IELTS Cue Card: Describe an occasion when the weather prevented you from doing something

IELTS Cue Card: Describe an occasion when the weather prevented you from doing something


Describe an occasion when the weather prevented you from doing something.
You should say:
  • When it was
  • Why it prevented your activity
  • What you did
And explain how you felt about it.

Part 3:
  • Does the weather have any impact on people’s daily activities?
  • Why do people do different sports in different seasons?
  • What kind of weather do people from your country like?
  • Do people from your country talk about weather when they meet for the first time?

Part 2 — Sample Answer:

There haven’t been too many occasions when I’ve been prevented from doing something because of the weather. Perhaps I’ll sometimes postpone going out to the store if it’s raining, but most of the time it won’t stop me. However, one such time that comes to mind is when I was flying from Florida to London.

The southern United States are known for having wild thunderstorms in summer, and often it can cause delays to flights because of the inherent danger of flying in stormy weather.

A few summers ago I was unlucky enough to have my flight cancelled because of adverse weather. I remember having a look at the weather forecast on the day I was due to fly. A storm was predicted but only with a 30 to 40 percent likelihood. I also had a look at the airline’s website and it seemed like my flight was going to depart as planned, so I ordered a taxi and made my way to the airport.

Upon arrival, things didn’t look as hopeful. The departures board listed my flight as being delayed by a few hours. A bunch of worried passengers were asking airline representatives what was going to happen with their flight. There wasn’t much information at the time, but everyone was being reassured that their flights were going to depart that day, just with a few hours delay.

Five minutes later the flight’s status changed from delayed to cancelled. You could see the fear in some passengers’ eyes, wondering how long they’d be stranded for.

I could see out of the big terminal windows the menacing storm clouds rolling in. It was no wonder all flights, including mine, were grounded. I felt a little bit helpless, but I decided to make the best of the situation and watch the storm while I was on hold to the customer service hotline.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Postpone (verb)
To decide that something will not be done at the time when it was originally planned, but at a later time.
Example: The exam has been postponed until next Tuesday.

Comes to mind (phrase)
If you suddenly remember something or start to think about it, it is said to come to mind.
Example: They asked for my comments, but nothing came to mind.

Wild (adjective)
Something that’s uncontrolled, violent, or extreme. In the case of weather, there is a storm with strong winds.
Example: It was a wild night, with the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen.

Inherent (adjective)
Something that exists as a basic or natural part of something that is inseparable from it.
Example: There is an inherent weakness in the bridge.

Adverse (adjective)
Something that’s negative, unpleasant or harmful and likely to cause problems.
Example: There’s adverse weather conditions forecast for this evening.

Likelihood (noun)
The chance that something will happen.
Example: The likelihood of it being sunny today is very high.

Make your way (idiom)
If you make your way somewhere, you start physically moving towards it.
Example: We made our way to the front of the line.

Reassure (verb)
To make someone feel less worried about something.
Example: There’s not much I can do to reassure you.

Stranded (adjective)
If you’re stranded somewhere, you left somewhere with no way of leaving or going somewhere else.
Example: Hundreds of passengers were left stranded at the airport.

Terminal (noun)
A large building where planes, trains, boats, or busses start and finish a journey.
Example: The airport built a new terminal to handle more passengers.

Menacing (adjective)
Something that looks like it’s likely to cause harm, or is threatening, or possibly harmful.
Example: The storm looked menacing.

Roll in (phrasal verb)
If something rolls in, it means it arrives in large numbers or amounts. It can also mean that a person arrives in a relaxed way despite being late.
Example A: Money started rolling in and the business grew and grew.
Example B: She rolled in to work five hours late and didn’t care.

No wonder (idiom)
A phrase that’s used to show you’re not surprised by a particular situation or event.
Example: It’s no wonder the children are bored on a long car ride if they have nothing to do.

Grounded (adjective)
Used to describe an aircraft that’ prevented from flying for some reason, usually because of safety, weather, or some other problem.
Example: The aircraft were grounded for a few hours until the storm passed.

Make the best of (phrase)
If you make the best of it you accept a bad or difficult situation without complaining and try to deal with it as best you can.
Example: I missed my train, so I decided to make the best of it by having a leisurely lunch while I waited for the next train.

On hold (idiom)
If you’re on hold you’re waiting to speak to someone on the phone after your call has been answered.
Example: They put me on hold for 20 minutes while they tried to sort out the problem.

