Space/Room

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) Do you know anyone who lives in cramped conditions? Which of the rooms in a house are more likely to be / become cluttered?  In your experience, if you unclutter them, do they remain clutter-free? What’s the best way to clear a cluttered […]

Sleep

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) Are you an early bird or a night owl? By and large, do you get enough sleep? Do you always get up as soon as the alarm clock goes off, or do you catch some more sleep by hitting snooze? If you don’t […]

Sickness

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) When was the last time you felt a bit under the weather? Have you ever got a bug that was going round? Do you know anyone who is prone to  getting sick? How long does it usually take you to get over      a […]

Siblings (brothers and sisters)

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) Which of the following best describes the relationship between you and your siblings.. (or your friend and his / her siblings) we get on like a house on fire we share a tightly knit bond we’re pretty close we catch up from time-to-time […]

Rules

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) Were any of the rules at school particularly stringent? Do you feel that any of them were overly harsh? What punishment was administered at school if someone were to transgress the rules? Did / do kids at school on the whole adhere to […]

Restaurants

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) 1 – How often do you eat-out?  Once in a blue moon, once in a while, every now and again, on a weekly basis, daily? 2 – When you eat out do you enjoy sampling exotic dishes or do you tend to stick […]

Research

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) The following describors describe research. Which are + / – ?pain-staking, superficial, in-depth, extensive, meticulous, groundbreaking, haphazard, controversial, exhaustive, thorough, random Which ones have precise meaning differences? Do you know anyone who is conducting research into something at the moment ? Do you […]

Public Transport

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) Do any of your peers commute an incredibly long way to and from school / work? What activities do people do to kill the time when traveling? Which activities fritter away the time, and which utilize the time? In rush hour, are the […]

Crime and Prison

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) 1 – Criminals commit the following crimes. Put them into categories of “heinous” / “grave” / “petty” – arson (an arsonist lights fires / sets buildings on fire) – theft (thieves steal things from other people) – robbery (robbers steal from banks / […]

Phone apps

Vocabulary – less common and idiomatic expressions for IELTS, CAE, CPE (TOEFL) 1 – What factors encourage you to download an app? Do you ever feeled compelled to download one? 2 – Do you generally  find it easy to figure out which app is best for you if there is more than one to opt […]