Talking about trends in IELTS

There are two types of trends you could be asked to describe: (1) current trends and (2) trends over time.

Current Trends

Here are some time expressions you could use:

  • Currently
  • At the moment
  • These days
  • Nowadays

Often, you will need to use the Present Continuous tense in these situations, for example, “Currently, my country is experiencing unemployment problems”. However, be careful! – you will probably expand the topic and in this case, you will move on to other tenses.  The examiners don’t want a list of simple sentences using the Present Continuous.

TASK

Talk about what is happening in your country now in terms of the subjects below. Remember to record yourself!

  1. Politics
  2. What people are worried about
  3. ‘Hot Topics’ – what is everyone talking about?
  4. Fashions
  5. Celebrities
  6. Changes in your city

Trends Over Time

Here are some time expressions you could use:

  • Over the past five/ten/etc. years
  • Recently
  • In recent years
  • Lately
  • Since  (+year)

It is common here to use the Present Perfect Simple/Continuous to talk about changes from the past to the present. For example, “Recently, people in my country have been having fewer children.”  It is essential to use it with ‘since’. However, as I said with Current Trends, do not become trapped into using one tense over and over – it will sound strange.

In my country, holiday habits have changed a lot over the last twenty years.  In the past, only young people went to exotic locations or difficult destinations.  Lately, far more people have started going to these kinds of places – families, older people, people with more money. The options have really increased and I don’t think people are afraid to try somewhere new or a bit different.

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