IELTS Speaking topics - Page 6 of 6 -

IELTS Speaking topic – Home and hometown #1

IELTS Speaking topic - home and hometown 1

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 the town you were born in
You should say:

  • where it is
  • if it is famous for anything
  • whether you still live there

and say how much it has changed over the years.

Model answer

I was born in a small town some 20 kilometers away from Stockholm, Sweden. There are about ten thousand people living there, so it’s a tight-knit community where everybody knows everybody.

Few know this, but our little town is where the founder of IKEA spent his formative years. I think there is even a statue of him, I’m not quite sure where it is though. Another thing this place is well-known for is it’s beautiful landscapes with rolling hills that get consumed by thick woods up north.

I don’t live there anymore as I had to move to the capital when I graduated. As with most smaller towns, finding a job can be tricky so many choose to try their luck elsewhere. I went there last year and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it hasn’t changed in the slightest. It still feels like the old, cozy place I knew when I was growing up.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Home and hometown

Is it better to spend all your life in one place or to change where you live? Why?

It is possible to answer this question accurately only if we take each case individually. An outgoing, open-minded person will find travelling from one location to another much easier. One has to be quite industrious and adaptable to feel comfortable at a new place. This can be fun and it definitely builds character. Conversely, a shy, anxious person is very likely to struggle if forced to move often. Such experience is going to be excruciating for them. So to answer the question at hand – one is better off deciding whether to travel or not based on their character.

What can the local government do to make life more comfortable for citizens?

Life in a big city is busy, noisy and quite stressful. Not many people can stomach the pace of a modern metropolitan area. In order to make things more tolerable, local authorities could create more infrastructure where citizens would catch a moment of peace. Parks, squares, alleys and other green spaces would be perfect for that. Another possible improvement is an effort to make the city less car-centered. Alternative transportation infrastructure such as bike lanes could make the city a quieter place. It would make it safer and promote healthy lifestyles.

Why do young people leave their hometowns to live in bigger cities?

When you are young you want to live your life to the fullest and experience what a big, bustling city has to offer. Young adults, bursting with energy and enthusiasm go there and never look back. The busy lifestyle of a major city sounds alluring – these areas are the financial and cultural centres that have so much to offer. Whether you want to start a promising career or have a blast partying you are far more likely to find that in a bigger city. But as people grow up their values evolve as well. 

City and the country

What are typical differences between inhabitants of bigger cities and smaller town?

From my experience townsfolk tend to be more reserved. It can be more difficult to win their trust, but on the other hand once they open up they are quite welcoming. I don’t mean to say that people from huge cities are distant and aloof – on the contrary, they are more open (and open-minded) and welcoming to strangers. When one is surrounded by people one gets used to them. In smaller towns and villages social contact is not so common so people maintain distance – both personal and physical.

What would make living in the country more attractive?

Number one reason for mass exodus of village folk is no employment prospects. If the government could subsidize working there, create new positions and otherwise encourage development there then it would become a much more attractive place to live in. When you think about it, living in the country has no problems such as overcrowding, air and noise pollution, crazy traffic jams. Life in the country is much more natural, going at its own pace. Therefore, the only thing that is missing is a stable job that would allow people to earn a living there.

How might cities change in the future? What about the country?

We live in times of tumultuous changes so making any predictions is a risky endeavour, but one can always speculate, right? Judging by the current trend, we will see even more people moving to the cities, possibly to an extent where housing capacity will no longer be able to accommodate everybody. This might require city planners to come up with an alternative housing solutions like pods and micro-flats.

Another challenge that stems from the increased number of people is commuting – more and more people will have to resort to public transport as roads wouldn’t be able to keep up with the increase in privately owned car numbers. As for the changes in the country – I’m afraid these might just outright die out, unless we do something about it. Decentralisation measures have to be introduced for that. 

