Do you like weekends? What do you usually do on the weekend? What did you do last weekend? Do you have plans for your weekends? What would you never do on the weekend?
  • Unwind (verb) - to relax and allow your mind to be free from worry after a period of work or some other activity.
  • To catch up on something (phr. verb) - to do something that you have not been able to do recently.
  • Have someone around (idiom) - have someone come for a visit, tea, dinner, etc..
  • To get out and about (idiom) - go to places where you can meet people.
  • To catch up on smth (ph. verb) - to do something you did not have time to do earlier.
  • As opposed to (idiom) - rather than; instead of.
  • Intimate (adj.) - private and personal.
  • Cheapskate (noun) - a person who is unwilling to spend money.
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Questions and answers
M: Do you like weekends?

R: Well, I like them much better now that I work for myself. Yes. I can unwind from all the work that I get through and catch up on some much-needed rest.

M: What do you usually do on the weekend?

R: Well, typically, I wind down on Friday evenings after the gym and then on Saturday I... What do I do? Oh, yeah, I have people around. And then I spend Sunday clearing up. And then, well, half of the day clearing up and the other half in bed. Usually, it's the first half in bed. Although, I am trying to get out and about a bit more at weekends now too, that I have all of this free time on my hand.

M: What did you do last weekend?

R: I've just talked about having fun on the weekends, but actually I was tidying up on Friday. But the reason I was tidying up was because I had a friend over on Saturday for... Oh gosh, what were we doing? Oh, we were walking and drinking and watching movies. And then on Sunday, I was getting ready for the week ahead.

M: Do you have plans for your weekends?

R: Well, I often try to catch up on sleep and TV shows that I watch. Ooh, on the subject of catching up, I catch up with my friends via video calls. Oh, and while I am trying to get out and about more, like I said, I like playing video games and reading as well.

M: What would you never do on the weekend?

R: Well, it's hard to say, since I've done just about everything that you would care to name on weekends. I'm trying my best not to work on weekends. And these days I always have nights in as opposed to nights out because, well, staying in is cheaper and more intimate than going out. Sorry, I'm a cheapskate.
M: So, dear listener, the weekend. We say on the weekend, at the weekend? Rory, what's the deal with the weekends?

R: Well, what... On the weekend and at the weekend. Both are fine. I think at the weekend is more common in British English and on the weekend is American English, if I'm correct. But you can say both.

M: Yeah, and do I need an article? Can I say on a weekend? On a weekend I usually tidy up.

R: You can say on a weekend, yeah. It's like saying on any given weekend. Like if you talk about what you do in general. Maybe any given would be better. On any given weekend, I could be found cleaning up because I'm dead exciting that way.

M: But usually we say on the weekend. I usually do something on the weekend. And also I like weekends. And the weekend is usually what? Like Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, right? Four days?

R: Well, my entire week is a weekend, now that I have all this free time. No, a weekend... Well, now, from the Western perspective, because I teach students now from Iran and Turkey and Israel and all over the place. So weekends, where I am from, they're the evening on Friday and Saturday and Sunday. But if you're in Iran, apparently, your weekend is something like... Is it Friday and Saturday? Those are your two big weekend days.

M: Wow. Interesting.

R: Yeah, it's really strange. It depends on where you are, but it's what's considered to be the end of the week. The part between one working week and the next working week, whatever is in between those things. If you are from Iran, then please correct me, because I think I've just made a huge mistake. But I know that the weekends are different because my student was talking to me.

M: So you unwind on the weekend. Okay? So you relax on the weekend or unwind. And Rory said "I can unwind from all the work" and also I can unwind, I can relax from all the work I had to get through. So we get through a lot of work. Well, we have work, we do our work. So on the weekend, I can finally unwind from all the hard work I had to get through during the week. And also, you can say that I usually catch up on some rest. So another phrasal verb - to catch up on some rest.

R: All of the hard work that I do now.

M: And then you used another synonym. So I wind down on the weekend or you said "typically, I wind down on Friday evenings".

R: So unwind and wind down. Both are words for relaxing, because we should relax at our weekends. To be honest, we should be relaxing all the time, but weekends will have to do for some of us.

M: And Rory was Rory. Like a typical Rory, he said I spent Sunday cleaning, ah, clearing. Clear, clearing up.
R: Clearing up or cleaning up. It's the same thing. Well, if you have people round for the weekend or if you have people over, then what are you supposed to do on Sunday? You need to have a tidy apartment or a tidy house.

M: So to have people over. I usually have people over to my place, I usually have people round. So you host a dinner party, for example. So you invite people to your place, to your house and this structure, I spent Sunday cleaning up, right? I spent my weekend dancing, I spent my weekend partying hard, I spent my weekend listening to IELTS Speaking for Success podcast's premium episodes, right? So lots of listeners all around the world spend their weekends listening to our premium episodes.

R: Yes, they do. How many do we have now?

M: Ooh, many, many and premium is this like premium quality for you. The link is in the description, okay?

R: Check it out and join the people.

M: Rory, when you said I'm trying to get out and about?

R: Yes. Well, in my case, that means just to go outside. Because I never used to go outside at the weekends. But now, like, I'm having more people over... We can go out for walks together and we can have a good time. But to go out and about can also mean like to go out clubbing. If you're not 300 years old like I am. And you're a young thing and you could go clubbing.

M: You can also say that on the weekend, I prefer taking up some new activities, so start new activities. Or a nice phrase could be like, go for a hike, go for a run. If you don't run, you can just use these words. Oh, I usually go for a hike, you know, in the mountains or go for a run or explore some new activities, explore some new hobbies. That would be also some nice phrases to use. Last weekend Rory was tidying up. Why did you use this? I was doing something. I was cleaning up, I was tidying up.

