Transport
What's the most popular means of transport in your hometown? How do you get to work/school? Will you use public transport more in the future? Are there any traffic problems in your area?
Vocabulary
  • To get around/about (phrasal verb) - to be able to go to different places without difficulty, especially if you are old or sick.
  • Ridiculous (adj.) - very silly.
  • Metro (noun) - an underground railway system in a large city.
  • To go by (phrasal verb) - to move past, in space or time.
  • To jam (verb) - to fill a place completely.
  • To pack (verb) - if people pack a place, there are so many of them in it that it is very crowded.
  • Vastly (adverb) - very much.
  • Pedestrian (noun) - a person who is walking, especially in an area where vehicles go.
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Questions and Answers
M: What's the most popular means of transport in your hometown?

R: Well, I think most people get around by car. Although, you do see a lot of buses also, which is good for older people and younger people, or very young people who can't drive but also need to, well, get about.

M: How do you get to work or school?

R: Well, in my case, I just get out of bed, turn right and go down the hall because that's where my office is. So I just travel by foot, which is a lot better than what I used to do. I used to get up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning and take the metro and that was horrible.

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

R: Well, probably the train assuming they're still running on time. I love going to a new city or, well, even just to a place like Glasgow or Edinburgh. You could just sit back and relax and watch the countryside go by.

M: Are there any traffic problems in your area?

R: Not that I'm aware of. Oh, wait, yes, actually, there's construction work going on at the moment. And we live, it's over the bridge from where we live. And we live right next to it. So that area where we live is jammed with cars right now and trucks packed with all the materials they need. So this vastly reduces the space, it's making it really difficult for people to park. And actually, I think it's quite dangerous for pedestrians as well. So hopefully that gets resolved quite soon because it's not a great situation to be in.

Discussion
M: Means of transport, dear listener. So cars, buses. And I checked the internet and according to the internet and the internet is always correct. So worldwide, all over the internet, the most widely used modes of passenger transport are cars, buses, and air. Air, I think they mean planes or helicopters.

R: Oh, right.

M: And railways. Railways

R: I was like are people flying to work now? But of course, they might be.

M: No, by helicopter why not? You know? Helicopter. My private helicopter. Hey. So, dear listener, you can say that the most popular means of transport, okay? Means of transport or modes of transport, or ways of transport. Ways of transport? No, we don't say that.

R: Well, you can have a way of transport. A way of transporting things.

M: So you can say motorbikes, cars, aeroplanes, animals. Okay? Animals are a kind of transport. Horses. Maybe you have horses or donkeys? Okay, I usually travel by a donkey. No, on a donkey?

R: Travel by donkey but you ride a donkey.

M: Ride a donkey. Most people get around by car, or most people get around by donkeys, get around by buses, trains, or helicopters, okay?

R: Is get around a phrasal verb?

M: It is a phrasal verb.

R: I wonder if there's a course on phrasal verbs that we could advertise right now.

M: Do check out our phrasal verb course, the link is in the description. We get to work, okay? So I get to work or school by car or by bicycle. We don't use an article. So go there by bicycle, no, go by bicycle, go by car, go by bus, right?

R: But people also say I take the train to work. So they're probably talking about a train at a specific time.

M: I take a train to work or I take the metro. I take the metro. The.

R: Get the metro, take the metro.

M: Get the Metro. Take the metro to work. Also, dear listener, you should use commute. To commute means to get from home to work, or to school, or to university. And how can we use it in a sentence? Commute?

R: Commute? Well, what, I commute to work on the metro.

M: I commute to work on the metro, or I commute to work by bus, right?

R: I think it would probably be important to point out right now though, if you're like me and you work from home that you definitely do not commute to work. This is talking about a journey that you take to get there. Walking down the hallway is not commuting.

M: And Rory told us that he works from home. Oh, such a long journey, Rory.

R: It is taxing.
M: From your bed to another room. Yeah, you change different buses. Three hours it takes you?

R: On a very slow day.

M: So you can say I work from home. Any other synonyms? Can I say that I work distantly or I work?

R: Remotely?

M: Remotely. So I can say I work decently or I work remotely, yeah?

R: Some people do both, in what's called a hybrid arrangement. So if you're hybrid, then you work from home some days, and you work in the office the other days.

M: I get up at a ridiculous hour. At a crazy hour. And usually, that's very early. Like 5 am, 6 am. So you can say, Oh, I have to get up at a ridiculous hour, and take the metro or get the metro.

R: Ridiculous o'clock in the morning.

M: I get up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning. At like 6 am, 5 am and have to get the metro. What about a taxi? I take a taxi to work?

