Unit 1: Understanding Speaking Test
Unit 3: Focus on Fluency & Coherence
Unit 3: Focus on Pronunciation
Unit 6: Focus on Lexical Resource
Unit 5: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy

How to answer how would you improve something?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to explain the process of your learning. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering IELTS questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on How to Answer How would you improve something?

When IELTS examiner asks you such question they really have no interest on the content of your answer but construct. They just want to know weather you can use right grammatical structure.

First let’s see some questions under this category

» How would you improve your apartment?
» How would you change the place where you study to make it better?
» If you could, how would you improve your university/workplace?

Remember this formula

When the examiner asks you How would you improve something? type questions, you must:

  1. Use changing X phrases
  2. Use the “would have something done” passive
  3. Use comparatives of convenience to speculate

Step 1: How would you improve something?

Changing X phrases to talk about changes you would like to make

Language Step 1: Changing X Phrases
Let’s have a look at how Sangita, uses the changing X phrases.
Sangita:
My university campus is quite scruffy and run-down. I suggest the authorities improve it by spending more money on up-keeping the grounds and modernizing the classrooms…

Notice how Sangita starts by identifying the problem, then go on to use the structure improve X + by + verb-ing/make X + comparative + by + verb-ing to talk about changes they would make or they suggest others make.

For changes you would make: would improve X + by + verb-ing/would make X + comparative + by + verb-ing
I would improve my bedroom by putting posters on the walls.
I would make my living room cozier by buying a new sofa.
I would improve my flat by getting a new wardrobe.

➠ For changes you suggest others make: suggest someone improve X + by + verb-ing/suggest someone make X + comparative + by + verb-ing
I suggest the government improve the air quality by restricting the number of cars in the city.
I suggest the school authorities improve security by building a wall around the playground.
I suggest they make the city more attractive by planting more trees and flowerbeds.

Step 2: How would you improve something?

Use the “would have something done” passive to talk about things you’d get professionals/ other people to do for you to improve X.

Language Step 2: The “Would Have Something Done” Passive
Let’s look at how Bikram uses the structure would have something done.
Bikram: If I were in authority, I would have new classrooms built, I would have the sports facilities repaired…

Notice how Alice and David use the structure would have + something + past participle to talk about what they would get others to do.

First look at the difference between the active (what you would do) and the passive (what you would get others to do):
I would make the windows bigger. = I would do it myself.
I would have the windows made bigger. = I would get someone else to come and do it for me.

Look at these further examples of the passive:
I would have a new kitchen installed.
I would have the walls painted in different colors.
I would have my motorbike fixed.
I would have a brand-new bath fitted.

Step 3: How would you improve something?

Use comparatives of convenience to speculate about how these changes would make X better.

Language step 3 Comparatives of Convenience
Let’s look at how Shikha uses the comparatives of convenience.
Shikha: Having a more modern campus would make life more pleasant for us, and the place more appealing to visitors.

To say how the changes you propose would make life better, you should use the following structures:
then X would be -I-comparative
…then my university campus would be warmer.
…then my dorm would be more attractive.
…then
life would be more convenient.
…then
my living room would be more comfortable.

doingX /having Xdone + would make (something /place) + comparative
Having a carpet fitted would make my room more beautiful and warmer.
Putting up
a few pictures on the wall would make my dorm more attractive.
Installing
a new kitchen would makg life more convenient for me.
Buying a new sofa would makg my living room much more comfortable.

Step 1: Use changing X phrases to talk about changes you would like to make.
I would improve my apartment by buying new furniture.
Step 2: Use the “would have something done” passive to talk about things you’d get professionals/ other people to do for you to improve X.
I would have the walls painted a new color.
Step 3: Use comparatives of convenience to speculate about how these changes would make X better.
Having a bigger bed would be more comfortable.
To start with, the place I’m living in now is quite small and crowded. I have too much shill, and it makes it hard to keep track of things and makes everything look messy and very cramped. There’s also very little light in my flat. So, firstly, I would make more space by getting rid of some of my things. Then, I would have the windows made bigger and lighter curtains made and lilted. Then my flat would be much cozier.

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