, I would like to continue by telling you a little bit about this place where I was born and raised.

My hometown is a quiet and small municipality surrounded by farmland and other nearby communities about the same size. The downtown area has 2 major streets that intersect. The center of town is not real busy unless there is a community event like the annual street fair. This traditional event lasts for 5 days and the locals, people from other nearby communities, and ….umm, some tourists enjoy the delicious food, fun games, and amusement rides that it has to offer. Besides the yearly fair, there’s not a whole lot going on. I almost forgot to mention, when the fair is in town the streets are shut down so this creates traffic jams and parking spaces are scarce. It’s like being in a big city.

I want to switch now to some of the other things my town has to offer. For example, it has a beautiful community park that includes a public swimming pool. During the summer this place is jam packed with area residents, umm, especially children and teenagers. Personally, I would try to avoid this place except for taking the rails to trails path for a brisk morning walk.

Another option is the Rec Center. It is for all ages and it’s a place where members can go swimming, play sports, or just sit and talk or watch TV. I remember as a teenager going to this place almost every evening with my friends. We used to play basketball, billiards, and floor hockey all the time. I really miss this place a lot!

Now, I’m going to talk about one of my hometown’s biggest problems which is illegal drugs being sold and consumed, especially heroin. Umm, I’m not sure what can be done about it. I think maybe educating our youth could help. Moreover, I think the police need to start cracking down on the drug dealers.

Overall, my hometown was and still is a great place to live and grow up. I love going back there to visit with my family and friends.


Part 3 Questions

  • In what ways can your hometown improve?
    • Along with the drug problem I mentioned earlier, my hometown deals with a zoning problem in regards to residential and industrial areas. Some residential areas are being changed to industrial zones where both businesses and private residences co-exist. The local residents are fired up about this, especially the home owners.
  • Why do you think people like visiting their hometown if they don’t live there anymore?
    • Speaking for myself, I love coming back to my hometown to visit family and friends. Also, I’m amazed at how things have changed like new businesses such as fast food restaurants and even shopping centers. Generally speaking, I think most people who no longer live in their hometown enjoy returning for the same reasons as me.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a town you visited. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where it’s located
    • what you did there
    • and why you like or dislike it.

I’ve visited so many places in my life that it’s hard to choose just one of them. Although, there’s one in particular that I’m going to talk about which I visited last year.

When I was on a road trip last year driving from the east coast to the west coast in the USA, I stopped and stayed in a small almost barren rural town called Ritzville in the state of Washington. I can honestly say it’s out in the sticks.

This rural town is located just off a major interstate highway, so I think most of people who visit there, like me, are taking a break from driving and staying overnight to rest.

The handful of locals are friendly and helpful. For instance, the receptionist at the hotel I was staying at was so kind. She went out of her way to help me with directions to a local restaurant despite the fact that she was busy with other customers. It’s nice to know that some people are still eager to please others.

Speaking about restaurants, this town is so small that there’s only two restaurants and one little grocery store. Oh, I forgot about the gas station that’s a convenient store also.

I was kinda glad that I was only staying there one night. It’s not that I didn’t like the town. It’s just that it’s like a deserted village. Having said that, I must say again the people living there are hospitable and accommodating. They are the kind of people you want to have as neighbors.


Part 3 Questions

  • Why do some people prefer to live in a town?
    • I would have to say that town folk desire a tranquil and unbusy lifestyle where they can live a non stressful existence and not worry about things like traffic jams, rude people, and crowded streets. On top of that, they want to be able to go to the supermarket and not worry about long lines of people waiting to check out. If you ask me, I’m right with them. Who wants to put up with the rush hour traffic in a big city, certainly not me!
  • How can traffic be reduced in a city?
    • This is a really good question, and I don’t feel there’s a good solution to cut down on the amount of cars driving on the city roads. One possible way would be for more people to use public transportation instead of using their private vehicles. In order for this to work, some cities might have to undergo major urban development to build more subway and bus lines because these transportation systems may become too crowded.

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a city you visited. You should say:
    • what’s the name of it
    • where’s it located
    • what you did there
    • and explain why you like or dislike it.

There are so many unique cities I have visited and experienced, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is Austin Texas because of it’s mixed lifestyle and nightlife. Actually, I’ve been there several times, and I would go back in a heartbeat.

The first time I was in Austin was back in 1987 when I was stationed at Fort Hood Texas while serving in the U.S. Army. A lot of my Army buddies told me Austin was the place to go, especially 6th Street which is one of the main streets in downtown Austin. They were undeniably correct!

When I finally went there on the advice of my friends, I was amazed at how packed the streets were with a diverse crowd. Everybody was having a great time socializing in every corner of the street. I knew I was in for a good time.

Sixth Street is filled with bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, and you can listen to many different types of music from country and western to blues, jazz, and good old rock n roll. I’m personally a fan of rock n roll and to my delight I found a bar called Maggie Mae’s that had a local musician playing some of my favorite hits such as Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison.

One of the other things I liked about this area was how clean the streets were. I was happy to see people using the trash receptacle and not throwing their litter on the streets.

Now for one of my gripes! I was not a happy camper with the high prices for drinks, food, and entertainment. I couldn’t believe a domestic beer cost $6 for a pint and the cover charge to listen to music cost between $10 to $15.

All in all, I love this city and would recommend it to anybody who loves nightlife and music.


Part 3 Questions

  • Is a city more dangerous than a town?
    • It is widely believed that cities are more dangerous than towns. As far as I’m concerned, I agree with that way of thinking. First and foremost, lots of residential areas, like inner city neighborhoods, are breeding grounds for crime and violence. Annual crime rate statistics validates this fact. Another reason is the lack of education in poorer cities which tends to create more juvenile delinquency.
  • Why do some people prefer to live in a city?
    • I’d say that city dwellers for some reason enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life. Despite the fact that there are rush hour traffic jams and sidewalks jam-packed with people, city lovers seem to exist solely for the excitement and adrenaline offered by an asphalt jungle. Personally, they can have it. I’ll stick to my quaint little town.

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

cambly-practice-button2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s