HomeIELTS SpeakingVocabularyIELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Common Idioms on Environment

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Common Idioms on Environment

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Common Idioms on Environment

1. Get back to nature

Meaning: To return, to be one with nature
Example: I want to get back to the nature but I don’t have much time for it due to my hectic schedule.
(I want to return to nature, but I don’t have much time for that due to my busy schedule.)

2. A hot potato

Meaning: a problem or situation that is difficult to solve and controversial.
Example: Environment pollution is a hot potato nowadays because it is really complicated and hard to solve.
(Environmental pollution is a burning problem today because it is really complicated and difficult to solve.)

3. Turn a blind eye to something

Meaning: to ignore, to ignore something that you know is not true
Example: Management knows about bullying in the workplace but they often turn a blind eye to it.
(Boards know about workplace bullying, but they often ignore it.)

4. Set alarm bells ringing

Meaning: to cause concern by having a sign that something is wrong, to sound the alarm.
Example: Continuous natural disasters set alarm bells ringing about environmental pollution.
(Natural disasters continuously sound the alarm about environmental pollution.)

5. A drop in the ocean

Meaning: a very small amount, so small that it has very little effect on something.
Example: 20,000 VND is just a drop in the ocean, but if all Vietnamese contribute the amount to the Vaccine Fund for COVID-19 Prevention, it would make a big difference!
(20,000 VND is just a very small amount, but if all Vietnamese contributed this amount to the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund it would make a huge difference!)

6. Get the ball rolling

Meaning: To start doing something, especially something big
Example: If you want to protect the environment, it’s time to get the ball rolling!
(If you want to save the environment, this is the right time to start!)

7. The sands of time are running out

Meaning: not much time left to do something or before something happens.
Example: The sands of time are running out! If you don’t protect the environment now, human will suffer more natural disasters.
(Time is running out! If you don’t protect the environment now, people will suffer more natural disasters.)

8. Not to mention

Meaning: not to mention
For example: The increasing number of private vehicles leads to an increase in exhaust emissions, not to mention the rising level of noise pollution.
(The increasing number of private vehicles leads to an increase in emissions as well, not to mention the increasing level of noise pollution.)

9. You reap what you sow

Meaning: what you sow, you will reap
Example: Your kindness will be rewarded in the future – You reap what you sow
(Your kindness will be rewarded in the future – You reap what you sow)

10. Do one’s best

Meaning: to try to do something to the best of your ability
For example: I’m not really good at presentation, so getting an 8 means that I have done my best.
(I’m not really good at giving presentations, so an 8 means I did my best.)

11. Do wonders for something/ someone

Meaning: to benefit, to have a good effect on someone/something
Example: Studying hard will do wonders for our future.
(Studying hard will benefit our future.)

IELTS Speaking Part 1

Do you take an interest in nature?

Answer: Definitely yes! Due to the hectic working schedule, I didn’t have much time to get back to the nature. However, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, my job has been affected, and I can have more time to immerse myself in nature.

Do you think pollution is a big problem nowadays?

Answer: Pollution is actually a hot potato in Vietnam nowadays with many problems like air pollution, water degradation, or deforestation. These issues are setting the alarm bells ringing since they are causing many negative effects on human life, so we can not turn a blind eye to the pollution problem anymore!

Do you or your family take steps to help the environment?

Answer: My parents are not really environmental-conscious people, to be honest. They think that environment is something out of their control and their actions are like a drop in the ocean. However, I don’t agree with it! If the problem is big, everyone still can make a small contribution by some simple acts like saving energy or using public transport. I believe that we all can get the ball rolling!

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe a law on environmental protection your country should have

You should say:

  • What it is
  • How you first learned about it
  • Who benefits from it
  • And explain how you feel about this law


Environment pollution is a hot potato nowadays when almost everywhere on earth is somehow experiencing global warming. Many natural disasters have been reported all over the world so we cannot turn a blind eye to this problem anymore. It is high time to get the ball rolling! I think that we can start with a small action: garbage sorting.

Currently, in Vietnam, the government is encouraging citizens to separate waste into three main groups, namely green waste, recyclable materials, and others. However, it is just an encouragement, not an obligation yet so not many people are following it. It leads to a problem that all trash is put into giant containers and they all end up in the landfills. It would be a waste of resources because many types of trash could have been recycled, such as plastic, glass, and paper, not to mention the green waste can also be turned into biofertilizer, which promotes plant growth. Having such significant benefits, I believe that this policy needs to be implemented right away!

When this new law is introduced, it would definitely do wonders for many people. For example, ordinary people can learn to be self-disciplined or use the biofertilizer to facilitate their plants. The government can also close some landfills and use them for other purposes to make money. On top of that, the environment would be greatly beneficial as well! 

The sands of time are running out! I believe we need to take action to protect the environment right now before it is too late.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

What are the main causes of the environmental problems? 

Answer: In my opinion, there are many reasons, mostly human activities, leading to environmental problems. For example, to boost the economy, many governments choose to cut down tree to make room for industrial zones, which can lead to deforestation. Besides, when the factories are in operation, they can emit a huge amount of carbon dioxide, which pollutes the air. There are also many other activities in our daily life that negatively affect the environment. I just hope that people can gain more awareness about environmental protection and do their best to save future humans, because you know, you reap what you sow. If we destroy the environment today, our future generations will suffer as a result of our actions.

Do you think that governments around the world are doing enough to tackle the problems?

Answer: I don’t think so. The governments have been implementing many environmental policies but I feel like they haven’t done their best yet to protect the environment. I think it is becasue they do not want to sacrify economic growth because to tackle environmental issues, it is esential to cut down carbon footprints, which affects the operation of businesses and influence the national economy, consequently.

Do you think it is the responsibility of governments alone to protect the environment?

Answer: Of course not! Protecting the environment should be the responsibility of every individual. The government can introduce some environmental policies but it is us, the public, who implement them and directly protect the environment. We cannot turn a blind eye to it anymore; and we can start from small actions like sorting garbage, or using public transport. If we can do it on a large scale, it would do wonders for the environment.


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