Hotline (noun)
A telephone number that people can call for information, often in an emergency.
Example: I called the electricity company’s hotline when the power went out.

Part 3 — Sample Answers:

Does the weather have any impact on people’s daily activities?

Absolutely.

There are a lot of people that hate getting wet and will do anything to avoid going out in the rain. They could wear a waterproof jacket and take an umbrella, but unless they have no choice, they’d rather stay indoors.

There are some activities that can only be done in dry weather, such as picnicking in the park or riding a rollercoaster at a theme park. If the weather doesn’t permit, the activity is often postponed.

Personally, the weather doesn’t really have that much of an impact on my daily activities. I come from a country where seasons can vary wildly — some are very wet and cold, whereas others are typically hot and humid. I’ll take into account the forecast when picking out my clothes, but aside from that my day will go ahead as normal, come rain or shine.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Waterproof (adjective)
Something that’s waterproof keeps out water. It could be an item of waterproof clothing, a piece of technology that can be submerged in water, or anything else that doesn’t let water inside.
Example: I bought a waterproof jacket for when it rains heavily.

Postpone (verb)
To decide that something will not be done at the time when it was originally planned, but at a later time.
Example: The exam has been postponed until next Tuesday.

Impact (noun)
If something has an impact on something, it has some kind of effect or influence.
Example: Internet shopping has had an impact on traditional bookshops.

Wildly (adverb)
Something that happens in an uncontrolled way.
Example: The fans cheered wildly when their team scored a goal.

Humid (adjective)
If the air contains a lot of water vapor, it’s described as being humid.
Example: The weather was really hot and humid today. It was very uncomfortable.

Take into account (idiom)
If you consider or remember something when you’re trying to make a decision, you’re taking it into account.
Example: I hope my teacher will take into account the fact I was sick before my exams.

Pick out (phrasal verb)
To choose or find something from a group.
Example: Have you picked out your dress for the wedding?

Aside from (idiom)
Synonym for “except for”.
Example: I hardly watch any TV, aside from the news.

Go ahead (phrasal verb)
To start or to continue to do something, especially after having to wait for some reason.
Example: We were able to go ahead with our plans to buy a house.

Come rain or shine (idiom)
A phrase that’s used for saying that something always happens even if there’s problems, bad weather, or other difficulties.
Example: She runs six kilometers every morning, come rain or shine.

Why do people do different sports in different seasons?

I think sometimes it’s just tradition, but in other cases there’s a more straightforward reason.

Winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding are less common in the summer months. There are some avid skiers that will find a dry ski slope so they can keep practicing in the warmer months, but the vast majority of people will see it as a leisure activity that’s reserved for the colder months.

Oftentimes a sport is only really played in the summer months because it would be horrendously uncomfortable to play it in cold, wet weather. Tennis is one that comes to mind. It’s historically been an outdoor sport and all the famous competitions are held in the height of summer.

Sometimes the weather doesn’t make much of a difference. A lot of sports are played indoors and so no matter what the temperature is outside, people still play regardless.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Straightforward (adjective)
Something that’s not complicated, difficult to understand, and not designed to confuse you.
Example: It’s a fairly straightforward process, and you’ll have no problems.

Avid (adjective)
Someone who’s really eager, enthusiastic, or interested in something.
Example: She’s an avid reader as well as an avid football fan.

Dry ski slope (noun)
A slope used for skiing that doesn’t rely on snow. It’s usually made of plastic or some other material that people can ski on in areas where there’s no snow.
Example: There’s a dry ski slope not far away that we use in the summer.

Reserved (adjective)
Something that’s kept for a particular purpose or person, and is otherwise unavailable.
Example A: The seats were reserved but the guests never showed up.
Example B: This activity is reserved for the winter months.

Horrendous (adjective)
Something that’s horrendous is really extremely bad or unpleasant.
Example: Property in this part of town is horrendously expensive.

The height of (idiom)
A phrase that’s used to describe the pinnacle of something.
Example: What the banks did was the height of greed.

No matter what (idiom)
It’s a phrase that’s used to emphasize that something is always true, or that someone must always do something.
Example: We’ve got to get to the airport on time, no matter what.

Regardless (adverb)
If something happens without being affected by something or someone, it happens regardless.
Example: It seemed an impossible task, but we carried on regardless.

What kind of weather do people from your country like?

