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Friday, April 12, 2019

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It's not old-fashioned but against the rule of "less common" because too many ielts takers have started their part 2 answer in that way. My advice is trying to update that phrase.

Duo

As Simon says, 'I'm going to talk about' is a natural way to introduce 2 minutes of speaking. A native speaker would take around one second to say it, and all examiners would be happy to hear it. There are other natural ways ('I'd like to talk about' etc) as well.

There is no 'rule' about 'less common', especially when we are talking about 'structure language'. 'Less common' occurs when we look at 'content language' - the words you use to describe the actual information.

I would strongly stress that trying to 'update' phrases that natives use almost always leads to unnatural language that could easily be penalised in the test. The goal is to sound more like a native, not less.

My students sometimes want to start off the cue talk with..this cue card reminds me or this topic is very interesting. I generally discourage this and point them more towards... I'd like to or I'm going to or I've decided to..
What would you comment on this?

I've heard everything.....

'When it comes to....'
'When I saw this topic, the first thing that popped into my mind...'
'When talking about.....'
'This reminds me of a time....'

and many more, usually grammatically wrong or unnatural phrases.

The fact is that these memorised types of beginnings always tend to sound 'planned' and draw attention to themselves and natives almost never use them in the test.

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