Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

There was a YouTube comment recently asking about the disadvantages of bicycles.

This got me thinking- I’m so accustomed to discussing the benefits of this transportation, that I would be caught off guard if asked about the drawbacks.

The fact is that on IELTS, there are many opportunities to be surprised by the topic you are asked to speak or write about. Sometimes, it is a subject that you do not talk about in your first language, let alone English.

So, today, you’ll get invaluable words and idioms to discuss the good and the bad of bicycles, but, more importantly, you’ll learn phrases that can be used for a broad range of questions.



Disadvantages of bicycles

Clunky– (speaking) adj. Difficult to move around; awkward

Bicycles are kind of clunky to move around unless you are actually riding them.

Cumbersome– (speaking/writing) adj. Difficult to move around; troublesome; clumsy

Bikes can be a bit cumbersome to maneuver inside, such as up stairs or in and out of elevators.

Left high and dry– (speaking/writing) idiom Left with a problem that you can’t solve

If you get a flat tire, you are basically left high and dry.


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Advantages of bicycles

Self-created momentum to propel one forward– (speaking/writing) idiom

Momentum– n. Force of movement

Propel– v. Push forward

There’s a lot to be said for paring down one’s transport options.- (speaking/writing)

There’s a lot to be said for…- Phrase to introduce a good idea

Pare down– (phrasal verb) Simplify

Choose 2-3 of today’s words or phrases to add to your vocabulary notebook, and practice using them in your Speaking and Writing answers.

How would you use today’s vocabulary?

Share your examples in the comments section below!

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