IELTS Video: Paint the Town Red with Today’s Band 9 Idioms

Today you’ll learn fun, high scoring idioms for having a good time.

Questions about what you do on the weekend come up often on IELTS!

You can use these in Speaking Part 1 or Part 2 if you are asked about a party you have attended or want to throw.

They will also be essential if you need to describe someone who is fun and social.

Watch the video now!

Today’s listener question

Dima Naumenko commented on one of our videos, “What do you think about idioms such as “party animal” and “paint the town red?”

These are excellent idioms for Speaking Part 1 and Part 2!

You need informal slang and idioms in order to score a 7+ on the IELTS exam.

Party animal

This describes someone who loves to go out with friends.

They like to have a great time.

They’re outgoing and fun.

  • “My friend Mike is a party animal. He’s always calling me to go out!”

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Life of the party

This is a person who likes to be the center of attention.

  • “Mary is always surrounded by people when we go out. She’s the life of the party!”

Social butterfly

A person who loves to be around people and likes to go out and have fun in big groups.

  • “Guillermo is a social butterfly. He texts me every day to hang out, and every time I go to his place he has friends over!”

These would also be perfect for Speaking Part 2 topics that ask you to describe a party you attended or planned, or a person you enjoy being around.

Gregarious

An uncommon, band 9 vocabulary word that is a parallel for these is gregarious.

It means sociable and good with people.

  • “My friend Lillian is so gregarious. She’s a total social butterfly!”

When will you need to talk about going out on IELTS?

Casual slang for going out are “party” and “hang out with friends,” but there are some idioms to describe going out on the town.

These are great for Speaking Part 1 questions that ask what you did last weekend.

You may also be asked what you’re going to do next weekend or what you do with friends.

Paint the town red

Years ago this meant drunken debauchery.

It may have referred to inebriated, drunk people lighting things on fire which “painted” the sky red.

Now it just means going out and having a harmless good time.

You can say, “We’re going to paint the town red!” if you’re going dancing or going to do something fun.

You would not use this to describe going out for a relaxed dinner or movie.

Kick up one’s heels

A similar idiom is “kick up my heels.”

This means you want to really have a good time – maybe go dancing, let loose a little bit and have some fun.

  • “I’m meeting friends at a dance club tonight and we’re going to kick up our heels!”

You would also not use this idiom if you’re just going to the movies or out for a coffee.

Blow off steam

One that you can use for a more casual evening is blow off steam.

  • “After a long work week, I’m ready to go out and have some fun. Let’s blow off some steam tonight!”

This is a little more informal and should be reserved for Speaking Part 1 and Part 2.

Takeaway

You need to use idioms and high level vocabulary to get a 7 or higher on IELTS speaking.

However, you need to know which are informal and can be used on Part 1 and Part 2, and which are more formal and should be reserved for Speaking Part 3.

We often have students post about idioms in our Facebook group, asking how formal the idiom is and which part of the Speaking exam to use it on.

They are able to get quick answers to questions that they know are coming from IELTS experts.

This Facebook group is exclusive to 3 Keys IELTS students, so sign up today!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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