Do you prefer rainy or sunny days? What do you do on rainy days? What do you do if you get in the rain? How can we phrase it better? Is rain good? Have you ever changed your plans because of rain? How does rain affect life in your country?
  • To cosy up (ph.verb) - draw close to (somebody or something) for warmth or for affection.
  • To drift (verb) - move slowly, especially as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction.
  • To batter (verb) - hit someone or something again and again.
  • Pretty/fine kettle of fish (idiom) - very difficult and annoying situation.
  • To shelter (verb) - protect yourself, or another person or thing, from bad weather, danger, or attack.
  • To soldier on (ph.verb) - continue doing something although it is difficult.
  • Vegetation (noun) - plants in general, or plants that are found in a particular area.
  • Erosion (noun) - the fact of soil, stone, etc. being gradually damaged and removed by the waves, rain, or wind.
  • To pick up the pace (ph.verb) - go faster.
  • Accustomed (adj.) - familiar with something.
  • Drainage (noun) - the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes.
  • Mudslide (noun) - a large amount of wet dirt that moves down a hill or mountain and that can cause a lot of death and destruction.
  • Flooding (noun) - a situation in which an area is covered with water, especially from rain.
  • Occurrence (noun) - something that happens.
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Questions and answers
M: Do you prefer rainy or sunnier days?

R: Well, I think it depends where I am, to be honest with you. Like, if I'm indoors and it's night time, then it's really great to cosy up and drift off to the sound of the rain battering down. If I'm outdoors, however, it's a whole other kettle of fish. Because my skin doesn't do very well when I get soaked. So I would say I definitely prefer sunshine when I'm outdoors.

M: What do you do on rainy days?

R: Look out the window and be thankful that I'm not out there. I think, I have no idea, frankly. It will depend entirely on what's on the schedule. I mean, I won't melt if I go out. I'm not made of sugar. But... So if I have to go out, then I'll go out. But if I don't have to go out in the rain, then I definitely won't go out in the rain.

M: What do you do if you get caught in the rain?

R: I suppose if it's heavy, then finding a place to take shelter or something to shelter under would be a good idea. Although, that's rarely the case, to be honest. I just sort of soldier on and get where I need to be, really. Like I said, I'm not really made of sugar and I really catch colds in a downpour, so it's not a big deal for me.

M: Is rain good?

R: Well, for me personally, not unless you count it as a source of drinking water, to be honest. Otherwise, actually, it's a bit of a pain because my hair goes flat and my skin gets quite oily for some reason. So that's not great. But if we mean in general, then it's a good source of water for places with vegetation or places without erosion issues.

M: Have you ever changed your plans because of rain?

R: Not recently. I was out on a date a couple of weeks ago and it started to rain. And we had to pick up the pace to get to where we needed to be. But that's not really a change of plan, to be honest with you, because we were already heading there, weren't we?

M: How does rain affect life in your country?

R: Well, it's Scotland, so I think we're kind of used to it by now, to be honest. I think, we would probably notice it more of it didn't rain, frankly. Like I say, because we're so accustomed to it, we've got quite good drainage in most areas. Although in more exposed areas, if it's particularly nasty then it can cause mudslides and flooding. But that's not a regular occurrence, to be honest with you.
M: So, dear listener, rain. It rains. It started to rain or it started raining, okay? It's rainy, it was a rainy day, right? And Rory told us that if I'm indoors when it rains, it's great or it's great to cosy up.

R: Yeah. Is that a phrasal verb?

M: It's a phrasal verb...

R: Yes! What does it mean, though?

M: Cosy up, when you kind of like you're at home, you are like... You're cosy :) You make yourself comfortable...

R: You have a blanket or you're in bed and you're like...

M: So I enjoy... It's great to cosy up at home when it rains. And it's a whole other kettle of fish when it rains and you're outside. It's an idiom. It's a whole other kettle. Kettle like this... With tea or fish, dear listener, okay?

R: Well, actually, I think a kettle also means a big metal thing that you keep things in as well. But that's like a really really old meaning for it.

M: So if you say that it's another kettle of fish or it's a whole other kettle of fish, it means it's something completely different...

R: Yes.

M: ...from what I've been talking about, right?

R: You could just say it's something completely different, but idiomatic language for a high score, yay!

M: So it's a different story, it's another kettle of fish. I get soaked, so in the rain, when you go out, it starts raining, you can get soaked. So like rain and you just... Everything is wet. So to get soaked in the rain, okay? Yeah. Rory, you said like it's battering down?

R: Yes. That just means that the rain is coming down so heavily that you can hear it, like hitting the roof where you live. And it makes that drumming sound.

M: So you can say it's pouring down or it's battering down. It rains heavily. And the collocation is heavy rain or it rains heavily, like heavy, you know? Or it's battering down. What does Rory do on rainy days? On rainy days, okay? It depends on my schedule or it depends on what's on the schedule, right?

