Hi, my name’s Kara. In today’s video, we’re going to be talking about different vocabulary you can use to talk about your hometown.
This video will be really helpful because in your IELTS speaking section your examiner will ask you where you’re from, talk about your hometown. So here we will use different vocabulary to talk about cities and the countryside.
It’ll be a lot of fun. Let’s get started.
First, let’s focus on some vocabulary we can use to talk about cities. What makes a city unique?
What makes it interesting? So first on our list, we have cosmopolitan.
Cosmopolitan means there are a lot of people from all over the world, lots of culture, lots of food, lots of music, all in one city. So I will write here lots of culture.
An example of a city that is a very cosmopolitan is London. When you are in London, you are able to get food from Italy, from Vietnam, from China, from India all within London.
So London is very cosmopolitan. Another example would be New York City.
New York City is very cosmopolitan because it has a Chinatown and a little Italy right next to each other. That is cosmopolitan.
Next on our list, we have urban. Urban means something is of a city, from a city, or you can also say in a city.
I might describe myself as having an urban lifestyle. This means I am used to taking public transportation every day, so I have an urban lifestyle.
Some people also say they can tell I am urban because I walk very quickly, like someone in a city. Next, we have bustling.
Bustling means there are lots of people, lots of people moving in one place at one time. For example, I might say that a night market in Taipei is very bustling.
There are so many people moving around buying things, selling things all in one spot that a Taipei night market is very bustling. Also I could also say that a shopping center is very bustling.
There are people moving around constantly in a shopping center, so a shopping center is bustling. Next on our list, we have lively.
Lively means exciting. It is very fun to be in a lively place.
You want to go somewhere that is lively. It looks like people are having fun.
For example, I might say that Chicago is lively. Especially after a sports game, the people are excited on the streets going to bars.
They are lively. I might also say that Tokyo is lively.
It is a huge exciting city with so much to do and it is almost always lively somewhere in Tokyo. Next on our list, we have hectic.
Hectic is a lot like lively and bustling, but not in a good way. Usually hectic means there are too many people.
It is a little crazy. You don’t want to be somewhere that is hectic.
An example of somewhere that is a little too hectic is Los Angeles. I could say on the IELTS speaking section that Los Angeles traffic is hectic.
It takes one hour to go one mile during traffic in LA. I could also say that New York City on New Year’s Eve is very hectic.
Everyone goes to Times Square to see the ball drop and it is a little too hectic to enjoy my time there. Next on our list, we have vibrant.
Vibrant means something is colorful. It’s beautiful.
You want to look at something that is vibrant. An example of a place that is vibrant is San Francisco.
In their Mission District, they’re very well known for their murals. I would describe the Mission District in San Francisco as being wonderfully vibrant.
I could also say that certain parts of Pittsburgh are vibrant. There are famous artists popping up here and there creating different huge pieces of art all over the city, making it look very vibrant.
Next on our list, we have the word sprawling. Sprawling simply means spread out.
This usually means that a city started in one spot but spread out grew and grew more every year. So now when you look at the city, it seems to never end.
It is sprawling. An example of a sprawling city might be Aman.
It seems when you’re high up on the mountain in Amman, it is sprawling. The buildings go on as far as you can see.
Another example of a sprawling city might be Los Angeles. It didn’t start out too big, but over time, they kept growing and growing.
More people move there. So now Los Angeles is very sprawling.
Do you think you would call your city sprawling? Next on our list, we have the word contemporary.
Contemporary simply means modern. It is modern, new.
It doesn’t look very old. It looks like it just came there.
An example of a contemporary city most likely would be Shanghai. All of the buildings and roads in Shanghai look so very contemporary, look so new, futuristic.
Another contemporary looking place might also be Seoul. Not many of the buildings are very old.
That doesn’t look very old fashioned. It looks very contemporary and new.
Our last example of words to describe a city here is touristic. Touristic means you have a lot of tourism all year round.
People from all over the world want to go to your city to see a special thing inside your city. It is very touristic.
An example of a touristic city might be Athens. There’s a lot of old beautiful things to see in Athens, making it very touristic all year
Another touristic city is Cairo. In Cairo, you have a lot of ancient history that people all over the world want to see, making Cairo very touristic.
And that is all of our words used to describe cities. Next let’s focus on some words that we can use to describe the countryside, if you’re not from the city.
First on our list, we have the word rural, rural. I want you to practice that word a lot because it’s kind of a tricky word to say in English.
But I promise you can get it. Rural, rural.
Rural simply means someplace is not urban. It is not from a city.
It is not in a city. It is rural.
Something you might see in a rural area are a lot of farms. There is a lot of space that you can have crops and fields and animals.
There are a lot of farms in a rural area. A country that has a lot of rural areas is Canada.
Up north where it’s too cold for people to live, you can have find a lot of rural areas in Canada. Next on our list, we have rundown.
Rundown is not a happy word. It means something is falling apart.
You can describe buildings, most commonly, as being rundown. So I will write here rundown buildings.
They are not used anymore, but they are still standing. They are usually ugly and you want them to be torn down.
