Do any noises bother you? What kind of noise do you come across every day? What sounds do you like? Do you like to stay in a noisy place? Are there any quiet places in your city?
  • Repetitive (adj.) - involving doing or saying the same thing several times, especially in a way that is boring.
  • High-pitched (adj.) - a voice that is high-pitched is higher than usual.
  • To shriek (verb) - to make such a cry.
  • Call (noun) - the sound an animal makes or the sound of someone shouting something.
  • To rumble (verb) - to make a continuous low sound.
  • To click (verb) - to make a short, sharp sound, or to make something do this.
  • (At) full blast (idiom) - as loud as possible.
  • Prolonged (adj.) - continuing for a long time.
  • In your face (idiom) - shocking and annoying in a way that is difficult to ignore.
  • Voluntarily (adverb) - in a voluntary way (= done, made, or given willingly).
  • To immerse yourself in something - to become completely involved in something.
  • Cacophony (noun) - an unpleasant mixture of loud sounds.
  • To drive someone nuts - to make someone upset or annoyed.
  • Place of worship (noun) - a building for religious services, such as a church, temple, etc.
  • Tranquil (adj.) - calm and peaceful and without noise, violence, worry, etc.
  • Racket (noun) - an unpleasant loud continuous noise.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do any noises bother you?

R: I mean, context is everything. But generally, I can't stand repetitive high-pitched noises like those in alarm clocks. Oh, although I suppose that's rather the point of them. What else? Oh, I don't like the shrieking of seagulls either. It's horrendous, especially where I live. Although that's the price you pay for living next to the sea.

M: What kind of noise do you come across every day?

R: Well, we already talked about bird calls. And we live near a railway so you can hear the trains rumbling past when they get started. What else? You can also hear the gates clicking open and closed as people come and go about their business.

M: What sounds do you like?

R: Oh, one of my friends has this great setup in his house where the lights rise, and then the radio turns on. But it doesn't turn on full blast. It sort of... The chatter of the radio rises in volume over a prolonged period of time to a normal level. So that's really nice. That's a great combination. What else? Oh, having Lo-Fi Hip-Hop playing in the background, not just in the morning, but generally is really good thing. I quite like the sound of dogs barking when they're playing and people laughing as well. That's quite pleasant as well, as long as it's not like I say, really high volume in your face or in your ear kind of thing.

M: Do you like to stay in a noisy place?

R: Does anyone? I mean, outside of a club or something like that. I can't imagine the situation in which people would voluntarily, well, decide to be immersed in cacophony for a prolonged period of time. That would drive me absolutely nuts.

M: Are there any quiet places in your city?

R: Oh, plenty. I think the quietest would probably be something like the yoga studio or there are various churches and other places of worship, which are quite tranquil. Where else? Well, there's lots of parks in the middle of the city, which you would think wouldn't prevent the racket from sort of sounding across them, but because they have lots of trees it breaks up the noise, which is quite impressive, now I think about it.
M: Hey! So noise. Are there any synonyms to noise? Because we say noises, I dislike noise, noisy places.

R: There are plenty of synonyms.

M: Because we use specific words to name specific noises and sounds, dear listener. And this topic, you show off your super vocabulary using specific precise words for specific sounds. Okay? Some noises bother me. They are annoying. Like I'm annoyed when I hear something, right? Or this is really annoying. So we usually say it bothers me, annoying noises, I hate repetitive high-pitched. HIGH PITCHED. Like this. Yeah? So low-pitched and high-pitched. Repetitive like they repeat over and over again. I hate alarm clocks. And do you remember this noise?

R: The slurping noise.

M: So I dislike slurping sounds or I dislike slurping noises. Or slurping noises are really annoying, dear listener, okay. Also, Rory told us shrieking seagulls. Seagulls? Like birds. They're like high-pitched noises. And seagulls shriek. So you can say that I find shrieking seagulls really annoying. Or the noise is horrendous. Horrendous is like horrible, terrible, horrendous. Oh, slurping sounds are horrendous.

R: Sorry.

M: Also you can say that I dislike whining babies or whining children. Rory, who are they?

R: I dislike whining people, to be honest. But that's like, that's when people complain. Or whinging, that's another one. But of these things describe noises or the kind of talk which is extremely irritating.

M: I dislike dogs barking. I dislike dogs who are barking. Yeah? Or... Ooh, fingernails on a blackboard. You know, there are some noises which make you just... Like fingernails on a board. Like... What about you, Rory? Like, what... Do you have any feelings? Like... For certain sounds.

R: Not for sounds. Not unless it's like, right next to me. In which case then I get goosebumps like you're describing. That's the feeling of the rising dots on your skin.

M: What about a fork and a knife rubbed against a plate?

R: Oh, that's horrible. But how often does that happen?

M: Not often, no. But, dear listener, you can use these nice words, right? For example, like a fork rubbed against like a plate or a knife rubbed against a glass bottle. Or like clicking pens for example. You just dislike these sounds. Annoying mobile ringtones. Snoring, dear listener. Huh?

R: t depends what kind of snoring. If it's gentle snoring then it's not so bad. But if it's like a fog horn then no, absolutely not.

