Talking about your hometown

When we meet new people, especially people from other parts of the world, it"s natural to be curious about where they come from. Where did you grow up? In a huge metropolitan city, a tiny farming village, a tourist spot in the mountains? It"s good to be able to tell people about where you"re from! Talking about your hometown could come up in the IELTS Speaking Test. So, let’s look at some vocabulary you can use to tackle questions about your hometown and/or neighbourhood.

Let’s start with where your hometown is. You can tell people what part of the country it’s in.

e.g. I come from a small town in the south of England. It is 45 miles from London, in the countryside.

Write your own sentence in a notepad. Here are some adjectives you might find helpful. Use a dictionary to find out the meaning of any that are new to you. Add them to your vocabulary notebook and remember to write short definitions next to the words and example sentences.

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Think about your hometown. Which of these adjectives could you use to describe it?

Now answer this IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 style question.

Read my answer and then do your own. You could even record yourself ? 


How would you describe your hometown?

My hometown is a small town in the south of England called Shorewood. It is 45 miles from London, in the countryside. There is a small industrial zone in the town but most people who live there commute to London for work. It is in the middle of a big agricultural area. It’s not polluted or noisy, just the usual smells and sounds of rural life! There is a traditional market in the centre of town twice a week but there are no large shopping malls. There is a very beautiful church in the town centre and there are some lovely parks around the town. There is also a canal that runs through the town and some people still live on houseboats on the water. It is a fairly sleepy town and most teenagers can’t wait to leave.


As well as talking about your hometown, you could be asked about the differences between urban and rural life and whether life in the city is better than life in the countryside.

It’s helpful to think about the differences between city life and country life to start with. First, let’s make a list of some features of city and country life. I’ll start but you need to add your own ideas to the lists!



You can now go back through the lists and decide which are advantages or positive features and which are negative features or disadvantages.

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Now you’ve thought about the differences you can have a go at this IELTS Speaking Part 1 style question:

Do you prefer country life or city life?

When you answer this kind of question it’s important to remember that it’s asking for your opinion, that means there’s no ‘right’ answer. You’re being asked to explain your ideas and give reasons for your opinion. You need to say why you prefer city/country life. It’s a chance to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the two options.

To get some more ideas, listen to two people talking about where they live. First, decide whether each speaker lives in an urban or rural area, then listen again and make a note of the advantages and disadvantages of rural life that each speaker mentions.



(You can see the answers along with the tape script at the end of this blog. There are some very interesting collocations in there)

Now it"s your turn to do some IELTS practice questions.

Record yourself and listen. It might be weird at first, but you’ll soon get used to it!

How would you describe where you live now?What do you like about your neighbourhood?Do you think your hometown has changed a lot over the past 20 years?Do you prefer city life or country life?What are some of the advantages of living in the countryside?What are some of the disadvantages of urban living?

I hope this has helped you to think about how you would answer questions about where you live and where you grew up. Make a note of the new vocabulary and use it in your speaking and writing when appropriate.

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Bye for now!






IELTS Vocabulary for Bands 6.5 and above

Learn all the vocabulary you need to achieve band 6.5 and above in IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. It includes useful tips on how to learn vocabulary and covers tricky areas such as the language needed to describe data and processes.This book also includes practice exercises for each skill, regular progress checks and tips on how to avoid typical errors.Previous Vocabulary for IELTSAdvancedAlso available forup to Band 6*Book Depository is an online bookstore which offers free worldwide delivery. Alternatively, you can find it atyour local bookstore or online shop.