Describe a time when you were late

Describe a time when you were late

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS speaking New Cue card By IELTSKING 

2. Describe a time when you were late

You should say:-

– When it was
– why you were late
– how you felt about being late

Note: you have to talk for 1 to 2 minutes. You have 1 minute to take a look at the main points and prepare some notes which you can use while speaking.



Sample answers (1) Describe a time when you were busy from Jan to Apr 2023

Well, I am a punctual person and I always do my things on or before time. Today, I am going to share an instance when I got late for my passport appointment.

It was around 1 year before (you can mention your passport appointment year here), when I had to reach at the passport office, in Chandigarh. I vividly remember, my appointment was scheduled at sharp 1 pm. I went there by Car. While travelling to Chandigarh, I saw an accident.

A man was suffering from pain, and no one was there to help him, so I gave him first aid. Then, I took him to hospital for treatment and informed his family. As soon as his family came at the hospital, I began my journey again. Unfortunately, I got late to reach. I was almost half an hour late. After reaching there, the gatekeeper denied my entry because I was not there on the given reporting time.

I explained to him the whole situation of being late, but he was also helpless due to official procedure.

He suggested me to take a new appointment in an emergency for the same day with some extra fees. I did the same through the official website and got my new appointment timing. It was 4.30 pm. Until that time, I took lunch from a nearby restaurant, actually, I was hungry for almost 5 hours. Even after having lunch, I had to wait so long for my turn. Moreover, there was no one to talk and even my smartphone got discharged due to which I got bored.

Finally, my passport appointment was completed at 4.30 pm. Even though I was disappointed for being late at the Passport office so that I had to pay unnecessarily again for new appointment, but I was also happy because I saved someone’s life. So, that was a time when I was late.

Sample answers (2) Describe a time when you were late from Jan to Apr 2023

Well, punctuality is key to success. Everyone should be punctual in their life. As it said” if you waste your time then time will waste you. To be honest, I am an organized person, however, here I would like to talk about a time when I got late for my passport appointment. Actually, a couple of months ago I made an appointment with government officials in Chandigarh.

It was a pivotal meeting for me. Even I set up some reminders on my mobile phone so that did not forget them. One day before the appointment, I arranged all the documents so that I did not make any type of mistakes. Everything was final and well-managed. Unfortunately, I am not an early bird, as well as the time of my meeting, was at 10 am. So, it was crucial for me to wake up early in the morning. As I had to reach over there one hour before the exact time.

Moreover, before that night I forgot to set alarm, and due to this reason, I woke up at 8.30 am on the day of the appointment. Then definitely, it was impossible to reach on time. I felt down in the dumps because it was really indispensable appointment for me. In addition to this, my parents also scolded me for this. I realized that it was my mistake. I did not only waste my money but also waste my time.

Follow-Ups/Recent asked questions

1. what excuse do you use when you are late?

I am usually not late for any meetings or appointments. However, if I am getting late due to an unavoidable circumstance, then I inform the person I am meeting, beforehand. I don’t make excuses.

2. What excuses do people have when they are late?

Most of the individuals make excuses regarding traffic jams, car breakdowns, sickness, family emergencies, having an appointment with somebody, urgent work, and so on.

3. How do you usually organize time?

To be honest, I am a punctual person. However, sometimes I feel that I can forget something due to my busy schedule and I usually put reminders on my mobile phone calendar so that I do not forget any special or family event.

Sample answers (3) Describe a time when you were late from Jan to Apr 2023

• I am a very punctual person and try to reach everywhere on time.
• I got this habit from my father, who is very disciplined and strict about being on time.
• He always told me that if you are punctual, it tells people that you are dependable.
• If I have an appointment, I take extra caution and try to reach at least 10 minutes before my
appointment time.
• But sometimes, even giving myself this extra time has not helped, and I have been late.
• I remember being late for my best friend’s wedding.

• My best friend ‘Ajay’ got married last year.
• He is the first one to get married among my friends, and we were all very excited.
• Indian wedding ceremonies are very lavish, and usually there are 2-3 functions before the
ceremony.
• A day before the wedding, there had been a sangeet ceremony where we danced and partied
till late at night.
• I was tired in the morning but woke up and got ready on time to be with my friend on his
special day.
• The wedding ceremony was in the Gurudwara on the outskirts of our city, about 15kms from
my home.

• I had been there before with Ajay, and he had given me directions that time.
• I am bad at remembering directions and road names. I always rely on my cell phone’s map
app.
• On the wedding day I put the address in my phone and started from my home well on time.
• After 40 minutes, my mobile GPS said that I had arrived at your destination but when I looked
around there was no Gurudwara and just some old buildings there.
• I realized that since the Gurudwara was new and away from the city, the map app had not
recognized the address and taken me to a different address.
• I got out and asked around. Fortunately, someone knew the exact location and told me the
directions.
• I had taken the wrong route and driven the opposite way.
• I was so annoyed with myself for not paying attention.
• I called another friend who was at the wedding and asked him to share his location in case I
got lost again.
• By the time I reached, the ceremony had already started, and about was half done.
• I felt terrible about being late to my friend’s wedding. Till this day he teases me that I, who is
always punctual, was late to his wedding.

Part 3:- Follow-ups of “Describe a time when you were late Jan to Apr 2023”
1. Are you ever late for anything?
No, I am a very punctual person. I value time and am never late for anything unless it is due to
some unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances.

2. What excuses do you use when you are late?
I am usually not late for any meetings or appointments. However, if at I am getting late due to an unavoidable circumstance, then I inform the person I am meeting, beforehand. I don’t make
excuses.

3. What excuses do people have when they are late?
People give excuses like car or bike breakdown or that they were stuck in traffic when they are late

4. Are you good at organizing time?
Yes, I am good at organizing time. I set up reminders for important events and meetings. I am never late for an appointment.

5. How do you usually organize time?
I sometimes set up reminders for important events or meetings, sometimes I make lists of tasks to complete, sometimes I set deadlines for myself, especially when working on an important
assignment/project.

6. Do you think planning is important for time management?
Yes, planning is essential for good time management. If we don’t plan ahead, we will tend to waste time doing tasks/things which are unimportant or unnecessary.

7. Why do you think some people pay to learn time management?
Time management has become very important in today’s fast-paced world. Some people pay to take courses on time management so that they can succeed and excel at their work. Some people are not very good at organizing and managing time, so they need to take up courses on managing
time well.

8. Do you think children should learn to manage time?
Yes, definitely. We live in a fast paced world and children too need to manage their time well, so that they can deal with the competition and do well at their studies and later, at their jobs.

9. Why do some people find it hard to follow their plans?
Some people find it hard to follow their plans because of other pressing commitments, like family commitments. Some people maybe too lazy to follow their plans.

10.How would you teach your children time management?
Time management can be taught to children by helping them make a timetable and ensuring that follow it. Also, children can learn easily from stories or movies, which teach them a lesson
about the importance of time and managing it well. The parents are role models for children and they should set a good example for their children.

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