IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Truth

Apr 22, 2020 | IELTS Test

Learn Some Topic Vocabulary About Truth for IELTS Speaking 

This topic occurs regularly in the IELTS test, and an answer for this one could fit similar questions also (e.g. describing a challenge you once faced). 

Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you don’t know. Word highlighted in bold are particularly high level.

Before you read the conversation, you might like to download a free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.


Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you always tell people the truth?

  Candidate: No – people are economical with the truth all the time. Why stir up trouble for yourself when a small can smooth the waters.

Examiner: What kind of lies do you tell?

  Candidate: Just small ones – for example, when my husband cooks dinner, and it tastes awful, I might tell him he’s a superb chef. 

Examiner: Have you ever made up a reason for being late?

  Candidate: If I’m extremely late for something, then I might blame my lateness on the traffic. There’s always a grain of truth in that excuse anyway.


Part 2-style task

 Describe a time when you did not tell someone the truth.

You should say:

 – When it was

  – Who it was

  – Why you didn’t tell the truth

and explain how this made you feel.

IELTS Truth/Lies Vocabulary by


I was really smitten with a lady on my course at university, and we started dating. I prefer slip-on shoes since I’m too lazy to tie shoelaces. For some reasons on our first date I had laced shoes – but left them loosely tied so I could slip them on and off easily. 

Anyway – during our date, they came loose, and when I said I would tie them later, she asked me if no one had ever taught me how to tie them. For some reason, I said no. Maybe it was because it was the time when Liam Neeson had had his shoes tied by Olivia Wilde – and it seemed really cool.

Now we are married, and whenever my shoelace comes loose, she still takes me aside to tie them. It makes her happy and is really sweet. It’s become a white lie – she would be upset if she discovered the truth now

I expect the truth will out one day, but while I’ll never be Liam Neeson, I’ve definitely found my Olivia Wilde.


Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Do you think mutual trust between people is important? [Evaluate]

  Candidate: Yes – especially when some is in a position of trust. If someone betrays your trust, then I think it’s essential to resolve the situation or cut ties

Examiner: Do successful people always speak the truth? [Speculate]

  Candidate: I think successful people always spin a situation to some extent. I’m not sure it’s possible to be a politician in the age of mass media and always tell the complete truth. Sometimes I think those in power inhabit a web of lies.

Examiner: What the difference between the lies of adults and children? [Compare]

  Candidate: The lies adults tell are usually more elaborate. I think children’s lies are more transparent and have simpler motives

Definitions for IELTS Truth/Lies Vocabulary

Part 1

being economical with the truth — not telling the whole truth, keeping some details back

an untruth — a lie, but less harsh than calling something a lie directly

a grain of truth — used when a story or report is false but a small part of it is true 

Part 2

to be smitten — to be in love with someone

a white lie — a lie told to avoid upsetting someone 

The truth will out — used to say that someone will find out the truth about something, even if you try to hide it

Part 3

mutual trust — a shared feeling of trust between two or more people 

position of trust — a responsible position which usually involved having power that you are trusted to use correctly 

to cut ties — to stop communicating with someone and end any formal relationship

to spin — to present information in a different way and make it seem better

web of lies — a complicated set of lies 

elaborate — very detailed and complicated

transparent — simple, clear and easy to understand

a motive — the reason that you do something

Practice Your IELTS Truth/Lie Vocabulary 

Record yourself answering this question and send it to us for professional feedback.

Our feedback is based on the official IELTS Speaking Descriptors and will give you precise information on how to improve.

We will publish the details of this service and its prices soon. In the meantime, you can contact us here if you would like to be one of the first.


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