Home and hometown vocabulary

Tight-knit community – a group of people where everybody knows and trusts each other
Rolling hills – hills that slowly go up and down in the distance
The pace of – (here) the way life goes or changes, i.e. slow pace of life.
Local authorities – local government such as the city council that make the decisions on change and development
Infrastructure (n) – the places and institutions that make our life better such as hospitals, kindergartens, shops, museums and many others
Bustling (adj) – very active
Townsfolk (n) – people living in smaller towns
Exodus (n) – the action of leaving a place in great numbers.
Employment prospects – chances of getting a job
Air and noise pollution – air pollution is a result of various harmful gases created by cars and factories, noise pollution is mostly due to the great number of cars on the roads.
Pods (n) – (here) little man-sized containers that can be used to sleep. The point of these is that they take up very little space and at the same time offer some privacy.
To keep up – to maintain the same speed or rate
Die out – to stop existing

General vocabulary

Some (adj) – another way to say ‘about’.
Founder (n) – a creator of something, usually a business or a company
Formative years – years up to eight of age when a person undergoes most changes and creates a foundation of their future character
Try your luck – see if you can achieve something, give something a chance
Outgoing (adj) – eager to meet other people and spend time outside rather than at home
Open-minded (adj) – understanding and accepting of other people’s differences and peculiarities.
Industrious (adj) – able to find original and effective solutions to problems easily
Adaptable (adj) – able to change and transform to fit better in the current situation
Build character – to become emotionally stronger by going through difficulties
Excruciating (adj) – extremely painful or tiring, either physically or emotionally
Stomach (v) – to accept or live with something or someone that is extremely unpleasant
Promote (v) – to encourage some development or change
Burst with – to be very full with something to the point when it is almost tearing apart because of that (not literally here)
Alluring (adj) – attractive in a mysterious or unusual way, especially if it is difficult to resist.
Have a blast – (inf) to truly enjoy some activity
Subsidize (v) – to promote something by sponsoring something or making something easier to finance in some other way
Tumultuous changes – sudden, usually violent changes
Endeavour (n) – an attempt to do or achieve something, usually strong and resilient (determined to succeed)
Outright (adv) – completely, totally

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IELTS Speaking topic – Hobbies and free time #1

IELTS Speaking topic - hobbies and free time 1

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a hobby you had but no longer have
You should say:

  • what the hobby was
  • how you got interested in it
  • how long you have been engaged in it

and say why you no longer have it

Model answer

Back in my school days, I was introduced to cycling by my older brother. I was about 12 at the time when he one day approached me and asked for some help fixing his bike. I didn’t know much about bicycles back then, so I would mostly watch him work on it and hand him some tools occasionally. Later that summer, he helped me build my first track bike and that’s where my passion really took off. It was a real revelation and showed how cool bikes really are!

From then on, I would spend almost the entirety of my free time either riding the bike or upgrading it. I was really keen on exploring the city where I lived, and having a reliable form of transportation facilitated this. I also got to know some really cool people who shared this passion.

Eventually I moved to a bigger city to study in college, and as I lived next to it, I didn’t need the bike that much, so I left it at home. Now it gathers dust, forgotten. Sometimes I feel bad about not using it nearly as much as I did before.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Hobbies and free time

Can you tell something about a person by their hobbies?
I believe so, yes – for instance a shy, introverted individual is much more likely to be into things like reading or collecting post stamps. Similarly, a more outgoing character will choose an active, socially-involved pastime like a team sport of some kind. Of course, there can be exceptions – an introvert who sets out to battle his social anxiety and gets into an activity that implies interacting with other people.

How has the way we spend free time changed over the years?
To address this question, we first have to understand that people from different backgrounds will have changed to varying degrees. Folk living in the countryside will have remained fairly unchanged, with their hobbies not altered by progress or change. Urbanites, on the other hand, have undergone the greatest transformation of their leisure activities – mobile phones have become a workplace, a playground and a dating platform all wrapped into one. Most also don’t socialise as much as they used to – at least not face-to-face.

What kind of new leisure activities can we see appearing in the future?
One of the next big things they are talking about nowadays is so called ‘metaverse’ – something similar to virtual reality where you could meet friends, strike up conversations with strangers, find common interests and so on. Think Facebook with a virtual reality helmet and you will get the idea. On the other end of the spectrum we see an increase in popularity of wild tourism. People choose to go on guided (and quite expensive!) tours to exotic locations to reunite with the nature. Ultimately, I believe that everyone will find something to their liking when it comes to new leisure developments.


