Do you like to use new technology? What technology do you often use? What electronic devices have you bought lately? Is there any technology you want to buy? What are the benefits of using technology?
  • Unavoidable (adj.) - impossible to avoid.
  • Route (noun) - a fixed path for regularly moving or delivering people or things.
  • Necessity (noun) - the need for something.
  • Green (adj.) - relating to the protection of the environment.
  • Convenient (adj.) - suitable for your purposes and needs and causing the least difficulty.
  • To line (verb) - to form a row along the side of something.
  • Packed (adj.) - completely full.
  • Unnavigable (adj.) - not able to be navigated.
  • Scenario (noun) - a description of possible actions or events in the future.
  • Traffic jam (noun) - a large number of vehicles close together and unable to move or moving very slowly.
  • Congested (adj) - .too blocked or crowded and causing difficulties.
  • Link (noun) - a connection between two things.
  • Light railway (noun) - a railway system for transporting people around a particular city.
  • Exorbitantly (adverb) - in a way that is much too much, or much too expensive
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Questions and answers
M: Let's talk about transportation, shall we? Do you often use public transportation?

R: Well, if I had the choice, I wouldn't, but it's unavoidable now, because I don't have access to private transport anymore.

M: Did you take public transport when you were a child?

R: I think if we didn't have the car, then we would, unless I was visiting my grandmother. Then I would always take the bus by myself. And, oh, well, that all felt very grown up at the time, even though it was a very short journey to make. The bus routes are not very long, at least where I'm from.

M: Do most people prefer public transport?

R: Well, if I were to guess I would say no. I think they use it out of necessity more than actually wanting to do it, because even green-minded people would probably admit that private transport is a lot more convenient than public transport.

M: What's the most popular means of transport in your hometown?

R: Definitely cars. You would see it immediately if you lived here, they line both sides of the street. Thank heavens, there's only about 1000 people here. Otherwise, everything would be packed, and it would be impossible to move.

M: Is driving to work popular in your country?

R: I would say so. And I would say it with more certainty if I can see the statistics more closely. Certainly, it just seems obvious, since places in my country are so far apart.

M: Will you use public transport more in the future?

R: Well, if I were to guess I would say probably not. I mean, I like working from home. And well, private transport is much more convenient. And to be honest, with the worsening weather the roads are becoming increasingly unnavigable, so I can see less and less public transport in my future.

M: Are there any traffic problems in your area?

R: When I think about what it's been like, since I moved, I wouldn't say so, I think the worst-case scenario is if you get stuck behind a tractor or a flock of sheep. But there aren't any major problems like traffic jams, or like majorly congested roads or anything like that.

M: How would you improve transport in your town?

R: Well, if I were in charge of the local authority, I would definitely have a greater number or vastly improved bus links between the villages because there aren't many right now. And it would make my life more convenient. And if I had an infinite budget, then I'd build a light railway between them as well. But I think that's probably impractical. And like probably exorbitantly expensive as well, thinking about it.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your enthusiastic answers!

R: See, I can't talk about transport.

M: Yeah, you can. Yeah, I wish you were so excited about, you know, shoes and cooking.

R: Sitting.

M: And sitting.
M: So public transportation. So the question is about do you use public transportation? And how do we use the phrase public transportation? Is it a public transportation? The?

R: No, it's just public transportation in general. But then if you talk about the public transport in my country for a specific public transport.

M: Yes, and we use public transportation or use public transport, or we take public transport?

R: You can take public transport to a place.

M: And then it's unavoidable. You cannot avoid it. It's unavoidable you said. Yeah? So I use public transportation because, like where do I go without it, yeah?

R: Yeah, but if something is unavoidable, then you can't stop using it basically. I could drive a car but that would be very illegal and very dangerous, considering I haven't passed my test yet.

M: Oh, not yet? You've been doing it I think like for two months, half a year?

