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Describe a helpful person at work or school
You should say:

  • Who it was
  • What this person did
  • How this person helped
  • And explain how you felt after this person helped you.

Model Answer

I would like to describe one of my teachers who taught me at high school, who had a great influence on me and was the person who helped me succeed in my university entrance examination. Her name is Linh and she taught me English for 3 years of high school and was also my form teacher. She was in her late 40’s then but looked young for her age.

I was really influenced by the way she taught us in class. Her thoroughness in teaching inspired me to study English, even though I had not been interested in it before. We never felt bored in her classes, she always told us interesting stories about British and American culture and people, and also organized some games so that we could learn new vocabulary and grammar effortlessly.

I remember that during the three months before the university entrance exam, which was the most important exam of my life, she had delivered some free classes for the students who weren’t quite up to standard, including myself. She patiently guided us through difficult questions and provided many useful tips to help deal with the test. Thanks to her effective teaching method and great dedication, I was able to pass the university
entrance exam with almost a perfect score in English.

Although I have graduated from high school and now study in Hanoi, I often visit her on the holidays and tell her about my daily life in the big city and she’s always available to give me some advice about any problems I have. I am forever grateful to have Mrs. Linh in my life.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • to have a great influence on someone – to effect someone in a positive way
  • in one’s late 40’s – to be aged 47-49 years old
  • thoroughness – to include everything that is necessary
  • up to standard – to be at an average or above average level
  • effective teaching method – a teaching method that helps students learn easily
  • great dedication – a large amount of time and effort spent doing something important
  • forever grateful – to be thankful for a long time

Describe a polite person you met. 
You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • How you know the person
  • What the person looks like
  • And explain why you think the person is polite.

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 polite individuals I know.

We’ve basically known each other since forever because we were in the same class from high school through to college. She is like my partner in crime and we can share everything together from schoolwork to our love lives.

You know, the first time I met her she left a deep impression on me because on the first day of school I got lost while trying to find my classroom and she really helped me out. Surprisingly, we were also arranged by the teacher to be desk-mates.

And the reason why I think she’s so polite is simply because she has really good manners. She abuses the word “thank you” even on the slightest occasion. For instance, I’ve noticed that whenever we eat at a restaurant, she will thank the waiters whenever they bring a dish to the table. And another example would be that every
time she gets off a bus, she will always say thank you to the driver, which a lot of people probably think isn’t necessary, but I’m sure the waiters and bus drivers really appreciate it. Finally, whenever our classmates ask her to help them with difficult homework, she never complains or shows any hesitation. And due to this, she always maintains a good reputation thanks to her politeness.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • since forever – for a long time
  • my partner in crime – good friends who do a lot together including getting into trouble
  • love life – relationship with boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife
  • deep impression – a strong effect or influence
  • to get lost – to not know where you are
  • desk-mates – to sit next to or share a desk with someone
  • good manners – to be polite and respectful
  • abuses – to use too much or use in a bad way
  • on the slightest occasion – at small, unimportant moments
  • appreciate – to be thankful
  • hesitation – to stop or pause for a short moment
  • a good reputation – when people have a good opinion of someone or something

Describe a famous person that you are interested in.
You should say:

  • who this person is
  • how you know about this person
  • how this person became famous
  • And explain why you like this person.

Model Answer

I am going to tell you about a well-known physicist whose biography recently really caught my attention. He is a house-hold name around the world, Albert Einstein.

He is recognized as the father of modern physics and he was the founder of the Theory of Relativity, which became an essential, if not the most important, contribution to modern science. He was also awarded the Nobel Physics prize thanks to this discovery.

Besides knowing him due to his many achievements, I did come across and read a biography of him on the internet which really intrigued me and contained a lot of information that made me admire him a lot. His childhood was not as carefree as I initially thought and I was totally impressed by his perseverance and dedication to science despite having communication problems at a very young age.

I love how Albert Einstein lived and worked with passion and enthusiasm all his life, which, I feel is a shining example and a great inspiration for me to follow. Albert was hunted by the Nazi’s for most of his adult life, yet he never abandoned his love for science and kept working even when he was running to protect himself.

So, in other words, he really inspired me to pursue my goals and dreams with all I that I have, despite any difficulties that I may come across along the way.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • caught my attention – attracted my attention or made me look or take notice of something
  • a house-hold name – a commonly known famous person
  • founder – someone who creates or starts something
  • come across – to find or discover something
  • biography – the story about the life of a person written by someone else
  • intrigued – to be very interested by something unusual or unexpected
  • carefree – to have no worries
  • perseverance – to continue trying to achieve something
  • dedication – a large amount of time and effort spent doing something important
  • enthusiasm – a feeling of energetic interest
  • a shining example – a very good or perfect example of something
  • hunted – to chase something to kill or catch it
  • abandoned – to leave someone or something behind
  • pursue – to chase or follow someone or something

Describe an interesting neighbour you know.
You should say:

  • Who this person is
  • How you know this person
  • What this person likes to do
  • And explain why you think this neighbour is interesting.

