Staying at home
Do you like to stay at home? What do you do when you stay at home? How much time do you spend at home? What's your favourite place at home? Would you like to stay at home a lot in the future?
  • To do something up (phrasal verb) - to repair or decorate a building so that it looks attractive.
  • Comforting (adj.) - making you feel less sad or worried.
  • Possession (noun) - something that you own or that you are carrying with you at a particular time.
  • To put your feet up (idiom) - to relax, especially by sitting with your feet supported above the ground.
  • Treadmill (noun) - an exercise machine that consists of a moving strip or two step-like parts on which you walk without moving forward.
  • Vast (adj.) - extremely big.
  • To perch in, on, etc. something - to sit on or near the edge of something.
  • Airy (adj.) - with a lot of light and space.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do you like to stay at home?

R: Well, now it's all done up, I absolutely love being at home. It's very comforting to be surrounded by all your possessions and appreciate the hard work you put into making a place feel like home. For lack of a better term.

M: What do you do when you stay at home?

R: Oh, God, what don't I do? I put my feet up, read, watch TV and write. I mean, since I work and work out from home, I'll often do that too. Aside from the sports I do that need a course or a dojo, I can pretty much do anything I like.

M: How much time do you spend at home?

R: Now? Oh, probably 90% of it, really. I even have a treadmill so I don't have to go out for a walk if it's a cold or a rainy day. Of course, I like going out to see my friends and staying over at places, but the vast majority of the time I spend in my own space.

M: What's your favourite place at home?

R: Hmm, either my couch or my office. I have a favourite perch on the edge of the couch on one of the arms. Even though it's massive, I feel most comfortable there when I have people around. My office has this great desk and chair set too, that I spent a fortune on, so I could sit there and work away all day. Both of the rooms are really light and airy too, which I also like a lot.

M: Would you like to stay at home a lot in the future?

R: I'm not sure you can stay at home much more than I already do, really, to be honest with you. But if I had the choice, oh, actually, I don't know. I mean, on the one hand, it would make life a lot easier, but on the other, it might be good to go on more adventures. I'd need to think about it more.
M: Hey, dear listener, staying at home! It means you don't go out, you stay in. And now Rory has a new home, and he said that now my new home is all done up.

R: Yes. It's finished. The decorating is done or finished. So it's all done up.

M: Yeah. So Rory repaired his home, he decorated it, and he says, like, now my home is all done up. So it's kind of, it's ready to live in. And you can also say this, even if you didn't move into a new house, you can say like, oh, it's all done up. And I absolutely love being at home, in my house, at my place. It's comforting, okay? It's kind of, it's, it comforts me, calms me down. It's comforting. To be surrounded by all your possessions. I'm surrounded by my furniture, by my decorations, by myself.

R: By everything you put the hard work into getting, and it's always put work into doing something or put hard work into doing something. You worked hard.

M: I've put a lot of effort into making this place feel like home. Okay? So you put effort into something, and my place feels like home. It feels like home. Or I feel at home in my home. No, but this is very strange to say. That's why we say kind of, I love my place, I feel at home in my place.

R: Yeah. And even though I was running out of words to use to describe the word home, in the end, I was like, "feel like home, for lack of a better term". So if you run out of words, you could always say. For lack of a better term. Lack of a better term.

M: And then a funny question, oh, what do you do at home? Okay? So what do you do? What do you do at home? What do you do in your bedroom? What do you do in your toilet, Rory? What?

R: I love that. What do you do at home? It's a very personal question.

M: But Rory here is an educated native speaker. He's super professional. He answers with a question, what don't I do? Okay? Because I do pretty much everything. You know? You can't even imagine. So he goes like, oh, what don't I do?

R: Hmm, what don't I do indeed?

M: What don't I do? Like I put my feet up. Is it an idiom?

R: I don't know, because if you put your feet up, you're relaxing. And in my case, I literally put my feet up on my exercise ball. So for me, it's not an idiom. It's like a physical action. It's a phrasal verb.

M: Oh... According to Cambridge online dictionary, it is an idiom. Means to relax, especially by sitting with your feet supported above the ground. So you go home and put your feet up.

R: But for me, I put my feet up by putting my feet up, like I put my feet up on the exercise ball. It's so comfortable.

M: I work out from home, aside from sports, I read books, I watch TV, I cook, I sleep. And then, Rory, you used this... A dojo. What's a dojo?

R: Oh, a dojo is where you do Jiu Jitsu or any kind of martial art.

M: So you don't have it at home.

R: Like a dojo is a, it's like a padded room, or at least it's got a padded floor, so if you fall on the ground, you don't knock yourself out when you get thrown around. So no, most people do not have this in their homes. If you have this in your home, you are a millionaire, so you probably will not be taking IELTS.

M: Well, we don't know. Maybe you have a swimming pool in your place, you know, like a tennis court inside.
R: Why would I have a swimming pool where I live, when I have a river next to my house?

M: Oh, yeah, wild swimming, dear listener. Just Rory, when he wants to swim, he just goes to the river. Like a true Scottish man. And these are the noises that Rory makes when he's swimming. I can do pretty much anything I like at home, okay?