R: No. I've had like, what, five lessons? That five lessons today. Actually, at the time this has been recorded. I will have had five lessons and I was in a lesson before I came to this, before I came to this recording. So I was a little bit late because of that. Hopefully, by the time you're watching this, I will have made more progress.

M: Can you imagine Rory driving? Like really, like in a car, in a real car, like... With a face. Can you imagine his face?

R: I can barely imagine myself driving.

M: Would you be like a serious driver? Or would you go like, open the window and start shouting like... Where do you think you're going?

R: I think I would just sit there like with my hands up around me like, I don't want to die. Get me out of here.

M: Okay, that's fun. Yeah, you said that you don't have access to private transport anymore. So private transport - your private car, right?
R: We should probably talk about the difference between public transport and private transport. So public transport generally is stuff that's used by... Oh, sorry, means of transport that are used by lots and lots of people, and they don't own it directly, or they haven't paid for it. Like they've maybe paid a little bit for it, but they haven't paid a huge amount, whereas private transport is something that you own, and you have control over and you've paid a huge amount of money for. So, a car, for example, is private transport. Even if you're renting it, you're still paying a lot of money for it. And in the same way, a taxi. Now, I always think that taxis are private transport. But what do you think?

M: Really? I think it's public. Still, no, it's not yours.

R: That's really funny. I know. But you still pay more, and it's still for you. So it's kind of private. Taxis are on the borderline.

M: Okay. Interesting. Also, dear listener, if you have a private scooter, or a private bicycle, it's also your private transport. You also say that, I would always take the bus. So take the bus, take the train. It's always the bus or I can say like, I usually take a train, I take a taxi, I take a bike.

R: Well, bikes are private transport, aren't they? Unless it's a rented bike provided by the city because you have these in Moscow, and they're in London and some other big cities as well.

M: No, I was going for an article. So what do you usually say, I always take a bus?

R: Oh, take the bus.

M: Take the bus, right? So take the train.

R: Take a bike.

M: Take a bike. And you mentioned something about bus routes. Routes like the... Where do the buses go. Right?

R: Yes, it's the journey the buses go on a map. Like there are different places they stop. But I should have also talked about when you can get the bus too. Because they have bus timetables and train timetables. I didn't talk about that, but I should have.

M: And the second conditional, dear listener. So Rory told us, if we didn't have the car, if we didn't have the car, but Rory does have a car, then we would, we would take the bus, right? So the second conditional. Or, for example, if I could, I'd take a taxi. If I had more money, I'd buy a car and use my private vehicle. Vehicle is another synonym for a car, or a bus or like any vehicle on the road, or a truck, for example. You said that you use it out of necessity. So I use public transport out of necessity.
R: Which is very similar to saying because it's unavoidable. So if you use something out of necessity, it's because you need to, not because you want to.

M: You can also say I have to use public transport. I have to, I have to, have to use it. Right? I don't like it much, but I have to use it. And usually, what do we use? Like trains, buses, taxis, if you think it's a public transports kind of thing.

R: A public transport kind of thing? Do you mean a mode of public transport?

M: A mode.

R: A mode or a form. There are many forms of public transport, many modes of public transport.

M: Or means.

R: Yes.

M: Means of public transport. Yeah.

R: You take a bus as... Oh, sorry, you use a bus as a means of public transport.

M: Yeah, you use a bus as a means of public transport. A means of. Okay? It's a bit strange. Rory, tell me, what are these green-minded people?

R: Oh, but just people that don't want lots and lots of environmentally unfriendly things on the road. So ideally, green-minded people probably want people to use public transport more often. But public transport can be inconvenient because you have to go somewhere in order to get it whereas if you have your own private transport, then you can just jump in it and go where you like.

M: How green are you? Hmm, could you write in the comments? Are you like a green-minded person or no? Right, you said something about like line with. That's a nice verb to use about cars and roads.

