How important are friends to you? What do you usually do with your friends? What kind of friend would you like to meet in the future? What kind of people do you like to have as friends? Do you prefer to spend time alone or with friends?
  • Indispensable (adj.) - something or someone that is indispensable is so good or important that you could not manage without it, him, or her
  • Sane (adj.) - having a healthy mind and not mentally ill.
  • Grounded (adj.) - someone who is grounded makes good decisions and does not say or do stupid things.
  • Situational (adj.) - related to or changing with a particular situation.
  • To gravitate (verb) - to be attracted to or move toward something.
  • Eclectic (adj.) - methods, beliefs, ideas, etc. that are eclectic combine whatever seem the best or most useful things from many different areas or systems, rather than following a single system.
  • Diva (noun) - a very successful and famous female singer or actor.
  • Succinct (adj.) - said in a clear and short way; expressing what needs to be said without unnecessary words.
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Questions and answers
M: How important are friends to you?

R: Well, they're pretty indispensable, I think. I'm not sure where I would be without them, to be honest. I think they keep me sane and grounded. But at the same time, we also have fun together. And I wouldn't have as much fun without them as I do know. So yeah, they're, they're extremely important.

M: What do you usually do with your friends?

R: Well, I think it depends on the group, really. All of my friends are very different. For example, there's a group of friends that I have from high school. And you could say they're my school friends. Even though we went to different schools, we all met when we were in high school. And then there are friends that I met after high school, and both of these groups I do extremely different things with. So with one group I go shooting, for example, sometimes, or wild activities like that. And with another group of friends, we go out partying together.

M: What kind of friend would you like to meet in the future?

R: A good one. I think the thing about my friendships is that they're all a bit random and situational. So the friends that I met from when I was in high school, we all met through a random series of coincidences, not through being in the same school, but through knowing other people, and just being in the right place at the right time at the right party. And the same is true for the ones that I met out of school. So it was all just random connections through knowing people. And because we found that we had a lot of things in common, we became friends. It's really strange, because of course, most people meet friends in school, and the people that they're looking forward to being friends with in the future, they would say they're at work, or they have some kind of hobby in common or some sort of situation. But it's not like that for me, it's a bit weird.

M: What kind of people do you like to have as friends?

R: Well, I know most people gravitate towards people or those who are like them, but my friendship group is really eclectic. I'm friends with some people who I have almost nothing in common with. For example, I have a friend Steve who is a goth. And I'm obviously not a goth, because I'm too lazy to invest that kind of time in my lifestyle. And I have another friend Rob. He's very into like sort of music by pop divas. And again, he knows like all of this history about them. And I know absolutely nothing about that because again, it's not something that I have a great interest in. And obviously, the two people I'm describing there are extremely different. And their lifestyles are very different as well. So I can't answer that question with a succinct answer, I'm sorry.

M: Do you prefer to spend time alone or with friends?

R: Well, I like my own company for the most part, but I'm not going to just sit by myself forever. So when I'm in the mood to be around people, I really appreciate this time with them. But if I have to be clear about what one I would choose, it's spending time by myself.

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

R: Yeah, sorry. All of my friendships are a bit weird. So talking about friendship is kind of an odd one for me.
M: Yeah, dear listener, and here, Rory tells us the truth. So he can't possibly lie about anything, even in our episodes. So everything hear is true about Rory.

R: Maria would prefer it if I did lie, and said like, yes, all of my friends are very conscientious people. They all fit into neat little boxes. And that's how life is. No, life is not like that.

M: No, he gives us a lecture on how his friends are all different. And how he can't answer this question.

R: Well, I can't like I don't think I can. It's a strange one. But then I think, I think if most people really thought about it, they would realize that their friends and their friendships and the relationships they have are all very different and have their own unique stories, which is one of the cool things about being alive.

M: Yeah.

R: Well imagine like how we're friends because we met at work, but became friends through our insane quest to keep this podcast going in the middle of a pandemic. Somehow.

M: Friends are pretty indispensable. Indispensable - C-2 level proficiency. So somebody or something that's indispensable is so good or important you can't manage without them. Alright

R: Like Maria on the podcast, or Vanya on the podcast.