R: I take a taxi to work. It will be a.

M: What about a bicycle?

R: And the same idea I get to work by bike or I take... Well, I take my bike to work, I ride my bike to work.

M: What about train?

R: Well, it will be take the train if it's at a specific time. Some people take the train at the same time every morning, or whenever they go to work.

M: We have public transport. Do I use an article? So I take the public transport? I go by public transport. What's, what's the thing?

R: If we talk in general then I take public transport to work but what if we want to talk about a specific public transportation system? Then it will be the.

M: Or I prefer my private car. Because some people choose their private vehicles. Vehicles or cars. Or like public transport. Or maybe your private helicopter or your private donkey. Or a horse.

R: A private donkey sounds a lot less classy than a private helicopter.

M: Maybe I'll take the train in the future if the train runs on time, or if trains run on time.

R: Yes. Well, they should run on time. Sometimes they get cancelled for no reason. And I become very angry and post about it on Instagram.
M: So you sit back on a train, on a train, you relax and you watch the countryside go by. So you sit there and... Beautiful countryside goes by. Also, you can mention the word commuters. So to commute, to get from home to work. Or there are many commuters on a train or in my city commuters prefer trains. Rory, what about the revolution in the transportation industry?

R: You were talking about this, but I have no idea what it means.

M: But what new transport, like means of transport we have now? Which kind of appeared a couple of years ago and has a bad reputation for accidents?

R: Oh no, it's just horrible. Is it e-scooters? Is that what we're talking about?

M: Electric scooters, dear listener, or e-scooters.

R: Yes. I mean, I've never had a problem with them. But apparently, they're awful in big cities and people have accidents all the time.

M: Dear listener, in the comments, let us know your thoughts on e-scooters. Electric scooters. Are you against them? Are you frustrated because of them? Because they have, you know, like a bad reputation but some people really enjoy them. You can say that many people in my city use electric scooters. They are portable, so they can be folded. So this is a recent trend in large cities. What about Scotland's, Rory? Do you have electric scooters in Scotland?

R: We do. I haven't seen many of them, but they are there. And I've never seen anyone have an accident on them. Although I am aware that in larger cities, this is a problem. But surely this is a problem best addressed by having a license for them. I don't think you need one now, do you?

M: I think it depends on the scooter. I don't think you need a license. And when the question is about traffic problems in your area, you can also mention e-scooters.

R: Even if you don't have this problem, talk about them.

M: Rory, you told us that the place is jammed with cars.

R: Yeah, that just means that there's lots of them together in one space. So it's difficult to move around, especially if you're in a car. But even if you're on foot, then it can be a real struggle.

M: And you can say it's quite dangerous for pedestrians, people who walk. There are like drivers and pedestrians.
R: Drivers are motorists. People are pedestrians.

M: Motorists, who are they? Motorists.

R: They are people that drive.

M: Drivers, motorists or pedestrians. I hope it gets resolved soon. So I hope they will solve this problem soon, they will resolve the problem.

R: Well, they better. It's brilliant. There's a massive sign that says this construction work will be finished by the end of October 2023. And here we are in November. So, make of that what you will.

M: And let's wrap it up with a joke. Okay?

R: And by a joke we don't mean my city council's incompetency and their gross mishandling of construction work.

M: What do you call a Mexican who lost his car?

R: Oh, God.

M: Carlos. Carlos. If you're Mexican, I'm very sorry, but it's really funny. So a Mexican who lost his car is called Carlos. "Car", car, and "los", like my loss. I lost something. So a Mexican who lost his car is called Carlos.

R: Oh, god.

M: It's really bad, dear listener. Sorry.

R: She's not sorry at all. You've never been sorry for any of these jokes.

M: Okay. I have another one, I have another one.

R: No, you don't. No, you don't know.

M: No, no, no. Come on, come on, I promised you lots of jokes. So let's go.

R: Oh... Oh, good. I'm so glad you delivered on this promise.

M: My friend called me and asked, what are you doing now? Probably failing my driving test. Did you get the joke? Okay? So Rory is taking his driving test right now. I'm calling him. He picks up and says, well, Maria, I'm failing my driving test because I answered the phone while I was doing my driving test.

R: Maybe one day, I'll tell you the story of my driving test, which was an absolute nightmare.

M: Whoa, yes, we do need a Rory story. Rory taking a driving test. Scottish driving test. I'm sure there's this kind of thing, Scottish driving, special driving.

R: That is the end of the episode. Thank you for listening!

M: Bye!

R: Bye!
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Access our exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 2 and 3!
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