Model Answer

I must say, I am extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful neighbour, Duy, who is really friendly and always willing to assist me whenever I’m in trouble.

Duy and I live in the same building, and our apartments are next to each other. We came to know each other when the electricity to the entire building was cut off one evening. Unfortunately, I had run out of candles and the torch was nowhere to be found, so I had to go to the apartment next door for help, and this was when I first met my neighbour. He was extremely helpful and enthusiastic and he asked me to hold his torch while he
lit the candles in his apartment. I was really grateful for his help and a few days later, I made some snacks for him as a thank-you gift. Since then, we have become quite close friends.

The more I got to know Duy, the more I began to look up to him. Even though he is well into his fifties and lives on his own, as he lost his family in a car accident, he still manages to see life through rose coloured glasses. His motto in life is “to keep moving forward”. He works and studies at the same time, and on the weekends, he travels to an orphanage to teach maths to the kids there.

He really is a wonderful neighbour and I know I could call on him if I ever needed to. We will always help each other out when we can, and because we both live on our own, it’s really important to have a good friend close by.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • fortunate – to be lucky
  • assist – to help or support something or someone
  • cut off – to be disconnected
  • grateful – to be very thankful
  • well into his fifties – around the age of 54 – 58 years old approximately
  • see life through rose coloured glasses – to see the good or positive side of life or something
  • motto – a word, sentence or phrase that expresses someone’s personal belief
  • orphanage – a home for children without parents
  • call on – ask for help

Describe someone you admire who is much older than you.
You should say:

  • who this person is
  • how long you have known him/ her
  • what qualities he/ she has
  • And say why you admire him/ her.

Model Answer

Well, the first person who came to my mind is my grandmother. She is almost in her 80’s and she has always been a major influence on me.

I guess I could say that I’ve known my grandmother my whole life because she was actually there the day I was born, and after the death of my grandfather she started to live in our house, so I was lucky enough to grow up and pass my adolescent years with her love and affection.

Since my childhood, she has always cared and loved me with all of her heart, and she is a really kind and wise woman which is why I always turn to her for advice. I think she’s a compassionate person with a big heart, and always tries to help others whenever she can, and I can recall many occasions when she took great risks to help other people out.

She’s also a successful mother of four children, one of whom is my father. She has devoted her entire life for the betterment of her kids, educating and guiding them to become good people. She possesses a very charming personality and always pleases everyone around her. Even a stranger can feel the warmth of her heart within only a short time.

I could really talk about her all day long because I love and admire her for many reasons. But I must say, the most important reason is her unconditional love for me. She is a great mentor who always shows me the positive side of things and guides me through my hardest times. Talking to her is a soothing experience and the stories she tells are always informative and full of important lessons and morals. I think she has had a great
influence on my attitude in life and on my personality, and for all these reasons there’s a strong bond between us, and I admire her very much.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • adolescent – between the ages of a child and an adult eg. approximately 15 – 18 years old
  • wise – being able to make good decisions and/or judgements
  • turn to her for advice – to ask for advice
  • compassionate – to understand and care about someone
  • devoted – to give a lot of time and effort towards something
  • betterment – to make something better
  • charming – very nice or pleasant
  • unconditional love – complete love, without any exceptions
  • soothing – making you feel calm
  • morals – ideas of what is good or bad behaviour

Describe a person who has apologized to you.
You should say:

  • when it was
  • who the person was
  • why this person apologized
  • and explain how you felt about it.

Model Answer

Well I think that we all tend to make some mistakes in life now and then, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally, but we usually regret them afterwards. I always try to apologize for what I do wrong, and of course, I expect the same from others.

So last month, my friend borrowed my car for the day and he knows very well that I’m very possessive about my car. I asked him to take good care of it as I know he is not a very good driver, and in fact, this is the reason why his father doesn’t buy him his own car.

But he promised me to drive it very cautiously and safely, however when he returned it in the evening he sounded very low and he told me that someone hit the car from the rear when he was stuck in a traffic-jam and that caused him to hit the car in front of him. He was feeling very guilty for not taking care of the car and he apologized repeatedly for his negligence, and he assured me that he would get it repaired the first thing the
next morning.

I did feel sorry for him though, but at the same time very sad as my car was damaged, but somewhere in my mind I knew that this was not his fault. Normally, I easily lose my temper but it was because of his sincere apology that I couldn’t stay mad at him for very long.

