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Describe a place you visited where the air was polluted

Updated on 06 February, 2024

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad


Navigating the complexities of the IELTS Speaking section can be daunting, especially when presented with cue cards that challenge you to describe less than pleasant experiences, such as visiting a place marred by pollution. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the tools to articulate these experiences with finesse.

Understanding the Cue Card: “Describe a Place You Visited Where the Air Was Polluted”

Sample Answer: Imagine stepping into a city where the air is thick with smog, where every breath feels heavy and tainted. My visit to [City/Place], known for its industrial prowess, presented me with such a reality. As I navigated through the city's heart, the gray haze hung low, blurring the skyline and casting a pall over the streets. It wasn't just the sight of pollution that was arresting but the scent of it - a mix of burning coal, exhaust fumes, and a faint, acrid odor of chemical discharges.

Key Vocabulary:

  • Industrial prowess
  • Smog
  • Gray haze
  • Blurred skyline
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Acrid odor

Deep Dive: Exploring the Impact of Air Pollution on the Locale

Pollution, especially in [City/Place], isn't just an environmental issue; it's a social one. During my visit, I witnessed not only the environmental degradation but also its effects on the local populace – from children coughing on their way to school to the elderly donning masks long before global health crises made them a common sight.

Analyzing Personal Feelings and Reflections

As I left [City/Place], the heaviness in the air remained with me. The experience was a stark reminder of the delicate balance between industrialization and environmental preservation. It was a clarion call to the urgent need for sustainable practices.

Translating Experience into IELTS Success

This experience, though somber, can be transformed into a compelling narrative for IELTS success. Describing the sensory details of the pollution, its socio-environmental implications, and personal reflections provides depth and engagement in your speaking response.

IELTS Speaking Tips for Describing Polluted Places:

  1. Be Descriptive: Use sensory details to bring your narrative to life.
  2. Show Awareness: Reflect on the implications of pollution.
  3. Personalize Your Experience: Share how the visit impacted you personally.
  4. Vocabulary Is Key: Employ varied and specific language.
  5. Practice Pronunciation: Ensure clarity in conveying your message.


Mastering the IELTS speaking cue card challenges like describing polluted places is about painting a picture with your words and displaying emotional intelligence through your narrative. Harness the tips provided, and your response will not only demonstrate linguistic proficiency but also depth of thought and personal growth.

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Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.