IELTS Cue Cards – Describe one of your neighbors

Describe one of your neighbors.
You should say:

When you two become neighbors?
How often you meet him/ her?
State whether your neighbor is a good person?

and explain why you like/ dislike this neighbors.

Follow-up questions

  • What is the difference between neighbors and friends?
  • How do you think of the relationship in the city?
  • How to improve the neighborhood?

Possible answer 1 for the above speaking cue cards

I’m lucky, I’ve got good neighbors. I’m going to tell you about just one of them, when we met, how often we meet and why I think he is a good neighbour who I like very much.

I live in an old house which has been converted into about eleven different flats and bedsits. I live on the top floor, which is actually the modernised attic space of the original building, there is just one other flat in this roof area. To get to my flat, and that of my immediate next door neighbour, you have to go up a back stairway that was probably originally the servants’ staircase, I think what is now my flat and that of my neighbour’s too, must have been at one time servants’ quarters. This means that our doorways are directly opposite one another, and we are the only people who use this entrance to the building.

I moved into the flat I live in about five or six years ago now. It is a rented flat. At that time the flat opposite me was empty, but a few weeks later I met a woman a little bit older than me who was busy cleaning just inside the flat, but with the door wide open. I paused to introduce myself and talk to her. She was really friendly, and I found out it was her son who was to be my new neighbour, she was just helping him to move in. A bit later he, Oliver, turned up too. He was new to the area, so I explained where all the local shops were, when the rubbish was taken out and various other little details about the practicalities of living in the property. A couple of days later he knocked on my door and called round for a chat. We found we got on really well. We have a very similar sense of humour, a shared (but slightly half-hearted) interest in running, and a mutual appreciation of good food – I could recommend the deli over the road to him as a source of lovely upmarket cheeses, olives and home-made lasagne and delicious pasta and pesto sauce too. We also both have an unfulfilled wanderlust, always plotting our next journey. He is off to Australia soon, lucky him!

Given how close we live together, our front doors face directly onto one another, we see each other incredibly rarely. We both have busy lives, working full time but different hours. At weekends I tend to be out and about, and he’ll often disappear for the weekend to stay with his girlfriend. Even so, whenever we do meet, it is always friendly, we make each other laugh. We often end up having long conversations just chatting in the hallway outside our front doors. I probably see him only once a fortnight or so, but we leave each other notes too from time to time if we need help with anything.

Oliver is a great neighbour because I know I could call on him if I needed to. We will always help each other if we can. I dug his car out of the snow for him once as he didn’t have a shovel, but he’s returned the favour in other ways, taking in parcels for me when I’m away for example. Because I live on my own it is really important to me to have a neighbour close by that I trust and like. I was really sad when he told me he was planning to emigrate. I was also really pleased for him, you have to wish someone well when they are following their dreams. I hope my new next-door neighbour is half as nice!

[ Written by – Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Possible answer 2 for the above speaking cue cards

Mr. Andrew John (…use one of your neighbour’s name…) is one of the neighbors whom I like very much. Since I live in an urban area, people are close to each other and maintain a strong neighbourhood relationship, unlike the metropolitan area.

In our neighbour, we know almost each and every people living there, what they do, what are their updates, what are their profession and their overall personality and characteristics as well. Mr. John’s house is adjacent to ours and I meet him almost every day. Mr. John is a retired army person who is now around 50 years old. He lives in his house alone and I have never found his relatives visiting him except some old colleagues. He stays inside his house most of the time and in the evening he sits in the veranda. He is a quiet man and likes to read a lot. I have seen him coming to live in his house almost 5-6 years ago. He bought the house from our previous neighbour.

I had had several conversations with him and I often play chess with him. I like to read as well and our reading habit was the primary reason we started liking our accompany each other. I like and admire this man very much. Though at first impression he seems to be an arrogant person, but in reality, he is an intelligent, calm, good-hearted and charming man. I have heard lots of stories from him. He has travelled to many different places and has lots of experience. Since I have become close to him, he recommends me books that I mostly enjoy reading. He advises me whenever I seek for his guidance. He is sometimes a close friend, sometimes a mentor and sometimes a guardian. I like him because of our unclaimed friendship, his personality, honesty, morality and his great mind.

How to answer this cue card?

To answer this cue card, visualise one of your neighbors whom you like or dislike. Now mention his/her name, profession, age, how long you know him/her, how often you meet, what you do together and what other people think about him/ her.

If you mention that you like this neighbour, mention some good qualities s/he has, how s/he leads his/her life, how often you two meet or talk, what you do together, what are the good qualities s/he has, even try to mention about 1-2 weakness s/he has. Then mention your personal reason if you admire him or not. Say why you think he is a good neighbour.

Some qualities of a good neighbour: Helpful, does not disturb other, honest, maintains the social relationship to the community members, amiable and has a good personality, never does anything that can irritate the neighbors, loves the kids and respects the senior citizen, gives good advice if people seek for that, respects others, talented and helps other to make the community a better place to live in etc.

Some bad qualities of a bad neighbour: Shouts often, quarrels on silly issues, possesses a rude personality, not helpful at all, selfish, does not maintain a good relationship with other community members, does not even love kids, does not respect others, often uses loud music at night, complaints a lot about everything, people in the community usually avoid him/ her etc.

Note the above points to describe a neighbour you like or dislike. While answering this cue card, if you can visualise a particular person from your community, it would help you talking in details about this cue card.

Your preparation for this cue card would help you answering the following cue cards as well:

  1. Describe someone you admire.
  2. Describe someone you dislike.
  3. Talk about your idea of an ideal neighbor.
  4. Describe an old person you know about.
  5. Describe one of your irritating neighbors.
  6. Describe a good citizen from your locality.
  7. Describe a polite person you know.
  8. Describe someone who you often play with.
  9. Describe a talented person you know.
  10. Describe one of your community members.
  11. Describe an honest person from your locality.

Related IELTS Resources

Take a practice test to find out what is your current weakness in terms of IELTS scale and allow more time to improve your weak spots. The following IELTS resources will help you to develop your skills faster:

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