IELTS Cue Cards – Describe a gift you have received

Describe a gift you have received.
You should say:

What the gift was?
Who gave it to you?
When you received it?

and explain why it was the best gift/ present you have ever received.

Follow-up questions

  • Do you think that present giving will play an important role in daily life? Why?
  • Compare the gift which people have received 10 years ago to the
    present that people now are receiving? What’s the difference between
  • Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales?

Possible answer 1 for the above speaking cue cards

In my life, I have got numerous gifts and presents and among them, most exciting and best gift was the Laptop my father gave me when I was 14 years old. When I was 10 years old, I found that many of my friends had their own laptops and desktop computers. I was heavily fascinated about this wonder machine and dreamed about owning one someday. After getting admitted in grade 6, I got admitted to a computer training centre and learned the basic computing. Whenever I visited a friend of mine who had a computer, I felt overwhelmed to play games, learn new software, browse the internet etc. over there. I sometimes visited some of my friends’ houses more often than usual only because they had computers. Thus this machine became the only dream of my life. As I knew that my father won’t be able to buy a computer for me, I did not ask for one. I made a dummy computer using papers and boards and played with it. One day I bought a savings bank and started saving coins and notes there. After one month I found that I have saved very few amount to purchase a computer!

I got busy with other stuff and could hardly find times to visit friends’ houses to use their computer but in a corner of my heart, I felt the same fascination for owning a computer. On my 14th birthday, my father told me that he wants to take me to the computer shop and purchase one for me. I could not believe what I was hearing. That night it was tough for me to sleep. In the morning I wake up earlier than usual and went to the computer shop with my father. He bought a Dell Laptop that was Pentium 4 machine. While returning home, I found myself flying in joy. I opened the box after returning home and showed it to my mother and other relatives.

As a kid, that was a long expected gift that my father gave me and till now it’s the best gift/ present I have ever received.

Possible answer 2 for the above speaking cue cards

First of all, I would like to thank you for this nice topic. The best gift or present that I have ever received is a digital dictionary that my mother bought me on my 18th birthday. I was a college student at that time and my parents celebrated my birthday at home. Few friends and relatives were invited and it was a kind of family celebration. I was quite excited to open the gift boxes that my friends and family members gave me and there were some books, chocolate boxes and other gift items. Out of these gift items, an electronic dictionary was there in a small box with an ordinary wrapping paper around it. As soon as I opened it, I knew it was a gift from my mother.

I once told my mother about this electronic dictionary and how some of my classmates used it. I never told my mother that I wanted to buy one but I guess my mother knew very well how much I wanted to own this item. She had to save money, I guess, to purchase it for me and this is the best gift I have received ever. This was not merely a gift item or an electronic device, it was more than that- like a wonder box wrapped with care and love. My mother is a housewife and managing the money to buy me this gift must have been a result of her many small sacrifices. I thanked my mother for this fabulous gift and she was so happy to see me excited about the gift.

It was a while coloured small digital dictionary, not more than 4 by 6 inches in dimension, but was one of the latest models. It was quite handy for me and having this dictionary encouraged me to learn more words, their synonyms and their origins.

The gifts are always good gestures and tokens of appreciation and love, in our tradition. This gift was something special to me. I knew how much my mother has always loved me and her gift represented her love as well as sacrifices for me. In terms of utilisation, it was quite handy for me. I could easily carry it in my pocket and I used it quite often to learn new words and that has helped enhance my language skill. This is the only gift from my teenage that I still have. I will always remember my mother’s love that was blended with this gift and the unparalleled utilisation this device has brought was also important.

How to answer this cue card?

Think about a gift that you received from one of your family members, relatives, friends, colleges or someone else. Write down the name and the person who gave it to you as well as when did you receive it and what was the occasion. Being able to point out those questions would help you to answer this cue card. The give can be from someone special and for this the gift can be a simple friendship card or a book. Does not matter if it is an expensive and exclusive gift or not, most important part is the importance of the gift.

The gift can be something other than the conventional gift items like a life-changing advice that you consider as a gift. If you are a father, you can say your kid is the best gift you have got is your kid and that was given by the almighty.

For gifts like cell phone, computer or a necessary equipment or device, mention that you have been wishing to own this but could not and after you received that, you felt overwhelmed. A gift from parents on your birthday can also be a good example of the best gift you received. For such gifts, mention that you received it in your childhood and had been touched by the whole idea.

For this cue card the gift item is not itself important, be it an ordinary piece of gift or a very luxurious item, so emphasise on your feeling rather than the gift itself.


Q. Do you think that present giving will play an important role in daily life? Why?
Answer: It seems to me that this is a bit ambiguous. More precisely, present giving is something that occurs in special events, for example, at birthdays, festivals, anniversaries, wedding, graduation day, on name days, when someone visits others and so on. I don’t think that there are many people around the world who give presents to their loved ones or to friends on a daily basis. Furthermore, with regards to the future, I am of the opinion that giving gifts won’t have a special role in everyday life either because, as I said earlier, presents are given when something important happens. However, there is no doubt that present giving plays an important role in our relationship and that will always remain the same.

Q. Compare the gift which people have received 10 years ago to the present that people now are receiving? What’s the difference between them?
Answer: To answer this question we have to go back to the past and think of the types of presents we gave and received. Despite my young age, I have some memories of such presents that my family and relatives gave me. I would say that in the past, specifically 10 years ago, the types of gifts exchanged were primarily clothes, toys, household appliances and books. Apart from the fact that they weren’t related to technology, they were also significantly important, educational and in most cases really expensive. Nowadays, presents are more of symbolic rather than substantial or useful. People these days often give and receive technology related gifts which were quite rare in the past. To illustrate, the important presents that I received on my last birthday were perfumes and a laptop. Of course, gifts items in all decades do not remain the same. It will change for sure after ten years. The love and good wishes behind a gift are more important that the item itself.

Q. Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales?
Answer: My belief is that brand name really matters and it affects the sales volume of a product. Most companies spend a huge amount of money on branding in order to make the product or service famous and well-known. We could say that branding is an enterprise itself because it constitutes an amazingly important part of the company and its viability. As branding is a core aspect of a company, brand managers try to acquire customers and maintain relationships with them. Moreover, through advertising, media exposure and celebrity endorsement sales are on the rise most of the time for popular brands.

Personally, I would spend more money to purchase a branded product. Hence I am quite positive that brand name is important for sales.

[Part 3 answers are written by Maria | UK ]

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