R: Well, it's last weekend, it's in the past.

M: And also, it's like... Continues. I was tidying up, like on Friday.

R: Ooh, can we talk about last weekend and why it's not the last weekend or a last weekend? Yes, because there is only one last weekend. It's like yesterday. There was only one yesterday. So you don't need an article for this because there's like only one in the universe.

M: So we say, I spent my last weekend tidying up, cleaning up my flat.

R: Well, I only spent Friday evening tidying up. You make me sound like some sort of sad person that just tidies up all the time. And I don't.

M: Boring. Boring. Boring. Yes, boring. They say you're boring.

R: Who says I'm boring?
M: Boring? All three women here. And a baby man over there. We can't really see him, but he is inside, he is inside the cocoon, right? So all three women agree with me, okay?

R: Unbelievably rude. And then we say on Saturday, on Sunday, right? I had my friends over last weekend, okay? To have my friends over. You invited some friends.

R: Have people over. Have people around. Although, why over? I have no idea. It's like they go on a journey from like, where they are over something to where you are.

M: I usually have plans for the weekend. So the proposition is for the weekend or I never have plans for the weekends. I just do it on the fly, like I'm spontaneous, hey.

R: Well, I'm not that spontaneous.

M: And Rory told us that, he often tries to catch up on sleep. So Rory doesn't sleep all week. He slaves away, works really hard and then on the weekend, he usually catches up on some sleep.

R: Well, I used to and now I don't, because I wake up at 7:30 in the morning now, because I don't need to get up so early.

M: 7:30. Oh, yeah, that's not early, Rory. That's like, too late.

R: It's not early compared to 5:30 in the morning. Like, I feel like I don't need to do this anymore. At least not yet. Although, if anyone does want to take classes with me early in the morning, then do get in touch and I'll see what I can do. Also, you can say that I usually catch up with some friends via video calls or via Zoom, via Skype. So catch up on sleep, right? So to get some sleep, some more sleep and catch up with friends. Like talk to your friends, like stay in touch with them, like hang out with them online. And also, you said, like, stay in. So when you stay in on the weekend, you stay at home.

R: Yes, but I try not to. I try to get out and about. Because I need to breathe fresh air.

M: An interesting question like, what would you never do on the weekend?

R: What a weird question. Like, you know, if you're me then you've done everything. And if you're someone else, then you've... You don't really think about this, like, what would I never spend my weekends doing? And it's like, well, I wouldn't spend it on fire or I don't know, digging my own grave. Okay, these are all really dark examples, but you get the idea. Like, what a weird question to ask. Who asks these questions?

M: Yeah. So I usually spend my weekends sleeping. The structure, right? I usually spend my weekends, I don't know, watching Netflix.

R: I would never spend my weekend awake.

M: And you can say that I'm trying my best not to work. So I do my best, I tried really hard. I'm trying my best not to work on weekends.

R: Are we going to talk about why it's present continuous?

M: Why is it present continuous?
R: Because we're talking about right now, because I used to work on weekends, I didn't have a choice. But now, now I am trying not to. And I'm not. We've recorded this whole episode in the middle of the week, which is unheard of. All of our other recordings have been at weekends. So how's that for progress? Is it progress, Maria?

M: Oh, it's a massive progress, yeah, it's like...

R: For me. Is it progress for you, though? I don't know.

M: I'm okay working on the weekend, so I enjoy my work, so...

R: You are?

M: Yeah, yeah. If I feel like it. If I don't feel like it I don't work, you know, I'm flexible. So you can say I enjoy staying in on the weekend, yeah? You stay at home and also... Oh, I always have nights in. So Rory has nights in, he doesn't go out at night because it's too expensive. So Rory prefers to have nights in. He stays at home at night. Well done, Rory!

R: Thank you!

M: Rory, let's choose your new weekend activity, okay? So if you were to choose an activity to do at the weekend for you. I'm going to give you three options. You should choose one. And, also, dear listener, choose one for you, from my options that I'm going to give you and write in the comments, okay? So the first option, you can learn to juggle, to juggle...

R: Okay.

M: Become a dog walker, a dog walker. It is a person with a lot of dogs. You just take all dogs for a walk or make some bread. So you bake fresh bread on the weekend and kind of, it could be a great mood booster. Bread smells really nice. Yummy, yummy. Okay, so what would you choose to do on your weekends? Learn to juggle, become a dog walker or make some bread?

R: I would rather be a dog walker. I mean, like we've... I just said that I didn't want to learn how to work, but I'd like to spend some time with dogs. I mean, I make it sound like I imagine being a dog walker is not as easy as it sounds, but you get to spend time with the dogies, who doesn't like that? What would you do?

M: I would go to a nice restaurant and eat.

R: That wasn't one of the choices.

M: I know, these are my rules. My choices.

R: Fine.

M: And to wrap it up, I have a joke for you about the weekends. Are you all ready?

R: No.

M: I used to hate weekends, but now they are sofa king great. Sofa king great. Rory, did you get that?

R: No, I did not. I hope we're going to bleep that.

M: No. Sofa and then king. King, like the king, queen and king. So I used to hate weekends, but now they are sofa king great.

R: This is it. We've reached a peak IELTS Speaking for Success. Now we've started to let inappropriate words in. It's all downhill from here.

M: No, sofa and king.

R: Yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm.

M: Thank you very much for listening! Do check out our premium, the links are in the description. On our premium episodes, we discuss speaking part two and three. Do check them out, okay?

R: See you next time. Bye!
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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