R: Oh, yeah. The street is lined with cars or parked cars because you'd have them parked on both sides and they go in a line. I make it sound like my, my village is actually like some sort of hellhole. It's overrun with cars. But it's not. There are lots of cars, but it's still quite nice despite this.
M: And you can say, for example, thanks heavens, I don't have many cars. Thanks heavens like thank you, universe. Yeah? That we don't have too many people who have too many cars.

R: Yes, because that would be awkward.

M: A good strategy is to talk about statistics. So for example, the examiner asks you, is this more popular? Or is this popular? And you go, well, if I could see the statistics, the statistics, okay, the numbers, if I could see the statistics. Rory said, If I could see the statistics, I would tell you more about it, for example. Or my answer would be more specific. So when you have no idea what to say, just use this "statistics". Oh, I don't know the statistics. I haven't seen the statistics.

R: I haven't seen the statistics. But if I had, then maybe, or probably.

M: And then a nice one is I would say so. I'd say so, I would say so. I'd say so like, what do you think? Is this more popular? Is this popular? I would say so. I'd say that cars are more popular, right? Or are cars popular? I would say so.

R: It's like if you're not sure.

M: Private transport or public transport is more convenient, okay? Or is much more convenient, if for example, we have a lot of traffic jams, right? I can say that, okay, going by metro is much more convenient. Why not comfortable? Can I say it's comfortable? Like you know, my jacket is comfortable.

R: Well, convenient is to do with... Oh, I'm gonna really simplify this. Convenient is about access, whereas comfort is about feeling comforted. It's about having a good feeling. They're close, but they're not the same.

M: You said this word. Unnavigable. Unnavigable.

R: The roads are unnavigable, which means you cannot navigate them because they're becoming, well, their condition is getting worse.

M: Say it again.

R: Unnavigable.

M: Unnavigable.

R: Yeah, the roads are becoming unnavigable.
M: When we talk about traffic jams. The word to use is congested. The roads are congested, they're full of cars, their cars are everywhere. So the roads are congested, means they're packed with cars. There are a lot of traffic jams. And also you can use the word traffic congestion, also very easy to pronounce. Traffic congestion. Yes, traffic congestion is a big problem in my hometown, or the roads are congested.

R: Yes. Is there a difference between having traffic jams and traffic congestion?

M: I don't think so. I think they're the same.

R: In my head, I feel like traffic jams are when nothing is moving. But traffic congestion is when it's moving, but just like really slow.

M: Oh, okay. Interesting. But what's the word that you use to mean that it's just it's not moving? It's like dreadlock?

R: Oh, gridlocked.

M: Gridlock. Yeah, and how can I use it in sentence?

R: The roads are totally gridlocked in... Oh, in Moscow on a Friday afternoon, they're gridlocked. And if anyone's subscribed to our premium podcast they will remember when I spent like two minutes describing how much I hated this situation.

M: Oh, yes, that's a nice story. Rory story in our premium.

R: It's not a nice story. I was not in a happy mood at all. But if you are interested in hearing about me being miserable, then subscribe to our premium. The links are in the description below.

M: Yes, and our premium episodes do help us keep the videos free and keep our speaking part one episodes free, like audio and video as well.

R: They help to pay for my driving lessons as well. Thank you!

M: And my shoes.

R: Yeah, they help to pay for my driving lessons and Maria's rabid consumerism.

M: No, it's just maintenance. I'm high maintenance.

R: They are shoes. You have 3 million pairs.
M: Shut up. If you live in a small village, like Rory, in the middle of nowhere, you can see a lot of sheep or trucks or horses. Because Rory is somewhere out there. Tractors, yeah, it's like popular means of transportation.

R: Somewhere out there? Like if this was Russia, then I'd be in the middle of nowhere but it's Scotland. I'm like, I don't know, two hours from the nearest major time that's not far to go.

M: Oh, come on, from the major town in Scotland, but Scotland is...

R: Well, no, from a major city in Scotland. Sorry, the nearest town is about 20 minutes away. That's not so bad.

M: Oh, okay. Alright.

