Idiomatic Vocabulary for IELTS (24 of 25): What’s your story?


Every language has phrases and sentences that cannot be understood by just knowing the individual words. This is known as idiomatic language, and it is a very important part of any language, including English, and is very useful for IELTS speaking. Here’s an example.

To be a different story

This is a way of refering to another situation which very much changes the opinions you have given.

This is useful for IELTS because, in this complicated world with which we are constantly engaged, there are many different perspectives, and the IELTS examiner will often challenge you by mentioning these. This phrase is often introduced with the discourse marker, ‘Well’. [See my IELTS Speaking, Tip 6, p.31 bottom].

This phrase is too long (breaking Rule 2) to be able to be sed in IELTS Writing.

Here are some example sentences in IELTS Speaking.

Speaker:            “I think there are advantages when you work for yourself.”

Examiner:          “What if the business goes bankrupt?”

Speaker:            “Well, that’s a different story.”

Speaker:            “I didn’t like travelling. Carrying a backpack, staying in boring youth hostels, beset by hustlers all the time.”

Examiner:          “What if you’re rich?”

Speaker:            “Well, that’s a completely different story.”

Speaker:            “I think joining the army could be really good. An outdoor life, everything provided for you, free training, and so on.”

Examiner:          “But what about when a war begins?”

Speaker:            “Well, that’s a different story altogether.”

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