R: You kind of have to deal with it, though, because it's raining. Yes, it's terrible. But you just have to put up an umbrella and hope that everything stays reasonably calm. I wish I had an umbrella right now, but I don't actually own one.
M: So put up an umbrella and face the music, face the rain. So I'll go out if I have to, right? So even if it rains, I'll go out. If I have to do it. I just put up my umbrella and...

R: Oh, or I'm wearing a hoodie... I could wear my hood, yeah. That's a good look.

M: I really enjoyed how you told us that, I'm not made of sugar.

R: Yes.

M: Rory isn't made of sugar. It's a joke, dear listener, yeah? So you can say like, well, I'm not made of sugar. I won't melt. Melt is what ice cream does. Becomes this sticky, sweet thingy...

R: Although, I won't melt, but that's the usual way of saying, oh, it's not... it's just a small problem. Although, I realised in some of my answers I was being extremely precious about being out in the rain because my hair goes crazy and my skin doesn't do so well with all of the excess moisture. So maybe I will melt...

M: If I'm out in the rain, dear listener, so it's in the rain. So if I go out, I'm out in the rain, right? And I won't melt. So it's not a big deal, okay? What do you call these little thingies of water? So after the rain, we have them on the street.

R: Oh, the puddles.

M: Yeah. So for example, you can say, oh, I enjoy rain! When it rains, I'm all out and about playing with puddles.

R: Playing in puddles.

M: Playing in puddles. Well, maybe your children enjoy playing in puddles. The expression is to get caught in the rain. So you're just walking... And then FUOH, it starts battering down, pouring down. So you get caught in the rain and if it's heavy, yeah? If it rains heavily, like pouring down, you should find or take a shelter from the rain. Rory doesn't own an umbrella. He lives in Scotland and he doesn't have an umbrella.

R: Yes, I'm not a big fan of umbrellas.

M: Are you Scottish, Rory?

R: No, um... Well, no, I am. I am Scottish, but... I'm just really lazy and don't like carrying things around. And an umbrella is just another thing to carry around and I cannot be bothered.

M: Yeah. Dear listener, you remeber that Rory doesn't enjoy carrying things around. He just tattoos... He has things tattooed on himself, right?

R: Well... with good cause I wore my...

M: Maybe you will have a tatooo of umbrella? Umbrella tattoo.

R: Well, yeah, I might. Although, don't think it would do a better job than a real umbrella in my case. But, yeah, I wore my ring the other day and I realised that it was just such a faf having it on. So, yes, maybe I should just get things tattooed on me from now on.
M: Another phrasal verb is a good one. Soldier on. So when you keep doing things, when it's difficult, but you just continue doing it, continue working.

R: Keep going.

M: You keep going, right. So it's raining heavily, but you continue, you know, your way to work. So you soldier on. I just sort of soldier on through it. So I'll soldier on through the rain, yeah? So I kind of continue, it's difficult, I'm all wet, soaked through. So I soldier on and you should soldier on with your IELTS preparation. If sometimes it's difficult to listen to our voices, especially if Rory speaks fast... Yeah? Soldier on! Okay? There is a setting and you can just slow it down on YouTube, go there in the settings things. Just slow it down. And then again, Rory told us, I'm not made of sugar. Sugar, sugar. Honey, honey. What's a downpour?

R: A downpour is just a time when there's lots of lots of rain. It's like when there's heavy rain. Very heavy rain. Oh, another one would be a cloudburst. I never talked about that. Like a downpour is a very long rain shower, but a cloudburst, if you imagine there's all the water in the air and then it all comes down, it's not over time. It's all at one time. That's amazing when it happens.

M: So a shower. A shower like not a shower like a bath, but a shower, like kind of, a heavy rain when it, you know, it rains on and off. So we have showers, stops, stops like a shower or a downpour.

R: Yeah.

M: If it rains, you know, in small drops, like fine small drops. You could do these things in the air. What do you call this kind of rain?

R: Oh, a drizzle.

M: Drizzle. Yeah. And how do you say like? It drizzles? It's drizzling now?

R: It's drizzling, probably.

M: What about if hard balls of ice fall from the sky? This, you know like ice.

R: But that's not rain. That's hail.

M: Hail. Yeah, but it's a kind of rain, right?

R: No.

M: So you can say, dear listener, in my country, it hails sometimes, it hails when this snow... Balls of ice just... Hail is a nice С2 word. It's C2, its proficiency...

R: If you're a scientist, you could say it's a form of precipitation.

M: Oh, precipitation.
R: Which is a fancy way of saying water falling from the sky.

M: So all water which falls from the sky, one word, what do you call it? Precipitation. Very good for you're IELTS essays. Precipitation. Could you use it in a sentence? Like in Scotland...