M: Yeah, Maria is indispensable. Rory is indispensable. So it's so good and important, like we can't do this podcast without Rory. Or Maria or Vanya. Or this podcast, dear listener, is indispensable for you. Right? You can't possibly imagine your life, your IELTS life without this podcast, right? Yeah. For some people, our premium episodes are indispensable. They're so important and valuable and good that some listeners, they just can't imagine their life without our premium episodes. Make sure you check out the link in the description. Okay? And also our phrasal verb course is indispensable. When you prepare for your speaking and you want like seven or eight or nine. Because we give you phrasal verbs. And phrasal verbs are indispensable for your high IELTS score for speaking. Right. Rory, you told us friends keep you sane and grounded. What did you mean?

R: They... Well, I mean sane is not crazy and grounded is, well, attached to reality. So they're all to do with being mentally stable.

M: And someone who is grounded makes good decisions. Doesn't say or do stupid things. Like he is very grounded. Yeah? He makes good decisions.

R: Me?

M: For example, like Rory is... No, Rory is not... Sometimes.

R: What do you mean I'm not grounded?

M: No, Rory is grounded. Yeah, yeah, you are, you are.

R: Well, most of the time, sometimes no.
M: Here, you can use the second conditional. I wouldn't have so much fun if I didn't have my friends. So we're imagining a situation in the present or in the future. I wouldn't have so much fun but I do have fun. If I didn't have my friends, but I do have them, yeah? Dear listener, here, even if you don't have any friends, you can just say these things. Okay? Yeah.

R: Who doesn't have any friends? Everybody's got a friend. Surely.

M: Rory told us about his high school friends. Or maybe you have university friends. And with some friends, he goes shooting. Like shooting like shooting a gun.

R: I know. I don't know why that one came up because we've only actually gone shooting once but this is the kind of thing we do. We do activities. This is in our group of friends. Whereas in the other group of friends that I have or another group, I have many, we go out partying together. And that's what our friendship revolves around. I don't think one is better than the other. It's just that different things happen.

M: Our Scottish Rory, how English of him. With some friends I go birdwatching, with other friends I go shooting, and some other friends come into my castle to spend the night.

R: I didn't say that.

M: Our Scottish Rory... I said that. Yeah, dear listener, so you can also say that we go to the movies, we do window shopping. Window shopping is like when you check out the windows of the shops, but you don't buy anything. You can gossip about other people with your friends. Gossip like, oh, she broke up with him and did you know that he got married to this one. So gossip about other people. Or you just chit-chat with them. You have a party with them. So yeah. What else do you do with friends? Drink?

R: Yeah, you go out partying and what have you.

R: Rory's friendships are a bit random and situational. So situational friendships.

R: Yes.

M: Like he makes friends in a certain situation. Random situation, yeah? Like Rory goes to a castle.

R: What is this obsession with castles?

M: Just funny, you know? Like Scotland, Scottish castles. And like it's a random example... No, it's not a random. I talk about castles a lot.

R: It's not because it's next to my house.

M: It's next to your house. Exactly, yeah. Why Maria, do you talk about castles? Well, because...

R: There's one next to your house. What is the stereotypical behaviour that you think Scottish people engage in? Oh, well, there is the castle next to your house. Dammit.

M: Yeah. Could you explain random and situational friendships?

R: Just... If they don't happen in the ways that you would usually expect them to, it's all connected to the situation that we found ourselves in at the time. I mean, there's... Well, for example, there's people that I lived in Russia with that I never would have met otherwise. And we became friends because that was the situation we were in. We were foreigners, or we were teachers in the same school, or something like this. And that's where the friendship comes from.
M: Yeah. So we say make friends. Yeah? And what about friendships? What are the collocations? I don't know. I what? I make friendships or...

R: I don't think you make a friendship though. You just talk about it in terms of it belongs to you. Like our friendship, my friendship with blah, blah, blah.

M: Yeah. So we can make friends through knowing other people.

R: Yeah.

M: So you know, Rory, and this is how we can make friends with you. I can make friends with you. Through Rory. So make friends, be friends with. I'm friends with Rory and usually friends have a lot of things in common.

R: Usually.

M: So something is very similar. Usually. Yeah, yeah. So Rory enjoys podcasts. I love podcasts. And we have this in common. Right? But I love beautiful shoes and dresses. While Rory doesn't. Yeah? he loves cheap t-shirts and I've never even seen his shoes. I'm afraid to look.

R: Hey, actually, it's not that bad. I have like, four, four pairs of shoes.

