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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of moving away from friends and family from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Moving Away from Friends and Family

More and more people today are moving away from where their friends and family live.

Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?

Some feel the growing tendency for individuals to move away from where their friends and family live is a decidedly negative phenomenon. In my opinion, the perceived downsides related to social disintegration are overstated and do not supersede the benefits for individuals.

On the one hand, living apart from friends and family weakens social bonds. An individual living together with their family or a close group of friends will naturally spend time with them talking, preparing meals, doing housework, and generally being together. Strong bonds develop and the inverse is true as time apart typically leads to more tenuous emotional connections. For instance, a person who moves to a new country after university is likely to make new friends and may stay in touch with former connections as a formality. Over time, this person might feel lonely and struggle to maintain long-term relationships.

On the other hand, moving is often a catalyst for individual growth. Someone who moves to a new country for work or study is likely to encounter people from different backgrounds with a greater number of viewpoints and experiences than their former friends and family. Interacting with new people can lead to a broader range of interests and a keener understanding of other cultures. Moreover, many individuals leave their hometowns in order to escape toxic situations. Families can be controlling and limiting, either intentionally or unintentionally, and moving to a new location allows a person to choose their friends, break old patterns of behavior, and achieve better mental health.

In conclusion, despite the threat of weakened familial and friendship bonds, there are significant benefits for the individual that make this trend positive. A balance is needed but this change is not inherently objectionable.

Analysis

1. Some feel the growing tendency for individuals to move away from where their friends and family live is a decidedly negative phenomenon. 2. In my opinion, the perceived downsides related to social disintegration are overstated and do not supersede the benefits for individuals.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. On the one hand, living apart from friends and family weakens social bonds. 2. An individual living together with their family or a close group of friends will naturally spend time with them talking, preparing meals, doing housework, and generally being together. 3. Strong bonds develop and the inverse is true as time apart typically leads to more tenuous emotional connections. 4. For instance, a person who moves to a new country after university is likely to make new friends and may stay in touch with former connections as a formality. 5. Over time, this person might feel lonely and struggle to maintain long-term relationships.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Use short and long sentences.

1. On the other hand, moving is often a catalyst for individual growth. 2. Someone who moves to a new country for work or study is likely to encounter people from different backgrounds with a greater number of viewpoints and experiences than their former friends and family. 3. Interacting with new people can lead to a broader range of interests and a keener understanding of other cultures. 4. Moreover, many individuals leave their hometowns in order to escape toxic situations. 5. Families can be controlling and limiting, either intentionally or unintentionally, and moving to a new location allows a person to choose their friends, break old patterns of behavior, and achieve better mental health.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.

1. In conclusion, despite the threat of weakened familial and friendship bonds, there are significant benefits for the individual that make this trend positive. 2. A balance is needed but this change is not inherently objectionable.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some feel the growing tendency for individuals to move away from where their friends and family live is a decidedly negative phenomenon. In my opinion, the perceived downsides related to social disintegration are overstated and do not supersede the benefits for individuals.

On the one hand, living apart from friends and family weakens social bonds. An individual living together with their family or a close group of friends will naturally spend time with them talking, preparing meals, doing housework, and generally being together. Strong bonds develop and the inverse is true as time apart typically leads to more tenuous emotional connections. For instance, a person who moves to a new country after university is likely to make new friends and may stay in touch with former connections as a formality. Over time, this person might feel lonely and struggle to maintain long-term relationships.

On the other hand, moving is often a catalyst for individual growth. Someone who moves to a new country for work or study is likely to encounter people from different backgrounds with a greater number of viewpoints and experiences than their former friends and family. Interacting with new people can lead to a broader range of interests and a keener understanding of other cultures. Moreover, many individuals leave their hometowns in order to escape toxic situations. Families can be controlling and limiting, either intentionally or unintentionally, and moving to a new location allows a person to choose their friends, break old patterns of behavior, and achieve better mental health.

In conclusion, despite the threat of weakened familial and friendship bonds, there are significant benefits for the individual that make this trend positive. A balance is needed but this change is not inherently objectionable.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

growing tendency for more and more likely to

move away from leave home, go to a new place

decidedly negative phenomenon definitely bad

perceived downsides bad parts people claim

related to concerning

social disintegration bonds between people weakening

overstated made too strong

supersede stronger than

living apart from not living together with

weakens social bonds not as close to friends and family

close group tight-knit

naturally of course

preparing meals making food

generally being together overall spending time in each other’s company

inverse opposite

time apart not staying together

typically leads to usually causes

tenuous emotional connections weak links

stay in touch talk to

former connections people they knew before

formality only for appearances

over time for a period of time

struggle have trouble with

maintain long-term relationships keep up friendships

a catalyst for results in

individual growth people getting better

encounter be in contact with

different backgrounds from other social classes, groups, etc.

