ielts guide

How to Easily Extend IELTS Speaking Part 1 Answers

James Liu October 12th, 2021

The IELTS examiner will be listening for your ability to speak easily using a variety of structures and sentence styles. But at the same time, it’s also necessary that you don’t make too many errors while speaking. You won’t want to use grammar that’s too complex, as this may lead to more mistakes.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways for you to extend your IELTS speaking answers naturally, without running the risk of using any difficult or unfamiliar grammar. Here, you can find seven easy ways, with provided examples, of how to effectively extend your answers when speaking on part 1 of the IELTS.


Conjunctions are useful and simple to use. Conjunctions hook up words functionally, and help to combine ideas together with ease. There are tons of conjunctions: and, or, but, so, yet, (al)though, (rather) than, as long as

Question: Who do you live with?

Short answer: I live with my parents and my older brother right now.

Long answer: I live with my parents and my older brother right now. My brother is getting married next month, so his new wife will soon be moving in with us as well.


Examples are like your best friends, they make everything in life a little easier to understand. You can give an example for almost anything, just make sure it’s relevant to the question. To give an example, you can say: for example, for instance

Question: How do you define volunteer work?

Short answer: Volunteering means spending your free time to help others

Long answer: Volunteering means spending your free time to help others. For example, helping children to learn a useful new skill if their families don’t have money to pay for classes.


Reasons can strengthen your answers and help explain your logic. If you’ve got an opinion or an idea, supporting it with a reason will make it much stronger, and make your answer longer, too. You can say things like: because, as, due to, since

Question: Who do you get on best within your family?

Short answer: My mother

Long answer: It’s hard to say, because we’re all so close. I guess I probably get on best with my mother, as we are the most alike. We’re both very chatty and warm people.


When you compare and contrast, you show how things are similar and different from each other. You can do this by saying things like: on (the) one hand, similarly, on the other hand, at the same time, however

Question: Do you enjoy your job?

Short answer: Yes! It is interesting.

Long answer: My job is in customer-service, so it’s interesting to meet plenty of new people each day. At the same time, it’s also a little exhausting to be on my feet for hours.


Frequency tells how often makes things more clear. You can add more details to your answer by mentioning the frequency of whatever you’re talking about. Frequency words are usually adverbs, such as: sometimes, often, usually, from time to time, on occasion.

Question: Do you lead an active life?

Short answer: I don't lead an active life.

Long answer: I’m not into playing sports much, but I go for walks with my family a few times a week to stay active. Since I’m usually busy with school and other things, I don’t exercise often. I think my daily life keeps me active enough.


Opinions show how you really feel about that. Even if the question doesn’t ask what you think, it’s natural to offer your opinion on the subject. There are a few ways to introduce your opinion: in my opinion, I think, I believe, as far as I’m concerned, if you ask me, I’d say

Question: How many people live in your hometown?

Short answer: There are less than 1,000 people total who live in my hometown.

Long answer: There are less than 1,000 people total who live in my hometown. If you ask me, it’s more like a small village than a town.


If you add in information about your past and future, it adds depth to your answer. People like to give background about themselves when speaking. You can do this in some of the following ways: back then, since then, from the time that, going forward, in the future, hopefully

Question: Do you get on well with your coworkers?

Short answer: My coworkers and I aren’t close.

Long answer: My coworkers and I aren’t close, but we always work together in a professional way. However, they seem very likeable, and I’d be open to getting to know them better going forward.  


While keeping length and content in mind, you should remember that it’s not enough to just give a complete answer. To perform well on this part of the IELTS, you’ll need answers that flow, and sound conversational. Doing this, and doing it in a natural way, will allow the IELTS examiner to get a better idea about the level of your speaking ability in English. Now that you’ve learned more about a few ways to extend your answers, your speaking can sound more natural, and your answers will be more powerful.


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