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Describe something you own which is very important to you

IELTS Cue Card 01 With Model Answer:

Describe something you own which is very important to you.

You should say:
  • where you got it from
  • how long you have had it
  • what you use it for
and explain why it is important to you.

[You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
I have a large collection of different books in my personal library, and those books are my most important possessions. Although those books are of diversified categories, most of them are science fiction and novels by renowned authors and writers. I guess my small library has at least fifteen hundred books.

I have bought around 80 per cent of those books while the remaining books were given to me as presents on different occasions by my parents, family members, relatives and friends.

I had grown a hobby of reading and collecting books of different genres from my childhood and I still have it. So, I built a small library in one of the rooms in our house in my high school days. My parents motivated me to read books when I was just seven. Since then I have read and collected many books, and my little adventure with books is still going on. From a very young age, I have been fascinated by science fiction and history-related books, and I still love them.

My library is my little sanctuary. Every time I am in my library, I feel a different type of sensation. Sometimes, when I do not feel much inspired or get bored with the banal routine of my life, I visit my library, conceivably pick a book and read for a while in a tranquil environment. If I am not reading in my library, I either rearrange the books or clean them from time to time. All these little works give me immense pleasure, but perhaps reading a book in my own library is the greatest of all.

Reading books is important to me for primarily two reasons- it gives me joy and I can always learn something new from reading books. The pleasure of reading books is incomparable. It also makes me wonder about the different aspects of history, science, society, and culture from a whole new perspective. My little library has been my inspiration to read and learn more, and hence has great importance to me.

Model Answer 2:

I have many possessions that are important to me, but the one that I consider the most valuable is a wristwatch that I received as a gift from my father on my 18th birthday. It has great sentimental value to me as well as being an incredibly practical and useful item. Thank you very much for this nice topic.

Where you got it from & and how long I have had it:
I received this wristwatch from my father on my 18th birthday, so I have had it for almost four years now. He had purchased it from a local jeweller as a birthday gift for me. It is a very elegant and classy watch, with a stainless steel case and a black leather strap.

What you use it for:
I use this wristwatch every day, and it has become an essential part of my daily routine. I wear it to work, to social events, and whenever I need to keep track of time. It has a simple yet sophisticated design, and it is incredibly accurate, so I never have to worry about being late.

And explain why it is important to you:
This wristwatch is very important to me because it reminds me of my father and the special bond we share. Secondly, it is a practical and useful item that helps me stay on track and manage my time effectively. It is also important to me because I love wearing this wristwatch most of the time I go out.

Sample Answer 3: 
My car is the first thing that popped up in my mind when I thought about one of my important possessions. So I will go ahead and talk about it.

I still live with my parents, and most of the essential things are owned by them. So I have very few personal belongings. Out of those, my car, which is a Toyota RAV4 model, is the most important thing to me.

I had to save money for about 3 years and take a loan from my father to purchase it. This was the first expensive thing that I bought with my own money. I bought it from a local car showroom which is owned by one of our relatives. I thought buying the car from a known person would be a better idea in terms of the parts warranty and after-sale service. I bought this car in the first quarter of the last year. So I own it for just a year and a half.

I use my car primarily to commute to different places I need to go to or places where I like to go to. For instance, I use it to reach my university and the office where I work part-time in the evening. I also use it to go to different places like shopping malls, theatres, friends’ houses, libraries and stadiums.
My commuting has become much easier and more flexible after I bought this car. The comfort of owning a car is far greater than struggling to get a seat in public transportation. In our country, we have to wait a long time to actually be able to get on a bus or a train. Thus the time that is killed on the road inevitably is a waste. Finally, the lack of privacy and the intense crowd on public transportation often irritated me in the past.

As I own a car now, I can better manage my schedule. I can take a shortcut or diversion whenever I feel there is congestion ahead. I no longer need to kill long hours to ride a bus or a train. I can listen to music, and news or even talk to my family members whenever I am travelling in my car. Thanks to the car and my dad for the loan - my life has become more relaxed, and I have more freedom than I used to have before I owned this car.

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

The model answers provided in this post should give you ideas on how to answer this cue card/candidate task card topic. However, there are many other ways to answer this topic, and the following list gives you plenty of options to pick from and generate your ideas to talk about this Cue Card topic.
Important things/possessions that you can describe for this Cue Card:
  • Your laptop. 
  • Mobile phone. 
  • Your car. 
  • Art collection. 
  • Stamp collection. 
  • Books. 
  • Computer. 
  • PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).
  • A diamond ring. 
  • A gift from someone you care about. 
  • Your photo album. 
  • Any electronic device you own and use. 
  • Your house. 
  • An animal or a pet you own. 
  • An antique object. 
  • A household device like a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, toaster etc. 
  • A website or blog you manage and own. 

