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Cool & contemporary vocab: friends

Friends seems like a basic topic but it is a common one that comes up in all 3 sections of the IELTS speaking test. Previous IELTS questions have asked students to describe a friend they spend time with (part 2), explain what they do with their friends (part 1) and say how important friends and friendship is (part 3).

It is not a difficult topic because most of us are comfortable talking about our friends without any preparation, but it’s not always easy to find the right words to describe the different types of relationships we have with different people.

This blog post will teach you some great contemporary words and phrases to use in your IELTS speaking test to get a good band score and to amaze your examiner with by sounding natural and current!




meaning = best friends
example = we’ve been besties since we were little and we do everything together.

meaning = to form a friendship with someone
example = I’m quite a shy person so I don’t make friends easily.

meaning = a very good friend who you know very well
example = we’ve been close friends ever since we went to university together.

meaning = a group of people who are very good friends / act very friendly towards each other
example = I formed a very close-knit group with the people on my course.

meaning = a group or network of people that you consider to be your friends
example = I have quiet a small circle of friends, but we are all very close.

meaning = a so-called ‘friend’ who has a negative impact on your life
example = we shouldn’t spend time together anymore because our friendship has turned toxic.

meaning = to go in different directions / to lead separate lives
example = after we graduated we all went our separate ways and got jobs in different places.

meaning = when you don’t see or speak to someone for a long time
example = I lost touch with most of my school friends when I moved abroad.

meaning = to make contact with someone after a long time apart
example = when I started using facebook, I got back in touch with a lot of my old school friends.



meaning = to enjoy someone’s company
example = I get on really well with my flatmate because we have a lot in common.

meaning = to start a relationship or friendship badly
example = I got off on the wrong foot with my girlfriend by arriving late on our first date.

meaning = to get on well with someone the first time you meet
example = We hit it off the first day we met and I knew we’d become best friends.

meaning = to find out what has been happening in another person’s life
example = I only see my old uni mates twice a year so we always have a lot of catching up to do.

meaning = to spend time doing nothing in particular (usually with friends)
example = I love hanging out with my friends in the park at weekends.

meaning = when you don’t see someone for a long time but when you do it seems that no time has passed at all
example = I only see my best friend at Christmas but we always just pick up where we left off, as if we see each other every day.

meaning = to know someone really well
example = We’ve been best friends since we were five, so we know each other inside out.

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Renan - Mexico

Renan - Mexico

​First of all, I would like to thank iPass team for their help and orientation. The IELTS Express course was really convenient for me because it’s so flexible and complete. I couldn’t achieve scores that I needed before, but after the course, I achieved the 6.5 required to study a masters degree in the UK so I’m really happy and thankful about that.

I totally recommend the course, because with a good score in IELTS you’re going to have access to many professional opportunities.

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