M: Yeah, but very often like chewing sounds, sobbing sounds and like wet smacking sounds. Like... When somebody eats something very noisily. To eat noisily. Okay? With open mouth chewing.

R: Sorry.
M: Oh, what about lawnmowers?

R: Oh, no. Lawnmower is fine. You can hear a lawnmower in the background. That's quite pleasant.

M: Okay.

R: Or at least I think it is.

M: Come across different noises every day. So you kind of you hear different noises every day or you come across them. Come across different noises is a phrasal verb. Rory.

R: Phrasal verb. Come across. Which means to meet but unplanned meeting. If only there were some kind of course where phrasal verbs were collected together. Do you ever find yourself in this situation where you're thinking, gosh, phrasal verbs are hard. If only there was some sort of really engaging way. A course perhaps that would help me understand them better. You might find such a course on website I think. I mean, I'm just guessing here.

M: We talked about bird calls. Did you mean shrieking seagulls?

R: Well, bird calls are any noise that birds make to express something like they found food or they're in distress.

M: So they don't call. They are kind of the noises they make?

R: Yes, it's the noises that birds make. Well, with their vocal cords.

M: So I hear bird calls. I can hear trains rumbling past. So trains, they rumble past. Okay? And the structure, I can sometimes hear the trains rumbling past through the day. So the trains doing something. Right? And then I can sometimes hear the gates opening and closing as people come and go. Okay? What else can we hear? You can also mention mobile ringtones, alarm clocks, car alarms,. Then you can mention, I can often hear dogs barking or cows mooring. Mosquitoes and flies. I can hear mosquitoes and flies. The sounds of the traffic, dear listener. And then a nice question about pleasant sounds. Pleasant noises. And you can say that I really enjoy my friend's house where the radio gently plays. So I enjoy gentle sounds of the radio in the background. So background music. So it plays somewhere in the background, which is very relaxing or therapeutic you can say. Yeah? Relaxing. And also you say like I like the sound of. So I like the sound of my friends laughing. I like the sound of dogs barking. Okay? And I'm going to give you some top most loved sounds, dear listener. Write in the comments, like choose two sounds that you really enjoy and write in the comments. Rory, also, for you. Okay? Tell me which sounds you particularly enjoy. I love the sounds of waves against rocks.

R: Oh, that's nice.

M: Or rain against the windowsill. The window. Or windows. Rain against the window. You see?

R: As long as you are not outside when this happens, because then you are being rained on.
M: Crackling of the open fire. Crackling sounds. You know, open fire. This fire. Or the sound of open fire, for example. Maybe you enjoyed cat purring. Cats purr, dear listener, okay? Or wind passing through the limbs. You see? The vocabulary. Maybe church bells. Or how about like bacon sizzling away? When you fry bacon, sizzling away. Or something that you fry on a frying pan, it's sizzling away. Just like... These sounds, like frying sounds. Rory, which one did you particularly like from the list?

R: As long as we're inside, then it's the rain against the windowsill.

M: Nice.

R: But if we're outside that it's the waves, because I don't like getting rained on.

M: Do you enjoy the sound of opening a fizzy drink can? Like Coca-Cola. Or maybe like when you open a bottle of champagne? Maybe this sound.

R: Oh, that's a nice one. Yes. I liked that last one. Let's stick with that one. That's a great one.

M: Could you give us a sentence?

R: I like the sound champagne makes when you uncork it, there we go.

M: You could be immersed in noise. So be immersed in noise. I can't imagine who would enjoy to be immersed in... A noisy place or immersed in noise?

R: Immersed in noise or I said immersed in cacophony. But it's the same thing. It's just, there's noise all around you, cannot hear yourself think, which is another expression for dealing with noise or not dealing with it. And it's just a generally unpleasant experience.

M: Cacophony means all different sounds. They're very loud and you can't hear your thoughts. And then you can say it could drive me nuts. Like it really annoys me. It irritates me. It drives me crazy. It drives me nuts. So like noisy clubs drive me nuts. Or another one. Noisy clubs drive me up the walls. Or barking dogs drive me nuts. Barking dogs drive me up the wall. Band nine. The racket of the city, Rory. What's this? Racket.

R: Well, that's just the general noise. Usually unpleasant if it's a racket. That gets made in a city like the sound of construction work, people talking loudly, traffic, especially the horns blaring on cars. This kind of thing.

M: We can say quiet places. So not noisy places. The quietest place. Another synonym is tranquil. Tranquil places. Like the antennae noises, everything's calm you feel peace. Tranquil places. So, dear listener, you watched till the very end. And now the juicy joke. I woke up last night from a noise somewhere in the house. My husband turned to me and said, oh, it must be a thief, go downstairs and check. So I went downstairs and checked every room, but I couldn't find the thief. I knew he was hiding there somewhere. But where? And then I remembered, I don't have a husband.

R: Oh, that's creepy.

M: It's creepy. It's just like... Did you get that, listener? Should explain it? Rory, what do you think?

R: No, don't explain the joke. It's like dissecting a frog. The subject will die in the process.

M: Thank you for watching! Bye!

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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