Published on by

IELTS Cue Card Sample Question  – Describe Something that You Recently Lost

Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, also known as the ‘cue card’ section, is arguably one of the toughest parts of the IELTS test.

It is because you are required to talk for a longer period with so little time to prepare. 

We are here to help you, so in this article, we are giving you sample responses for the cue card topic “Describe something that you recently lost.” Please read further to learn more. 

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

In the IELTS Cue Card Section, you are handed a subject card with a theme and a few points to cover. This is referred to as a ‘cue card’.

Along with it, you are also given a piece of paper and a pen for you to use while preparing for your speech. 

You are given 1 minute to plan and about 1-2 minutes to discuss the topic given to you. The topic is usually something dear to you.

You might be asked to recall an instance or explain why you like or dislike something. 

This portion lasts about 3-4 minutes, and after your speech, the examiner might ask you either 1 or 2 follow-up questions based on the content of your speech. 

How to Answer this Specific Cue Card Question: “Describe Something that You Recently Lost”? 

Topic / Question

Describe Something that You Recently Lost

Guidelines to answer this question

You should say:

  • What it is
  • When you lost it
  • How long you had had it

And explain how and what you felt when you lost it. 

  • Think of something that you have lost recently. If you haven’t lost something recently, it could be anything you lost a long time ago. Since this requires you to recall details and information, you have to make sure that you have enough recollection of it. 
  • Once you have decided on a subject, start writing down notes. Think quickly as you only have 1 minute to plan. 
  • Start taking notes and state what this item is. Describe it and explain what it is for. Remember to include when you think you lost it and explain how you felt when you found out it’s lost. Keep in mind that writing sentences take a lot of time, so you need to write only keywords and phrases. 
  • Employ a wide range of vocabulary. Apply complex grammar structures. These will impress the examiner and help you land a high score in this test part. 
  • Take notes quickly but ensure that you will understand your handwriting later on. The examiner will mark you on the content and delivery of your speech and not on what and how you have written on the notes. 
  • Remember to take a look at your notes once in a while. This helps ensure that you cover everything you want to discuss in your speech. 

Sample Responses: “Describe Something that You Recently Lost”

Sample Response 1: 

“To be honest, I am normally a cautious person when it comes to taking care of my personal belongings. But, despite our best attempts, practically everyone loses things, just as I did a few months ago when I misplaced my flash drive. Nowadays, everyone uses a flash drive, which is a compact peripheral computer storage device used to save or store vital things such as documents, images, movies, or songs.

Needless to say, I also had a lot of essential files from a long time ago, including some old movies, songs, documents, and rare images of my family, friends, and relatives. To be honest, those files include photos and documents from my high school days, which were as old as six years. So, I’m sure you can appreciate how valuable and important that flash drive was to me. But, unfortunately, I misplaced it one rainy day when I was probably trying to get the ticket out from one of my coat pockets. Yes, I carry that flash drive to work once in a while so I could listen to some of my favorite songs from the old days there. 

However, I didn’t realize I’d misplaced my favorite flash drive until I arrived home. I also realized that I might have lost it on the bus on my way home because I clearly remember keeping it in my pocket before leaving my office. Anyway, after losing that small and beloved flash drive of mine, I felt as if I had lost a piece of myself because it held many important and priceless memories from my past. I also felt that I should have been more cautious about safeguarding the flash drive, especially since it is a rainy day and buses in the city where I reside were overcrowded.”

Follow-up Question 1:

Do you think people who lost valuable items are careless?


“No, not at all. Like I said, I am usually careful with my things but still, lose valuable items. I think losing something cannot be avoided. At some point, we are bound to lose something and it’s not necessarily our fault. I mean, who wants to lose something important to them, right?”

Follow-up Question 2:

Do you think you would still be able to find that flash drive?


“Well, I think my chances are slim. It has been months and besides, it’s a small item and it might have been thrown away by the bus company already, not to mention it was raining that day so even if I found it, it won’t work anymore. But who knows? I’ve heard lots of tales about lost items that somehow got returned to the owner. Maybe I’d be one of those.” 

