IELTS Practice Tests

IELTS Speaking. Part Three Question Type 2: Predicting

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IELTS Speaking. Part Three Question Type 2: Predicting

Look at the following question: “What will houses be like in the future?”

Now ask yourself: “Why is the examiner asking me this question?”

The answer is simple: “The examiner is testing my ability to use future prediction structures.”

The following answer is quite common for this type of question:

I think that in the future, houses will be much bigger, and maybe they will be in some strange places such as on the moon or under the sea.

The answer above directly answers the question with acceptable “predictions”. However the language used to present these predictions is very basic. Now look at the next answer to the same question:

Certainly, I’m sure that most people would agree that there will be a number of major changes related to this. Initially, I guess that we might begin to see houses that are much bigger. At the same time, I suppose it’s quite probable that we may have houses under the sea. And who knows, it could even be possible that we’ll see the arrival of houses on the moon.

The content of this answer is basically the same as the answer but the language used is much more complex. The answer lists 3 different predictions and each prediction is presented with a different future structure:

  • …I guess that we might begin to see…
  • …I suppose it’s quite probable that we may have…
  • …who knows, it could even be possible that we’ll see…

Now you will build your own “predicting answer structure”. Begin with an opening linking phrase:

Certainly, I’m sure that most people would agree that there will be a number of major changes related to this.

I’m sure that in years to come we will see a number of changes related to this.

I reckon that in the not so distant future there are going to be a few imminent changes with regard to…

I imagine that in the near future, we will witness some major changes with regard to…

Introduce your first prediction.

Initially, I guess that we might begin to see…

To begin with, I’d predict that we will most likely have…

Primarily, it looks quite probable that we are going to have…

First of all, I would envisage that we are going to have…

Use a sentence to describe your first prediction. (Try to use basic future tenses when giving details.) Try to develop the sentence with a basic linking word.

Initially, I guess that we might begin to see houses that are made of plastic materials because these will be much cheaper and easier to construct.

Now introduce your second prediction.

  • At the same time, I suppose it’s quite probable that we may have…
  • As well as this, some people claim that we will probably start to see…
  • On top of this, I imagine it’s quite likely that we will soon have…
  • Likewise, I would imagine that we may even be able to see…

Use a sentence to describe your second prediction. (Try to use basic future tenses when giving details.) Try to develop the sentence with a basic linking word.

At the same time, I suppose quite probable that we may have houses that are controlled by computer because this will make home life much easier.

Now introduce your third prediction. It is not always possible to make 3 realistic predictions, so you can make your final one quite unrealistic.

  • And who knows, it could even be possible that see the arrival of…
  • And you never know, it could even transpire that we’ll have…
  • And I know a bit of a crazy thought, but one day we may even have…
  • And who knows, there’s even a chance that we will have…

It is probably not necessary to develop your last prediction, but if you can add a detail use a basic future tense. Practise your prediction structure with the following questions:

  • What will schools be like in the future?
  • What will restaurants be like in the future?
  • What types of people will become famous in the future?
  • What will shops / shopping habits be like in the future?
  • What will public transport be like in the future?
  • What types of hobbies will become popular in the future?
  • What types of trips / holidays will people take in the future?
  • What will cars be like in the future?
  • What will TV programmes be like in the future?
  • What kinds of gifts will people gave in the future?
  • What kinds of skills will became important in the future?
  • What new inventions do you think we will see in the future?
  • What environmental problems will we see in the future?
  • Do you think we will see any changes in the weather in the future?
  • Do you think we will read books in different ways in the future?
  • Do you think we will get news in different ways in the future?

It is important to remember that some of these prediction questions are quite difficult in their content. It is not always easy to think about the future. As a basic guideline the following changes should be useful for these topics:

  • Changes in variety (There will be a wider variety.)
  • Changes in price (Things will become cheaper or more expensive.)
  • Changes in size, materials or appearance
  • Changes in location
  • Changes in form (Things will become Internet based. / There will be electronic versions.)

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