Video Lesson: IELTS Speaking Skills – It Depends

Video Lesson: IELTS Speaking Skill:
“It Depends”

Many students consider Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking Test the easiest part. This questions are often very simple and very direct. 

For example:

  • What do you do in your free time? 

  • Do you like shopping? 

  • How often do you see your friends? 

But do you sometimes find these IELTS questions too simple? 

As in, you can probably think of 2 or 3 different answers. You want to impress the examiner, you want to show off as many English skills as you can, but you might feel like the question is too simple to do that.

In these situations, you can say: “It depends.”

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The Basics: “Well, it depends.”

“It depends” can be an answer all by itself, without any chances or additions. It also works as a great hesitation device, which means it also gives you some extra time to think.

What do you usually do at this time of the day?

“Well, it depends. At this time of the day during the week, I’m usually driving to my office. But at the weekend, I’m probably still asleep!”

Do you usually have a lot of homework from university?

“Hmm, it depends. In the weeks and months leading up to my final exams, I don’t get much homework because my professors just tell me to revise for the test. But during the semester I usually have a lot to do.”

In these examples, I used “It depends” to explain two different possible answers. I also used ‘But’ to start explaining my second option. 

You can get even more specific though.

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The Next Step: “It depends on…”

Do you like exercising outdoors?

“It depends on the weather. I really like jogging through the park when it’s sunny outside, but if it’s windy or rainy and cold then I will just exercise at home.”

Do you prefer staying in or going out at the weekends?

“It depends on my mood. When I haven’t seen my friends for a while and I want to catch up with them, I’ll definitely go out and meet them. But if I had a stressful week at work, I would prefer to just unwind and chill out at home.”

You can use specific nouns (the weather / my mood) to share more details with the examiner.

Don’t forget, take advantage of the simple, short questions in Part 1 to score some grammar points. In these examples explained my two different options with “But if…”. so that means I used Conditional Sentences, (If it’s windy…If I had a stressful week…), the Present Perfect (I haven’t seen my friends…), and But to create a complex sentence – all of these are high-band techniques!

Here are some common collocations:

  • It depends on the weather

  • It depends on the time of day / the time of year

  • It depends on the occasion

  • It depends on my mood

  • It depends on my schedule

  • It depends on my friends

Big Points: Relative Clauses

Last but not least, you can use Relative Clauses, such as: Who – What – When – Where 

  • You can talk about People with: It depends on who…

“It depends on who I’m with. With my parents, I would visit some museums and parks. With my friends though, I would rather relax on the beach.”

  • You can talk about Objects / Ideas / Activities and Actions with: It depends on what…

“It depends on what my family wants to do. At Christmas, sometimes we all meet at my grandparent’s house, and other times we meet at my aunt and uncle’s house. It changes every year.”

  • You can talk about Time Periods with: It depends on when…

“It depends when I travel. During summertime, plane tickets are more expensive, but in the winter they are usually much cheaper.”

  • You can talk about Places with: It depends on where…

“It depends on where I go shopping. At the supermarket I can buy cheaper food, but at the local market things are fresher and better quality.”

So when can I use this again?

Use this whenever you can think of two or more different answers to very simple questions. 

It’s especially useful to use with these kinds of Part 1 Questions:

  • Do you like…?

  • Do you think…?

  • Do you usually…?

  • How often…?

  • How long…?

  • Are people…?

Don’t forget, you also use this phrase in Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test. Part 3 questions are more difficult, and there are lots of different answers you can give. So use “It depends” there as well!

Have a look at the Part 1 examples in the video below! If you have any questions, or if you want to write your own answers, go ahead! Happy learning!

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