Buildings and Structures

Here is some vocabulary and P1-3 questions on the subject of buildings and structures. Places are very common questions in Part 1 and 2, so being prepared to describe some buildings would go a long way to help your vocabulary score 🙂


reinforced concrete; brick; steel and glass; stone; timber; a prefabricated building

an apartment building; a sky scraper; a high-rise apartment building; a flat; a tower; a bungalow; a cabin a studio; a slum dwelling; a ruin; a hovel; a historic building; a commercial building; a national monument; a public building

Styles of Architecture:
Classical; Medieval; Gothic; Renaissance; Art Deco; Modern; Post-Modern; Islamic. (These are all proper nouns, so use capital letters)

Idioms and phrases:
an ugly monstrosity; an eyesore; a derelict warehouse.

pleasing geometric forms; a beautiful façade; an elegant structure; a radical design.

Buildings and the Environment:
energy efficient; eco-friendly; it blends in with the surroundings.

Parts of Buildings:
roof; column; pillar; arch; balcony; terrace; steeple; spire; dome; cellar; basement; attic; loft; the access; a corrugated iron roof.

the blueprints; the building site; the foundations; the wiring; the plumbing.

Part 1

• Describe your neighbourhood.
• What kind of house do you live in?
• Are there any monuments in your hometown?
• Do you like to visit historical buildings?
• Have you ever visited a famous structure?
• What are the landmarks in your hometown?

Part 2

Tell me about an important structure in your city or country.

You should say:

• what the structure is and what it is used for
• what the structure is made of and what it looks like
• how it has changed the area around it
• and say what you thought of the structure the first time you saw it

Describe a modern building.

You should say:
• where it is
• what it is used for
• and why you like/dislike it

Part 3: Buildings and Structures

1. Compare and contrast the residential buildings and the buildings where people work in your town or city.
2. How do you think the design of buildings has changed over the last 50 years?
3. How do you think buildings of the future will differ from today’s buildings?
4. In what ways do you think that the buildings in which people live and work influence them?
5. If you could design your own home, what special features would you include?
6. Some structures are designed for artistic purposes rather than practical ones. What do you think of this?

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