Best 30 Phrases for IELTS speaking - CourseMentor™ (2023)

In this blog, we will discuss about the best 30 phrases for IELTS speaking. So, let’s get started.

The IELTS speaking test is one of the parts of four tests in the IELTS exam, the other three are Listening, Reading, and Writing. Like the listening test, the Speaking test is also equal for both the Academic and General Training modules.

The IELTS Speaking test continues for about 11-14 minutes. It is designed to evaluate your pronunciation, fluency, grammar, and vocabulary. It is divided into three parts. The IELTS speaking test is in the form of an (informal) Interview format between the examiner and the applicant.

When taking the IELTS Speaking test, you have to keep in mind that making use of productive phrases will assist you to get a high band score. Vocabulary and grammar are the two standard bases of the part of the IELTS test. Being able to use effective phrases and expressions in IELTS shows that you are proficient in English.

Being acquainted with lots of phrasal verbs will also upgrade your possibility of getting a high IELTS band score. They are one of the most natural characteristics of native English. When the examiner observes you using them quite often, it will make them think that you are well- knowledgeable, and have a clear chance of scoring more. It will also benefit you to communicate with native speakers better and more productively.

Every language has its way to characterize things, ideas, or feelings. We use words by combining that have a meaning that is not every time clear to someone who is learning that language. Each lifestyle has a different set of phrases that have particular meanings in these countries. In English, we can phrasal verbs to make others know how we think or feel. These Idiomatic languages are being used naturally in our everyday communication so, we must know what idioms are and how to use them.

The IELTS Speaking judgment criteria concentrate on how skillfully you can use idiomatic languages from band 7 and upwards. If you want to learn tips to improve IELTS speaking, then you can read out blog on it.

Table of Contents

Phrases for IELTS Speaking that you must know

There are so many phrases for IELTS speaking that an aspirant should practice ahead of time. If you are aiming for band 9, you should know these phrases. Here are Some of the common phrases for IELTS speaking test:

  • That’s an interesting question – This is the most commonly used phrase, and this helps you to take more time to think carefully about your answer. Make sure to highlight the word interesting and do not say it too fast.
  • Well, that depends on a few things– This is one of the useful phrases for IELTS speaking and can be used when there is a complex question. You can easily kill a time by slowly starting this phrase and can get yourself 3-4 secs more for thinking about your answer. Take your time when you say things.
  • I haven’t thought much about it, but I would sayAnother easy-to-use phrase, aids that you haven’t spent much time considering the answer and need some more time before answering. Put more stress on ‘much and really’ and you can get yourself 6-8 secs before answering, also it is a long-phrase where you can take more time.
  • Funny you should ask that – Here the word ‘funny’ indicates an interesting coincidence. This phrase is only suitable if you get a question on a topic that you have been just thinking about. You should use this phrase carefully.
  • Looking back, I would say itIs suitable when the question being asked reflects on your past or thinking about any past incident. It’s another gem of a phrase.

A question-answer example is a must for this condition. Suppose you get a question- Did you enjoy your swimming classes lessons? The answer will be looking back, I would say yes, it was very fun and I enjoyed it well.

