Useful, comfortable, difficult, important, memorable, sad, interesting, different, effective, sad, stressful, easy, careful, nervous, healthy, popular, worried! Do these adjectives ring a bell?
In Cambridge exams like B2 First and C1 Advanced, talking about feelings, attitudes and opinions is part of the territory, namely in Part 2 of the Speaking paper.
Here are some exam tasks taken from Cambridge sample tests:
I’d like you to compare two of the pictures, and say
why the people might have chosen to wear these clothes, and how they might be feeling.
why the people might have chosen to experience these things and how they might be feeling.
why the people might have entered these competitions and how they might be feeling.
I’d like you to compare the photographs, and say
what the people might find interesting about visiting these different museums.
what the people might find difficult about these new activities.
why it might be important for the students to listen carefully in these lessons?
Not only are feelings, attitudes and opinions part of the question(s) written above the photographs, they are also present in your 30-second response after your partner’s 1-minute long turn.
Here are some tasks taken from Cambridge sample papers, which, as you already know, are NOT written on the exam handout, but read out by the interlocutor (the Speaking examiner who interacts with you).
Do you find it easy to ask for help when you have a problem? (B2 First)
Which of these museums do you think would be most interesting for children? (B2 First)
In which situation do you think the phone is most important to the person? (C1 Advanced)
Which experience do you think would be the most memorable? (C1 Advanced)
Candidates keep repeating again and again the same adjectives. What is the problem about it? Your performance in the Speaking Part 2 does not reach the examiners’ expectations.
So, what is there you MUST do so that you reach the English proficiency in the exam you are taking? Use a range of appropriate vocabulary, in both B2 First or C1 Advanced, and GO BEYOND THE USE OF SIMPLE ADJECTIVES such as happy, easy, interesting, useful, etc.
Repetition must be avoided!
It’s high time you levelled up!
The activities below will help you enrich your language range and show off in the Speaking Part 2 of the Cambridge exams.
Adjectives and their synonyms
Read the adjectives below. Name other synonymous adjectives before you unfold each of the accordion parts.
DELIGHTED, ELATED, THRILLED, OVERJOYED, CHEERFUL, GLAD, PLEASED, IN A GOOD MOOD, ECSTATIC, CONTENTED
SIGNIFICANT, VITAL, CRUCIAL, ESSENTIAL, NECESSARY
UNFORGETTABLE, NOTEWORTHY, REMARKABLE, IMPRESSIVE, LASTING
HELPFUL, WORTHWHILE, (IN)VALUABLE, HANDY, EFFICIENT, UTILITARIAN, CONSTRUCTIVE
COSY, SNUG, HOMELY, RELAXING, COMFY
FIT, ROBUST, VIGOROUS, WHOLESOME, WELL
ENJOYABLE, DELIGHTFUL, AGREEABLE, LOVELY, PLEASANT, NICE, FASCINATING, ENGAGING, INTRIGUING, CAPTIVATING, STIMULATING
SUCCESSFUL, EFFICACIOUS, POWERFUL, PRODUCTIVE, FRUITFUL
SIMPLE, EFFORTLESS, UNCOMPLICATED, STRAIGHTFORWARD, MANAGEABLE, USER-FRIENDLY, FOOLPROOF, AS EASY AS PIE (informal), A PIECE OF CAKE (informal)
CAUTIOUS, PRUDENT, RISK-AVERSE, CHARY
DISTINCT, DISTINCTIVE, UNIQUE, DIVERSE, VARIED, UNCONVENTIONAL, UNUSUAL, DISSIMILAR, UNLIKE
TRENDY, IN-DEMAND, WELL LIKED, SOUGHT-AFTER, FASHIONABLE
ANXIOUS, CONCERNED, APPREHENSIVE, UNEASY, JUMPY, TROUBLED
CHALLENGING, DEMANDING, HARD, TOUGH, COMPLICATED
UNEASY, APPREHENSIVE, ANXIOUS, TENSE, ON EDGE, JUMPY, TROUBLED, PRESSURE-FILLED, NERVE-WRACKING
SCARED, TERRIFIED, FRIGHTENED, PETRIFIED
TEARFUL, CLOSE TO TEARS, WEEPY, MISERABLE, UNHAPPY, SORROWFUL, HEARTBROKEN, MELANCHOLIC, DEJECTED
Adjectives in Cambridge Speaking exams
In the following activity, try and speculate about how these people might be feeling. Extend your answer by explaining why you think so.
Use the words and phrases given to make guesses about how the person/people might be feeling, or what their attitude is.
Click on the words/phrase you’ve used to speculate about the photograph and find a model answer.
I expect that the child in the photo is thrilled because of a surprise or an unexpected event, as his facial expression and body language suggest an overwhelming sense of joy, excitement and surprise.
Perhaps the two children in the photo are feeling contented and in a good mood because they are sitting on the shore, enjoying the sound of the waves and the warmth of the sun, or maybe they are having a conversation or playing a game.
I’d hazard a guess that the woman in the photo is feeling both relaxing and snug as she practices yoga on the seashore, perhaps enjoying the calming sound of the waves and the gentle sea breeze.
The young woman in the photo is likely feeling overjoyed and ecstatic, probably due to a recent accomplishment or a positive event, as she raises her arms in celebration and her expression suggests a feeling of intense happiness and elation.
I’m pretty sure that the young couple in the photo is feeling both contented and overjoyed, as the boy carries the girl on his back and their facial expressions convey a sense of happiness and closeness, and I’m fairly sure they are enjoying a fun and playful moment together.
I suppose that the young woman in the photo is feeling terrified and apprehensive, perhaps due to a phobia or fear of something in her surroundings, as her eyes convey a sense of fear and unease.
In all likelihood, the surgeon in the photo is being prudent and cautious as they perform a delicate surgery, taking every necessary precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of their patient.
I can’t say for certain, but the young woman seems to be organizing crucial and essential information on the transparent board with lots of post-its, which is necessary for her work.
I hope you have found the activities worthwhile!
A diverse vocabulary range when referring to feelings, attitudes and opinions is essential in the Speaking Part 2.
Learn the adjectives I’ve brought for you today and use them while looking through your family photo album. Using the new vocabulary in personal context is a second to none technique. It will help you memorize the new vocabulary forever!
Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!