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Something you borrowed from your friends or family

IELTS Cue Card Question 53 With Model Answer: 

Something you borrowed from your friends or family.

You should say: 
  • what it was
  • when you borrowed it and from whom
  • why you borrowed it
and explain why it was important for you to borrow it.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two 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:
Due to my wicked nature, I was admitted to a boarding school where I lived with my friends of similar nature. I had to borrow a tie from one of my friends to attend a presentation in the class.

It was a blessing for me that the friend did not have the course that I took in the high school grade. So, I was able to borrow a tie for the presentation of my group in the class. The teacher ordered us all to be formal in attire on the presentation-day and accordingly all of us planned to put on a black suit with a white tie. But unfortunately my tie was red in colour and I started seeking one. The teacher also said that if he sees someone in informal attires, he would not allow the student to appear in the presentation. It means he is to stay in the same grade for another year.

The presentation was set on 10 am and my classroom was just beside the dormitory - it took a 3-minute walk to reach the classroom. So, I used to get up late and get prepared for the classes in the regular days and it turned into a habit for me. So, the events were repeating even on the presentation day. When it was 9.45am, I noticed that I need a tie. So, I asked the other roommates and all of them said that they are going with me for the presentation, and accordingly they cannot offer me their tie. I was upset and the race against time began. Then I moved to the next room of mine and found that Robin, one of my batch mates is sleeping in his bed as he does not have any presentation on that day.

Although there were dress codes in my school, the presentation day attire was our creation. Some of the intelligent (!) students, I was one of them, set the dress code as black and white. The colour combination was great but I forgot to mention them that I do not have any white tie. The one I have is red in colour and I do not use it frequently except any special occasion. When I found that the colour is red, it was like a bolt from the blue on me. I started seeing a white tie and had to borrow it from Robin to appear in the presentation. The presentation was important to me as it was the year ending presentation over a special assignment that we did for last quarter.

If I failed to appear before the teacher and my classmates with the assignment, my promotion to the next grade would have been halted by the school authority. In line with the written examinations, we are to present some specific topics before the teachers and fellow classmates which are counted like an exam. So, absence in the presentation refers absent in the exam. My promotion will be stopped, and I have to study in the same grade again. I had everything except a white tie. Usually, I do not borrow anything from anyone; I had to do so on that day due to lack of time and my negligence. So, it was highly important for me to borrow the tie from Robin and later I thanked him generously.



Model Answer 2:
I had to borrow my dad’s laptop for some academic reasons last week though I Usually I do not borrow something from anyone even from my family members. Thank you for asking the question and I will describe the entire event here, in brief.

I am an undergraduate student and studying at a local university here in Paris. I am a student of architecture and need to draw many complicated things. So, I borrowed the laptop from my dad. He uses one of the latest devices and that operates very well. At the same time, the performance and speed were fast enough to complete my tasks within a short time. In fact, it took less than one hour to complete my drafts whereas my personal computer takes over one and a half hour to performs such activities. My dad helped me lending the laptop but warned me about some issues. He advised me not to shift any of his documents to the machine and issued some other instructions.

I borrowed the laptop from my dad right before the night of submission an important project. I had to perform some special types of drawings and drafts that I could not do without a computer. In fact, it was a difficult situation for me to deal with. I felt the necessity to complete my important tasks. On the other side, dad was late for the home that night. So, I was worried. Finally, he arrived home and explained about the delay. I told him in the evening that I need the laptop for some of my tasks. When returned, he apologised and explained he had to get involved in an important meeting. Thus he was late and allowed me to work on the laptop. I started the work after supper and finished early than I expected. I never used my dad’s laptop before this day and it was an interesting experience for me. 