They don’t look good in the countryside. So you can have rundown buildings.
Also if you have a lot of jobs leave a town, that town might become rundown. For example, where I am from the steel mill left the town, so some of the buildings in my town became rundown.
Next on our list, we have the word quaint. Quaint
means something is old-fashioned.
It does not look contemporary, but it still is very cute. You like to look at something that is quaint.
It reminds you of a simpler time and makes you feel warm and cozy. I might describe some bed and breakfasts as being quaint.
For example, I could say that quaint bed and breakfast serve us fresh cream with our coffee in the morning. Also quaint you might find some cute villages outside of Italy.
If you go to the cities in Italy, then go outside the cities, you might find some quaint villages there. Cool, next on our list, we have the word close-knit.
Close-knit talks about how people know you. When you live in a smaller town, usually everyone gets to know each other better than if they would if they lived in the city.
I might describe a community as being close-knit. People know your name.
Sometimes, they know where your work or who is in your family and they’re willing to help you out if you’re having a little trouble. I would describe that as being a close-knit community.
Another close-knit place you might find in the countryside is a church. In churches, people want to help each other out and they celebrate good times together.
I would call that a close-knit church. Of course there are many other places in your community that can be called close-knit, such as schools, or what have you.
Next on our list, we have the word outskirts. The outskirts just means a place is outside the city, outside the city.
So it is not near the downtown. It takes quite a while to get the. . . to downtown of a city.
For example, San Jose is on the outskirts of San Francisco. It is not near downtown San Francisco.
It can take up to an hour in traffic to get from San Jose to downtown San Francisco. So I will also write here not near downtown.
Cool, this is very similar to our next word suburb, suburb. So do you remember our word urban with the cities?
This suburb simply means outside the urban or outside the city. But it is a little different from outskirts.
When you think suburb, I want you to think of families living in houses. There are not a lot of apartments in the suburbs.
You usually have a family with children and a yard, a big car in a big house, living in the suburb. The grown-ups in the family will drive to the city to go to work.
So suburb, think of a family in a house and that family usually will go to work in the city. Cool, and last on our list, we have the word picturesque.
See here the word picture. It means you want to take a picture.
It is so beautiful. A picturesque place might be have beautiful buildings or beautiful countryside that you just think would look so perfect in a picture.
An example of a picturesque place might be Austria or even New Zealand. These places have a lot of beautiful buildings or beautiful fields, mountains, trees, anything that makes you want to take a picture, you can describe as being picturesque.
One more important thing to keep in mind when using the word outskirts is the proper preposition for outskirts is on, on the outskirts. I would say San Jose is on the outskirts of San Francisco.
运用这个单词时要记住的另一个重要事项是边缘地带分配的介词是 on，on the outskirts。我会说圣何塞在旧金山的边缘地带。
Whereas with suburb, you want to use in, in the suburb. I live in the suburb or I live on the outskirts.
而市郊分配的介词是 in，in the suburb。我住在市郊或我住在边缘地带。
Next, let’s talk about some vocabulary you can use to talk about what you see when you’re walking down the street in a city. How can you describe what’s going on around you in your hometown?
First on our list, we have the word high-rise flats. High-rise flats simply means you have tall apartment buildings, very very tall apartment buildings, as high as you can see within a city.
You might describe Tokyo as having a lot of high-rise flats. I live on the 27th floor of a high-rise flat in Tokyo.
你可以描绘东京有许多高层公寓。我住在东京的一座高层公寓的 27 楼。
Another place very famous for its high-rise flats is of course New York City. You can say, let’s go to that coffee shop between the two high-rise flats on 6th Street.
另一个因其高层公寓而出名的当地当然是纽约市了。你可以说，咱们去 6 街上那个在两个高层公寓之间的咖啡店第吧。
So high-rise flats, easily said, tall apartment buildings. Next on our list, we have the word pavement cafe.
A pavement cafe is simply the outside part of a cafe. When you order your coffee inside and then come outside on the sidewalk to enjoy your coffee, you can say I am sipping coffee on the pavement cafe.
Some places are really well known for their pavement cafes, such as Paris. You can say I had an excellent cappuccino out of pavement cafe in Paris.
Another place very well known for its pavement cafes is San Francisco. Again, you could say, let’s go meet up at the pavement cafe on sixth Street.
另一个因路面咖啡馆出名的是旧金山。相同地，你可以说，咱们在 6 街上的人行道咖啡馆碰头。
Next on our list, we have the word upmarket. Upmarket is an adjective, something that is made for wealthy people.
Most people cannot afford something described as upmarket. If you have a high income, you might like to shop at a place that is upmarket.
For example, let’s talk about a ski resort. Perhaps I could ask you, hey, do you want to go to this ski resort this weekend?
I can’t possibly afford it. It is far too upmarket for me.
Also, I’m sure you can find a lot of upmarket shops in Manhattan. Manhattan is a very expensive place to live.
So naturally, wealthier people will live there. Thus, you will have more upmarket shops in Manhattan.
Next on our list, we have the word chain stores. Chain stores describes a well-known brand.
Chain stores are stores that you can find almost anywhere in the world. No matter where you are and you will recognize this brand and what they sell.
