Sunday, 29 July 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In the past, buildings often reflected the culture of a society but today all modern buildings look alike and cities throughout the world are becoming more and more similar. What do you think is the reason for this, and is it a good or bad thing?

No other building in the world is quite like the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China or Sagrada Familia in Spain. However, travelling to any mega city around the world today, one has a feeling of having visited it before because of similar buildings.

In order to cut costs, buildings are constructed in a similar way as companies buy materials in bulk. With the onset of globalization multi-national companies want all their buildings to look the same to ensure uniformity. Once again this saves costs as all materials from door handles to door mats are purchased in large quantities and used on several buildings. A company also benefits when it is trying to get brand recognition from its customers if their buildings are recognised instantly.

On the other hand, in terms of creativity, originality and architectural design, buildings that are similar lack these qualities. One of the reasons people travel is to see something different to what exists in their home country. Barcelona, for example, would not be so popular if it were not for Gaudi’s designs that still exist today. Very few people are interested in giant glass and steel structures only.

In my opinion it is important for each city to keep its own individual character and this can be done with buildings that stand out and cannot be found in other areas around the world. Travelers should not feel as if they have not left home just because companies want to preserve an image and save money.

Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.90

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In many major cities of the world you will find large public buildings, both new and old. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such buildings.

How important is it for a country to construct impressive public buildings when houses are what is really required?

Cities around the world are recognised by a host of buildings, for example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Oriental Pearl Building in Shanghai and the Petronas towers in Malaysia. These public buildings tell the history of the city and are a tribute to the architects who designed them.

Public buildings draw in tourists and revenue for a country and are used to advertise a city by being placed on posters, postcards, souvenirs etc. Another benefit of public buildings is that it gives architects a forum to express themselves and the buildings say something about the culture of a country, building style or materials used.

On the other hand, many of these public buildings serve no useful purpose for the general public, apart from acting as an attraction. They take up a lot of valuable space, often in city centres, cost millions to build, maintain and renovate. This prime real estate could be used to accommodate people and build apartment blocks. Although this is not aesthetically pleasing, it would solve the housing shortage.

Undoubtedly major attractions like the Taj Mahal that have been around for hundreds of years should remain as they are. However, housing a city's population would be a better option than to spend taxpayers money on the construction of new public buildings.
Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.91

General Training Model Answer - Writing (Task 2)

Some people warn that the era of the silver screen is coming to an end and that people will eventually lose interest in going to the cinema. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

Once a block-buster film hits the big screen it can be downloaded in a matter of hours onto computers around the world. With the availability of downloading software and on-line options for watching films, viewers have found a free and easy way to watch their favourite films.

Many people still flock to the cinema to watch the latest releases as this is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening with family and friends.  Going to the movies is also a social experience where people can switch off for a couple of hours.Some types of movies especially the 3D variety and those that have special effects should always be watched on the big screen. Bollywood movies cause a sensation in the movie theatres of India due to their song and dance routine and action sequences. This experience will lose its magic if viewed at home.
On the other hand, technology has transformed the home into a theatre with the use of home-cinema and a person can have a private viewing of a film in the comfort of their home with all the extras found in a traditional movie theatre. As mentioned above, downloading or watching a film online is the choice of many.

Like other forms of entertainment, watching movies goes in and out of fashion but never fully disappears. The movie industry is worth millions particularly in Hollywood, Bollywood and Hong Kong. Film festivals like the Oscars and Cannes also make movies popular and encourage people to go to the cinema.

Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.73

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Formal education methods, where the teacher instructs the whole class and the students work alone, are more reliable and produce better results than informal methods.

Do you agree or disagree?

Teaching methods have changed in recent years. Although traditional methods were limited to a teacher, exercise books, a whiteboard and homework, the modern classroom is more sophisticated. Group discussions are encouraged, technology has been introduced into the classroom and interactive screens are quickly becoming the norm.

As a passive teaching approach has been around for many years, perhaps that is why it is considered reliable. It may also seem to produce positive results as students are working within a framework with a fixed syllabus and regular tests to evaluate progress. This method however might only benefit those who are good listeners. Students who learn in other ways, for example, those who are visual learners might not find this method rewarding.

Informal ways are a better way of teaching and learning, in my opinion. Teachers do not feel pressured to cover set materials and can think outside the box while students who enjoy this approach are likely to remember what they have learnt. Students who go on school trips, have guest speakers, visit factories, watch videos, do group work, and play interactive games use their imagination more and have fun learning.

To sum up, each student learns in a different way and a teacher has a challenging task of catering to the needs of a class. Although creative teaching practices require more input from the teacher, I think they will produce enthusiastic students who are eager to learn and in turn likely to have better results.

Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.48

General Training - Model Answer (Task 1)

You have recently stayed in a hotel in a large city. The weather was very unusual for the time of year and the heating/cooling system in the hotel was quite inadequate. Write a letter to the manager of the hotel. In your letter:

  • give details of what was wrong
  • explain what you had to do to overcome the problem at the time
  • say what action you would like the manager to take
Dear Sir /Madam,

I recently stayed at your hotel (27th December until 4th January) in Moscow and I am writing to inform you that the heating facilities provided in room 202 were insufficient. As you may recall outside temperatures were below zero and is such extreme weather, heating is compulsory particularly in a well-known hotel famed for its service.

I noticed that the central heating unit was faulty as the room temperature seemed to be the same as the temperature I had experienced outside despite the fact that the unit was switched on. As all the rooms were fully booked I could not be moved to a new one so I asked housekeeping to bring me extra quilts. As you can imagine I could still feel the cold and I barely slept for the duration of my stay.

Repairing the unit in this room should be your priority so as to ensure other guests are not inconvenienced. I would also like to request a complimentary stay at your branch in Indonesia for the duration of a week.

I look forward to receiving your coupons.


Fernando Del Bosque
Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.39

General Training - Model Answer (Task 1)

You have recently heard that a friend of yours has had some problems as a result of some unusual weather. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:
  • express concern (i.e. say you are sorry to hear what has happened)
  • tell them about a similar experience that you once had
  • give some advice or offer help

 Dear Jung Chang,

I heard about the recent heavy rain and flooding in Beijing on the news and I really felt awful especially since I know that you live in the centre of the city on the ground floor of an apartment building. I’m almost certain you have been affected by the bad weather.

You might remember me telling you about my experience of flooding in Mozambique when I was working there in 2000. The place I was staying at was completely covered in water and I lost all my possessions. I had no way of contacting anyone, no money or identification documents. The hours leading up to my rescue were also difficult.

It helped that I didn’t panic when I was waiting for help to arrive. The water will eventually dry up but you might need to destroy items that have been exposed to too much water. You are more than welcome to come and stay with me in Hohhot until you sort everything out as the weather here has not been extreme.

Take care,

Ha Jin
Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.38

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Phrasal verbs with ‘get’

Get about/around = to travel to many places e.g. He gets about. He’s been almost everywhere.
Get about/around = information is heard by many people e.g. News on the little girl’s disappearance got around quickly.
Get something across = to successfully communicate an idea e.g. Here’s what you need to get across.
Get ahead = to be successful at work e.g. She got ahead by working hard.
Get along / on = to be friendly e.g. Gina and Toby really got along.
Get along = to successfully deal with a situation e.g. How are you getting along with your Chinese lessons?
Get around = find a way to deal with/avoid a problem e.g. I’m sure they’ll find a way to get around the issue.
Get around = move from place to place easily e.g. It’s not easy to get around Nicosia in a wheelchair.
Get round/around to doing something = to finally do something e.g. I got round to sending those emails last weekend.
Getting at something = What do you mean? e.g. What are you getting at?
Get away = to leave e.g. What time did you manage to get away?
Get away = to escape e.g. The thief got away with 1 million dollars.
Get away = to have a holiday e.g. I need to get away and relax.
Get away from something = to do something in a different way e.g. You need to get away from learning material off by heart.
Get away from something = to start talking about a different topic e.g. I think we’re getting away from the global crisis issue here.
Get away with = to do something successfully although it isn’t the best way of doing it e.g. Do you think we can get away with not mentioning Hanoi in the marketing material?
Get back = return e.g. When did you get back from Azerbaijan?
Get someone back = to get revenge e.g. I’m going to get her back for throwing cake in my face!
Get back into something = to re-do something after not having done it for a period of time e.g. Next year I’m thinking of getting back into engineering.
Get back to someone = to return a call with more information e.g. I’ll get back to you as soon as my IELTS results come out.
Get behind = to have not done as much work / paid enough money as you should e.g. We’re behind on our bank loan.
Get by = to just have enough money e.g. The Mitchell’s are getting by with very little.
Get down to doing something = to begin doing something seriously e.g. I got down to doing my assignment as the deadline was approaching.
Get in = to arrive e.g. When does the next train get in?
Get someone in = bring someone to repair something e.g. We’ll have to get a plumber in to fix the toilet.
Get in on something = to become involved without an invitation e.g. Our competitors are trying to get in on the deal.
Get into something = to become interested in an activity/subject e.g. I’m really getting into Spanish.
Get into something = to begin a habit/behaviour e.g. I’ve got into the habit of eating steamed food.
Get into something = get a place at a school/university/organisation e.g. We’re so happy our daughter got into that school.
Get off / on = to leave /go on a bus, train, plane or boat.
Get off = leave work at the end of the day e.g. I get off in time to catch the last train home.
Get off something = stop using the phone e.g. You’ve been talking for hours, get off the phone.
Get on with = continue working e.g. Break is over, get on with it.
Be getting on = old e.g. His eyesight is weak as he’s getting on.
Get out = to go to different places to meet people e.g. You need to get out more.
Get out = to exit a vehicle e.g. Get out the car carefully.
Get out = when news becomes public e.g. News got out that she fell asleep while driving and crashed into a tree.
Get something out = to remove a stain/dirt e.g. I tried to get the wine stain out of my shirt.
Get out of something = to avoid doing something by providing an excuse e.g. I tried to get out of washing the car.
Get something out of someone = to persuade/force someone to tell/give you something e.g. Simone wouldn’t tell me where she bought the shoes and I tried to get it out of her.
Get something out of doing something = to enjoy something or to think it’s useful e.g. I got so much out of my Swahili lessons.
Get over something = to feel better e.g. It took me a long time to get over Jeff.
Get something over with = to complete a difficult / unpleasant task e.g. Let’s go visit your parents and get it over with.
Get through = to manage to talk to someone on the phone e.g. Were you able to get through to the manager?
Get around something = to find a way of dealing / avoiding a problem e.g. Surely there must be a way of getting around the middleman.
Get through = to use a lot of money/food/drink e.g. We get through 3 rolls of toilet paper in a day.
Get through = to finish something e.g. I can’t go out tonight as I need to get through this pile of invoices.
Get through to someone = to succeed in making someone understand something e.g. After hours of negotiations I finally managed to get through to the suppliers regarding pricing.
Get through to something = to succeed in reaching the next stage in a competition e.g. Many Chinese athletes made it through to the Olympic Games final.
Get to someone = to make someone feel upset or angry e.g. It gets to me that I have to work on weekends.
Get together = meet to spend time together e.g. When are you free so we can get together for some dinner?
Get together = to begin a romantic relationship e.g. Kumar and Manisha got together last month.
Get yourself together = behave more carefully e.g. Why are you screaming like that? Get yourself together.
Get up = to wake up and get out of bed e.g. I get up at 8am daily.
Get up = stand up e.g. Everyone got up and clapped when the play ended.
Get with it! = be more modern e.g. We don’t use video tapes anymore! Get with it!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Idioms with 'run'

