IELTS Speaking Vocabulary. Books and Films


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On this page we’ve gathered useful IELTS speaking vocabulary for Books & Films topic. It can be used to answer various questions about music on IELTS Speaking test and will help you achieve a high score.

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Adjectives to describe books and films:

  • action-packed: full of action. My brother loves action-packed movies. Probably that’s why his favourite film is “Terminator”.
  • addictive: a book or film that you quickly become addicted to. “Harry Potter” series by Joanne Rowling are so addictive! I couldn’t stop after the first book and read all volumes.
  • creepy: producing a sensation of uneasiness or fear, scary. Noah finds Stephen King’s stories creepy.
  • dreary: gloomy or depressing. I can’t stand dramas, thrillers and other dreary movies.
  • entertaining: funny and enjoyable. Comedies are very entertaining.
  • futuristic: telling about the future. “Star Wars” movie is futuristic and dynamic.
  • heartbreaking: that breaks your heart and evokes sad emotions. When my aunt watched “Titanic” she cried all day! It’s such a heartbreaking film.
  • inspirational: evoking inspiration.
  • intense: a book or film loaded with actions and emotions that evokes strong feelings. The play’s plot was very intense. Just a minute after a couple had a quarrel in the forest, the secret lover appeared and started a fire-fight.
  • tear-jerking: tragic, making you cry. My sister is very emotional. I would rather watch a comedy with her than a tear-jerking movie!
  • thought-provoking: a book or film that makes you think of new ideas or that changes your attitude to something. Ray Bradbury’s novel “Fahrenheit 451” is deeply thought-provoking. I had to rethink my attitude to legislation and censorship after I read it.

Advanced vocabulary:

  • action movie: film with fast moving scenes, often containing violence. Last week I saw a great action movie with my brother at our local movie theatre.
  • bedtime reading: a book you read in your bed before going to sleep. I’m really addicted to books! I can’t even fall asleep without an hour of bedtime reading.
  • box office hit: a very successful movie, in terms of money. The new movie might be a box office hit, but I didn’t like it at all.
  • e-reader: a gadget for reading books. My e-reader broke a few days ago, so now I’ll need to fix it or buy a new one.
  • from cover to cover: from the first page to the last. I am a slow reader so it takes me a lot of time to read a book from cover to cover.
  • hardcover: a book with hard cover. Opposite to softcover. My friend gave me a hardcover book as a present for my birthday.
  • page turner: a book which is so good that you cannot stop reading it. My sister recommended me a great book. It was such a page turner that I read it in one day!
  • plot: a storyline of a book or film.
    • intricate plot: a very complex, labyrinthine plot. The famous Leo Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace” has a very intricate plot. It tells a story of five different families and comprises of 4 volumes.
    • subordinate plot (subplot): a plot that is related to, but less important than the main plot of a story. Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises” tells a love story of a man and a woman. However, the book involves many subordinate plots that raise questions about physical and spiritual affinity, trans-racial relationships and anti-Semitism.
    • threadbare plot: a simple, primitive plot. The movie’s plot was threadbare, but cutely disarming in its own way.
  • unravelling of the plot: the way in which a story develops over time. I first thought Jack London’s novel “Martin Eden” to be pretty straightforward. However, the plot unravelled in a very unpredicted way.

Useful idioms:

  • don’t judge a book by its cover: a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t judge someone or something by its appearance alone”. When I first met Sam I didn’t find him handsome. But, as people say, don’t judge a book by its cover. He turned out to be the most interesting person I’ve ever met and we married soon!
  • to catch the latest movie: to see a movie that has just come out. We need to hurry up if we want to catch the latest movie.
  • to flick through: to look quickly through a book. I flicked through my notes to prepare for the exam as didn’t have time to study properly.
  • to know like a book: to know something extremely well.I live in this city for my whole life and I know it like a book.
  • to read between the lines: to understand the hidden meaning about something. When I broke up with my girlfriend, I didn’t want anyone to know that. But Tom saw us in the different corners of the classroom and read everything between the lines. He’s very discerning.

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