Normally, I use my own computer for all of my academic tasks and entertainment purposes. And it is armed with the latest tools and software I need meeting my purposes. Suddenly, my computer started behaving abnormally and had to send it to a repairing shop. The engineer at the shop run a diagnosis and found the motherboard was damaged and needed a repair. They also informed me that it may take around two days for them to complete the repair. I agreed to their terms and conditions. But when I remembered the project deadline, I was shocked. I needed a computer on emergency and made the phone call to dad. He agreed to borrow me his laptop.

It was really important to borrow a laptop. Because without a laptop, it was impossible for me to complete the drafts and drawings. If I failed to submit the project within the deadline, it would have been tougher for me to pass the course. I think I had to register again for the course in the next semester. Registering for the same course again appears a disgrace to me. In my entire academic career, I have never failed in any stages. So, it was highly important for me to pass in this course to get promoted in the next semester. Fortunately, I crossed the barrier and the result has been published yesterday. I think it was a great lesson for me. I need to be more careful about things. Due to my negligence to the project, I was having a great difficulty. I will be alert next time.

Part 3 – Details Discussion: 

Q. How often you borrow something from others?
A. Borrowing is not in my nature but when I am in extreme need of something and I cannot manage alone getting that, I borrow. But it is a rare event for me and my surrounding people that I am borrowing something from them. However, I do not bother in lending.

Q. In which situation people usually borrow things?
A. When people have nothing to do with any specific issue, they are to borrow from others. For instance, you are standing in a bus queue to get the ticket for returning your home and suddenly realised that someone took your wallet (I mean you are experiencing a pickpocket) but you have to go home, what will you do? This is an emergency for you.  The first thing you will do is that you will look for any familiar people who can help you in that situation by paying your ticket fare. In such a situation, you will not mind in borrowing and also will return the favour in the next day or when it is possible.

Q. Is it good to borrow apart from the emergency situations?
A. If you make it a habit of borrowing things in every situation it will be considered as a bad habit. Moreover, it will reduce your credibility and a help building a negative image of you among your surrounding people. You can borrow anything you need if it is an emergency for you. Besides, the people will extend their helping hand towards you without any condition or second thought when they will realise that truly you are in danger. But if you abuse their generosity, at the end of the day you will get no help from any of them. In this case, you can recall the moral story of the cowboy and tiger.

Q. Is it okay to borrow money from neighbours?
A. You can take anything if you truly need them. It may be money, it may be any favour or even it may be any sort of physical and mental support. But it should be necessary and you need to be unable right that moment to gather the things you are borrowing. You can borrow money from your neighbours too but you need to be honest in this case. You are to return the money within the promised returning time. If you miss the deadline, the neighbour may not say you something due to courtesy but you may not get any further help from him/ her in future.

Q. What problems can occur while collecting return money from people?
A. Usually, people love to forget the favours. Many people do not care about the favours once they receive those in their emergencies. As a result, they ignore to acknowledge the favours and do not refund them and even if they return, the break several deadlines. It mostly happens for money. If you loan someone an amount of money, you will never get that back in time. It happens everywhere. The beneficiaries start showing different excuses for the return. You are to run after them to collect the money and they, in fact, do not care about the importance of your favour. These are the common problems for lending money and getting that back.

Q. Why sometimes it is difficult to ask somebody to return the money they borrowed? 
A. Sometimes people cannot ask the money that was borrowed to someone mostly for the interpersonal relationship. Sometimes the relationships are so warm that the borrower does not return the money in time and the person who offered cannot also ask for that. It becomes difficult for him/ her to ask the money. It may also happen that the borrower is still in distress and thus the loan provider cannot ask to return the money. Besides, it may also happen that the loan provider has become irritated by running after the borrower, and in that case, it becomes difficult as well to ask for the money return.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Something you borrowed from your friends or family.", you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue cards as well:  

  1. Describe a time when you borrowed something from other.
  2. Talk about a friend who once borrowed money from you.
  3. Describe something you have planned to buy.
  4. Describe something you own.
  5. Describe a time when someone helped you. 
  6. Describe a time when you had to borrow something from an unknown person. 

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