IELTS Speaking: The Secret Method

To get a good level in your IELTS Speaking, you need to speak MORE! That means you need to extend your answers. In this quick lesson, I’ll give you an easy way to make simple sentences into more complex, impressive ones by using RELATIVE CLAUSES. If you’re not taking the IELTS, you can still use this method to take your spoken English to a higher level.


Hi, there. Welcome to EngVid. Today, we are looking at how to maximize your points on IELTS speaking tests, in particular one and three. I’m going to be giving you some very valuable tips for how to make the most and how to do your very best in these tests.

So what do you need to do? You need to answer with a little bit more detail. You need to extend your answers a little bit, okay? Answer the question that they ask. Okay. It doesn’t matter if you prepare something and they don’t — they ask a question that your answer is no good for, drop it. You have to make an effort to answer their question.

Now, today, we’re going to be looking at using some relative pronouns and some relative adverbs to lengthen out your sentences a little bit, okay? So extending your answers, answering the question. As you may be aware, IELTS speaking tests one and three, they’re particularly looking for you to give information about yourself, to tell people about yourself, okay?

So I’m saying that these pronouns and adverbs are going to be particularly helpful. So these pronouns you put in the middle of sentences to continue the sentence and give a bit more. So you’d use “who” to describe people. “The person I met who is a shopkeeper” — “The person I went to school with who is now a famous movie star” — okay? So “who”, when you’re giving more information about the person, okay, who’s doing something, who’s the subject. Okay? You can also use “whom”, but it’s not so common. “Whom” would be the indirect version of this, someone who’s not doing something.

Now, you’d use that when you’re describing things. Okay? “I went to Bath on Saturday. That was a fantastic place to visit.” Okay? So I’m describing the activity of going to a place. Okay? Bath itself. So? So it’s a proper noun.

“Which” I can throw in there when I want to also describe things in a sorted of non-defining clause sense. “The film which I saw on Saturday was really good.” Okay? You can get some more information on this on another one of our videos.

“Whose” when I’m describing a possession. So, “The car I drove whose owner was Charlie” — okay? So I’m describing an element of possession. Okay?

Now, looking on to the relative adverbs. I can use “when” when I’m talking about times. “I went to school when I was aged 13 to 18.” Yeah? I can use “where” when I’m talking about the place that something happened. So “I went to the actor’s temple, where I learnt a lot about acting.” Okay? So giving more information about that particular place. I can use “why” — I mean, “why” normally results in a question. It’s difficult to include “why” and then end in a full stop. So you could say, “I decided to cross the road today. Why do you think that is? Well, I went to go and buy some food.”

Now, I’m going to put some examples here to show you how we can use these.

“I went to school with Charlie who” — okay, so now the next bit gives more information about the person, okay? — “the man who helped me pass my driving test who” — so I’m giving even more information about this person — “now lives in a place in the north of England.”

“I enjoyed playing” — “I played football at school, which was fun.” So “which” there is talking about, you know, the activity as I mentioned here.

“The teacher whose expertise” — so I’m talking about the skill that that teacher had. Possessive, okay? — “the teacher whose expertise helped me pass my exam.”

Now, I hope I’ve shed a little light. I know some of these might be unfamiliar to you. Should we just have a quick recap of this? So I’m going to use “who” when I’m describing people. “The person I went to school with, who is now doing well. The person I met at the shop, who was a very nice person.” Okay? So these are kind of small little chunks that you kind of put on to the end of the sentence. Yeah? “The place that I went today was really great.” So “that I went today” is the extra bit of information.

“Which” — “The sandwich, which I had at lunch, was really good.” So “had at lunch” is that little bit more information.

“The car, whose owner I really like, was very good to drive.” So if you’ve got a sentence, you’re putting in a little bit more information here, and then finishing it here, okay? “The car, whose owner I really like, drives fast.” Okay? So you’d separate it with two commas.

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