Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

To get that 7 or higher on IELTS you need to use idioms in your answers.

In other articles we have talked about idioms to talk about work, idioms to discuss technology, and idioms to talk about sports and exercise.

If the examiner feels that your vocabulary is above and beyond what you would read in a textbook, he or she is likely to give you extra points for vocabulary which could bump up your entire speaking score.

The best way to prepare to use idioms on the IELTS Speaking test is to learn at least 2 idioms for each speaking question type and practice using them with a native speaker or with an IELTS professional.

Today we’ll give you four idioms that you can use when you get speaking questions about family.

You might get any of these questions:

  • How many people are in your family?
  • Do you all live together in the same house?
  • What do you like to do together as a family?
  • Who do you get along with the best?

In this article I will give you four great idioms that you can use to talk about your family on the Speaking test.

#1) It runs in the family

This means that a character trait or a physical feature is found in many people within the same family.

Here is a sample sentence: “I like to be active and I participate in a lot of marathons and road races. It runs in the family because my dad also runs in marathons sometimes. We often train for the big races together.”

Here is another example: “My dad has high blood pressure and I started to develop it this summer. I guess it runs in the family.”

#2) Flesh and blood

This means that you have the same genes and that you are related.

We usually use this idioms when we want to say that we will support someone if they are in our family regardless of their actions.

You might answer a question like this: “Even though my sister can be annoying sometimes I always stand up for her when she is in trouble because she is my own flesh and blood.”

#3) Sibling rivalry

This means that you and your sibling (brother or sister) often compete.

You might compete with your sibling on academic achievements, athletics, or you might compete for your parent’s attention.

Here is how you could use this on the Speaking test: “My brother and I get along well now that we are adults but when we were kids we had a major sibling rivalry and we would compete with each other constantly.”

#4) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

This means that a son or daughter might repeat the behavior that they see in their father or mother.

This is often used to describe negative actions that a son or daughter might take that resemble the actions of their parent.

Here is an example: “My sister is just like my father. She jumps from job to job and can’t settle on one career path. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Remember, using idioms on the IELTS Speaking test is one of the easiest ways to increase your score.

Practice the idioms in today’s article with a native speaker or an IELTS professional and you will be on you way to your target score.

Good luck and let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

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