IELTS Speaking Part 2&3 #53 Describe an antique or other old thing that your family has kept for a long time

Describe an antique or other old thing that your family has kept for a long time. You should say:
What it is
How or when your family got this thing How long your family has kept it
And explain why this thing is important to your family

Sample Answer:

Some of the books which once owned and used by my grandfather are still kept with care in our house. My grandfather was a doctor and he kept his medical books and reference books with him. When he died, I was a 5 years old kid and can hardly remember things about him. But I heard that he was a great person and a first-class doctor. Everyone in our locality revered him and respected him very much. After his death, my father took one of his used tables, an armchair, and a big portrait of my grand-grandfather and some of my grandfather’s books as the remembrance of his memory. Among those things my grandfather’s medical books survived and are still reserved in our bookshelf.

These books would be more than 70-80 years old and we have those books on our shelf for the last 20 years. The caretakers sometimes bring out those books and clean those and finally put them on the shelf again. These books are mainly the academic books of my grandfather’s medical college and some of the reference books for his practice as a doctor. I once opened some of the books when I was a school boy and found almost everything very obscure. Basically, they are medical related terms and that’s why seemed jargon to me.

My family has kept these books as the souvenir of my grandfather’s memory. My father was very beloved by my grandfather and I am sure he esteemed my grandfather very much. These books are the only tangible belongings my father has which were used by my grandfather and conveys my grandfather’s reminiscences. Though these books do not have their material values but they are priceless to our family and remind us the precious memory of our grandfather.

Follow-up questions:

  1. Why do some people still keep old things?
    I believe that people collect things from the past either for their usefulness or their aesthetic beauty. Some collectibles have great investment value. They preserve their value over the years and can be easily sold in the event cash is needed. The reason can also be personal interest. Some collect old objects just for enjoyment or fun. Many find it an easy way to broaden their social lives, meeting like-minded individuals and exchanging information about their possessions.
  2. What’s the value of old things?
    Old things are souvenirs of the past. They remind us of our past relatives and the good old days. They also reflect the history and traditional culture. I know personally from my own experiences when I go travel at somewhere, I usually buy souvenir at that place and keep it from time to time as a reminder of the place itself.
  3. Do you think it necessary to preserve old things?
    I think it depends on the value of the thing, the specific thing you are talking about. Some old things have been out-of-date and they could be the hamper of present development so they shouldn’t be preserved. However, some old things represent traditional culture, art and customs and have value for research and appreciation. Those are the one should be preserved.
  4. What do you think are the main differences between old people and young people?
    I suppose the differences could be divided into physical attributes and other characteristics like experiences and attitude, First, regarding their bodies, it goes without saying that young people are more energetic whereas old people have lost all their vigor and tire easily — making them not nearly as powerful. Next, as far as their minds are concerned, old people have a big advantage in the amount of experience they have accumulated throughout their lives. In comparison the young mind is immature and lacking in a worldly outlook. One advantage that the youth might have regarding their minds, however, is their attitude, which tends to be not as stubborn and more open-minded and positive. What I’m trying to say is that many old people are cynical and have a negative disposition.
  5. Have you noticed any differences between the kind of things people collect now and those collected in the past?
    Traditionally people collected stamps, period furniture, rare books other than antique jewelry and art by well-known artists. But the kind of collectibles that are currently popular range from classic cars to old photograph records as well as comic books and bottles.
  6. How do you think collecting things benefits people?
    I guess by collecting things people continue to learn. As they build their collection, they develop skills in identifying, selecting, evaluating and classifying items. They become more knowledgeable about the field their collection pertains to.
  7. What sort of things do people in your country usually collect?
    I have noticed that people in my country collect all sorts of things. While some collect small items such as coins, miniatures, stamps and jewelry, other collect large items like vehicles or buildings. There are many who are interested in collecting valuable things like paintings and antiques or things from a specific period in the past. It is also not rare for some people to collect things that belonged to a person such as a movie star or a famous scientist. The reason for collecting certain things can be their emotional value even though they have little or no monetary value.
  8. How do people in your country usually collect things in your country? Different things are amassed in different ways. Some buy things at auctions or antique shops. Others join clubs and exchange items. There are even people who go to junk shops looking for collectibles.
  9. Other possible questions:
    How to educate children to respect old values
    How can family members get on well with each other?

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