Some people choose to work as little as possible to have more free time. Is this a positive or a negative trend?
It is true – nowadays there is a popular notion that work should not be pivotal in your life. Therefore, both young and old people are trying to optimise their time management, hoping to work smarter rather than harder. After all, throughout human history laziness proved to be a driver for inventiveness. I don’t think that this should be a reason for concern. This might make the working process less dull and thus more inspired, promoting out-of-the-box thinking.

It is said that in order to be a complete person, one has to have a hobby. Do you agree?
That is a very bold thing to assume, but whoever said that does have a point. Having a hobby shows dedication, it means that you are ready to commit to something. But whether it really does complete us is the real question. I would disagree. While it certainly makes us more interesting as a person, it neither makes nor brakes who we are.

Is your generation’s lifestyle much different from that of your parents? If so, what are the differences?
The first evident difference in lifestyles is how much more outgoing my parents were. They would spend every weekend out and about partying, visiting their friends, travelling to nearby cities. So I would say people of that generation had a much more active and varied social life. There were no mobile phones back then, so people actually had to come up with ideas about how to fill their free time. Some visited their friends or families, others went to the movies or concerts, libraries and other places that are not that popular nowadays. 

Hobbies and free time vocabulary

Passion (n) – a strong interest in somebody or someone that you actively pursue.
To be into – to like something or someone, to be interested in it.
Pastime (n) – an activity that you do in your free time. Often used as ‘national pastime’, e.g. drinking tea is believed to be British national pastime.
Playground (n) – used figuratively here, a playground is a place outside where kids play games, climb ladders, rock on swing sets etc.
Socialise (v) – to talk to people in order to get to know them better or just to fulfil the need to interact with somebody else.
Something to your liking – another way of saying that you like it.
Leisure (adj) – not having to do with work or need. A leisure activity is done for fun, not immediate benefit.

General vocabulary

Back then – in the past, before
Take off – to start growing rapidly. If something takes off – it becomes bigger or more successful, i.e. a business that took off.
Entirety of (n) – all of, the whole part of something.
Facilitate (v) – to make something easier.
Gather dust – if some item gathers dust it is no longer used as much as before.
Social anxiety – feeling of unreasonable worry associated with talking to other people, especially strangers.
Address the question – to answer (or try to answer) the question. Addressing a question can also mean solving (or trying to solve) some issue.
All wrapped into one – combining several things in one. A Swiss knife is also a screwdriver, a saw and a corkscrew all wrapped into one.
Pivotal (adj) – extremely important or meaningful.
Out-of-the-box thinking – thinking in a way that avoids or ignores conventional methods and ideas in order to try to find something new, possibly more effective.
Have a point – if a person has a point it means their arguments make sense and are reasonable.
Neither make nor brake – not to have decisive effect on something.
Come up with – to think of something new, i.e. come up with a solution to a problem.

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IELTS Speaking topic – Job and career #1

IELTS Speaking topic - job and career 1

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe a profession one of your relatives has
You should say:

  • what their profession is
  • the duties they have
  • how long they have had it

and say why you think they have chosen this profession

Model answer

I’m going to talk about my late grandfather. He was into cars his entire life and aspired to make a living around them. He started off as a mechanic at a shop where he worked during his time in college. After graduating, he was lucky to make an acquaintance with a local race team manager and was taken on as a substitute driver. Eventually, he worked his way up to chief engineer of the team.

His duties involved making sure that their cars were mechanically in top shape. This meant both routine maintenance and any modifications or upgrades that had to be made to keep the car competitive. He would even test-drive the cars himself to better understand the direction the team had to move in.

My grandfather had been doing this for more than fifty years until he eventually passed away at the age of 79 last year. I guess the reason he kept doing the same thing was because he believed it to be his calling. I really envy him. I’d say not many people find their true vocation

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Life and work

Should a person do what they like for a living?
At first, it might sound like a no-brainer – definitely do what you love and make money with it. What could possibly go wrong? As a popular adage goes, do something you love, and you won’t have to work a day in your life. However, this idea can be deceptive. Take taxi drivers as an example: do they enjoy the monotony of night shifts, the chaotic inner-city traffic, the moody clients day in, day out? They probably chose their occupation because they were keen on cars and driving, but many of them surely resent it now. So my point is no, one should probably stay away from the idea of turning their passion intro profession.

