Speaking Topic: Love and Marriage – IELTS Speaking Part 2 & 3 in 2017 & Band 9 Sample
Describe a couple you know who have a happy marriage.
You should say:
If someone asks me what I treasure most in my life, my answer would be one and only – my family, who are not only my pillar of strength and support but also inspire me in many ways. I wouldn’t have become who I am today without my parents’ guidance and their love for me, and, of course, for each other. I will never get tired of my friends telling me how awesome and adorable my parents are despite both being almost 60. According to them, my parents are real-life relationship goals. My dad, an intelligent, thoughtful, strong and honorable man to the core, started his own business 20 years ago and has been working hard to achieve what he deserves. He’s married to a beautiful, loving and strong-willed woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
My parents have known each other for almost five decades and been pretty much in love all that time. They usually tell us their legendary stories from when they were high school sweethearts until tying the knot and living their happily ever after, which often gets exaggerated though none of my siblings have ever complained. Though my parents work in different fields, they tend to seek the other’s input and opinions on numerous cases. My dad always says mom is his greatest cheerleader in everything he does and she tells us he is her rock. One thing I have noticed about my parents is honesty and openness in the way they communicate. Just like any other couples, mom and dad have also experienced many difficulties but how they handle them is what makes them stronger. I am so grateful to have been born and raised in the family full of love where I can feel it every time coming home. It is hard to put into words all they have inspired in me. They have molded and shaped me into the person I am today and who I hope to be in the future.
- pillar of strength (idiom): a person who can be relied on to give a great deal of support and comfort
- relationship goal (n): when two people are in a relationship and people envy them, usually a celebrity couple
- to the core: all the way through; basically and essentially
- strong-willed (a): determined to do what you want to do, even if other people advise you not to
- speak one’s mind: express one’s feelings or opinions frankly
- high school sweetheart (n): a person with whom one was romantically involved at high school
- tie the knot (idiom): get married
- exaggerate (v): to make something seem larger, better, worse or more important than it really is
- mold (v): to strongly influence the way somebody’s character, opinions, etc. develop
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1. If you are 35 years old without marriage, do you still waiting for your true love? Why?
I would say it might be the case since I’d prefer to stay single rather than end up with the wrong person. It is not a surprise, I believe, because there are plenty of people who still enjoy their every moment without a life partner. On the one hand, the number of divorces or unhappy marriages have been increasing tremendously over the years and its consequences are upsetting such as dysfunctional family, domestic violence, child neglect and the list could go on. On the other hand, people can find happiness in different places and activities without committing their life to one particular person, especially those who aren’t worth it. Therefore, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than what I deserve.
- end up with (idiom): to finish with the possession of someone or something or in the company of someone or something
- dysfunctional (a): not working normally or properly
- domestic violence (n): family violence
- child neglect (n): a form of child abuse, and is a deficit in meeting a child’s basic needs, including the failure to provide adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as their physical, emotional, social, educational and safety needs
- settle for anything less (n) commit to a person just because you feel like you can’t do any better:
2. Who will pay for the wedding cost? Man or woman or both? Why?
Budget planning for weddings can be an extreme headache and deciding who pays what might not be easy since there are tons of expenses to cover such as the rings, floral arrangements, honeymoon and so on. Hence, I believe depending on each couple’s financial status, they should carefully discuss and choose a cost-splitting option that works best for them. For example, if both are financially abundant, they can share the cost equally. Otherwise, one who is more well-off can cover a greater portion of the expense.
- floral (a): made of flowers
- split (v): to divide, or to make something divide, into two or more parts
- abundant (a): existing in large quantities; more than enough
- well-off (a): having a lot of money
3. What is the best age to get married?
I don’t believe that there is a right time for anything, marriage included. It’s more about the maturity of the two people than the age itself, I think. People mature at different rates, physically and emotionally, and not until after they can fully acknowledge their life issues and handle them with rationale and thorough consideration, are they ready to get settled and find happiness in their marriage life. Besides, financial situation also plays a significant part in this once-in-a-lifetime decision. Many divorces have been directly resulted from the lack of money or financial insecurity. Therefore, only when people can fully support themselves, should they consider to start a family.
- maturity (n): the quality of thinking and behaving in a sensible, adult manner
- rationale (n) the principles or reasons which explain a particular decision, course of action, belief, etc.
- once-in-lifetime: very special because you will probably only have it once
- insecurity (n): the state of not being safe or protected
4. Do you think weddings in your countries waste lots of money?
It’s absolutely a yes to me. Maybe I’m a minimalist, therefore, I consider weddings one of those occasions when people are willing to pour money down the drain with exorbitantly high and unnecessary items and ceremonies. For example, in XYZ, where I come from, couples tend to have a huge reception where hundreds of guests are invited while, in my opinion, it should be an intimate one where people can share and celebrate the delight of life with their family and close friends only. In addition, other wedding expenses including floral arrangements, invitations, photography, costumes and so many more also cost people more than they should since I believe they’re more show than substance.
