IELTS Accommodation Vocabulary – style questions – task

The examiner may ask you to talk about the place you live or would like to live in the exam. Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Callum: Actually I live on campus … in a single room in halls of residence … all first year students are encouraged to do that as they’re close to the university … next year I plan to move into student digs in town …

Examiner: Tell me about where you live.

Julia: I live with my parents in the suburbs of Madrid … we only moved in recently … in fact we had a house-warming party just a few weeks ago …

Examiner: What kind of accommodation do most people live in in your city?

Maria: In the city itself the majority of people live in apartment blocks … that’s what surprised me about England … most people seem to live in terraced houses with lovely back gardens

Part 2-style task

Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in. You should say

  • what kind of accommodation it would be
  • where it would be
  • who would live there with you

and say why you would enjoy living in this place.

Paolo: I think most people when answering this question would say they’d like to live in a big detached house with spacious rooms … views of the countryside and so on … but actually my ideal home would be a lot different … I’ve always loved the idea of having a mobile home … a really expensive one with all the mod cons … so I could live wherever I wanted or at least have lots of holidays and be able to take all my home comforts with me whenever I travelled … I realise this would have to be a second home as I’d need a base … a permanent address … but the mobile home would be the accommodation I’d find it exciting to live in … I suppose once I settle down and have children I’ll want to get on the property ladder … I’ll be like everyone else … saving up to put down a deposit on a house or an apartment … I don’t think my family would want to live in a mobile home … but I like to think I’ll still keep that dream home in mind …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is it better to own your own home or to rent?

Ana: I think both have their advantages … living in rented accommodation isn’t necessarily a bad thing … you don’t have a huge debt like you do when you take out a mortgage but I suppose the property market offers you an investment for the future … I’m sure that’s why most people prefer to own their own home

Examiner: What options are available to young couples looking for accommodation in your country?

Toni: If they want to buy their own home it isn’t easy for first-time buyers … mortgages are hard to get so most people live with their parents or in rented accommodation … but that can also be very expensive … you often have to pay rent in advance … and if the accommodation isn’t fully furnished you have the expense of buying furniture …

Examiner: What are some of the pleasures involved in making a home for ourselves?

Suki: I suppose it starts with house-hunting … finding your ideal home … some people enjoy doing up an old property … giving a property that’s old and tired a new lease of life … others like making wherever they live feel like home with some home comforts

Definitions

(all the) mod cons: technology at home that makes jobs easier such as a washing machine, dishwasher etc.

apartment block: a large building made up of smaller units of apartments

back garden: a garden at the rear of the house

detached house: a house that is not physically connected to another property

to do up a property: to repair an old building

dream home: a home you regard as perfect

first-time buyer: someone buying a property for the first time, especially when taking out a loan (mortgage)

fully-furnished: a rented property with all furniture included

to get on the property ladder: to buy a property with the aim of buying another bigger or more expensive one later in life

hall of residence: a college or university building where students live

home comforts: things that make a home feel comfortable to live in

house-hunting: looking for a property to live in

house-warming party: a party to celebrate moving into a new home

ideal home: a perfect home

to live on campus: to live on the university or college grounds

mobile home: a home that can be moved by a vehicle or one that has its own engine

to move into: to begin to live in a property

to own your own home: to have bought the property you live in

to pay rent in advance: weekly or monthly rent paid at the beginning of the week or month

permanent address: a fixed address

property market: the buying and selling of land or buildings

to put down a deposit: to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future payments

rented accommodation: property owned by someone else and for which a person pays a fixed amount to live in

single room: a room for one person

spacious room: a large room

student digs: student accommodation

the suburbs: a residential area on the edge of towns or cities

to take out a mortgage: to borrow a large amount of money, paid back over several years, in order to buy a house

terraced house: a house connected on both sides by other properties