Some countries suggest having a four- or even three-day working week. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this proposal?
This idea seems pretty good, and people are going to love it, but for different reasons. Some will appreciate the extra free time that they get to spend with their loved ones. Others will relish the fact that their workload is going to get lighter. However, ultimately it will encourage both employers and employees to cut down on so-called “time-theft” – spending their time at work in a suboptimal way. It should be understood that only by using the reduced number of working hours in a more efficient way can a company maintain same productivity and stay afloat. This implies making some of the employees redundant, namely those unable to adjust to higher standards.

Is it a good idea to work more while you are young and more energetic? Why?
This is a choice all of us either have already made or will have to make in the future. It is no secret that while you are in your prime you should take advantage of the resources available to you – your enthusiasm, energy and ability to learn quickly. All of this is more immediately available in your younger years. On the other hand, some might say that it is much better to enjoy your life rather than spend it climbing up the career ladder. Personally I’d say that it is wiser to make the best use of your opportunities and create a strong work portfolio while you’re young. At the end of the day, working hard doesn’t have to mean no fun or free time to do what you love!

Jobs of the future

What professions are going to be needed in the future? What about professions that will no longer be necessary?
It’s hard to tell what exactly the future might be like as we live in a world of ever-increasing pace. However, it’s fun to make predictions, so I would assume that one of the most needed industries in the future is likely to be IT. Even today such skilled workers like programmers and web-designers are in constant demand and are consistently earning much more on average. As our lives get even more dependent on computer technology, we will see the demand for such specialists increase even further.

Speaking of professions that are likely to be redundant we should again be thinking of computer-controlled things that could successfully replace human operators. For instance, any job involving driving is under threat of disappearing. Driving a taxi, delivering food or goods, public transit – even planes – those are the things a machine can control. Even today, we can see self-driving cars for sale, and while they can’t provide fully autonomous driving experience it is undoubtedly only a matter of time before they perfect the technology.

How has the way we work changed recently? What other changes might we expect?
One of the greatest changes in the business environment we have witnessed recently is the idea of working from home. The pandemic forced many companies to keep their staff working from their own places. Meetings and conferences could be held without ever leaving your house – who could have thought this was possible just a few years ago? Now it’s a reality we live in and while some people might not like it, this practice showed employers a way of cutting down expenses as they no longer have to have staff on premises. Therefore, we might witness further distancing from the conventional model of working in an office cubicle and towards working remotely. Large businesses constantly seek ways to optimise running costs and not having to pay rent on office spaces must be a very lucrative idea.

Is it possible that in the future, only a small part of the population will have to work?
This is a distinct possibility. The utopian world described in works of science fiction, where only a fraction of populace does any meaningful work, can become a reality in the future. Just like industrialization made work much more efficient, manual labour will eventually get superseded by newer methods of production. This is likely to free up the majority of population, eliminating the need for them to be working full-time. Maybe the concept of ‘work’ will shape up into an occupation people do to feel purpose in their lives rather than a necessity to earn a living. After all, spending one’s life with no meaningful occupation can take a toll on anyone.

