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

Today you’ll learn to avoid traps in simple general letter questions for IELTS.

Even if you are an Academic student, today’s brainstorm and vocabulary could be used on the Speaking Exam as well.

Here’s the General Task 1 question:

You had a meal at your friend’s house. Your friend’s family was there also. Write a letter to your friend. You should include:

  • thanking your friend
  • telling your friend what you liked
  • suggesting an arrangement, asking your friend and his/her family to go to your house for a meal

This is an informal letter, and there are so many fun details you could come up with!

Thanking your friend

Start with a greeting and then add emotion, like, “Hey, what’s going on? Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for the delightful experience I had at your family’s home last Tuesday!”

What you liked

Then, give details about the food.

Like, “I’ve never tasted macaroni and cheese like that in my life! I never thought that putting little pieces of smoked ham in such a dish would be tasty, but, surprisingly, it worked!”

Don’t stay on the surface. staying general will only lead to general vocabulary.


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In Task 1 and Task 2, you must dive in deeply to give specific details, which leads more specific, impressive vocabulary.

Thus, you could add, “I was so pleased that I finally got meet your crazy Uncle Bob. I was a little trepidatious at first because of all of your insane stories about him, but he was actually a very nice gentleman.”

Brainstorming is a learned skill, and is focused on in our course to help you come with impressive details like this!

Suggesting an arrangement

Start this paragraph with a phrasal verb, such as, “It would be great to meet up again.”

Continue with specifics, like mentioning a parade passing through your street on the fourth of July, and invite your friend to a potluck barbecue, telling them what to bring, such as a beverage and dessert.

You can get specific ideas from your own life, but also all the material you’ve consumed, such as movies and TV shows.

How would you answer today’s question?

Share your detailed ideas in the comments section below!


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