IELTS Cue Card
Describe a quiet place you like. You should say:
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- where it is
- how often you go there
- what you do there
- why you like this place
Waking up to a daily nine to five job and dealing with all kinds of irksome issues everyday will surely drive you insane someday unless having a healthy way to relieve stress and boredom. Fortunately, I have my own cure – a retreat to ABC, a mountainous area where I can’t see any tourists there– which I have taken every once in a while whenever life is giving me a hard time.
ABC is located roughly 200 km to the northeast of my city and about 1,500 m above sea level, which is well-known for its year-round cool weather. Because it is not a popular tourist attraction, it’s a favorite place for some locals looking for a tranquil place to get away from their tight schedules. Since it’s not very far from the city center, only half an hour if traveling by plane, I go there quite often, around 4 times per year. And every trip holds its own fascination depending on what activities I participate in. Normally, I would go trekking into the wild to burn up my energy and enjoy the feeling of sweat soaking my clothes and being physically exhausted. It makes me feel alive and rejuvenated again. Sometimes when I feel like pushing myself to the limit, extreme sports such as water sliding or cliff jumping are my favorites. Those kinds of entertainment require good health condition and adventurous spirit, hence, they’re not for everyone. I usually spend 3 days in ABC everytime I visit it and although it’s only a short time, I do feel some of the burdens I shoulder are swept away and am prepared to face whatever comes next.
Nine to five job (phrase) a job with normal daytime hours
Irksome (a): annoying or irritating
Drive someone insane/ crazy: to make you upset; to annoy or irritate someone
Every once in a while: sometimes, but not regularly
Remote (a): far away from places where other people live
Tranquil (a): quiet and peaceful
Fascination (n): a very strong attraction, that makes something very interesting
Rejuvenate (v): make (someone or something) look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively
Exhausted (a): very tired
Extreme sports (n): sports that are extremely exciting to do and often dangerous, for example skydiving and bungee jumping
Adventurous (a): (of a person) willing to take risks and try new ideas; enjoying being in new, exciting situations
Burden (n): a duty, responsibility, etc. that causes worry, difficulty or hard work
QUESTIONS FOR PART 3
Are there many quiet places in your city?
I reckon there aren’t many tranquil places in our city unless you wander around the border to the countryside. I suppose any cosmopolitan city is as crowed and active as mine so it’s quite tricky to find a peaceful spot to escape just for a while. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind an hour riding to the edge of the city, you will be hypnotized by many endless paddy fields and colorful flying kites.
Tranquil (a): peaceful
Border (n): the line that divides two countries or areas; the land near this line
Cosmopolitan (a): containing people of different types or from different countries, and influenced by their culture
Tricky (a): difficult to do or deal with
Hypnotize (v): to interest somebody so much that they can think of nothing else
Paddy field (n): a field planted with rice growing in water
Why do people sometimes prefer to be alone?
I don’t think there is a simple explanation for why people sometimes seek solitude to enjoy life by themselves. It has happened to me a few times as well when I feel suffocated by a bustle and hustle of city life. You have to spend two-third of your day being surrounded by all kinds of people and work that you barely have time for yourself and things you love, which is physically and emotionally detrimental. Therefore, in order to balance their personal lives, people often try to minimize contacts with outside world to find their inner peace when possible.
Seek (v): to look for
Solitude (n): the state of being alone, especially when you find this pleasant
Suffocate (v): feel or cause to feel trapped and oppressed
Bustle and hustle: busy and noisy activity
Detrimental (a): harmful
Balance (v): keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall
Minimize (v): to reduce something, especially something bad, to the lowest possible level
Is there much noise around your home?
My house is far from the city center, so the neighborhood is quite peaceful and livable. I can hardly imagine myself living elsewhere, especially the urban center due to its noise pollution and terrible congestions during rush hours. Admittedly, there are certain advantages when living there: short-distance commute, fabulous restaurants, various entertainment facilities and so on, which is pretty tempting. However, I am a social butterfly and prefer a good book to any meeting, hence, I love my tranquil place now.
Livable (a): (of life) worth living
Noise pollution (n): harmful or annoying levels of noise, as from airplanes, industry, etc.
Congestion (n): the state of being crowded and full of traffic
Commute (v): a regular journey of some distance to and from one’s place of work
Tempting (a): something that is tempting is attractive, and makes people want to have it, do it, etc.
Social butterfly (n): a very sociable person who flits from one social event to another
Does this noise affect you in any way?
Since my neighborhood is relatively restful, I am not often disturbed by noises. Yet, every once in a while when some neighbor throws a party or has their house refurbished, I tend to get distracted. I don’t work well under stress or any kind of distractions since it makes me unfocused. Even if it’s a bit loud, I don’t want to complain since most of the time they are incredible well-behaved. Hence, I choose to do my choirs or hang out with some friends instead to make my time useful.
Restful (a): that makes you feel relaxed and peaceful
Disturb (v): to interrupt somebody when they are trying to work, sleep, etc.
Refurbish (v): to clean and decorate a room, building, etc. in order to make it more attractive, more useful, etc.
Distract (v): to take somebody’s attention away from what they are trying to do
Distraction (n): a thing that takes your attention away from what you are doing or thinking about
Well-behaved (a): behaving in a way that other people think is polite or correct
How do you think noise in cities could be reduced?
It will take great effort to be able to reduce noise pollution in cities and everybody will need to join hand. Firstly, turn off your electronics when you’re out of home or office. It may sound unnecessary and trivial but imagine the whole neighborhood let the music play all night long, it would be a nightmare. Secondly, put on your earphones in public places. Nobody wants to know your music taste or to be disturbed when trying to focus on their reading. Besides, encourage your friends and family do the same. The more participants, the less noise population.
Take effort to: to do something even though you do not want to or you find it difficult
Turn off (phrasal verb): to stop the flow of electricity, gas, water, etc. by moving a switch, button, etc.
Trivial (a): not important or serious; not worth considering
Put on (phrasal verb): to wear
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