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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of shopping habits and age from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Shopping Habits & Age

Shopping habits depend more on your age group than anything else.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many would argue that an individual’s shopping habits depend more on age demographics than other factors. In my opinion, age is relevant in terms of a person’s tastes, however social class is a greater determiner.

Those who would argue in favor of age point out how a person’s preferences are largely fixed. The past several decades have witnessed seismic changes in culture, particularly related to technology. A person who grew up before the digital age is more inclined to spend money on books, holidays, furniture, and other non-digital items. The style of these items is also likely to be more traditional and less modern. However, someone under the age of 40, is more likely to spend on a new phone, electronic vehicle such as a Tesla, or clothing and furniture that is more modern and minimalist. These disparities widen when considering the youngest generations who are even more inclined to value the virtual world through purchases such as NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

However, for the majority of major purchases, wealth determines what a person can afford and therefore buy. This is evident for a variety of products ranging from food and wellness items to technology and fashion. For instance, most individuals would love to buy the newest smartphone when it is released, drive in a luxury car and shop for expensive and healthy organic products at the supermarket. However, one’s financial status will either allow a person to express these desires or force them to live frugally. The best evidence for this is the lack of discretion children show when it comes to shopping. They are uninhibited by financial concerns and therefore attempt to buy whatever they like.

In conclusion, despite the clear differences in taste present in individuals or different generations, financial flexibility is the clearest factor influencing a person’s shopping habits. This has been true for most of history and still remains the case today.

Analysis

1. Many would argue that an individual’s shopping habits depend more on age demographics than other factors. 2. In my opinion, age is relevant in terms of a person’s tastes, however social class is a greater determiner.

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

1. Those who would argue in favor of age point out how a person’s preferences are largely fixed. 2. The past several decades have witnessed seismic changes in culture, particularly related to technology. 3. A person who grew up before the digital age is more inclined to spend money on books, holidays, furniture, and other non-digital items. 4. The style of these items is also likely to be more traditional and less modern. 5. However, someone under the age of 40, is more likely to spend on a new phone, electronic vehicle such as a Tesla, or clothing and furniture that is more modern and minimalist. 6. These disparities widen when considering the youngest generations who are even more inclined to value the virtual world through purchases such as NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

  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.

1. However, for the majority of major purchases, wealth determines what a person can afford and therefore buy. 2. This is evident for a variety of products ranging from food and wellness items to technology and fashion. 3. For instance, most individuals would love to buy the newest smartphone when it is released, drive in a luxury car and shop for expensive and healthy organic products at the supermarket. 4. However, one’s financial status will either allow a person to express these desires or force them to live frugally. 5. The best evidence for this is the lack of discretion children show when it comes to shopping. 6. They are uninhibited by financial concerns and therefore attempt to buy whatever they like.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, despite the clear differences in taste present in individuals or different generations, financial flexibility is the clearest factor influencing a person’s shopping habits. 2. This has been true for most of history and still remains the case today.

  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.

Many would argue that an individual’s shopping habits depend more on age demographics than other factors. In my opinion, age is relevant in terms of a person’s tastes, however social class is a greater determiner.

Those who would argue in favor of age point out how a person’s preferences are largely fixed. The past several decades have witnessed seismic changes in culture, particularly related to technology. A person who grew up before the digital age is more inclined to spend money on books, holidays, furniture, and other non-digital items. The style of these items is also likely to be more traditional and less modern. However, someone under the age of 40, is more likely to spend on a new phone, electronic vehicle such as a Tesla, or clothing and furniture that is more modern and minimalist. These disparities widen when considering the youngest generations who are even more inclined to value the virtual world through purchases such as NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

However, for the majority of major purchases, wealth determines what a person can afford and therefore buy. This is evident for a variety of products ranging from food and wellness items to technology and fashion. For instance, most individuals would love to buy the newest smartphone when it is released, drive in a luxury car and shop for expensive and healthy organic products at the supermarket. However, one’s financial status will either allow a person to express these desires or force them to live frugally. The best evidence for this is the lack of discretion children show when it comes to shopping. They are uninhibited by financial concerns and therefore attempt to buy whatever they like.

In conclusion, despite the clear differences in taste present in individuals or different generations, financial flexibility is the clearest factor influencing a person’s shopping habits. This has been true for most of history and still remains the case today.

