IELTS Speaking: Usage of IDIOMS

Scoring a band 8 is speaking is an achievable task if we follow certain tips and strategies in IELTS Speaking. Of the various tips that can be put to use if IELTS speaking, the use of IDOMS have a good role.

This post is all about usage of IDIOMS in scoring a band 8 in speaking.

IELTS Speaking Usage of IDIOMS

In general usage of English, the best language use tactic is often said to be the usage of idiomatic language. The use of idioms and common phrases, especially in English exams like the IELTS, will let the person in front of you know that you are a good orator and that you also have good command of the language. 

But there are a few things to keep in mind when we use idioms while speaking on an IELTS test. Let's have a look at the top tips in IELTS Speaking when it comes to the usage of IDIOMS:

Penalized for scripted answers: 
The examiners in IELTS Speaking are trained to look for specifically scripted answers that might be appropriate for any question. This technically refers to all the memorised phrases and sentences that students tend to use when answering any question in IELTS Speaking. 

As this does not show your language proficiency, you will be penalized for memorised answers. So when you use any such memorised phrases in IELTS Speaking, ensure to make it seem natural and not attract unwanted attention from the IELTS Speaking examiners. 

For example, beginning your very first answer in IELTS Speaking with an idiom is often a bad start. Although this isn't a sure way to lose marks, the IELTS Speaking examiner will definitely take notice of this.

IELTS Speaking Examiner: How often do you read books?

IELTS Candidate: Once in a blue moon. I don't read very often because I'm not very much interested 
(This usage stands out as scripted and does not fit the context)

Abused Idioms:  

There are a lot of idioms that sound alike but are really different in the words. If you do not use the correct words, they will not be counted as idioms and might even cause you to lose a few points. SO here are a few tips to help you ensure that idioms are not abused and to help you improve your IELTS Speaking.Let's take a look at a few:
  1. “If worse comes to worst”: means in the worst case scenario; often pronounced as 'if worst comes to worst Eg : If worse comes to worst and it starts raining, we can just go to a restaurant

  2. “Fend for yourself” : means to defend for someone; often pronounced as 'defend for themselves' Eg:  We cannot simply leave widows and homeless children to fend for themselves

  3. "for all intents and purposes": for any related matters to which the subject may concern ;often pronounced as ' for all intensive and purpose ' Eg: If two people live together for a certain period of time, the law recognises them, for all intents and purposes, as a married couple 

Thus make sure you use the idioms correctly

Matching the standards: 

Even the native speakers use idioms rarely, which makes them quite a rare find in anyone's speech. Thus, they are considered to be a higher form of language. So bear in mind, if you do not match the standard of the idiom to the rest of the talk, then chances are it will sound odd and will attract the attention of the examiner, a rather quick way to lose a few points! So make sure when you use idioms, you carry the rest of the talk at the same level of excellence as of the idiom.

Now all you have to do is pull out a few speaking cards and practice. These tips will definitely help you improve your IELTS Speaking.

Happy scoring!
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