R: What? In Scotland, there's lots of precipitation because it's far north and cold.

M: Or we don't have any precipitation in summer, usually.

R: Interestingly that is how people work out what a desert is. It's not by how hot it is, it's by how much precipitation there is. So the largest desert in the world is actually not the Sahara. It is, in fact, Antarctica, because rain never falls there. Oh, okay. Well, hey, I learned a fun fact. I don't know about the rest of you. Maria was busy sleeping. Fine.

M: Thank you, Rory. Thank you, Rory, for your science classes. Exciting! Is rain good? What a strange question is this? Is rain good? No, it's bad. Bad rain. Bad.

R: It's like, well, for who?

M: I don't know. And like, you know, then Rory told us rain is good as a source of drinking water. We remember that rain is a source of drinking water, fresh water. Or it could be a kind of a pain. It's kind of a pain if you are out and about. And my hair goes flat. So if your hair goes flat, it kind of like it rains and then... Flat. Can you imagine? It's annoying if I am out in the rain without an umbrella, my hair goes flat, my skin gets oily, you know, like, too oily. Yeah, or dry, I don't know, too wet. And then you said something like, rain is great for vegetation.

R: Yes. The plants. It helps the plants to grow.

M: And then erosion issues. We add a little bit of science there, biology. Erosion issues. Erosion with soil, yeah?

R: Yeah. So there's too much rain that will wash the soil away. And that's not good, because then it means things can't grow. And also the ground is totally unstable.

M: Maybe once you changed your plans because of rain? Have you, dear listener? Could you write in the comments? How did you change your plans because of rain? Maybe I was out on a date or I was out and then it started battering down. It started raining heavily. It started raining or it started to rain. Yeah, both are fine. And then what? A change of plans! Okay! Disaster! No, maybe you were getting married, dear listener, maybe you had to call off a wedding due to rain.

R: Because of the rain?

M: Is it possible? I don't know. Oh, it's raining, no, no, we're not getting married.

R: I... Yeah, maybe if you're Bridezilla. Sorry.
M: In Scotland, we're used to rain. So you can say, in my country I'm used to rain or our people are used to rain. So it's our habit. It rains every day. And we are used to it, yeah? In Moscow, we're not used to it. It's just like, what? It snows? It rains? What? Disaster! Why? Yeah, it's kind of like... It's the first time.

R: Yes. On the other hand, when it snows in Moscow, they're very prepared.

M: Sometimes no, it's like, what? We have so much snow in winter? Really? Friday night, huh?

R: It's definitely like the outside of Moscow. I remember I have a friend in Tver and she was saying they decided they were going to build a road in winter. And I don't know why.

M: Rory uses the second conditional. We would notice if it didn't rain. So we're imagining things in the present, right? So we would definitely notice if it didn't rain for a long time. So rain is good for Scotland and then we have good drainage.

R: Yes. But drainage just means water... It comes down and it doesn't stay. It can flow somewhere, but it will not cause damage. Probably back into rivers or lakes or the sea.

M: You can say we don't have good drainage or drainage systems in most areas. And sometimes if it rains heavily, it could get flooded. So the city could get flooded or a lot of areas could get flooded when there's too much water. Like a flood. Yeah, so some effects of rain. So rain can cause flooding, dear listener, you know, flooding. Or what did you say? Mudslides?

R: Yeah, that was connected to soil erosion. When there's too much mud. Mud is what happens when soil and water mix together. And if there's too much of it in one area, then it can all run down the side of a mountain at once and people have died in mudslides. It's quite serious. It's not a serious problem in Scotland, but it does happen.

M: Yeah, dear listener, so here you can show off your knowledge of biology or different fancy vocabulary like mudslides. Flooding can happen. It can cause flooding in exposed areas, right? In kind of, I don't know, open areas. Are you ready for a wrap-up joke?

R: Is this joke going to finish me off?

M: In what sense?

R: In the sense of I'll die.

M: Yes. Some of you will die on the inside.

R: Some of you will die, but it is a sacrifice that Maria is willing to make.

M: So, dear listener, embrace yourself. Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?

R: Why?

M: Because their kids have to play inside. Did you get it, dear listener? Kangaroos, kangaroos they have these pouches, yeah, on their bellies. Pouches. And the baby kangaroo is there. So mother kangaroos hate rainy days. Why? Because the babies have to play inside, in the pouch. Thank you very much for listening. Could you please check out our premium episodes? Speaking Parts 2 and 3 for some quality IELTS preparation. The links are in the description. Do check our phrasal verb course. It's amazing. All of the phrasal verbs are there. Rory, did you like our phrasal verbs course?

R: I do like our phrasal verbs course. There are over 180, I think, right?

M: Yes. The link is in the description. Thank you so much!. Let's have sunny days, rainy days. So let's enjoy all the days. Bye!

R: Bye!
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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