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Friends and Family

Describe one of your best friends.
You should say:

  • What this person looks like
  • When and where you met this person
  • What you do when you are together
  • And explain why he/she is one of your best friends.

Model Answer

Well, the person I’d like to talk to you about is a very good friend of mine, Mai. She must be one of the nicest and most down-to-earth individuals I know.

If I were to describe how she looks I would say Mai is a very gorgeous and charming girl who always attracts a lot of attention from men. She is much taller than me so it’s kind of embarrassing standing next to her to be honest. Mai also has straight brown hair and deep, dark brown eyes. Like most teenagers, she pays a lot of attention to her appearance and likes dressing in the latest and most snazzy fashion. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a plain old T- shirt or jeans.

Anyway, we’ve basically known each other since forever because we were in the same class from high school through to college. You know, the first time I met her, she left a deep impression on me because on the first day at school, I got lost while trying to find my classroom and she was my saviourCoincidently, we were arranged by the teacher to become desk-mates.

And with regards to why she became my bestie, well, I guess the main reason is that we really hit it off right from the start, and we also see eye to eye on a lot of things such as fashion, sport and even video games. She is my closest friend so I feel like we can share everything together, from schoolwork to our love lives. The thing I admire most about Mai is that she is really protective and likes to look after people.

As a normal human being, however, Mai also has her shortcomings. She’s never on time, and is sometimes quite absent-minded and inconsiderate and that makes people think she never takes things seriously. But I don’t think this is true. She has a strong sense of responsibility and I know that I can always rely on her. For me, friendship is the most important thing in the world and I am proud to say that I have such a loyal and helpful friend – she’s really one in a million.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • down-to-earth – practical, reasonable and friendly
  • gorgeous – very beautiful or attractive
  • charming – very nice or pleasant
  • snazzy – modern or stylish, attracts attention
  • since forever – for a long time
  • deep impression – a strong effect or influence
  • saviour – a person who saves someone from harm or danger
  • coincidently – an occasion when two or more things happen at the same time in a way that is unlikely or surprising
  • desk-mates – to sit next to or share a desk with someone
  • bestie – best friend
  • hit it off – to get along well with or become good friends with someone
  • see eye to eye – to agree with someone or to have the same opinion as them
  • love lives – romantic relationships
  • shortcomings – a fault, weakness or disadvantage
  • absent-minded – to be forgetful or easily distracted
  • inconsiderate – not thinking or worrying about someone else or their feelings
  • one in a million – very special or unique

Describe a couple you know who have a happy marriage
You should say:

  • Who they are
  • How you know them
  • What they usually do together
  • And how you feel about their marriage.

Model Answer

Well, I would like to talk about my own parents whose marriage is, without a doubt, a happy one. They have been married for 30 years now and are the perfect couple in my eyes.

Well, my mother and father are now in their 60’s and they are still really busy with their nine to five jobs in a government office, but I think that both of them are going to retire later this year. During 30 years of marriage, my parents have been through thick and thin together but have never lost their love for each other. My parents usually just show their affection simply by always being honest with each other and sharing their true
. Their mutual understanding for each other is so profound that sometimes it only takes one look to realise what the other is thinking.

Of course they still have minor tiffs every now and then, you know, things like who will have to pick up the kids or who gets the TV remote. However, my dad is always the first one to give in and turn to comfort my mother. I think little action’s like these are actually the key to my parents’ long lasting relationship.

To me, mom and dad are a perfect match and I admire their love for each other so much. Hopefully, in the future, I will have a partner that cares for me as much as my parents care for each other.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • without a doubt – certainly, definitely or positively
  • a nine to five job – a job with daytime hours starting at 9 am and finishing at 5 pm eg. an office job
  • to retire – to finish working after reaching a certain age eg. 60-65 years old
  • through thick and thin – through good times and bad or difficult times
  • true feelings – what someone is actually feeling inside
  • mutual understanding – when two people agree or think the same about something
  • profound – very great or amazing
  • a tiff – a small argument
  • to give in – to stop competing or arguing because you can’t win
  • the key – the thing that will help to achieve or do something
  • long lasting – happens for a long time
  • a perfect match – two people that are good together

Describe a new friend you’ve made recently
You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • What kind of person he/she is
  • How you met this person
  • And explain why you made friends with him/her

Model Answer

I am going to talk about Mrs. Kim who is a lovely lady that I recently befriended.

