Language that Chinese IELTS Candidates Overuse in the Speaking Test (2/2)

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Welcome back, here are other phrases to avoid or improve upon in the speaking test.

Commonly used phrase
I do it to relax myself
How it is used
It’s perfectly fine to say you walk around parks to relax, but you don’t need ‘myself’
Why examiner’s don’t like it
There is not ‘myself’ after relax, relax is an intransitive verb
Suitable alternative
I do it to relax

Commonly used phrase
Every coin has two sides/it’s a double-edged sword
How it is used
To say that while an idea/phenomenon has advantages, it also has disadvantages
Why examiner’s don’t like it
They used to be great proverbs before it became overused
Suitable alternatives
There are both upshots and downsides to that…
I can see that that has both it’s pros and cons. To begin with,…
You’d have to take both sides of that into account…

Commonly used phrase
Broaden my horizons/widen my broadens/widen my eyes…etc
How it is used
There are many funny memorised variations of the phrase (broaden my horizons is the correct one) meaning that “I can learn and experience a lot from X (studying at university, working abroad)
Why examiner’s don’t like it
overused
Suitable alternative
I can gain valuable experience which will promote my career/ look good on my CV/add more strings to my bow

Commonly used phrase
Talking about >insert part-two theme here<
How it is used: To introduce the long-turn in part two of the speaking test e.g. Talking of a picture I have in my house
Why examiner’s don’t like it
Because “talking about” is usually used to refer to a conversation that just happened, as in:-
Me: I dress my dog up in clothes for the winter
You: Speaking of dogs, do you know where you can buy one?
Suitable alternative
I’m going to tell you about…
I’ve decided to share a little with you about…

Here are a few names which you should avoid in the test. As influential and great these people are, every candidate mentions them when asked about business leaders/creative people/role models.
Every country has their icons, make sure you choose something more interesting and less mainstream than…

Jack Ma, Jay Jo, Kobe Bryant, Alibaba/Taobao…Both China and the world have more to offer!