For example, you could probably find a 7-eleven almost anywhere in the world. And even if you can’t find a 7-eleven where you are, people usually know what you’re talking about and what they sell.
例如，你很可以在世界上几乎任何当地找到 7-11。即便你地址的当地找不到 7-11，我们一般也晓得你在说啥，以?锹舻亩鳌?/span>
Another big example of a chain store is, of course, Starbucks. Starbucks started in Seattle, but now you can find it almost anywhere and everyone knows what Starbucks sells, coffee.
So 7-eleven and Starbucks are two great example of chain stores, well-known brands things that everyone can recognize. Next on our list, we have the word lively bars, simply said, bars with lots of people.
所以 7-11 和星巴克是连锁店的两个极好的比方，知名的品牌的，每自个都能认出来。下一个是热烈的酒吧，简略点说就是有许多人的酒吧。
You can describe lively bars as having a great atmosphere. You see how much fun people having in lively bars and you want to go and drink there, too.
An example of a place with some nice lively bars might be Berlin, or perhaps in South Side of Pittsburgh. In many cities, you can find many lively bars, places where you want to go and have fun, because they are having fun, too.
Last on our list, we have the word pop-up shops. Pop-up shops, or pop-up stores, are very new, so listen closely.
You can describe them as flash stores. Here flash means it’s quick.
It’s not there very long. And primarily, the seller uses social media.
They will use Instagram to sell their product and that product could be almost anything. It can be coffee, underwear, flowers, fashion.
他们会运用 Instagram 出售他们的产品而那个产品几乎可所以任何东西。它可所以咖啡，内衣，花朵，时髦。
The main idea behind pop-up shops is that it can sell a fad, something that is popular, maybe for not a long period of time. You will see a lot of pop-up shops in New York City.
So again, the store is there only for a little bit. It’s a flash store.
But they use social media a lot to sell their product. You buy their product, take a selfie, tag them, and you can sell that fad.
Let’s now focus on the ways you can describe what you see in the countryside. What can you see as you walk down the street, drive down the countryside?
First on our list, we have a big word, out-of-town shopping centres. This simply means you have a mall or a plaza outside of your town, or outside of your city.
This means you can take your car, drive about 20 minutes outside of your town and city and find a big shopping area where you can find many popular brands, such as adidas, or maybe even Alto. Again, these out-of-town shopping centres are not small.
They’re usually very big plazas. They feel like a mall.
They have a food court and you can do a lot of your shopping there for a cheaper price. Next on our list, we have the where boarded-up shops.
These are stores that are now closed with wood. So the store is no longer open and they have used the nail and hammer and closed up the shop with wood.
A word that we learned earlier to describe boarded up shops can be rundown. It does not look good.
The building is not new and you usually want it torn down or open up, so a new shop can go at the boarded up shop. An example that you might find in the. . . and in the US is Kmart.
Kmart used to be a big store in the US, but now it’s no longer open. If they didn’t tear down the Kmart, or get a new shop inside where the Kmart used to be, it is now a boarded up shop.
Kmart 早年是美国的一家大商铺，但如今不再运营了。假定他们不撤消 Kmart，或在里边开一家新店，它如今就是一家关闭的商铺了。
A shop closed with wood. Next on our list, we have the word ranch.
Ranch is a big farm. This big big farm is used for animals.
If you have a lot of cows on a ranch, you call that a cattle ranch. You can use cattle ranches to make meat, to make milk, or what have you with cows.
We call that a cattle ranch. You can also have a horse ranch.
So again, in the countryside, if you have a huge farm with so many horses or cows, you can have a cattle ranch or a horse ranch. Another thing you might get to see in the countryside is an orchard.
This word’s a little strange, so let’s practice. Orchard, orchard.
An orchard is again a farm where you can grow many things, such as apples, an apple orchard. Or you can grow nuts, an almond orchard.
You can also have an orange orchard. Or you can have a cherry orchard.
When you’re talking about life in the countryside, you can say we were driving down the road and I could really smell the cherry orchard. Or they’re having a special today at the apple orchard where you can fill up a basket for ten dollars.
That is the word orchard. Now vineyard is a lot like orchard, but vineyard just has to do with grapes, because grapes grow on the vine.
So you have a vineyard, a grape vineyard. Usually, vineyards are very famous for wine.
If you live in the countryside where they make a lot of wine, they need the grapes to do that. So you can drive by and see for miles and miles the grape vineyards used to make wine.
Last on our list, we have mom-and-pop shop. Here we’re talking about mom and dad, mom and pop.
Mom-and-pop shops are family-owned businesses, family stores where a mom-and-pop might open up a store. It can be anything, a restaurant, a hardware store, whatever you would like.
And they pass it down from generation to generation. So it stays in the same family.
It’s a very common thing you might see in the countryside. As always, the key to doing well on the IELTS speaking section is practice.
Take these vocabulary words, picks the ones that describe your hometown, and practice them as much as possible. If you want to see more examples of how these words are used, you can go to bestmytest. com and look at different sample questions and answers for the IELTS speaking section.
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