Mobile phones
What was your first mobile phone? How often do you use your mobile phone? Do you often use your mobile phone for texting or calls? Will you buy a new one in the future? How has your mobile phone changed your life?
  • To escape (verb) - fail to be noticed or remembered by (someone).
  • Aerial (noun) - a structure made of metal rods or wires that receives or sends out radio or television signals.
  • To place (verb) - order or obtain a connection for (a phone call) through an operator.
  • Cracked (adj.) - if something is cracked, it is damaged with one or more thin lines on its surface.
  • Feature (noun) - a typical quality or an important part of something.
  • Connectivity (noun) - the ability of a computer, program, device, or system to connect with one or more others.
  • Portable (adj.) - light and small enough to be easily carried or moved.
  • To do something at the touch of a button (idiom) - to do something very easily and quickly, usually because of new technology.
  • To revolutionize (verb) - to completely change something so that it is much better.
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Questions and Answers
M: What was your first mobile phone?

R: Oh, wow. I think it was a Motorola phone. Though the model number escapes me now. It looked like a brick, though. And even that like one of those visible aerials, which none of them do these days.

M: How often do you use your mobile phone?

R: Oh God, just about every waking moment of the day, to be honest. Unless I'm working or reading. Not to make or take calls though. Usually, it's just to post on social media or to listen to videos while I work out or do chores.

M: Do you often use your mobile phone for texting or calls?

R: Well, not nearly as much as I used to. Everyone messages these days really. Don't they? I can't even remember the last time I sent an SMS or placed a call.

M: Will you buy a new one in the future?

R: Oh, absolutely, yes, I've had this one since about 2019. And it needs a new screen and battery now since the first one is slightly cracked and the second thing doesn't last nearly as long as it should. But frankly, I'll be getting a new one within the year since it'll be faster and it will have more and better features, I hope. Maybe for my birthday if I'm lucky.

M: How has your mobile phone changed your life?

R: Oh God, I think it would be easier to list the ways that haven't changed, frankly. I have greater connectivity and access than I could ever have imagined. More than just with a laptop, for example, since the phone is more portable, I can do more through the various apps and I can manage things like my finances at the touch of a button. It really has revolutionized things.
M: So dear listener, mobile phones, or you can call them cell phones or just phones. What else, Rory, can we say?

R: I think that's about it, really. Though, maybe your smartphone. Most people just say their phone, though.

M: My first phone was a Motorola, or it was a Samsung or what, what, other brands do we have?

R: What other brands are paying us for free advertising?

M: Yeah, so here we use an article because like it was a Motorola, it was a Samsung. So a phone by this company. The model number escapes me now. Like I don't remember the model. So you can say, oh, the name of the brand escapes me now or the model number escapes me now. I don't remember this.

R: The model number is just the kind of phone that it is. For example, I have a Samsung S10 which is definitely five years old. I think the latest model is like a Samsung S24 Maybe. Just to date our episodes. And then of course with iPhones. The model number is just a number. I think we're on iPhone 15 though, aren't we?

M: I am a Samsung person. I don't know what iPhones are all about. Yes, dear listener, Rory is an iPhone person.

R: I am not an iPhone person at all. I am a Samsung person also. No, no, I used to be.

M: Okay, hello! Oh, you changed.

R: I thought you were an iPhone person.

M: No, no. No way... You can comment on the size. My old phone my first phone looked like a brick. A brick is like a brick, this piece of rock.

R: Yeah. Something used to build houses with. Most phones are not like this now, though. They're flat, or they look like a mirror, a Black Mirror.

M: Every waking moment of the day means very often. And you can say, I use my phone, every waking moment of my day. So every second, I'm awake, I use my phone. All the time, nonstop. When I'm working, sleeping, having breakfast.

R: Breathing. You can say, I take my calls, I text, I write messages. I post on social media, I watch videos, and I use my phone while I work out or do chores. What are chores? And the expression is to do chores.

R: Chores are just the jobs that you have to do around the house. clean floors, clean the dishes, clean the windows. I don't know what other chores there are, to be honest, I have a cleaning lady that does everything else.

M: And can I say like, ooh, I'm addicted to my mobile phone?

R: Probably, yeah.

M: Like what else can I say to mean that I use it very often?

R: I can't leave it alone.
M: I can't leave it alone. I never leave home without my phone. There you go, dear listener. We use our phones for texting. To text means to write an SMS or a message.

R: We used to, everybody just messages now. Messages are like things that you send on iMessage, WhatsApp, or maybe Telegram. But a text message is like going into your little text messaging app and sending a text message through the airway. It's something that I have not done in about, I don't know, 10 years at least.

M: But what is a text? If I send you a text, if I text, what do I do? Can I say that I text you on the WhatsApp, or on Telegram?

R: No, you message on WhatsApp or Telegram, but you text someone using a text message. Yeah. If someone drops you a message, if they drop you a text, that's like a text message, that you send. I can't even describe this. It's been so long since anybody sent one. But yeah, a text message is something that arrives, if you have a smartphone, it arrives in your specific text messaging app. But most people just message.