M: Four? Oh, wow. Congratulations. Look at you.

R: Maybe five.

M: Can we say forge friendships?

R: Oh, yeah, you do forge a friendship. Our friendship was forged in the situation but created. It's the same idea as make, to be honest.

M: You can also say I'm quite picky when it comes to meeting new people. I'm picky. I choose my friends very carefully. So I'm picky when it comes to friends.

R: I have a friend Andrew, whenever he meets people and he doesn't want to be friends with them. He always just says I'm sorry, I'm not looking to make new friends right now.

M: Ah, this is just a horrible thing to say.

R: Which is obviously extremely rude. However, he's never said it to me. So it doesn't bother me at all. But yes, like I say, very unique friends. One of a kind.

M: People gravitate towards people who are like them. So gravitate towards, like be attracted to?

R: Yeah. You usually try to get close to people who are like you. I can't think of anything because I don't usually gravitate towards people who are like me, I gravitate towards people who are unlike me, completely. They're totally dissimilar.

M: So gravitate towards or to something or someone. So to be attracted to or move in the direction of something or someone. So for example, Ben gravitates towards the older children in the playgroup. So Ben is a child. So he kind of gravitates towards older the children. He enjoys playing with older children. Rory gravitates towards people who he has very little in common with. Right? So to different people. And what did you mean by eclectic?

R: That is the same idea. My friendship group is very eclectic. It's composed of things which are very different from each other, or, in this case, people who are very different from each other.
M: And eclectic is a formal word. And usually, it's like about methods or beliefs, ideas, which combine like things from different areas, like an eclectic approach combines different methods, right? Or, I've got an eclectic taste in literature, so I enjoy different genres. And could you give us a sentence? Like how can we use eclectic in terms of friends?

R: Well, what? My group of friends is very eclectic, my tastes in people is very eclectic.

M: Yeah. And then Rory said that that's why I can't give you a succinct answer. Succinct, short and clear, because Rory just like went on and on about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But my friends, I have a goth, who is my friend, but I'm not a goth. And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, you've heard Rory, yeah? I would like to put that in reverse. I have a friend who is a goth. I'm not friends with him for that particular reason. Like I'm friends with Steve probably because he's got a very dark sense of humor, which I really appreciate in people but also he's a goth, which is not something... But then I have other friends who've got a very happy sense of humour. And I also like them. So...

M: You see, dear listener? If you've been with us for a long time, maybe you remember our episodes about cars. We talked about cars, and Rory gave very short answers.

R: Because I know nothing about cars.

M: But here, Rory just goes like, blah, blah, blah, blah. So just waterfalls of English, of answers coming out from his mouth, you see? Because Rory has interesting friends.

R: Well, also, I know a lot about my friends as I should.

M: About friendships you can also say long-term friendships, lifelong friendships, for example.

R: Well, I think it's a bit early to say it's been a lifelong friendship. I'm still alive.

M: I like my own company. So I enjoy being on my own, or being by myself. Or like, I'm more of a loner. Loner? I enjoy being on my own.

R: You're obsessed with describing me as a loner, aren't you?

M: Loner... Just it's an interesting word. But I don't sit by myself forever. Sometimes I'm in the mood to be around people. So I enjoy being around people. And then I appreciate this time with friends. Hey! Right, dear listener. And now we started it off with some quotes with "Friends", a TV show. So Rory, who's your favourite character? Joey, Rachel, Ross, Monica? Dear listener, who is your favourite character? I love Joey.

R: Well, I like Monica, because she's very organized. And I appreciate that. But I also like Phoebe because she just comes out with the most insane things. And I think if I was going to be friends with any of these people, I'd probably be Phoebe's friends first, because I'd just be like, oh, wow, you're crazy. Let's see where this goes.

M: Ah, yeah, remember this "not just clean, Monica clean"?

R: But oh, did you say that you like Joey the most?

M: Yeah. Joey.

R: Do you not think he's a bit stupid? Just sometimes I really can't stand thick people. Especially when Phoebe is trying to teach Joey French and he's just not getting it. And I'm like, like I'm feeling frustrated and this is supposed to be a comedy show. You know?

M: I found it hilarious, actually. Yeah. Sweet. Thank you very much, dear listener, for being with us! Do check out our premium episodes, the link is in the description.

R: Bye!

Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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