Job and career vocabulary

Aspire (v) – to have something as a goal and do one’s best to reach it.
To make a living – to earn money to cover the costs of food, housing and other essentials, e.g. if you make a living by selling cars, that is how you make money to afford products and services.
To take on – if an employer takes you on, they hire you.
Substitute (n) – a substitute is a person who does the job of somebody who is currently unable to perform it due to illness or other reasons, e.g. a substitute teacher.
Work your way up – to progress in your career from lower ranks to higher ones.
Competitive (adj) – as good as others. For instance, a competitive salary is a salary that is not lower than at other positions of similar nature.
Move in a direction – to progress in a particular way.
Calling (n) – a feeling that you should have this particular career.
Vocation (n) – see ‘calling’.
Monotony (n) – performing the same, usually boring task over and over again.
Night shifts – time of work that starts late in the evening and ends early in the morning.
Day in, day out – if you do something day in, day out, you do it for a very long period of time.
Occupation – what you do for a living.
To turn passion into profession – a phrase that means doing what you love professionally, e.g. becoming an artist because you love drawing or painting.
Workload (n) – the amount of work that you have to do or have already done over a given period of time.
To encourage (v) – to approve of doing something or to make doing something easier.
Time-theft (n) – the act of wasting time that you are paid for, e.g. having small talks with your colleagues instead of performing your duties.
Suboptimal (adj) – not the best it can be.
Working hours – the time of the way you are at work, e.g. most people’s working hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
Stay afloat – if a business stays afloat, it manages to keep its profits higher than its expenses.
Redundant (adj) – unnecessary. If a person is made redundant, they are let go (fired).
In your prime – a person in their prime is as good looking, smart and strong as they will ever be.
Climb up the career ladder – to advance in your professional path.
Work portfolio – a selection of works you have done or the amount of work experience that you have.
Skilled workers – a professional who has special skills needed to perform a job, e.g. an electrician.
In constant demand – if something is in constant demand, people need it all the time.
To cut down expenses – to reduce the amount of money spent on something.
Office cubicle – the working space in an office where you are separated from your colleagues by panels.
Running costs – the amount of money spent on keeping the business running.
Office spaces – see ‘cubicle’.
Lucrative (adj) – attractive from the financial point of view.
Manual labour – the kind of work done by hands rather than through intellectual effort.

General vocabulary

Late (adj) – (usage: late + name) deceased (dead).
To start off – to begin with something.
Make an acquaintance with – to meet someone, to get to know somebody’s name.
Routine maintenance – regular inspection and replacement of parts to make sure it works properly.
Pass away – (more formal) to die.
A no-brainer – a choice that is easy to make because of how obvious it is.
Adage (n) – a wise saying.
Deceptive (adj) – looking like it is something else while it isn’t.
To resent (v) – to have a strong dislike for something, to hate it bitterly.
Stay away from – to avoid something intentionally.
Appreciate (v) – to enjoy something and realise how rare and precious it is.
Relish (v) – to enjoy and appreciate something greatly.
Cut down on – to reduce the amount of something or to stop eating something.
It is no secret that – used to say something obvious or known to everyone.
Make the best use of – use something in the best way possible.
Immediately available – easily or readily accessible, either because it is cheap or because of its high quantity.
Ever-increasing pace – constantly growing speed.
Distancing from – moving away from something; usually not used literally.
A distinct possibility – a likely outcome of a situation.
A fraction of populace – part of the people living somewhere.
Get superseded by – to be replaced by something more modern or more efficient.
Feel purpose – to have the feeling of being needed, to have an aim for your life.
Take a toll on – have a negative effect.

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IELTS Speaking topic – Friends and family #1

IELTS Speaking topic - friends and family 1

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe a childhood friend you have lost touch with
You should say:

    • where you met
    • how you spent time together
    • what you liked about your friend

and say why you think you have lost touch with them.

Model answer

I’d like to tell you about Giorgio, my old school friend. I met him in primary school – we were assigned to sit at the same desk, and we hit it off in no time at all. He turned out to be quite keen on videogames, just as I was. This kind of brought us together.

We would spend days either at my place or his talking about our hobbies, playing games or reading comic books. We would rarely go outside, which sometimes caused me to fall out with my family. Other than that, my parents didn’t stand in the way of our friendship.

What I really liked about Giorgio was his determination. I idolised his persistence in achieving whatever he would set out to do. I guess this quality has proved really helpful throughout his life. Small wonder he is so successful now!

I guess the reason we grew apart was a natural one. At some point Giorgio became a family man, too busy to have time for many things. I mean, we still have lots in common and would find something to talk about, but it just isn’t going to be the way it used to.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Family and friendship

What personal qualities make a good friend?
I’d say that a good friend is someone with empathy. You should be able to relate to other people’s feelings, whether positive or negative. Another important trait of character is being considerate – paying attention to what another person says, thinks or needs. Finally, a great friend is a selfless one – in other words, they are ready to put other people’s interests before their own. Surely there are many other important personal qualities, but these three are the cornerstone ones.