M: Oh, that's interesting. So dear listener, now we don't text, we just message. Okay?

R: You might get a text message from a company or advertising, or maybe someone has a dumb phone, like one of the really old phones that don't have an internet connection. But most people just message.

M: And you can say I can't even remember the last time I sent an SMS. So I sent an SMS or placed a call. So I made a call, and placed a call. When you talk about your phone, you should use present perfect. I've had it since 2005. Or I've had it for two months. So not present perfect continuous. I've been having. No, no, no. I've had this phone for a long time. You can say it needs a new screen, or my battery doesn't work.

R: What other things can we replace on phones? I think it's just the screen and the battery. Maybe you replace the case, which is the thing that surrounds the phone. I also need to do this. I've had the same case for about five years as well.

M: What can you say about the screen? Like if it kind of like... If you drop your phone and the screen... Like something happens to the screen.

R: It's cracked. Or you could say it's smashed. Cracked is better because the glass is shatterproof. And usually, you can still use the phone even if the glass is cracked or the screen is cracked.

M: And, dear listener, this is your chance to use super vocabulary. So even if your phone is okay, please make sure to use it. You should say, I've had this phone for a long time my screen is cracked and my battery is low. Or what do we say about the battery?

R: The battery runs out quickly or the battery has been on the fritz, something like this to describe it not working as well as it should be.

M: My battery runs out quickly. Okay? And I'll be getting a new one soon. A new one? One meaning is "phone". I'll be getting a new phone soon. Or I'm looking at the new models to replace my older phone. I would love to have better features. It will be faster. So our phone has features. Okay? So this camera, button. What else? Audio recordings.

R: Just when you think, like when you have a camera, do you replace the camera in a phone?

M: Oh, my God, it's very expensive. You buy a new phone.
R: Yeah, I think it's better to buy a new phone. The same thing for the buttons, the buttons are integrated into the phone if you have to replace the button, it's probably totally gone. But I'm very impressed. Some people change their phones every year. But I've had the same phone for five years. And it's almost just as good as it was when I first bought it. Of course, the battery's degraded now a little bit, but it still does what it should do.

M: So everything we have inside our phone is called features. Useful features, different features, better features, my phone has changed my life. So smartphones have changed my life. Again, we use present perfect.

R: And if you're like me, you give the good old fashioned answer of, I think it would be easier to list the ways it hadn't changed my life or hasn't changed my life.

M: I have greater connectivity and access. So with my smartphone, I have a good connection. Like internet connection, you mean? Yeah, Rory? With greater connectivity. Or you are connected to people?

R: Greater connectivity to everything in general. But I'm thinking about the internet here.

M: My phone is more portable, so you can carry it around with you, you can put it in your pocket. So my phone is more portable than a laptop, or then the older models we used to have like back in 1990, for example. So it's far more portable.

R: I should point out, that I said it's more portable, not it's more portable than a laptop, because I already talked about a laptop. And I think people might have this urge to say it's more portable because they're used to saying it that way. But you don't have to, you can just say it's more portable. And you're finished.

M: You can say that I do more through various apps, and applications. So how has it changed my life? I can do much more through various apps. I have my internet. I can do my finances at the touch of a button, a very nice phrase. So I can do something in a very convenient way and very fast. Do it at the touch of a button. Do it at the touch of a button. Careful with the articles, at the touch of a button. So when you kind of pay your taxes, you can do it at the touch of a button. And this has revolutionized things. Okay, dear listener? It has changed things. We can do our finances, we can work, we can, I don't know, do everything we want, travel through your smartphone. So this has revolutionized. Revolutionized? Yeah? Like revolution?

R: Yeah, dramatically changed things. Like if I didn't have a phone, my life would be very, very different. If none of us had phones, our lives would be so much different.

M: No, I can't imagine my life without a smartphone. I really, I'm using it every waking moment of my life. Excellent. And we'll wrap it up with a joke.

R: Oh, great. Another one.

M: So this episode is special. We started with a joke. And we finish it off with a joke. Rory, are you happy?

R: Is the joke going to be a good joke, Maria?

M: Oh, yeah. It's a brilliant joke, as always. So are you ready? Why didn't the skeleton have a mobile? She had nobody to talk to.

R: Oh, help...

M: Dear listener, did you get the joke? Did you get the joke? Rory, could you explain the joke, please? That's my favourite moment. Rory explains the joke he hates.

R: Actually, this joke, if I explain, it will fall apart completely. But the idea is a skeleton is just the bones. It's not all of the body. So a skeleton doesn't have a body. And the word nobody means no person. But nobody means without a body. So the skeleton had nobody to talk to. It has two meanings. And it also doesn't make any sense. Because it should be nobody to talk with if it's shared experiences.

M: Oh, really? So there's a mistake. So why didn't the skeleton have a mobile? He had nobody to...

R: To talk with. Yeah, for the shared experience. But I... It doesn't matter because the joke is terrible.

M: Oh, dear listener, thank you very much for listening! Stay with us! Love, hugs. Bye!

R: Bye! Nobody to talk to my God

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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