How to describe people in IELTS Speaking Part 2

Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking component can be quite challenging if candidates are not sure of what to say for about 2 minutes. Two minutes can feel like two hours if you are not fully prepared for it and you can end up sounding like a broken record: repeating the same words and the same ideas over and over again. Unfortunately, what’s worse is that candidates have no choice in the kind of topic that they would like to discuss, so they will have to make the best use of the situation by preparing and practising for common topics as much as possible.

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Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Ding Zhou via Compfight

One regular topic is describing people and the questions that come up may look like this:

Example 1

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

  • Who this person is
  • How long you have known him/her
  • What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you.

Example 2

Describe someone in your family who you like.

You should say:

  • How this person is related to yo
  • What this person looks like
  • What kind of person he/she is

and explain why you like this person.

Example 3

Describe an adventurous person 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.

Therefore, it is important for candidates to know the strategies and skills of how to describe people in this part of the test. You could use these phrases to talk about yourself and the people you know.

  • One of his/her best qualities is that …
  • I think I’ve inherited certain traits from …
  • S/he’s the sort of person you …
  • I’m … though having said that, I …
  • I’m probably … on the down side.
  • … doesn’t bother me.
  •  I’m quite happy to …

It would also help for you to know vocabulary related to describing people. You can find some from the websites below:

Until next time!

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