IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to explain the best time of doing something. 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 what is the best time to do 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…
|» What time of year is best for outdoor activities where you live?|
» What is the best time of day for studying?
» What time of year is best for traveling in your country?
Remember this formula
When the examiner asks you what is the best time to do something? type questions, you must:
Use superlatives correctly
Language step 1: Superlatives
Let’s look at how the IELTS candidates, Rama, uses superlatives in her answer.
Rama: I think the best time of day to study is in the very early morning, just after dawn. This is the quietest time of the day… It’s definitely the most productive hour for me to engross in reading, I just find it too difficult to wake up early.
Superlatives seem to be a good indication of your language proficiency, which will help you earn high scores of course, if you can use them appropriately and accurately in your speaking test.
Use prepositions of time
Language step 2: Prepositions of Time
Let’s look again at how Rama uses prepositions of time.
Rama: I think the best time of year to do outdoor activities is either in the summer or in the winter…The weather between June and early September provides the best conditions for…
To get a good score you must use prepositions of time correctly.
➠ At is used with festivals, the time of day, and with dawn, noon, night, midnight, dusk.
The train will arrive at 9 p.m.
The streets are always busy at Christmas.
➠ On is used with a particular day or date.
I’m often late to work on Mondays.
Peter gave Helen a call on Friday.
➠ In is used with years, seasons, months, and other parts of the day.
She said she would give you a call in the evening.
For me, Australia is far too hot in the summer.
➠ By is used to show that an activity will be completed or end by a certain time or point (and no later).
I usually start to feel tired by 10 p.m.
All the leaves on the trees will have fallen by November.
➠ During is used to talk about something that happens at a certain period of time, and can be used with parts of the day, seasons and festivals (not a point in time like noon).
The best time to do exercise is during the morning break.
Not many people like to visit Quang Tri during the summer months.
➠ Until is used to talk about something which will continue to happen up to a certain time or particular event.
The park is a really quiet place to study until about 5 o’clock, when everybody finishes work.
I like swimming in the sea until late September, after that it gets cold.
Use a few colloquial expressions for advantageous conditions
Language step 3: Colloquial Expressions for Advantageous Conditions
Let’s look at how the IELTS candidate Jamhal uses colloquial expressions for advantageous
Jamhal: The weather between June and early September provides the best conditions for
rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking or playing sports,..
There are many ways to explain the idea that something is the best or the most suitable. We’ve already looked at superlatives as one way of doing this, but now let’s look at some alternative native speaker expressions for this.
➠ good /great for
The cold weather is good for making ice sculptures.
Evenings at home are great for relaxing and listening to music.
➠ ideal for
Spring in Beijing is ideal for hiking along the Great Wall.
The day before a big national holiday is ideal for throwing a party.
➠ provide the perfect conditions for
The combination of mountains and lakes near my hometown provides the perfect conditions for camping in the summer.
The karst stones and dry weather of the summer provide the perfect conditions for rock climbing and mountain biking.
Extra language point: Depend on
When answering What’s the best time (of the year) to do X? type questions, it would be easy to say things such as Winter in my country is always relaxing or The morning is the best time of day to study. However, such statements are not always true because situations change according to different circumstances and according to people’s preferences. The verb phrase “depend on” helps us qualify what we say.
➠ Depend on can be used with nouns.
The availability of train tickets during the Tet holiday depends on the number of people traveling.
The best time to do exercise depends on people’s lifestyles.
➠ Or depend on can be used with gerunds (the -ing form of the verb).
Finding a good job depends on having good qualifications.
Being happy doesn’t necessarily depend on being very rich.
You should practice using this verb phrase. You will sound more like a native English speaker and be able to give more accurate answers if you can use it well
|Step 1: Use superlatives correctly.|
Pokhara is the most beautiful place in Vietnam.
|Step 2: Use prepositions of time correctly for times of day, month and year.|
Ha Noi is beautiful in the late fall.
|Step 3: Use a few colloquial expressions for advantageous conditions.|
The summer is perfect for cycling in the mountains.
|I think the best time of year to do outdoor activities is either in the summer or in the winter because it depends on what activities you would like to do. The weather between June and early September provides the best conditions for rock climbing, hiking, mountain hiking or playing sports like tennis and|
football because it is warm, sunny and bright. However, if you are into winter activities like ice skating, sledging and snowboarding, then the depth of
winter is the best lime to do them.
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