I started college life 3 months ago and on my first day of school I was unable to navigate my way to my new university where I was studying. Google Maps wasn’t really as helpful as I thought it would be and I couldn’t figure out the way by asking the locals either. So, after many hours of wandering around, I finally resorted to asking a lady who was selling noodles from a food cart near where I was standing. I asked the lady if she knew
the way to the HCMC University of Education, and she just smiled and pointed at the large, five-story building across the road. Turns out I was there all along! So, after thanking the lady, we had a little chat and I found out she also came from Ninh Thuan, which is my hometown! We immediately became good friends and now her food cart has become my favourite lunch spot whenever I’m at university.

So I guess the main reason that Mrs. Kim and I have become good friends is basically because I think she’s a really sweet lady. As I’ve gotten to know her better I’ve realized that she’s had quite a tough life, yet she has managed to maintain a sweet and gentle personality that many other women who have been through struggles like her would have lost by now. I guess the other reason we get on so well is because we share the
same hometown, and I tend to get on well with people from my hometown. Sometimes I think the best friendships are made so unexpectedly.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • Befriended – to make friends with
  • college life – student or university life
  • navigate my way to – to find my way
  • figure out the way – to find my way
  • wandering around – walking around without a fixed route or destination
  • resorted to – to do something because there is no other option
  • turns out – prove to be true, what actually happened
  • all along – the whole time
    lunch spot – a place to eat lunch like a café, restaurant or food cart
  • a tough life – a challenging or difficult life
  • to get on well with – to have a good relationship with someone

Describe a family member who has had an important influence on you
You should say:

  • Who the person is;
  • What kind of person he or she is;
  • What this person has done to influence you;
  • And explain why you think this person is important to you.

Model Answer

I am going to talk about my mother who has played an essential role in my life. She is my guardian, my friend and my role model.

My mother is in her forties now, but she still maintains a youthful look. In terms of personality, she is an extremely compassionate and kind-hearted person who always takes care of her children. She really is a mother and a friend to me as she always gives me valuable advice and is willing to stand by me through all the ups and downs of my life. Although sometimes she drives me crazy due to her being a perfectionist, I still hold
so much pride and respect for her.

I am also influenced by her strong-will. Ever since she was young, she had to learn to be independent as my grandparents were very busy and constantly on the go. She had to take care of almost everything: her younger brother, household chores and herself. Such challenges shaped her into the strong person that she is now.

Her determination, as well as her perseverance, are really something for us to look up to. And I keep reminding myself every day to be as strong as my mother, a real-life “wonder woman.”

Vocabulary Highlights

  • an essential role – a necessary part
  • guardian – someone who protects you
  • role model – someone to admire or look up to
  • maintains a youthful look – to keep looking young
  • compassionate – to understand and care about someone
  • kind-hearted – to be a kind or nice person to others
  • to stand by someone – to support or help someone
  • the ups and downs – the good and bad times
  • drives me crazy – to repair and improve something eg. a building
  • strong-will – to be determined, not give up easily
  • independent – to look after or think for yourself or to not be controlled by others
  • on the go – always doing something or going somewhere
  • shaped her – changed her or made her that way
  • determination – to not let anything stop you from doing what you have decided to do
  • perseverance – to continue trying to achieve something
  • a real-life “wonder woman” – someone who really helps you or saves you

Describe a family member that made you proud.
You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • How close you are
  • What he/she did that made you proud
  • And explain why they made you proud.

Model Answer

There is no one else in this world I hold more respect for than my mother. She is my guardian, my friend and my role model.

My mother is well into her forties now, but she still manages to maintain a youthful appearance. In terms of her personality, she is an extremely compassionate, kind-hearted and attentive person who always takes care of her children. She is both a mother and a friend to me as she always gives me valuable advice and is always willing to be there for me during all of the ups and downs in my life. Although sometimes she drives me crazy, because she’s such a perfectionist, I still hold a lot of pride and respect for her.

