IELTS Speaking: Hometown vocabulary and ideas

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.

 Living  Example sentences
 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.

 Areas  Example sentences
 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
 Transport Example sentences
 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.

 Adjectives  Example sentences
 quiet/peaceful  It is a fairly quiet place.


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.

Discussions — 3 Responses

  • Amandeep kaur 04/06/2015 on 17:42

    Please send me writing tasks of year 2013&2012 on my gmail account .my account is

    • pirlo Amandeep kaur 04/06/2015 on 22:37

      Sorry, I don’t know about what topics are belong to year of 2013 and 2012, actually I just got around to my own IELTS test in the late 2014, so I cannot send you the materials.

  • Tejinder Singh 17/11/2015 on 18:37

    Please send me some writing and speaking topic with answers which will be helpful for me to get 7 bands in academic ielts . My Gmail I’d is