Who do people have a stronger connection with – their friends or their family? Why?
This is a pretty tough question and it should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Some cultures have stronger family ties, whether it’s their immediate or extended family. They have family meetings and dinners regularly. They have more respect for the elder members of their community as well. Others bond stronger with their friends, either childhood ones or those from school, college or work. One thing remains true: while we can’t choose our family, we definitely have a choice when it comes to friends, so it might be safe to say that the latter tends to be stronger as it is based on common interests or other things that draw people together.

Nowadays, people tend to start families later in their lives. Why?
I think there is a number of factors at play here. First of all, the economic reasons. Young people today have a harder time finding a promising career. A good job takes up the majority of their time, which leaves little room for the personal side of life. Similarly, raising a child can be quite taxing on a family budget, so many choose to postpone having a family and children until they are financially comfortable. Another possible reason is an overall shift in the social paradigm – some people no longer see starting a family as an integral part of their life.


How has technology affected the way people communicate?
The ubiquity of the Internet and the increasing popularity of mobile devices have had a dramatic effect on the way we keep in touch. In fact, the change was so vast that even phone conversations are becoming obsolete, rapidly being ousted by messengers. These enable people to send text or voice messages virtually free of charge. Consequently, people have moved from real-time conversations to sending and receiving messages that they can read or listen to at their convenience.

Has the way people meet their partners changed over the past twenty years?
I would say yes, the dating scene is different from what it was for my parents. In those days, people would find their other half at disco bars, parties at their friends’ or introduced to by mutual acquaintances. While some of these ways are still popular today, people have been increasingly preferring various online websites and apps for their dating needs. Some might say that the romance is now gone and the process of finding a partner has become devoid of thrill and excitement. All in all, the process has indeed changed.

Friends and family vocabulary

Hit if off – to become friendly or to like each other quickly, usually right after meeting.
Bring together – if something brings people together, it unites them because they are equally interested in it.
Fall out (v) – when you fall out you have an argument or a row, usually verbal, non-violent one.
Grow apart – to stop being in touch, to stop taking or communicating. It happens gradually rather than abruptly.
Have lots in common – to be interested in the same thing, to be alike.
Empathy (n) – the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes and try to understand how they might feel about something.
Relate to (v) – if you relate to a person you understand how they feel because you have experienced something similar in the past.
Considerate (adj) – a considerate person is one who cares about how others feel and because of that they try not to offend anyone.
Selfless (adj) – a selfless individual sees other people’s needs and desires as more important than their own.
Family ties – family connection, relation
Immediate family – parents and children. Your parents, sisters and brothers are your immediate family.
Extended family – grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews as well as the members of immediate family.
Bond (v) – to get closer spiritually, to connect.
Draw together – if something draws people together, it helps them connect to one another.
Keep/stay in touch – to keep talking or communicating. See ‘grow apart’ as a rough antonym for this.
Other half – one’s romantic partner, not necessarily a spouse.
Introduce (v) – introducing one person to another is telling them their name to encourage communication.
Mutual acquaintance – a person both you and somebody else know.

General vocabulary

Be assigned (v, passive) – being told what to do or given something by a higher authority, e.g. a teacher or a manager
In no time – very soon, without waiting
Would (past form) – a construction used to talk about actions in the past that are no longer true. When I was a child I would spend all summer running in the field playing with other kids.
Persistence (n) – personal quality that helps you do the same thing until you succeed despite difficulties or setbacks
Set out – if you set out to do something, you make up your mind about doing it and start doing so.
Small wonder – there is no surprise that …
Cornerstone (adj) – fundamental, integral, crucial, very important
Case-by-case basis – a situation where each example has to be reviewed individually.
Factors at play – things that affect the outcome
Have a harder time at something – have difficulties at doing something.
Take up – to start doing something, e.g. a hobby or a sport.
Taxing (adj) – tiring either physically or mentally
Postpone (v) – decide to do something later (similar to ‘procrastinate’)
Integral (adj) – see ‘cornerstone’
Ubiquity (n) – the state of being available or present everywhere.
Be ousted by (v, passive) – to be replaced by someone or something better
Enable somebody (v) – allow or give the opportunity to do something.
Virtually free of charge – almost free
At one’s convenience – whenever one finds it comfortable

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