Sample Response 2: 

“There are various items that we tend to lose for a lot of reasons. I’ve also misplaced a few items over the course of my life due to ignorance or carelessness. One such instance occurred when I lost my wristwatch. I recall the incident because that watch had a significant meaning in my life.

This occurred a couple of months ago. I was traveling to another city to attend a friend’s wedding. After checking into my hotel and getting ready, I quickly left for the reception, which was taking place in a well-known restaurant nearby. I was totally immersed in the moment with my friends and other guests that I accidentally bumped into someone who’s holding a glass of wine. I got some wine on my dress and had to go to the washroom to somehow fix it. I must have removed my watch and left it somewhere when I needed to wash my hands. I desperately attempted to find it after that, but I couldn’t find it. As a result, I notified the personnel, who agreed to check for it. When I returned to the restaurant the next morning, they informed me that they had been unable to locate it.

I felt depressed and hated myself for being careless. That watch was incredibly significant to me because it was not only a gift from my grandfather, but it was also his only possession that I had. I begged the staff to try again and returned with a sorrowful heart. Following this experience, I swore to be more vigilant of my stuff at all times in order for similar incidents not to happen in the future.”

Follow-up Question 1: 

Aside from that watch, what is something that you own right now that you can’t afford to lose?


“It would have to be my laptop. While it doesn’t have a sentimental value to me just like that watch, my laptop is probably the most important thing for me right now. It is because as a student who has a lot of research and homework, I have thousands of files on my laptop. I just couldn’t afford to lose it, and I hope I never would.”

Follow-up Question 2: 

How do you feel about those people who accept rewards after returning something they found? 


“I think there is nothing wrong with that. The rewards are from people who lost something valuable, and if they feel like awarding the person who found it and gave it back to them, it’s totally fine. Besides, they didn’t ask for it and I think it’s just a simple gesture of gratitude from the owner of what they found.” 

Vocabulary List for Answering this Question: “Describe Something that You Recently Lost”

Below are some terms from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe something that you recently lost.’ with their meanings and sample sentences for your reference. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
attemptverbTo make an effort to attain or finish something, naturally a tough task or action“Don’t try to attempt more than you’re capable of.”
cautiousadjectiveMindful to avoid any difficulties or dangers“His experiences have taught him to be cautious.”
compactadjectiveHaving all of the required components or features neatly arranged in a limited space“It is substantially more compact than any comparable laptop while maintaining full capability.”
depressedadjectiveIn a general condition of unhappiness or melancholy“He was depressed at the prospect of taking the exam again.”
desperatelyadverbIn a style that conveys despondency“She was desperately trying to gain her father’s approval.”
ignorancenounAbsence of knowledge or information“No one is excused for ignorance of the law.”
immersedverbInvolve oneself completely in a specific activity or interest“She was completely immersed in her work.”
incrediblyadverbTo a large extent; exceedingly or unusually‘His written reports are incredibly shoddy.”
overcrowdedadjectiveFilled to the point where it is no longer comfortable, safe, or pleasant“The passengers were crammed onto an already overcrowded transport.”
pricelessadjectiveSo valuable that its worth cannot be determined“The capacity to motivate others is a priceless asset.”
safeguardverbTo use an adequate step to protect oneself from harm or damage“The pamphlet discusses how to safeguard yourself from hazards in the house.”
sentimentaladjectiveArousing feelings of sadness, tenderness, or nostalgia“She is trying not to be sentimental about her past.”
sorrowfuladjectiveFeeling or displaying grief“The sorrowful widow pleaded for pity.”
talenounA fictional or true story or narrative, especially one told imaginatively“She’d manufactured some improbable tale about the train being canceled.”
vigilantadjectiveKeeping a close eye out for potential dangers or obstacles“The group is vigilant for dangers to bird habitats.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


A group of language enthusiasts with a shared commitment to helping you succeed in your English language journey. With years of experience, relevant certifications, and a deep love for languages, we're here to provide you with the support and resources you need to excel in exams like IELTS, TOEFL, OET, Duolingo and many others. We take pride in helping individuals like you achieve their language goals.