IELTS Speaking topic - transport 2

IELTS Speaking topic – Transport #2

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a memorable car journey
You should say:

  • when it took place
  • if you were alone or with other people
  • what was memorable about it

and say if you enjoyed the journey.

Model answer

Back in 2004 my father and I decided to traverse the Carpathian Mountains in his old and trusty car. We had no particular reason to go there other than to enjoy the great scenery. It was a beautiful summer so we set off as soon as the car passed an inspection at a shop

Other than my father and myself there was nobody in the car. Our mother intended to join us, but she is a known backseat driver so in the end we decided not to take her with us. A couple of my schools friends felt like coming too, but their parents simply wouldn’t let them. It was too dangerous, they said. So it was just the two of us at the end.

Apart from the great sights of mountain peaks what really made the trip stick in my mind was the breakdowns. We had two flat tyres that we had to patch up on the side of the road. Then the engine started to sputter and eventually died. As it turned out, the fuel pump had gone bad so we had to fit one from a different model. But at the end of the day I really enjoyed the experience!

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Transportation

What type of public transport is best for modern cities?
We have to consider the size of the city before we choose the best mode of public transportation. Small to medium cities will best benefit from conventional buses. Minibuses are great too for shorter routes I guess. If we talk about a big metropolis, things get more complicated. To offset carbon emission trams and trolleybuses can be used, both operating off the city power grid. To increase overall passenger capacity large cities build an extensive underground network. This helps reduce traffic congestion as well as lower exhaust fumes levels. Therefore, no such thing as the perfect public transport exists – they all serve a purpose and fill a niche.

Is it a good idea to reduce the amount of privately owned cars? Why/why not?
This is a great proposition from the practical and environmental points of view. Clearly, private vehicles are one of the biggest carbon monoxide contributors in the modern world. Moreover, elimination or drastic reduction of their numbers would lead to a more stress-free society. It is no secret that driving is a great source of distress for most traffic participants.

However, ethically it is unfair to take away the right to have and drive cars. People have grown too accustomed to having the freedom of going anywhere without relying on public transport. Perhaps a smoother transition from car ownership could give people time to get used to new conditions. A gradual shift spanning five to ten years would probably be ideal in this situation.

How can people’s commute times be reduced?
People commute because they have to be present somewhere physically – it sounds self-explanatory, but it is crucial to to understand this point. If we take out the necessity to be at work or place of study in person, then the idea of commuting simply wouldn’t exist. Therefore, moving to working or studying from home is the cheapest and extremely effective way to do so. Thankfully, modern technologies are more than developed enough to facilitate this.

Transport in different times

Was it easier or more difficult to go somewhere in the past?
I believe people had different experience of travelling depending on the time period. Hundreds years ago very few places had paved roads. Rain and snow would normally turn them into muddy messes that were almost impossible to travel through. While such modern issue like traffic congestion was unknown, I would say that travelling was a much more challenging venture. If we go back half a century ago, when the road network had already been quite extensive while the number of cars remained relatively low, the situation was quite different. Wide but mostly empty roads lent themselves to a relaxed and very enjoyable experience of going somewhere.

What transport regulations can we expect to see in the future?
A likely law that will get imposed in the foreseeable future is introduction of riding licenses for bike users. As popularity of bikes seems to be on the rise thanks to unparalleled mobility and practicality the governing bodies will feel the need to control this situation. We might witness creation of technical inspection similar to that of cars. Moreover, license plates for bikes would not be out of the question either.

Transport vocabulary

Traverse (v) – to go through or to cross something
Set off (phr v) – to start a journey or to start moving
Backseat driver – a person who loves giving tips and comments on how the driver controls the car. Used negatively or humorously.
Breakdown (n) – a failure of some component in a machine, a piece of electronics and so on
Patch up (phr v) – to fix something quickly and temporarily
Sputter (v) – (here) if an engine sputters it struggles to work and sounds like it is about to shut down
Carbon emissions – harmful gases produced as a result of burning fuel by an engine
Carbon monoxide – see above, this time the particular harmful chemical is mentioned
Paved road – a road which surface is covered with tarmac, concrete or other material

General vocabulary

Trusty (adj) – trustworthy and reliable
Stick in smb’s mind – to be memorable, to remain in one’s memory
Offset (v) – to make something bad slightly better, to compensate for the harm or damage caused
Power grid – the power system of a town, a city or a building
Fill a niche – to find usage and popularity in a particular sphere
Proposition (n) – an official offer or suggestion
Contributor (n) – either a person or a body that adds to something, either positive or negative
Drastic (adj) – very serious, introducing considerable changes
Distress (n) – a stressful condition characterised by high levels of anxiety
To grow accustomed to something – to get used to
Transition (n) – changing or moving from one state to another
Spanning (adj) – covering or including, e.g. ‘A book spanning five thousand years of human history’
Crucial (adj) – vitally important, integral
Lend oneself to something – to be suitable or fitting for a particular role or application: ‘Plastic paper doesn’t lend itself to making origami’
Impose (v) – to force some law, rule or regulation on/upon somebody
Be on the rise – to be increasing
Unparalleled (adj) – the best (or the worst), the only one in existence. Can also be used about historical high or low levels of something: ‘Unparalleled levels of crime’
Governing bodies – state organisations that rule (govern).

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