IELTS Speaking Part 2 Interesting Old Person: Below is the sample monologue answer for Part 2 talking about an old man who is interesting. Meanwhile, the sample answers in Part 3 focus on discussing the issues of old people and the lessons that old people can teach to the younger generation.


Talking about an old man you know who you think is interesting in your IELTS Speaking exam is never complicated at all. Get ideas on this post and learn to express your ideas naturally. Don’t forget to use topic vocabulary words and collocations and aim for band 9.0!








Describe an interesting old person you know

You should say:

  • Who this person is
  • How you know this person
  • Where you met
  • And explain why you think this person is interesting



A N S W E R 

It has been my daily routine to interact with the elderly since I work in the Home for the Aged in our city as a nurse. And to be honest, communicating with these people who need utmost care is never a piece of cake since oftentimes they have a mood swing. It’s like at first they are zestful, hours later they become irritable, then become miles away when you’re talking to them.



Interact [verb] – to communicate

Home for the Aged [noun] – another term for nursing home; a place where retirees live in order to be taken care of by nurses or caregivers

Utmost [adj.] – maximum; most extreme

A piece of cake [idiom] – very easy

Mood swing [noun]  – sudden change of mood

Zestful [adj.] – with great enthusiasm and energy

Miles away [phrase] – to be unconscious of what is happening around you




i.) The speaker does not immediately talk about the old person who is interesting, instead, he gives the examiner his work background which he relates to the given topic. This is a very good way to showcase your language skills to the examiner. It simply means that you’re comfortable speaking English and that you can be creative in developing your story.

Anyway, one of my patients in there is Mr. Harry, he’s the complete opposite of other patients who are very unpredictable in terms of their mood. Mr. Harry is really full of spirits!  He’s the only foreign national in our nursing home so basically, he’s popular among the nursing staff. He’s a native from Vietnam and he’s a war veteran. I find him really peculiar because, despite the fact that he’s already 95 years old, he never ceases doing his hobby which is writing poems. I believe his imagination and creativity never get old! And to tell you the truth, I really like his personality because he’s amiable and he speaks with wisdom.




Unpredictable [adj.] – uncertain; unforeseeable

Nursing home [noun] – another term for Home For The Aged

War veteran [noun] – a person who serves in the army during a war

Peculiar [adj.] – unusual; unique

Cease [verb] – stop; halt

Amiable [adj.] – friendly




i.) In this paragraph, the speaker gives relevant descriptions of the old man that make him interesting. This is the best part where you can express your ideas about why this human being fascinating.


ii.) The speaker focuses on talking about the character, the job, and the hobby of the old man. These three factors are his bases to formulate reasons as to why the old man is interesting. In this way, he is well-guided when he develops his story.


Well, I started taking care of him last year, he’s actually one of my first few patients since I got hired. So I’ve known him for almost a year now. Every day, I visit him in his room and assist him when he takes some medicine. Since I’m his regular nurse, I’ve known some heart-wrenching and happy stories about his personal life, most especially his years serving in the government of Vietnam. He enjoys sharing those stories with me.




Assist  [verb] – help; guide

Heart-wrenching [adj.] –  extremely sad




i.) In this paragraph he talks about his relationship with this old man and how he knew about the old man’s life. This is a supplemental detail to support his bases of why this man is interesting.

As I’m a big fan of poetry and an aspiring poet, I’ve become really close to him. He actually shared some of his poems with me written in a small notebook with yellowish pages due to old age. Some were written as early as the 1950s, and that made me feel nostalgic the very first time I read them. But my favorite poem of his is the current poem he wrote, it’s about being happy and grateful to depart from this life. When I read that, I couldn’t help myself but shed a tear, I realized that one day he’ll be gone and I can no longer take care of him. As he confessed to me, he only wrote that poem in just 10 minutes. When I knew it, I dropped my jaw in awe. He’s brilliant and an undeniably interesting old man!




A big fan [expression] – an admirer

Nostalgic [adj.] – wistful; regretful

Depart from this life [idiom] – to die

Shed a tear [phrase] – to cry

Drop jaw with awe [expression] – to be surprised



i.) In this part, the speaker provides details about the old man’s interesting hobby which is writing poems. This is one of the bases of his story for saying that the old man is fascinating. This is needed to support his claim.


ii.) The speaker wraps his story up by mentioning how the old man wrote a poem and how this poem impacts emotionally his life as a nurse to this old man. A lovely way to end!






What can elderly people teach young people?


As the adage goes, ‘Wisdom comes with age’, the old people can teach innumerable life lessons to the younger generation and one of those is making life-changing decisions. More often than not, young people are vulnerable and inexperienced in making important decisions in life. It is common for them to decide based on their emotions or feelings rather than logic, which oftentimes results in regrets later in life. For instance, in choosing a lifetime partner, we always hear our grandparents or parents asking us if we are already sure about the person with whom we want to spend our lives with, that is simply because they do not want us to fail.

