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Something special you brought home

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 217 with Model Answer:

Describe something special you brought home from a holiday.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • where you got it
  • how much it cost
and explain why you think it is special.
[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:
Knives are often dangerous for us if we do not know how to handle them and if we have the know-how to use a knife perfectly, it can make the impossible to possible. I bought a set of six knives of different sizes, shapes and designs for my home use.

Now, I live in New Delhi in India. Earlier, my family consisted of my parents and siblings, used to live in an extended family with many other relatives. But after the death of my grandparents, everyone formed their own. In my family, my mom was in deep trouble for cooking. She was unskilled in preparing the food ingredients like vegetables before cooking; especially cutting them into pieces and cleaning was a great difficulty for her. She was used to cutting the food ingredients and other crops with knives instead of large choppers, and here in our New Delhi apartment, we did not have a single vegetable knife. So, when I went on a holiday last week, my mom asked me to bring some knives for home use. She was seriously having trouble with the absence of the knives. Cooking became a great problem at our place.

I went to Nepal for a three-day long trip with my college mates. When my mom came to know about my plan, she asked me to bring a set of Gurkha knife for her kitchen use. She recommended the Nepali knives as those were the best for common use. Thereby, I did not forget her requirement and once I landed in Nepal, I started looking for the knives. One of my mates told me that the knives are available in some street markets. He also said that he had bought knives for his home on his last trip. After his advice, both of us started seeking the knives. Finally, we got the knives in a small street shop. There were six knives with a knife set. The sizes and sharpness of the knives were different. The largest knife was 18 inch with the handle while the blade was 12 inches, and the smallest one was six inches only with its entire body including the blade and handle.

The knives were a bit pricey as those are made with original khukuri knives. The knives were made of pure steel and the handles were made of solid wood. The entire set cost me around 2500 rupees. Though it appears a bit pricey comparing the knives available in India, I think the price is reasonable. Most of the knives available in India are not up to the standard and often the blades get broken or blunt after some frequent use. Besides, the steels are too thin that someone could easily break down the blade by applying some minor pressures. Moreover, the sellers claim the knives to be imported and charge more than the usual price but in fact, those knives are made locally. So, I think it is better to pay a bit more to have the standard quality product. When I told mom that the price of the set was Rs 2500, she was not surprised and instead, she said that I was lucky to have the knives at this cheaper rate.

The knives are special for different reasons. Firstly, they were made with the finest quality of steel. The steels were heavy and unbreakable. The blades of the knives were too sharp and do not need to sharpen them regularly. The sellers also said that the knives offer a lifetime guarantee. Nothing will happen to them in a lifetime. I also liked the weight of the knives. Each of the knives was moderately heavy based on their size and shapes. It is said that simplicity is the best art. The knives were simple. None of them had any designs on the blades or on the handle. The handles were made of rock-solid woods and riveted with the knife body. The seller also advised me to use the knives carefully as accidents may occur easily with the knives. But mom seems to be happy with them and she skillfully works with the knives. She adores them much and I am also amazed by their quality and sharpness.

Sample Answer 2:
My recent holiday trip to Switzerland was excellent. And when I returned home, I bought some wrist watches for my family as the Swiss-made watches are considered as one of the best watches in the world in every term. I will explain the matter in brief now.

A wristwatch is one of an essential gadget for everyday life. In fact, it is helpful for the users to know the time whenever they need. So, during my visit, I decided to bring some wrist watches for my family members. They were really happy with the watches. And it was a kind of special gift for them from my part.

I bought the wrist watches from Bern. This is the capital city of the country. And also adorned with wonderful things. The most important matter that attracted my attention is the modern architecture and cleanliness. The entire city was neat and clean. When I compared the city with my own city in Mumbai, I felt shy. However, there were many other things to do in Bern. My father also asked me to bring some other things for him like a pouch of tobacco, and a pipe. I also collected them from a superstore. I also visited some other noted places of the city for shopping purposes.

The prices of the watches were different. I bought seven wristwatches of Rado brand. And they cost me in an average around 1200 Swiss francs. Luckily I got some discounts from the seller. Later, I compared the price with the prices of India and realised that I am a winner in this deal. The watches were sold cheaper than India. I wanted to take a couple of more wrist watches but my wallet did not permit me any further deal about this. The seller guaranteed the watches will last a lifetime. He also suggested replacing the batteries after every three years.

The watches were really special. They had a sleek design while the body was made of light steel. Besides, all of the watches were waterproof and easy to use. The internal illumination system made the watches to get illuminated at night times so that there are no troubles in watching time in darkness. The other special aspect of the watch is their colour. All the colours were permanent and scratch resistant. But I was told to use them carefully as if the glasses get broken, I will not get the original glass. The wristwatch that I took for my mother was an exceptional one. The heart shape wristwatch fitted in her wrist perfectly. She was so happy with the present from me. And all the other members were happier too. All these matters have made the wrist watches special to me.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic: 

"Describe something special you brought home from a holiday." 

People often go abroad on holiday and bring something special to their home. In fact, they seek the special types of things when they are on holiday in a foreign country. This cue card is about describing such a special thing that the candidate brought home from holiday. Some other hints would be effective for them to generate their own answers.

1. I went to Vietnam last month for a week-long holiday. And I have brought a conical hat for me. This hat appeared special to me and unavailable in my land, India. So, I got the hat and use it to protect myself from the excessive heat of the sun when I am out. Besides, the hat price was reasonable too.

2. Kimono is a traditional Japanese clothing. And I bought a kimono for my wife when I went to Japan for a holiday in the beginning of this month. She was highly happy with the dress. But she could not wear that well due to its traditional wearing style. The kimono was made of durable pink fabric and it was a bit pricey too.

3. Some parts of the USA are great to spend holidays. I went there recently and brought some special key rings for me and my other family members. The key rings were made of solid metal and remarkable establishments of the country were carved in the rings. The seller also told that they would last longer than any other types of key rings.

4. People who love chocolates have heard the reputation of British chocolates. So, when I went in the UK last month for holiday purposes, I got some chocolates for my family and neighbours. In fact, those chocolates were yummy and everyone liked them. I took the chocolates from a renowned shop in Britain.

5. My dad loves wearing shirts and when I went to China for holiday, I bought five silk shirt pieces for my dad. He was highly happy, indeed. He took the pieces to a local tailor and made shirts. I was surprised when he gave two of the shirts to me while he took the remaining shirts. Honestly, it was an amazing event for me. Actually, I solely intended my dad to use the shirts.

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