R: Pretty much anything. That means almost anything. Oh, aside from is good to note as well, because people often say besides or beside, but it's not the same thing. The whole phrase is aside from, and then whatever the exception is.

M: For example.

R: Well, aside from the sports I do, or if people don't work at home, they could say, I do pretty much anything at home, aside from work, because I need to go to an office. Or apart from work.

M: Yeah, I even have a treadmill. Dear listener, Rory has a treadmill in his house. So a treadmill is this thing you run on.

R: It's cool. I'm not doing it now, I'm not using it now. I should use it, though, in recordings, to be honest. That might be quite a nice thing to be able to do while I'm sitting in the chair, but it's a nice chair as well, so it's no great loss. However, if you don't have a treadmill at home, you can always say, probably about 70% of my time, but I have to go out for a walk, even if it's cold or rainy. So you could still use some of the vocabulary. You just need to change it a little bit.

M: You can say, I spend a lot of time in my own space to paraphrase at home, yeah? Also, you can say that I enjoy staying over in other places. I enjoy going to my friends' places, to visit my friends. Your favourite place at home. It's my couch. It's my bed. For me, it's my mattress. Oh, my God, I love my mattress.

R: Is it a special kind of mattress?

M: Oh, yeah, it's super special. I think it's one of the most expensive things I've ever bought in my life. But it's so good. Dear listener, it's this luxury kind of mattress, even kind of in a super expensive hotel, the mattress is like not as good as mine. Wow. It's amazing. Sometimes I just miss my mattress. You know? This is so good. But Rory, you told us about your couch or your office.

R: Yes. It's a massive couch, which just means it's very big. And if you sit on one of the arms, the arm of the couch... It's part of the very end. It's on the left side or the right side. And it's usually a space where people put or rest their arms. Some people call it the armrest. And I just sit there and work, which is funny, because, of course, there's this huge three-seat area that anybody could sit on. But I sit in a place that does not have a seat.

M: I feel most comfortable on my couch.

R: It could be. Yeah, sitting on my couch, or perched on my couch. A perch is a place to sit, by the way.

M: Okay, we need more information. Perch is a verb or a place.
R: Well, it's both. Here, if I say it's a favourite perch, then it's a favourite place to sit in a cosy manner, but you could perch on the edge of the couch, and that will be a verb.

M: Could you give us another example with this word?

R: Well, I perch on my couch. Where else do I perch? I'm perched on this chair right now making this recording.

M: When I have people around, I usually sit on my couch. So when I have people around, I invite them and they come to my place. I spent a fortune on my couch. I spent a fortune on my mattress. Oh, yeah.

R: I spent a fortune on this desk and chair. It was worth it when I would do it again, my room is airy. It just means there's lots of air. There's lots of space.

M: Yeah. You can say, oh, this room is spacious and airy. Okay?

R: I have very high ceilings, which I'm told is a cool thing to have.

M: Yes, dear listener, please now choose your favourite place at home. Yeah, I've been talking about a mattress, but it's not a place. It's like a thing. But you can also talk about your favourite thing. Why not? You know? Add details. Okay? My favourite place is a bedroom and a super mattress. If I had the choice, I'd stay at home every day. Or if I had the choice, I'd stay at home less. Okay? The second conditional. If I had passed. So we are imagining. I'd - I would.

R: But in my case, I have absolutely no idea.

M: It might be good to go on more adventures. Okay? So maybe it might be good for me to go on more adventures in the future instead of staying at home. It might be not good. What's your situation, dear listener? We'll wrap it up with a joke, but it's gonna be a proper joke this time. Not one sentence, but it's kind of like, what do you call it? An anecdote, like, like a short joke.

R: Okay.

M: And dear listener, understanding jokes in English is important, okay? Yeah. You can tell it to your friends. You can write it to your friends. So at school, the teacher asks, what do you do after school children? The first student says, I always go and buy cigarettes from Josh. The second student, I go and buy drugs from Josh. The third student says, I go and buy drinks from Josh. The fourth student says, I always stay at home and do my homework. The teacher says you are a great student, so I appoint you as the class monitor. You are a good example to other students. What's your name? The fourth student says, my name is Josh. Dear listener... Should I explain it? Rory will explain it. Rory, explain the joke.

R: Rory will explain it. Josh is selling drugs, drinks and cigarettes from his home while he does his homework. What a responsible and enterprising young man, and now that we've said that, we're gonna be cancelled or censored heavily.

M: And it's funny because, like the teacher says, oh, you set a good example. So you're gonna be the leader of the class. A school monitor is like, kind of the boss of the class, the main person in the class. And it's funny because, like, the system, the school, the teacher, appoints this student as the monitor. As like setting a good example to other people. Funny. A real-life, dear listener, haha, joke. Okay? Did you understand it? Did you understand theEnglish? Yes, you did? Well done you!

R: The enthusiasm. I love it. Anyway, thank you very much for listening!

M: 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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