  • Find my feet – It means steadily attaining comfort and acquainting doing any activity or task. example – took some time to find my feet in this new country where the lifestyle was completely different.
  • Cost an arm and a leg – A really expensive thing you work very hard for i.e. The shoes look classy but they cost her an arm and a leg.
  • Burn the midnight oil – When you stay up late into the night for getting some work done. For example – You will have to burn the midnight oil to prepare for the test by tomorrow.
  • Over the moon – A phrase that means being admired. An example- She was over the moon when he proposed to her.
  • Call it a day – Ending something for the night or day. An example- While I loved exploring the whole city, I think it is time for me to call it a day.
  • Right off the top of my head – The phrase means expressing something without thinking too much or going deep into it. An example- Right off the top of my head, they both are couples.
  • Down in the dumps – Sorrowful. For example- He is a bit down in the dumps since she failed her Biology test.
  • Chill out – Being Peaceful and comfortable. An example- Despite countless obstacles, Udit told his employees to chill out and get the work done by tomorrow.
  • Put/Putting all your eggs in one case – It means putting all your attempts, assets, and your ambition into a single place or thing. For example – Don’t put all your eggs in one basket make sure you apply to all the companies looking for web developers.
  • Fed up with – It specifies being displeased, irritated, or annoyed. An example is- The teacher is fed up with us today, do not provoke him too much.
  • Once in a Blue Moon – Something occurring very rarely. An instance – I’m very cautious about what I eat so it’s only once in a blue moon I eat junk food.
  • Miss the boat or bus – An opportunity is being missed. For example – There were movie tickets available last week, but she missed the boat by waiting till today to try to buy them.
  • White elephant – A investment or a purchase done on something which turns out to be costly or unprofitable, also too expensive and big to maintain regularly. For example, when he bought the new house he didn’t know it was going to be such a white elephant.
  • A drop in the ocean Something which is so small that it does not make an important role or difference or have much effect. For example, they need to raise crores of rupees for this project, so our lakhs of donation is just a drop in the ocean.
  • Bump into– Meeting someone you know by chance. An example – I did not expect to bump into my childhood crush at the restaurant.
  • The in-thingSomething that is fashionable at the moment. An example- The new iPhone 14 is the in thing currently.
  • Work flat outWork hard for some work to be done. An example would be The students who have worked flat out for completing their thesis on time.
  • Run of the mill-It means a thing or person ordinary or average, with no interesting or special features. An example will be oppo smartphones are run-of-the-mill nowadays.
  • Make a fuss over To pay a lot of attention to someone or something or a caring excessively. Do things to make them comfortable or happy. For example, Father makes a fuss over all of us when he comes back from his international trips.
  • Far-Fetched– Something difficult to believe and not likely to be true, or unrealistic. An example would be when he told us the stories of her childhood, everyone there could agree that they were far-fetched.
  • A hot potato– A controversial topic or a problem that is hard to deal with and causes a lot of trouble. For example- The abortion matter is a political hot potato in the United States.
  • Ace/Acing– Doing well or winning a victory or competition. I aced my Math paper this term. You can also go with an example like- She is an ace Swimmer.
  • Bent out of shape– Being upset or becoming very angry. For example- No, I’m not getting bent out of shape because People don’t respect my opinion, I’m used to it.
  • Get a kick out of– This means to feel excited to be amused or pleasure from something. To like or enjoy something. An example could be You’re getting a kick out of that new Rolex watch, aren’t you?

The Do’s and Don’ts of the use of Phrases For IELTS Speaking Tests

While using the phrases for IELTS speaking you have to make sure that to sound as natural as they can be, just like how native speakers use them. You don’t use them just for the sake of using them, using these phrases for IELTS speaking can be quite tricky. Put them in only when the discussion calls for it.

Below are some things you need to remember when using the different phrases for IELTS speaking and expressions:


  • Use them naturally as much as you can. You need to let the examiner know that you can engage in conversation with a native speaker in real life.
  • Be particular about when to use and apply the different expressions and phrases in your talk. Not using them properly can affect the messages you are trying to convey.
  • Use variations of the different phrases. The examiner shouldn’t think you only know a limited no. Of phrases and don’t have enough knowledge of them if you stick to Less than three to four phrases.


  • When you are being asked simple questions about yourself and your life don’t use formal phrases.
  • Do not try to show off your grammar or vocabulary. Use only what is necessary for the conversation.
  • Don’t use more than two phrases in simple sentences. This will lose the meaning of your answer.

Conclusion (Phrases for IELTS speaking)

Thank you for reading! So, these are the phrases for IELTS speaking. We hope that these phrases for IELTS speaking have helped you to prepare for the IELTS speaking test and that you feel more confident before taking the test.

There are many topics that you can speak on in the IELTS exam but if you are short of ideas, then you can use these 30 phrases for IELTS speaking test and you are sure to get a good score on it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us anytime at CourseMentor™. Thank you again for reading and we hope to see you again next week!

FAQs (Phrases for IELTS speaking)

how to improve vocabulary for ielts speaking

1. Write the definition.
2. Put the word into a sentence to contextualise it.
3. Check what the word form is – noun, adjective, verb, adverb etc.
4. What other word forms are connected to it? …
5. Look for synonyms/antonyms (use a good thesaurus).
6. Look for collocations.

What are the best words for IELTS speaking?

1. Awesome
2. Awful
3. Barely
4. Blonde
5. Certainly
6. Combat
7. Debate
8. Disclose

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated: 03/26/2023

Views: 5462

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.