Most Brits love dry, sunny weather. They don’t like extreme heat for the most part, but they do like the warm summer months when they can wear shorts and T-shirts.

For most of the year, the weather in Britain is quite miserable. It’s often overcast and frequently rainy. While many Brits are used to this kind of climate, they don’t really like it all that much. They’ll often complain about the weather if another dreary day and wish for warmer weather.

In some cases, some people can’t wait for the summer and will jet off to a warmer country for a few weeks, coming back looking very tanned.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

For the most part (idiom)
A phrase used for saying that something is mainly true, but not completely true.
Example: For the most part we were happy to live with each other.

Miserable (adjective)
Something that’s unpleasant and causing unhappiness. It can also be used to describe someone who’s very unhappy.
Example A: The weather is really miserable today.
Example B: She’s miserable living on her own.

Overcast (adjective)
A sky that’s completely covered with clouds.
Example: It’s going to be overcast this morning, but it’ll be sunny and clear skies this afternoon.

Dreary (adjective)
Something that makes you feel bored or unhappy could be described as being dreary.
Example: The weather is really dreary today.

Jet off (verb)
To fly somewhere on a plane.
Example: They will be jetting off to Spain this weekend.

Tanned (adjective)
Someone who is tanned has darker skin than before because they’ve spent time in the sun or in a tanning bed.
Example: He was very tanned after his vacation.

Do people from your country talk about weather when they meet for the first time?

Some do, but it’s mostly the older generation. The day’s or week’s forecast can be used as a conversation starter, and it’s often talked about when people are making small talk with each other. It’s a topic that’s usually reserved for the days when the weather is unusual in some way, such as when it’s scorching hot, bitterly cold, or there’s a downpour outside.

I suppose I’m guilty of talking about the weather too, but because it’s such a boring topic I’ve done my best to not talk about it as often as I used to. It is something I’ll still talk about from time to time, but I now work to find more interesting topics to chat about, especially if I’m meeting someone for the first time.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Small talk (noun)
Small talk is an informal conversation about things that aren’t important. It’s usually between two people that don’t know each other well.
Example: I don’t enjoy parties where I have to make small talk with complete strangers.

Scorching (adjective)
Something that’s extremely hot.
Example: It was a scorching day.

Bitterly cold (idiom)
If something is bitterly cold it is extremely cold.
Example: It’s bitterly cold in winter.

Downpour (noun)
A large amount of rain that falls quickly.
Example: The weather forecast said to expect downpours throughout the week.

Do your best (idiom)
If you try as hard as you can to achieve something, you are said to be doing your best.
Example: I don’t know if I can finish the whole thing in one day, but I’ll do my best.

From time to time (idiom)
If something happens from time to time, it happens sometimes but not very often.
Example: I still think of him from time to time.

How long will these questions be valid?

At least until the end of April 2020 and possibly beyond.
Three times a year the British Council changes many of the topics and questions they ask. Sometimes they decide to keep a topic for another four months, but oftentimes they decide to replace it. This one is less likely to be replaced with a new topic at the beginning of May 2020, but it won't be known for sure until then. Therefore, it may also be asked on exams up until the end of August 2020.

Just to let you know, there are 49 possible part 2/3 topics on the current exam. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less, and this number changes when the British Council updates the questions.

Book a Class Today

If you found this article useful, you’ll love my classes. I’ve helped hundreds of students achieve the IELTS score they dreamed of, and I’d like you to be the next success story. I help people with both conversational classes and IELTS speaking test preparation.

Here's what two of my students have had to say about me:

“Very interesting lesson, we had a useful conversation about different topics and Matthew corrected me to improve my vocabulary and grammar.”
— Philippe, France🇫🇷

“Matthew is a fun, easygoing and intelligent teacher that makes you feel at ease from minute one. He's very versatile too. I'd recommend anyone to book a lesson with him!”
— Gina, Spain🇪🇸

👋 Say hello to me today, and let’s get started by scheduling a class at the link below. 👋

https://www.verbling.com/teachers/ieltsmatthew
March 13, 2020
Profile Picture
$25
USD/h

Matthew Bradley

security_checked
5.0
$25
USD/h
Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
27
Speaks:
English
Native
I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
27
Speaks:
English
Native
I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
LEARN HOW TO LEARN!
Profile Picture
Domingo Infante
August 5, 2020
Enseigner le français précoce
Profile Picture
Valerie elise ESPINASSE Usage Choubey
August 5, 2020