There are so many instances these days that couples end up divorcing because they realize that they do not get along well with each other. That kind of situation could have been avoided in the first place if they listened to the words of wisdom that old people uttered beforehand. Well, that is just one valuable lesson among many worthwhile lessons that we young people can learn from the old.




Adage [noun] – proverb; saying; maxim

Innumerable [adj.] – too many; numerous; countless

Vulnerable [adj.] – unguarded; susceptible to physical or emotional attack

More often than not [phrase] – usually

End up [phrase] – to reach or arrive at a place, situation, condition, that was not planned or expected

Get along well [phrase] – being friendly or compatible with someone

Utter [verb] – voice; express




i.) The speaker begins his answer with a proverb that is best suited to the question before giving the possible lessons that the old can teach to the young people. Mentioning some proverbs or sayings in your answer is a very good way to showcase your language skills to the examiner, but you have to make sure that the saying that you are going to use is appropriate. You should know the correctness of it and the way to use it.

ii.) The speaker acknowledges that there are many lessons young people can learn from the old but the speaker only focuses on one specific lesson and that’s making life-changing decisions, then he provides his explanation coupled with an example. That makes his argument strong and well-discussed.


iii.) The speaker ends his answer very properly by acknowledging again that there are still more important lessons young people can learn but he just wants to emphasize making life-changing decisions as the most important learning young people can learn. That’s being organized!



What about the young people? What can they teach the old people?


Well, that is hard, I guess the old people have already lived their lives in a more meaningful way, so basically they are wiser than the young generation in terms of life lessons. The only lesson that I can think of that the old might be interested in learning from the young people is, learning how to use modern technological devices such as computers or smartphones. As we know, they are having a hard time keeping up with the recent development in technology. They are way behind in this internet era. So when young people are patient enough to teach them about computers then the old people would surely be grateful.



Wiser [adj.] [comparative form of adj.] – being knowledgeable and well-experienced in life

In terms of [phrase] – with regard to

Keep (-ing) up with [phrase] – to learn about or be aware of something

Way behind [phrase] – being last




i.) The speaker begins his answer by giving an assumption that old people have lived a great life and that they’ve acquired so many lessons in life. Then he transitions by acknowledging that despite the fact that they are well-experienced in life, learning technology can be a great lesson they all can learn from this generation. This answer is very realistic and it does sound really natural.

ii.) The speaker then ends his answer by talking about the attitude of the young when they can teach something to the elderly and he also talks about the response of the old if they are being taught by the young. This way of ending is a form of reflection done by the speaker. Brilliant!



What are the problems that old people have in your country?


To tell you the truth, senior citizens in my country usually live on their own and I cannot deny the fact that they are not often visited by their children since their children have their own families and live far away from them. Due to that, some of them experience so much depression that is because they think that they no longer matter to their children. This is a heartbreaking social issue that I believe people in my country should be paying attention to.


Another common problem that they experience is the lack of government support in terms of healthcare. Our government only shoulders 20% of the hospital cost whenever they are hospitalized unlike in other developed nations in which hospitalization is completely free. Some old people decide not to be admitted to hospitals simply because they fear the hospital bill. I really hope that in the near future our government should allocate more funds to health so that my countrymen especially the old will be able to access a better health system.




Far-away [adj.] – living at a great distance

Due to (that) [phrase] – another way to say because of; caused by

Pay attention [phrase] – to consider

Shoulder [verb] – to accept responsibility

Allocate [verb] – assign; allot





i.) The speaker uses the expression ‘to tell you the truth’ as an alternative to ‘to be honest’. Use this expression when you want to give an emphasis on facts.


ii.) The speaker gives two different certain problems (one has something to do with family and the other is about the government’s unaddressed problem) then he explains further to make the examiner gets the whole point.



Do you think old people should continue learning?


In my opinion, acquiring knowledge should not stop once we get old, we have to keep investing ourselves in learning something as long as our physical and mental health allow us to do so.


So yes, the elderly should never make their age an excuse for not learning something new. This gift of life is given to us once and there is no such thing as living for the second time, while the elderly are still alive and capable of learning, they have to make the most of their remaining years in this world-embracing learning new things. If I have the chance to live longer, I will never miss any opportunities to learn more things even if I am old before I depart from this life.



Capable [adj.] – able; having the ability

Embrace [verb] – accept

Depart from this life [phrase] – die

Make the most of [phrase] – to enjoy or use something as much as possible




i.) Instead of answering ‘yes’ straightly, the speaker presents his opinion first. This is a very good way to present an argument as to why old people should continue learning.


ii.) The last sentence is using conditional tense, the speaker talks about his personal wish of learning more even when he gets old. This line is a supplement to his introductory answer which is his opinion.




And that’s all about IELTS Speaking Part 2 Interesting Old Person recent topic! I hope that you now have ideas on how to develop your story in Part 2 and on how to discuss questions in an organized way in Part 3.




Meaning of Words and Phrases Sources:  Macmillan, Cambridge, Oxford

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