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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question  – Describe a Time When You Had an Argument with Someone

Do you intend to take the IELTS exam soon? This post is for you if you are. We will show you how to master Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Section, often known as the Cue Card Section

You may have heard that this is one of the most difficult sections of the IELTS test. You must speak for a longer period about a subject that you may not have enough knowledge of.

Also, the amount of time you have to prepare is limited. But do not fret! We have included some sample replies for the cue card topic ‘Describe a time when you had an argument with someone.’ Please continue reading.

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

In Task 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, the examiner will hand you a card with a topic written on it and some prompts to help you answer the question.

A cue card is another name for this card. If you want to take notes, you can do so with the pencil and sheet of paper provided by the examiner. You have one minute to outline your speech.

After that, you must speak for one to two minutes about the topic that has been assigned to you.

If you continue to speak for more than two minutes, the examiner will interrupt you.

After you have completed your talk, the examiner may ask you a couple of follow-up questions to which you should respond quickly and simply.

How to Answer this Specific Cue Card Question: “Describe a Time When You Had an Argument with Someone”

Topic/ Question

Describe a Time When You Had an Argument with Someone

Guidelines to Answer this Question

You should say:

  • Who the person was
  • When it occurred
  • What the two of you were arguing

And explain how you felt that time.  

  • Recall a time when you had an argument with someone. It could be with anyone; a family member, a friend, a colleague, anyone. Nevertheless, you need to have a good recollection of the things that transpired so you will have a lot to share later on. 
  • Once you have decided on the incident you want to share, stick to it. Take note that the time given is limited, and you should not be wasting your time. 
  • Start taking notes and ideas. State who the person you had the argument and when and where it happened. Do not forget to include what the argument was about. Lastly, explain what you felt at that time. 
  • Manage your time well. You can do this by only writing words and phrases instead of sentences. 
  • Remember to use a diverse vocabulary as well as complicated grammar structures. In this test section, these two factors account for half of your grade.
  • Write as quickly as you can, but make sure you can understand what you have written later on. It is acceptable if the examiner cannot read your handwriting. The content and delivery of your speech are used to evaluate you.
  • Make it a habit to go through your notes every now and again. It is all right. You will not be penalized for it. It is why you are given a pen and a piece of paper in the first place.

Sample Responses:  “Describe a Time When You Had an Argument with Someone”

Sample Response 1:

“Today, I’ll be discussing an argument I had with one of my closest friends. Her name is Cindy. It happened just recently while we were at our favorite restaurant. We were planning a long trip to Thailand a few days later, but we didn’t know how many others would accompany us. I suggested that we go on the trip with just two or three individuals because it would be difficult to organize the trip to fulfill everyone’s needs. Cindy, on the other hand, insisted that we go as a group since it would be more fun and safer. I acknowledged that his point of view was sensible, but I refused to compromise because I didn’t want to risk having to organize everything for so many people in such an unknown location, and I assumed that she didn’t care.

After countless disagreements and even quarrels, I eventually discovered that I couldn’t communicate myself adequately and got increasingly dissatisfied and ineffective at expressing my sentiments. As a result, I left her that day with no outcomes. I wrote her a text message the next day after I had calmed down, to tell her what was bothering me, wanting to communicate without being angry or overly emotional. Finally, she said that she understood my thought process and agreed with my proposal.”

Follow-up Question 1: 

When is it appropriate to be angry at someone?


“Anger is justified in many situations, such as when we are the target of unjust behavior or when someone is late for a meeting for no apparent reason. It is up to each individual to determine what they consider to be acceptable norms of behavior, and any divergence from them could elicit wrath. However, just because anger is justifiable should not be used as an excuse to act on it and cause others distress.”

Follow-up Question 2:

Are you usually the first person to make amends after an argument? 


“It depends. If I think I’m on the right, then I wait for the other person to come and talk to me. However, if I know that I am wrong, I am humble enough to approach the other person and apologize.” 

Sample Response 2: 

“I’d like to talk about a time when I had an argument and a misunderstanding with a friend. It happened a couple of years ago. It was a school holiday, and two of my college pals came to see me. After a few chats, one of them started to go through my library, which I have been building since I was a child. I love reading books from an early age and have a huge collection of different types of books. He chose one of the novels that I had just begun reading that day in the morning.

It was Mark, one of my closest college friends. He started the argument when he wanted to read the novel at home. I tried to persuade him that I had begun reading the novel before they arrived at my house and that I had already read a significant chunk of it. However, Mark was dead set on getting the book. As a result, the argument continued. Samuel, our other companion, sat silently, watching us exchange words. For approximately 15 minutes, we argued, and I attempted to persuade him to choose some other books, but he was adamant. He did not change his mind and stated that he had started reading the novel and was unable to finish it for some reasons. He does not want to miss the opportunity to finish the book now.

Finally, I compromised and gave in to his obstinacy and allowed him to borrow the book on the condition that he give it back right after he finished reading it. I also told him that he should not lend it to anybody else. He had lost most of his books due to his exceptional generosity, as he had done previously with my books.”

Follow-up Question 1:

Are you one of those people who find it hard to say ‘no’?


“As a matter of fact, I do. For some reason, it’s really something I’m having difficulty with. I think it’s just this innate trait in me that I do not want to disappoint the people around me. But it’s not that bad after all; it’s also being helpful, and who does not want to help others, right?” 

Follow-up Question 2: 

Do you believe that arguments are part of friendships and any other relationships? 


“In my perspective, that is true. True friendships are tested by the maturity we possess when we have an argument with someone. Arguing is not a bad thing. It just goes to show that you have different views about something, which is good in a way because we get to learn where they are coming from. Physical alterations while arguing, on the other hand, is another story.”

Vocabulary List for Answering the Question: “Describe a Time When You Had an Argument with Someone”

Below are some words from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe a time when you had an argument with someone.’ with their definitions and example sentences to guide you. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
acknowledgenounTo recognize or acknowledge the existence of or the veracity of“She refused to acknowledge that reform is required.”
adamantadjectiveRefusing to change one’s views or be convinced“The president was adamant that she will not step down.”
adequatelyadverbAt an acceptable or satisfactory degree“She had not adequately prepared for the work at hand.”
argumentnounA passionate or angry discussion between people who hold opposing or divergent viewpoints“We came to an agreement without much argument.”
compromiseverbTo solve a disagreement by common concession“They considered whether or not to compromise with the opposition parties.”
distressnounAnxiety, sadness, or anguish to an extreme extent“When her infant became ill, the mother was in distress.”
divergencenounA contrast or conflict in viewpoints, goals, or desires“The divergence in incomes between affluent and poor countries appears to be widening.”
exceptionaladjectiveUnique; out of the ordinary“The audio recording is of exceptional quality.”
insistverbTo insist on something vehemently, refusing to accept denial“Life is actually quite simple, yet we insist on complicating it.”
justifiableadjectiveAble to be demonstrated to be correct or reasonable“On the basis of safety, the rule is justifiable.”
obstinacynounA trait or state of being stubborn“Her obstinacy annoyed me.”
persuadeverbTo make someone do something by logic or argument“How did you persuade him to change his mind?”
sensibleadjectiveThe quality of exhibiting or displaying prudence“This time, I’d like us to be a little more sensible and firmer.”
sentimentnounA point of view or attitude toward a situation or occurrence“The picture has a problem in terms of sentiment, which is a little shady.”
wrathnounSevere enragement “To avoid the king’s wrath, he departed the kingdom.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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