greater number of viewpoints and experiences more opinions and life experiences

interacting with talking to

broader range more variety

interests what you like to do

keener understanding better knowledge about

hometowns where you are from

escape toxic situations get out of bad relationships

controlling always in charge

limiting not allowing to grow

intentionally on purpose

unintentionally not on purpose

location place

break old patterns of behavior not keep repeating past mistakes

achieve better mental health be healthier emotionally

despite regardless of

threat of weakened familial possibility of worse connections

friendship bonds friends together

significant benefits real advantages

balance keep equal

not inherently objectionable not intrinsically bad

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈtɛndənsi fɔː 
muːv əˈweɪ frɒm 
dɪˈsaɪdɪdli ˈnɛgətɪv fɪˈnɒmɪnən
pəˈsiːvd ˈdaʊnˌsaɪdz 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
ˈsəʊʃəl dɪsˌɪntɪˈgreɪʃən 
ˌəʊvəˈsteɪtɪd 
ˌsjuːpəˈsiːd 
ˈlɪvɪŋ əˈpɑːt frɒm 
ˈwiːkənz ˈsəʊʃəl bɒndz
kləʊs gruːp 
ˈnæʧrəli 
prɪˈpeərɪŋ miːlz
ˈʤɛnərəli ˈbiːɪŋ təˈgɛðə
ɪnˈvɜːs 
taɪm əˈpɑːt 
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)li liːdz tuː 
ˈtɛnjʊəs ɪˈməʊʃənl kəˈnɛkʃənz
steɪ ɪn tʌʧ 
ˈfɔːmə kəˈnɛkʃənz 
fɔːˈmælɪti
ˈəʊvə taɪm
ˈstrʌgl 
meɪnˈteɪn ˈlɒŋtɜːm rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪps
ə ˈkætəlɪst fɔː 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl grəʊθ
ɪnˈkaʊntə 
ˈdɪfrənt ˈbækgraʊndz 
ˈgreɪtə ˈnʌmbər ɒv ˈvjuːpɔɪnts ænd ɪksˈpɪərɪənsɪz 
ˌɪntərˈæktɪŋ wɪð 
ˈbrɔːdə reɪnʤ 
ˈɪntrɪsts 
ˈkiːnər ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 
ˈhəʊmˈtaʊnz 
ɪsˈkeɪp ˈtɒksɪk ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃənz
kənˈtrəʊlɪŋ 
ˈlɪmɪtɪŋ 
ɪnˈtɛnʃənli 
ˌʌnɪnˈtɛnʃənli
ləʊˈkeɪʃən 
breɪk əʊld ˈpætənz ɒv bɪˈheɪvjə 
əˈʧiːv ˈbɛtə ˈmɛntl hɛlθ
dɪsˈpaɪt 
θrɛt ɒv ˈwiːkənd fəmɪli:əl 
ˈfrɛndʃɪp bɒndz
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˈbæləns 
nɒt ɪnˈhɪərəntli əbˈʤɛkʃnəbl

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some feel the g_______________________r individuals to m__________________m where their friends and family live is a d_________________________________n. In my opinion, the p_____________________s r______________o s_____________________n are o____________d and do not s___________e the benefits for individuals.

On the one hand, l_________________m friends and family w___________________s. An individual living together with their family or a c___________p of friends will n_________y spend time with them talking, p_______________s, doing housework, and g_________________________r. Strong bonds develop and the i________e is true as t____________t t_______________o more t____________________________s. For instance, a person who moves to a new country after university is likely to make new friends and may s_______________h with f__________________s as a f_____________y. O___________e, this person might feel lonely and s___________e to m__________________________s.

On the other hand, moving is often a______________r i________________h. Someone who moves to a new country for work or study is likely to e__________r people from d_________________s with a g__________________________f v_______________________________s than their former friends and family. I_______________h new people can lead to a b_________________e of i___________s and a k________________g of other cultures. Moreover, many individuals leave their h______________s in order to e________________________s. Families can be c___________g and l__________g, either i_____________y or u_________________y, and moving to a new l__________n allows a person to choose their friends, br_______________________________r, and a_____________________________h.

In conclusion, d_________e the t_______________________________l and f______________s, there are s_______________________s for the individual that make this trend positive. A b___________e is needed but this change is n_________________________________e.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/24/upshot/24up-family.html

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Family

  1. Are you close with your family?
  2. Who do you talk to in your family the most?
  3. Do you have a large family?
  4. Are families becoming more distant in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Today family members eat fewer meals together.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or negative trend?


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