IELTS Speaking: Useful Expressions

To get a high band score in the IELTS Speaking Test, it’s important to use a wide range of language. But this doesn’t simply mean ‘lots of different words’. It also means that you can use English to perform different functions, such as giving opinions, asking for clarification and summarising your ideas.

This post contains some useful expressions that you can use in all parts of the IELTS Speaking Test. You will also find them useful in any kind of conversational situation, including job interviews and discussions. I hope you find it useful!

Agreeing with somebody

  • I agree
  • I couldn’t agree more.
  • That’s my view exactly.
  • That’s just what I think.
  • That’s right.

Disagreeing with someone

  • I don’t entirely agree
  • I see things differently.
  • Well, actually I don’t think…
  • I’m afraid I don’t agree.

Interrupting someone

  • Could I just say that…?
  • Sorry to interrupt, but…
  • Sorry for interrupting…
  • Can I just interrupt?
  • Sorry to butt in, …
Download this list as a PDF

 

Asking someone for their opinion

  • What are your views on…?
  • What do you think about…?
  • Do you agree that…?
  • Do you think that…?
  • What are your feelings about…?
  • What’s your opinion?

Asking for clarification / repetition

  • Could you repeat the question, please?
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.
  • I’m sorry?
  • Would you mind repeating that, please?

Saying something in a different way

  • In other words,…
  • What I mean is…
  • Perhaps I should make that clearer.
  • To put it another way, …
  • What I’m trying to say is…

Giving yourself time to think

  • How can I put this?
  • Let me think about that (for a moment).
  • Let me see.
  • That’s an interesting / good question.

Summing up what you have said

  • So basically…
  • So, in conclusion…
  • In short, …
  • To sum up…
  • To summarise

Practice Activity

Complete these short dialogues between the interviewer and the student. Fill the blank space with the correct expression. Good luck!

 

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Charles Cornelius is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 80,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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