IELTS Speaking Exam: Useful Prompt Phrases

IELTS Speaking Exam prompt phrases - magoosh

Hopefully you already know what to expect in the IELTS speaking exam. Remember that it has three sections and takes about 11 to 14 minutes to complete. Well today, I want to focus on Part 2 of the exam where you have to prepare and give a short talk of 1-2 minutes on a given subject. The phrases will look at are also potentially useful for the more conversational first and third part of IELTS Speaking, just as these natural connectors for Parts 1 and 3 have some use in Part 2.

As you will recall, in this section of the IELTS speaking exam, the examiner will ask you to talk about a specific subject. The task card will include several points that you should cover in your talk. The subjects can include things like describing something, like your favorite animal/museum/photograph etc; or talking about a specific topic like advertisements or an important 20th century invention. Generally, the topic is about a personal experience though.

For many candidates the thought of giving a 2 minute speech is a very daunting task! To help you get started, I’ve pulled together some useful prompt phrases that you can use to get each section of your speech started and provide a way to link your thoughts in a way that will make you sound like a native English speaker.

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Introductory Prompt Phrases

Below are a selection of phrases that you can use to start your talk. Use these phrases to lead into your introduction:

  • Today, I’d like to talk to you about….
  • In this talk, I’m going to describe to you how….
  • I want to tell you about….
  • Today, I would like to discuss…
  • Good morning/Good afternoon. Today, I want to give you a short talk on…

Phrases to Begin the Main Body of Your Speech

Once you’ve introduced your topic you will want to move on to the main body of your speech. Here are some prompt phrases to transition you from your introduction to your main idea:

  • First of all….
  • And why do I like it so much? Well, it….
  • To begin with….
  • One of the most interesting things about….
  • This is the most important day/thing in my life because…

Phrases to Help Develop Your Idea

Now that you are into discussing your idea your will want to give some background detail and give some reasons and examples to develop your theme. There are lots of useful phrases you can use here to link your ideas. Here are just a few:

  • Another reason why I like …..
  • Moreover it….
  • One of the main advantages…
  • For instance…..
  • One of the consequences….
  • This appeals to me, because…
  • I get a a lot of pleasure out of….
  • I am very fond of….
  • Another unusual fact about….
  • I like … more than anything else because….

Conclusion Phrases

After discussing your topic, you will want to conclude your speech and give the examiner a quick one line summary of what you just told him/her. To start this part of the speech, you will want to begin with something like:

  • In conclusion,…
  • To wrap up,….
  • To conclude,….
  • To sum up,….

Now that you have some great prompt phrases to get you started on each element of your talk (i.e. The Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion), why not check out our Complete Guide to learn how to structure the rest of your IELTS speaking responses. Then dive deeper with your prep with a trusted IELTS prep product!

Practice speaking with our IELTS expert Eliot. Watch this video which simulates the IELTS Speaking section!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn is our expert blogger on IELTS. She has experience in preparing students for the IELTS exam and is currently in South Korea teaching English as a Second Language. When not blogging, you are most likely to find her on an airplane, striving to obtain membership in the Traveler’s Century Club, something she’s just about as passionate about as helping students achieve their life dreams.

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