The reason that I am so proud of her is because she is such a strong-willed person. Ever since she was young, she had to learn to be independent as my grandparents were constantly busy and always on the go. She had to take care of almost everything, her younger brother, household chores and herself. Such challenges shaped her into the strong woman that she is now. Her independence has also been strengthened through all the hardship she has dealt with in her life. When she reached her thirties, she decided that she wanted to run her own business, a clothing store. All the members in our family tried to prevent her from doing this since we all thought it was a bad idea because she would have to face a lot of competition from other nearby shops.

But through her determination and perseverance she has managed to make a success out of her business and it really is something for us to look up to, and I keep reminding myself every day to try to be as strong as my mother, a real-life “wonder woman.”

Vocabulary Highlights

  • guardian – someone who protects you
  • role model – someone to admire or look up to
  • maintain a youthful appearance – to stay looking young
  • the ups and downs – the good and bad times
  • drives me crazy – when something or someone is annoying
  • perfectionist – someone who likes to do things exactly or perfectly
  • strong-willed – to be determined, not give up easily
  • on the go – always doing something or going somewhere
  • hardship – a time in life that is difficult or causes suffering
  • prevent – to stop something from happening
  • perseverance – to continue trying to achieve something
  • to look up to – to admire or respect someone

Describe a happy family event that you remember well.
You should say:

  • what the event was
  • when and where it happened
  • What you saw or did
  • and explain why you remember this event so well.

Model Answer

Well, this is a very nice topic for me and I would love to talk about one of my most memorable childhood events that I had with my family. The celebration was to welcome a new member to our family, the birth of my nephew. My eldest sister gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy and he was the first grandchild of my parents.

After seeing the new born baby for the first time, my father declared that this was a really special occasion and that we must celebrate to welcome the newest member into our family. So we all got to work straight away organising and planning for the party, my parents set out to invite all the guests and do the necessary shopping while my grandmother and sister cooked a lot of delicious food.

I was so happy and excited that when the gorgeous baby arrived, I didn’t leave his side. I wanted to be near him and play with him all the time but he was still so small that he couldn’t play with any of the toys I had given him. But it didn’t really matter because I could just stare at his cute face all day long anyway.

It really was a day full of happiness, amazement and celebration. The arrival of a beautiful baby into the family had brought us all together. Many friends and relatives turned up for the occasion, and it was definitely a very happy event for our

Vocabulary Highlights

  • nephew – the son of your brother or sister
  • declared – to announce or express something clearly
  • gorgeous – very beautiful or attractive
  • amazement – extreme surprise
  • turned up – to arrive

Describe a recent happy event.
You should say:

  • what it was
  • when and where it happened
  • who is involved
  • And explain why it was happy.

Model Answer

I would like to talk about a special wedding that I recently attended, which was my brother’s wedding, which is possibly one of the happiest events in my entire life. It was only 2 months ago and I still remember that day rather clearly.

My brother, who is my only sibling, decided to get married in the summer of 2017. And since my brother’s fiancée is a Catholic, the wedding was a combination of both catholic and traditional Vietnamese style. Because we were on the groom’s side, my family and I had to wake up early to follow my brother to his bride’s house. There my brother would ask for permission from his future parents-in-law to allow him to take their daughter to her new family. After getting the acceptance, both the bride and groom and all the
guests headed to a fancy restaurant, where the wedding ceremony was celebrated. I remembered how well the entire room was decorated with sparkling light bulbs and purple ribbons, which was the bride’s favourite colour. During the whole ceremony, myself and other guests witnessed the bride and groom exchanging vows with each other and this was indeed an unforgettable moment.

Also, this marriage was special for me in another sense, being that it was the first wedding I had had the chance to be a part of, which really made the whole event a once-in-a-life-time experience. It was really great to be able to see and feel the passionate love the couple had for each other, through the way they looked at each other and the through the way they expressed their vows. And finally, the wedding was carried out with a smooth and peaceful atmosphere and I think that all the guests really had a great time
attending this sacred occasion.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • sibling – brother or sister
  • fiancée – the man or women that someone has agreed to and is planning to marry
  • Catholic – a form or the Christian religion
  • parents-in-law – the parents of your husband or wife
  • exchanging vows – when the bride and groom read their vows to each other
  • a once-in-a-life-time experience – a unique or very special experience
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