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Describe a gift you have received that was important to you

IELTS Cue Card Question 4 With Model Answer:

Describe a gift you have received that was important to you.

You should say:
  • who gave it to you and for what occasion
  • what it looks like and how you use it
  • when you received it
and explain why this gift was important to you.  

[You have one to two minutes to talk about this topic. You will have one minute to prepare what you are going to say]

Model Answer 1:
When I was a child, I was given a block set on the eve of Christmas as a gift. One of my maternal uncles gave that block set to me because I liked to play with the blocks more in my childhood. I was truly surprised when my maternal uncle came to our home to give me the wonderful gift, although, in the beginning, I did not realise that he was at our home for presenting me the wonderful block set.

A medium plastic container wrapped in papers was given to me on the Christmas day and when I opened the container, I found the blocks. I was highly surprised and happy too for the excellent gift from my uncle. The blocks were made of top-class plastic and there were no sharp edges. They were of different sizes and some of the block pieces were attached with wheels. The block shapes were not same. I used to make different structures with the block set. I preferred robots, aeroplanes, cars, houses and more other stuff using the block set.

The block set was important to me for several reasons. Firstly the blocks looked nice and were handy to use. Secondly, I have learnt many facts of my real life using the blocks. They have taught me patience and perseverance – when I used to fail in making any desired or imagined structure, I waited, took a pause from the making, used to think deeply over the structure and finally made that.

Cue Card Answer 2:
My grandfather was one of my most favourite personalities and he was a great teacher and mentor. He inspired me to read and I have read a lot of books only because of his inspiration and guidance for me. He died in 2010 (may God bless his soul and rest him in peace) and that was an immense loss for me.  He once gave me a book titled ‘The Giving Tree’ written by ‘Shel Silverstein’ and I still consider it as the best gift I have ever received.

I was about 10 or 11 years old and a 4th-grade school-going children when I received this gift from my grandfather. I can’t recall what the exact occasion was when he gave me the book. All I can remember is that he went to the town for a week for his business and when he returned he gave me a book with an excellent cover picture. The book was a hard covered average size book and there was a small boy who was looking upward towards a tree and a fruit was falling towards the boy. My grandfather gave me this gift with some chocolates and a toy car. I kept the book on my desk for a while and one day he asked me whether I liked the story of the book he gave me. I was a bit ashamed to hear that as I have not touched the book at all and I told him that I have not read it yet. He smiled and told me that he loves this story. The next day morning I started reading this book and to my amazement, I was so engrossed in the story that I forgot to go outside to play with other boys. It took me the whole day to finish the book and after reading this book I felt an appetite to read more storybooks like this one for the first time in my life. That was just the beginning and after that, I become a regular reader.

This book has an excellent story that taught me the importance of loving others. I realised how my parents and other family members are sacrificing for me. Honestly, I become more attached to my mother than my playmates after realising her true sacrifice for me. This book opened a new horizon for me and this was the beginning of a wonderful journey in my life. I read whenever I get time these days and I believe that a reader leads many lives and can think from many different perspectives. All this have been possible only because the gift and blessing my grandfather bestowed me.

Rounding off questions:
Q. Why do we like receiving gifts?
A. Well, gifts are always special to us. A gift reminds us a happy event or someone special and thus as a human we have a natural tendency to receive gifts and presents. Apart from that, it is always good to get something that might be useful for us. Possessing something we like and then getting it from someone on a special occasion is desirable to all human.  

Q. Can we sometimes hate a gift?
A. Yes, I think so. Especially when it is given by someone we do not like at allMaybebe the hatred is for that person which makes us not to receive his gifts very warmly as well. Sometimes we hate gifts that we personally do not like at all. For instance, if someone does not like chocolate at all and gets a box of chocolates as a gift on his birthday, would most likely hate the gift. Often we may hate a gift if our expectation of the gift was totally different from that person. 

Idea Generation for this Cue Card / Candidate Task Card Topic:

For this cue card, you can talk about any gift, prize or present you received in your life. That could be a simple chocolate that someone dear to you gave or could be a luxurious item like a car. Following are some of the ideas that you can use to prepare your own answer:
  • A birthday gift you got from one of your family members. 
  • A computer/ laptop/ mobile phone that you got as a gift from your parents.
  • A gift that a teacher gave you. 
  • A gift you received on your graduation day. 
  • Any electronic device that you got as a gift. 
  • Any toy you were given in your childhood. 
  • A book, notebook, pen that you were given by a friend. 
  • A household appliance that you were given and you used. 
  • A gift you received from a cousin. 
  • A present that you could not purchase but was given by someone. 
  • A bat, ball, gloves or costume that you received from someone you care. 
  • A furniture or an ornament. 
  • A car, house, prize bond etc.  

Useful Vocabulary for describing this Cue Card: 

  • Gift Synonyms: Present, offering, bequest, endowment, reward, tip. 
  • Important Synonyms: Significant, essential, prime, key, vital, crucial, paramount meaningful, considerable. 
  • Occasion Synonyms: Event, celebration, party, moment, time, instance, affair, function,
  • Looks like Synonyms: Appearance, resembles. 

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. Do you enjoy giving and receiving gifts? Why or why not?
A. I enjoy receiving and giving gifts. There are few exact causes of the issue but the most important thing is happiness. When I receive any gift (regardless the size or shape) I feel very glad. By the similar way, when someone else receives any gifts, they also turn happy and the happiness is the most important thing in life. When someone smiles while receiving a gift, s/he smiles magnificently and that proves their minds are filled with happiness.
Q. Who usually gives you gifts?
A. Usually, I receive gifts from my family and friends. Most of the gifts I have received so far are the friends of mine. They offer different sort of gifts to me based on the occasions.   

Q. Who do you give gifts to?
A.  When it is my turn, I give gifts to my family members, my friends, my relatives and my neighbours on different occasions. Moreover, when I go to visit someone, I take some sort of small gifts for my host. 

Q. In your country when do people usually give gifts?
A.  Christmas is the best time for exchanging gifts. It is the largest religious occasion and a majority of the people wait eagerly for the day to appear. Exchanging gifts start from the morning of the day and continues until midnight. Apart from that, wedding, birthday, graduation day, anniversary etc. are common occasions when people in my country usually give gifts.

Q. What kinds of gifts do they give?
A.  Though this is a religious occasion, the gifts are not limited to religious artefacts only. People buy a large number of gifts of varied types. They gift range may include a pair of stocking, bubble gum pack or even the latest Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce. In fact, the gift items are not limited in any boundary.

Q. Do you think gift-giving customs are different now than they were in the past? How?
A.  I think that gift-giving customs has experienced a little change in the current days. Earlier, gifts were given or exchanged on occasions but now it is not preserved for the Christmas or any other religious events. People exchange gifts round the year which is a change in the trend of gift-giving. 

Q. Do you think they will change in the future? How? 
A.  Future is always uncertain and currently, it is impossible to anticipate if the gift-giving customs will change or not. But it could be assumed that it may experience some other changes as it has experienced a change than the past. It may happen that people will move for virtual gifts rather than physical one – like someone will send electronic cards or flowers or wishes on the occasions instead of the real-life stuff.

Your ability to talk about this topic will enable you to answer the following IELTS cue card topics also: 
  • Describe something you own which is important to you.
  • Describe a present or gift you bought for someone.
  • Describe an important possession you have.
  • Describe an occasion when you received a gift.
  • Describe a surprise party you had once.
  • Describe a gift or present you received when you were a child.
  • Describe something you want to buy.

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