Answers

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

shopping habits what people usually buy

depend more on has more to do with

age demographics age groups, generations

factors elements

relevant important here

in terms of concerning

tastes what people like and dislike

social class how wealthy you are

greater determiner has more importance for

argue in favor of make the point to support

point out argue

preferences likes

largely fixed mostly don’t change

witnessed seismic changes undergone big alterations

particularly related to technology especially concerning science and tech

digital age computer age

inclined like to

non-digital not related to electronics

style your taste and preferences

traditional older style

modern more recent style

electronic vehicle cars like a Tesla that don’t run on gasoline

minimalist simple and refined

disparities widen differences get bigger

considering taking into account

youngest generations younger people

even more inclined moreso want to

value importance

virtual world online life

NFTs a form of online product (non-fungible tokens)

cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.

majority most of

major purchases main things being bought

afford be able to buy

evident clear

variety lots of different kinds

ranging from … to including

wellness items products for your health

released published

luxury car nice automobiles

healthy organic products natural items

financial status how much money you have

express show yourself

desires what you want

frugally inexpensively

lack of discretion not inhibitions, concerns, holding back

uninhibited feeling free, not self-conscious

financial concerns money worries

attempt try to

despite nonetheless

clear differences basic divergences

present in living in

financial flexibility ability to buy things

clearest factor influencing main elements impacting

true for most of history the case in the past

remains the case today is still true now

Pronunciation

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

ˈʃɒpɪŋ ˈhæbɪts 
dɪˈpɛnd mɔːr ɒn 
eɪʤ ˌdɛməˈgræfɪks 
ˈfæktəz
ˈrɛlɪvənt 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv 
teɪsts
ˈsəʊʃəl klɑːs 
ˈgreɪtə dɪˈtɜːmɪnə
ˈɑːgjuː ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈprɛfərənsɪz 
ˈlɑːʤli fɪkst
ˈwɪtnɪst ˈsaɪzmɪk ˈʧeɪnʤɪz 
pəˈtɪkjʊləli rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː tɛkˈnɒləʤi
ˈdɪʤɪtl eɪʤ 
ɪnˈklaɪnd 
nɒn-ˈdɪʤɪtl 
staɪl 
trəˈdɪʃənl 
ˈmɒdən
ɪlɛkˈtrɒnɪk ˈviːɪkl 
ˈmɪnɪmlɪst
dɪsˈpærɪtiz ˈwaɪdn 
kənˈsɪdərɪŋ 
ˈjʌŋɪst ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃənz 
ˈiːvən mɔːr ɪnˈklaɪnd 
ˈvæljuː 
ˈvɜːtjʊəl wɜːld 
ɛn-ɛf-tiːz 
kriptəʊ  ˈkʌrənsiz
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈmeɪʤə ˈpɜːʧəsɪz
əˈfɔːd 
ˈɛvɪdənt 
vəˈraɪəti 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm … tuː 
ˈwɛlnəs ˈaɪtəmz 
rɪˈliːst
ˈlʌkʃəri kɑː 
ˈhɛlθi ɔːˈgænɪk ˈprɒdʌkts 
faɪˈnænʃəl ˈsteɪtəs 
ɪksˈprɛs 
dɪˈzaɪəz 
ˈfruːgəli
læk ɒv dɪsˈkrɛʃən 
ˌʌnɪnˈhɪbɪtɪd 
faɪˈnænʃəl kənˈsɜːnz 
əˈtɛmpt 
dɪsˈpaɪt 
klɪə ˈdɪfrənsɪz 
ˈprɛznt ɪn 
faɪˈnænʃəl ˌflɛksɪˈbɪlɪti 
ˈklɪərɪst ˈfæktər ˈɪnflʊənsɪŋ 
truː fɔː məʊst ɒv ˈhɪstəri 
rɪˈmeɪnz ðə keɪs təˈdeɪ

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:

Many would argue that an individual’s s___________________________________________________s than other f_____________s. In my opinion, age is r_______________________f a person’s t_______s, however s__________________s is a g____________________r.

Those who would a_______________f age p_____________t how a person’s p_____________s are l____________d. The past several decades have w_________________________s in culture, p__________________________y. A person who grew up before the d____________e is more i_____________d to spend money on books, holidays, furniture, and other n______________l items. The s________e of these items is also likely to be more t________________l and less m_________n. However, someone under the age of 40, is more likely to spend on a new phone, e_____________e such as a Tesla, or clothing and furniture that is more modern and m_________t. These d_____________________n when c__________________g the y______________________s who are e___________________d to v_______e the v________________d through purchases such as N_____s and c_____________________s.

However, for the m___________y of m_______________s, wealth determines what a person can a________d and therefore buy. This is e__________t for a v_________y of products r_______________m food and w______________s __o technology and fashion. For instance, most individuals would love to buy the newest smartphone when it is r_________d, drive in a l_________r and shop for expensive and h________________________s at the supermarket. However, one’s f_____________s will either allow a person to e_______s these d_________s or force them to live f__________y. The best evidence for this is the l_______________n children show when it comes to shopping. They are u_____________d by f___________________s and therefore a___________t to buy whatever they like.

In conclusion, d_________e the c________________s in taste p______________n individuals or different generations, f________________y is the c_______________________g a person’s shopping habits. This has been t______________________y and still r____________________y.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

Speaking Practice

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

Buying

  1. Which item do you buy the most?
  2. Do you care about the price when buying an item?
  3. What was the last thing you bought?
  4. Are good products always expensive?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Online shopping is becoming more common these days.

What effect could this have on the environment and the types of jobs required?


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