- minimalist (n): person who is interested in keeping things very simple
- pour money down the drain (idiom): to waste money; to throw money away
- exorbitantly (adv): to a very high degree that does not seem reasonable
- delight (n): a feeling of great pleasure
- more show than substance (idiom): value luxurious things rather than the quality
5. Why use lots of money for weddings?
I myself can hardly understand why couples are constantly spending an outrageous amount of money on their weddings but I may have some thoughts. First of all, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, at least for most people, hence, they want to have a lavish celebration which no one can ever forget. Whether it’s a wedding invitation or reception venue, everything has to be of top quality. Secondly, big weddings might be a tradition in some countries. It’s customary in many cultures to have several ceremonies and celebrations in order to have a fulfilling married life. Last but not least, they can afford it. Some well-off couples love to show off their wealth and wedding is an ideal occasion.
- outrageous (a): very unusual and slightly shocking
- lavish (a): large in amount, or impressive, and usually costing a lot of money
- customary (a): if something is customary, it is what people usually do in a particular place or situation
- fulfilling (a): causing somebody to feel satisfied and useful
6. In a traditional family in your country, what male do in the family? And what about female? Why?
It comes as no surprise that women are still responsible for most of the housework in a family, traditional or not. Even though gender equality is actively promoted in modern society, there is still an imbalance in household chores division. Housewives take care of almost everything from cooking, laundering, dish washing to house cleaning while their husbands are only concerned with some hard work occasionally such as mending pipes or gardening.
- come as no surprise (idiom): will not be surprising [for someone] to learn [something]
- imbalance (n): a situation in which two or more things are not the same size or are not treated the same, in a way that is unfair or causes problems
- mend (v): to repair something that has been damaged or broken so that it can be used again
7. Do you think man should take care of baby? Why?
Both mother and father have fundamental roles in a child’s development from birth through adulthood, I believe. Hence, men should be more active in raising kids since they can boost their children, intellectually and socially. Research has shown that children who have a close father-child relationship are likely to have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems since they are more emotionally secure. Meanwhile, a distant or non-existent father-child bond could take a horrendous toll on a kid’s self-esteem and self-belief. Thus, if you want to raise a well-rounded kid, pay attention to them.
- fundamental (a): serious and very important; affecting the most central and important parts of something
- intellectually (adv): in a way that is connected with or using a person’s ability to think in a logical way and understand things
- take a toll on (idiom): to have a bad effect on somebody/something; to cause a lot of damage, deaths, suffering, etc.
- horrendous (a): extremely unpleasant
- self-esteem (n): a feeling of being happy with your own character and abilities
- well-rounded (a): having a variety of experiences and abilities and a fully developed personality
8. Do you think man should do housework? Why?
Housework is definitely not women’s sole responsibility and men should share domestic chores with female members in family for his own good as well as others’. Becoming more disciplined and independent is the very first benefit when men take care of their own housework. Most men, especially wealthy ones, prefer to have their housemaid do all the work from cleaning the house to cooking. However, what if she gets sick or has emergency issues, are they willing to go out with dirty socks? Hence, no one can look after you better than yourself. Furthermore, they are likely to become more understanding and thoughtful husbands. Men who are not shy away from “housewife’s duties” will be more well-prepared for married life since they don’t mind rolling up their sleeves to help their family.
- for one’s own good (idiom): being or done for the benefit of oneself
- disciplined (a): able to control the way you behave and to make yourself do things that you believe you should do
- shy away from (phrasal verb): to avoid something that you dislike, fear, or do not feel confident about
- roll up one’s sleeves (idiom): prepare to fight or work
9. What kind of traditional wedding in your country?
In XYZ, we celebrate weddings like most parts of the world, except with some extra special features in our ceremonies and costumes. Normally, a bride will be dressed in a white gown with an elegant bridal veil to complete her dreamy and stunning look. She will be accompanied by several bridesmaids who are usually her close friends or relatives. Meanwhile, tuxedo or suit is a groom’s attire in this special event and he also has his best man carry the wedding rings. In addition, we do have our traditional wedding costumes which are far more sophisticated and cumbersome to wear, however, some couples still prefer them at other minor ceremonies beside the main one at the church.
- veil (n): a covering of very thin transparent material worn, especially by women, to protect or hide the face, or as part of a hat, etc.
- accompany (v): to travel or go somewhere with somebody
- attire (n): clothes
- cumbersome (a): large and heavy; difficult to carry