[ Please let us know how you are going to organise your answer for this cue card topic. Write it in the comment section, and one of our teachers would assess and correct your answer. ]   

Useful Vocabulary for this Cue Card topic:

  • Ownership: Possess, possession, hold, belonging, personal.
  • Important: Essential, vital, crucial, significant, salient, meaningful, critical, beneficial. 
  • Use: Utilise, apply, employ, work, operate, handle. 

Rounding off questions:
Q. Is it valuable in terms of money?
A. It did cost me money, a large sum of money that is. But I am not sure if it has great "resale value" or not. I would not want to sell it either. So I am not much concerned about its value in terms of money.
Q. Would it be easy to replace?
A. I would say "no". Maybe books of the same titles could be bought and collected by spending money, but the memory and passion associated with these books are priceless and could not be bought with money.

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. What kind of things give status to people in your country? 
A. Different things are considered related to the "status symbol" in our country. Firstly, education and knowledge are connected to social status in my country. Then, a huge sum of money may bring status, and society often considers people with money powerful and successful. Sometimes fame and popularity are also considered status symbols. Finally, expensive houses, electronic gadgets, cars and fashionable and branded dresses also come into play when we think about things that bring status to people.

Q. Have things changed since your parents’ time? 
A. Well, in terms of status symbols and things that give people status, things have not changed much since my parents' time. The things that they used to consider as symbols of status are still prevalent. Only, the latest gizmos and the latest models of cars and electronic items made their places in the list.

Q. Do you think advertising influences what people buy?
A. Advertising has a big impact on human minds as our purchasing and consumerist decisions are often shaped by those adverts. Those advertisements influence people and often manipulate their desire for owning particular items or products. For instance, if someone goes to buy a simple product like a bar of soap, a cosmetic item or a can of soft drink from a nearby store, she or he will prefer the brand that was advertised on television and that has already been in his/her mind. The advertised products and brands will subconsciously appear in our minds and give us the impression that they are good products.

Q. How do you think the Internet will affect our buying patterns in the future?
A. No doubt that the internet already has and will affect the way we buy things or will buy things in the future. It will affect us no matter if we are buying some simple children’s toys or comparing the price of a very luxurious car. For example, the use of the internet will allow more and more businesses to sell varieties of their products online which was deemed unimaginable even a decade ago. Besides, the use of the internet will probably also “redefine” the needs of the consumers since they will continuously become exposed to more and more different kinds of products and services across different cultures and lifestyles which were deemed “foreign” before.

Q. Modern society is often called "materialistic". Why do you think this is? 
A. Well, different people would perhaps attribute different reasons behind calling modern society “materialistic”, but as far as I am concerned, I would suggest that it’s primarily the urge of people to live a comfortable life that makes their society materialistic. Besides, it is also possible that modern societies today have become materialistic because their emphasis on religious and/or moral teachings have loosened more than ever before, and as a result, people, these days, have mostly forgotten how to feel happy and content with “less”.

Q. Do you think consumerism is a positive or a negative development? Why?
A. I know that many people will disagree with me on this, but if we take our whole “human nature” into consideration, we will probably find that consumerism mostly has brought positive development to our societies. So what is “human nature” here? Well, our common human nature is to “cultivate” this world and make this world a better place to live for ourselves and our children, and it is precisely this urge to make our “world a better place” that motivates us to grow and build more and more things. And once we grow and build more and more things, we would be able to accommodate the needs of more and more people.

Consumerism also helps industries thrive and create more job opportunities as people, in this trend, want to consume more and more products.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe something you own which is very important to you"
, you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue card/ candidate task card topics as well:
  • Describe a gift you have recently received. 
  • Describe a present or gift item you gave to someone.
  • Describe something you want to buy. 
  • Describe a technological device or household equipment you often use. 
  • Describe something you often use at home. 
  • Describe a tool or piece of equipment you find useful.
  • Describe an appliance or tool you can not do without.
  • Describe a gadget or equipment you want to purchase. 
  • Describe an important possession of yours.
  • Describe something you have which took you a long time to build or collect.

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