One of the topics you are most likely to be asked about in part 1 speaking is your hometown. This lesson gives you some vocabulary and ideas to help you along.
Talking about quality of life
These ideas should help you discuss what you enjoy/dislike about your home town. Remember to try and give examples/reasons to extend your answers.
|cost of living||The cost of living is fairly reasonable.|
|pace of life||There is a fairly slow pace of life where I come from.|
|the rat race||I moved out to avoid the rat race.|
|atmosphere||It’s got a really relaxed atmosphere.|
|pollution||The air quality is terrible because of the pollution.|
|overcrowding||Like most places it suffers from overcrowding.|
|poverty||You can see poverty everywhere.|
|amenities||One of the best points is that is has excellent amenities.|
|sense of community||What I enjoy most is the sense of community there.|
notes: “the rat race” is a nice idiom for the fast pace of modern city life where no one has the time to sit back and enjoy life.
Areas of a city
If you are asked where you live, you should try and be precise.
|residential area||We live in a residential area on the outskirts of the city.|
|housing estate||There is a shortage of accommodation so they are building some new housing estates.|
|industrial zone||Fortunately the industrial zone are outside the city limits so the pollution is not too bad.|
|suburbs||Most people choose to live in the suburbs as it is much quieter there.|
|outskirts||Most of the superstores are some way from the city centre on the outskirts of the city.|
|inner city||It is quite a safe place but some of the inner-city areas can be dangerous late at night.|
|heart of the city||I suppose the heart of the city is the main square in the city centre.|
|neighbourhood||The neighbourhood I live in is quite affluent.|
notes: “the inner city” is normally (in English) associated with poverty – although this will obviously vary from city to city; “the outskirts” are the outer parts of a city/town.
Means of transport
|congestion||Where I come from the congestion is terrible.|
|traffic jams||Like most places we get traffic jams in the rush hour.|
|rush hour||There is not really a rush hour – it is too quiet for that.|
|bus route||Fortunately I live near a convenient bus route.|
|underground system/subway||There are lots of means of transport – even a subway system.|
|commute||Some people choose to live in the country and commute in to work.|
You will of course need some adjectives too. You should note how I use “fairly” “really” and “quite” to qualify these adjectives.
|quiet/peaceful||It is a fairly quiet place.|
|lively/bustling/vibrant||The centre of town is really lively at night.|
|industrial||Of course it is quite industrial like most modern cities.|
|provincial||It is one of the largest provincial cities in the country.|
|cosmopolitan||There is a really cosmopolitan atmosphere.|
|green||While some parts of it are industrial it is still a green city.|
|historic||It is a fascinating historic old town.|
|sleepy/relaxed/dull||Some people might call it sleepy while I find it rather dull.|