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IELTS Relationships Vocabulary

Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you see your friends very often?
Louisa: Yes … we meet up most weekends … we all get on really well and have a lot in common so we’re always happy doing the same things and going to the same places.

Examiner: What do you like about your close friends?
Anna: I think we enjoy each other’s company … we see eye-to-eye on most things so we rarely fall out with each other.

Examiner: Have you known each other long?
Amy: Most of them yes … although my closest friend Carrie … we struck up a relationship at college and got on like a house on fire … but yes … my other friendships go back years to when we were at school.

Part 2-style task

Describe a person you are very close to. You should say:

  • who this person is
  • when you met them
  • where you met them

and say what it is about them you like so much.

Reiko: I’d like to talk about my boyfriend … Jose … we got to know each other at University almost 4 years ago … we were in the same department … initially we were just good friends and used to go out in a group with our other friends … when Jose went back to Spain for the holidays we would keep in touch with each other … then one year he invited me to come to Spain with him …  and that’s when we fell for each other I think … so you couldn’t really say it was love at first sight as it had been over a year since we’d met … but we really hit it off and by the time we got back to university in September we were able to tell all our friends that we were in a relationship… what do I like about Jose … well he’s very kind … very funny … and very supportive … and we’re really well matched in our interests … he hasn’t popped the question yet though … we’ve talked about getting married and I think we’re both ready to settle down and have children  … we’ll just have to wait and see …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Do you think marriage is still as important as ever?
Cristine: Yes … it certainly is in my country … I think the problem for some people is a lack of commitment … all relationships have their ups and downs …. but some people prefer to break up rather than working at the relationship.

Examiner: What do you think is the ideal time to get married?
Terry: Personally … I think you should wait until you’ve found yourself first … decided if you want a career … perhaps do some travelling … you should do this before tying the knot … although if you fall head over heels in love plans like these can easily be forgotten.

Examiner: Is it important to keep in contact with our friends when we’re in a relationship?
Maria: Absolutely … it’s so easy to drift apart from your friends when you fall in love … but I think both partners should try not to lose touch with their friends  … that’s the best way to have a healthy relationship with your partner.

Definitions

  • to break up: to end a romantic relationship
  • to drift apart: to become less close to someone
  • to enjoy someone’s company: to like spending time with someone
  • to fall for: to fall in love
  • to fall head over heels in love: to start to love someone a lot
  • to fall out with: to have a disagreement and stop being friends
  • to get on like a house on fire: to like someone’s company very much indeed
  • to get on well with: to understand someone and enjoy similar interests
  • to get to know: to begin to know someone
  • to go back years: to have known someone for a long time
  • to have a lot in common: to share similar interests
  • to have ups and downs: to have good and bad times
  • a healthy relationship: a good, positive relationship
  • to hit it off: to quickly become good friends with
  • to be in a relationship: to be romantically involved with someone
  • to be just good friends: to not be romantically involved
  • to keep in touch with: to keep in contact with
  • to lose touch with: to not see or hear from someone any longer
  • love at first sight: to fall in love immediately you meet someone
  • to pop the question: to ask someone to marry you
  • to see eye to eye: to agree on a subject
  • to settle down: to give up the single life and start a family
  • to strike up a relationship:  to begin a friendship
  • to tie the knot: to get married
  • to be well matched: to be similar to
  • to work at a relationship: to try to maintain a positive relationship with someone