So the next day, he went with me to the mechanic and luckily the damage was not so bad or expensive to fix. He apologized again and assured me that he’d be more vigilant in the future. We are still good friends and I feel that receiving an apology and forgiving someone is the best way to maintain and make relationships stronger.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • intentionally – to do something with a plan or a purpose
  • possessive – to have strong feelings about something you own or have
  • cautiously – carefully
  • negligence – not giving enough care or attention
  • lose my temper – to get angry
  • sincere – honest feeling
  • vigilant – to be careful or very attentive about something

Describe a person who gave a clever solution to a problem
You should say:

  • Who the person is
  • When and where it happened
  • What the problem was
  • And explain why it was a clever solution.

Model Answer

To ‘think outside of the box’ is always the term that comes to mind whenever a problem arises and not everyone succeeds in coming up with a solution, but there is one person on this planet though who always surprises me with his cleverness and ability to come up with a solution to even some of the toughest problems. His name is Nam and he’s my older brother.

My mother always told us that even though we’re brothers and we have a close–knit relationship, we’re still as different as two people could possibly be. I’m quite an active person and have a tendency to make very quick decisions, while my brother is extremely calm and usually solves problems in a level-headed kind of way, and that’s the reason why he has been a kind of saviour to me on a number of occasions.

There was a time that I consider as an important landmark in my life which was when I took the entrance exam to university. And similar to my mother, I suffer from hypotension which is low blood pressure and sometimes causes dizziness when I’m hungry or tired. In certain circumstances, I just need the sugar from a couple of candy bars to recover, but actually I’m quite an absent-minded person so I usually forget to carry any with me.

On that day, when the start of the examination was getting nearer, I was so nervous that I couldn’t think clearly and my hands had begun to shake. All of a sudden I found some tiny chocolate bars in my pocket, and they absolutely saved my life! In the end, it turned out that my brother remembered to put some in my pocket for me in order to avoid this situation. So thoughtful and so smart he was to do such a thing!

Vocabulary Highlights

  • think outside of the box – to think in an original or creative way
  • cleverness – smart, good problem solving ability
  • a close–knit relationship – a good and close relationship
  • level-headed – calm and sensible even in difficult situations
  • saviour – a person who saves someone from harm or danger
  • landmark – an important moment, time or event
  • hypotension – a disease related to blood-sugar levels
  • dizziness – when you feel like your head is spinning around and you cannot stand up normally
  • absent-minded – to be forgetful or easily distracted

Describe an experience when you spent time with a child.
You should say:

  • When you spent time with this child
  • Who this child was
  • What you did together
  • And how you felt about the experience.

Model Answer

So, I’d like to tell you about an experience when I spent time with a kid. It was when I was about 15 years old and I had to look after my brother’s 2 year old son, who is my nephew. It was on a weekend one time when I was visiting my brother and his wife and their son. My brother’s wife was at work that day and he had to go out to the shops to pick-up some groceries to cook for dinner, but instead of all of us go together, he decided that it would be much more convenient if he went alone and I stayed at home to look after my nephew while he was gone. At first I was a bit shocked that he came up with this idea because I had never looked after a small child on my own before and I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to do or what to expect, especially if something went wrong. But my brother reassured me that he would only be gone for about 30 minutes or so and that everything would be fine, and if I needed to contact him in an emergency then I should just call him on his mobile phone. So I reluctantly agreed.

Anyway, so my brother went off to the supermarket and I stayed at home with my nephew. At first I think I just put on one of his favourite cartoons on the TV to try and keep him occupied for a while, but this only worked for so long. After around 15 minutes, he got bored of that and wanted to do something else, so I then went and got all of his toys from his bedroom and brought them out into the lounge room and tipped them on the floor. We then made a big mess playing with his toys for about 10 mins before he quickly became bored again. So then after that I went to the kitchen and found some of his favourite snacks and we sat back down to watch cartoons again on the television and eat the snacks. After about 5 minutes though, thankfully he fell asleep until my brother arrived home. So, all in all, it was a fine experience I guess. I was quite relieved that nothing bad happened and I realized that it wasn’t that difficult to look after small kids.

Vocabulary Highlights

  • kid – child
  • look after – take care of
  • pick-up – to collect, get or buy
  • groceries – items of food used to cook eg. fruit, vegetables, meat, canned food, dry noodles etc
  • convenient – when something is used or happens at a time or place that is easy, or useful
  • shocked – feeling very surprised or upset
  • reassured – to comfort someone to stop them from worrying
  • reluctantly – not wanting to do something, and therefore doing it slowly
  • occupied – busy
  • for so long – for a period of time
  • relieved – happy when something unpleasant or not nice has ended
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