R: The nearest town has 20,000 people. And Maria's just thinking, so the population of my street.

M: A nice strategy is to use the second conditional and say if I were in charge. You know? So what would you do to improve the road situation?

R: Yeah. Anytime you're asked about improving something, you could just say, well, if I were in charge, or if I had the power, unlimited power.

M: If I were in charge of the local authority, right? Or the local council, or if I were in charge of the government, I'd do something. And Rory, you said that I'd probably have a light railway. What's a light railway?

R: A light rail is just, well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's not used for transporting heavy goods. It's used for transporting people. It's only really got two tracks. It's relatively inexpensive. This is compared to railways, which are used to transport like livestock and raw materials from mines and things. Although you don't really get the phrase heavy rail. I never considered that. But you do get light railways. You can see an example of this in London, there's something called the Docklands Light Railway. And that's a pretty good example. So you can Google that.

M: If you want to improve the buses, you can say, if I were in charge, I'd improve the bus links. Links, you know, the routes, right? And the connection. And the last one for us today is exorbitantly expensive.

R: Yes. Although that's not really for talking about public transport. That's for talking about just something being really expensive. It's used to describe, like major public works. If you think about it, where I live right now, in the local area, there's only 100,000 people, maximum. And building a Light Railway, even though it would be really convenient, well, it would like maybe be all of the tax money that they gathered from everyone here for one year to build. That's exorbitantly expensive, and then they can't pay for anything else.
M: Sweet. Rory, what's your favourite means of transport if we're talking green? Would it be a scooter, a bicycle, your feet, horses?

R: The train. The train is like environmentally friendly, mostly. It's more environmentally friendly than having 3 million cars on the road.

M: What about a donkey?

R: If you want to ride to work on a donkey, like a donkey walks slower than a human being. So it's gonna take longer. That's not convenient. You have to feed them.

M: Yeah. It's time-consuming. Yeah. And donkeys are also a high maintenance.

R: What a random animal to pick as well, a donkey.

M: Rory, tell us about the second conditional.

R: I don't know anything about the second conditional. I just know how it sounds. Can you explain the grammar?

M: Oh, my God. So if I don't have diamonds, right, I don't have diamonds, no I have diamonds. Okay. Let's imagine I don't have diamond. Oh, no, this is a bad example.

R: What a great introduction. Like, let's pretend I don't have money. Oh, wait, I do. Oh, great.

M: Okay, I don't have a car, right? There you go. I don't have a car. But I want to have a car. So I say if I had a car, it'd be easier for me to travel around Moscow. Maybe, on certain days. So if I had or if I could buy a car, I'd be happier. Right? So could, past and then I would. If I had more money, I'd buy a car. If I could improve the traffic situation, I'd improve the bus links.

R: So, we used a lot to answer these questions, but could we use it to answer different questions?

M: Rory, do you like stars?

R: If I had the time to look at them, then I probably would.

M: Do you think you have enough free time? If I were to guess...

R: If I measured it, then I would probably say no, but I have no idea because I don't.

M: Alright, it's Halloween. It's Halloween.

R: Halloween with scary grammar.

M: Yeah, we're recording it at the time of Halloween. Today is the 29th of October.

R: But this will be going out on Halloween. So Happy Halloween to everybody. I don't have anything scary to put on apart from my bad face. That's all.

M: Thank you very much for listening! Make sure you subscribe to our channel, please, smash the like button. And if you do want to say thank you, if you want to buy me a cup of nice coffee. And if you want to buy Rory some nice Scottish...

R: Driving lessons.

M: Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey.

R: Driving lessons.

M: A nice pint. You can donate. The link is in the description. Thank you very much again for your support! Bye!

R: Bye!

R: I can hear birds singing.

M: No, it's... Yeah, something is strange. I have some strange noises. I hope it's not a fire drill.

R: I hope it's not the end of the world, that would be really awkward...
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff!

Our Instagram:
Our Telegram:
Did you like this episode?
Show more
Study with us