On the run = having escaped from custody
Run for it = to escape
Run across/into someone = to meet someone by accident
Run along now = go away
Run a mile = to run away quickly in a panic
Run wild = to behave in an undisciplined way
Run down = in a poor condition
Run something into the ground = use something until it doesn’t work anymore
Run-of-the-mill = ordinary
Run out = expire
Run out of = to have no more of something
Run short = to not have enough
Run out of steam = to use up all your energy
Run out on someone = to desert someone
Run something in = to run a new machine until it is working properly
Run someone / something over = to drive over with a road vehicle
Run the risk = to do something involving risk
Run the show = to be in control
Run a tight ship = to maintain strict control
Run something through = to go through something from the beginning again
Run up against = to face
Trial run = to test something new
In the long run = eventually
Run in one’s blood = is inherited
Run in the family = an inherited characteristic
Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds = to support both sides in an argument at the same time
Still waters run deep = someone can be more knowledgeable than they first appear

Friday, 20 July 2012

Idioms with 'blood'

Sweat blood = to work very hard
Blood brother = very close friends
Blood is thicker than water = family comes before friends
Blood relation = family member
One’s own flesh and blood = one’s family
It runs in one’s blood = inherited
Blue blooded = of aristocratic origin
Blood sucker = a blackmailer
After one’s blood = looking for revenge
Cause bad blood between people = make people dislike each other
First blood = first success
Young blood = a new member of a group
To get blood out of a stone = to try to do something impossible
Make one’s blood boil = make one very angry
Red-blooded = manly

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Phrasal verbs with ‘bring’

Bring about = to make something happen e.g. The committee is going to bring about some changes over the next few months.
Bring along = to take someone/something somewhere e.g. Is it alright if I bring Sarah along?
Bring someone around = to make someone conscious e.g. They poured water on his face to bring him around.
Bring someone around = to make someone agree with you e.g. Initially, she didn’t want to have the conference in Taiwan but I managed to bring her around to the idea.
Bring back something = to remember the past e.g. That trip to Vietnam really brought back memories.
Bring back something = to start to re-use something e.g. They brought that bus service back.
Bring someone before something/someone = to stand in front of a judge/official group e.g. Ahmed was brought before the court on charges of corruption.
Bring down something = to reduce e.g. The Zimbabwean government is trying to bring down inflation.
Bring forward = to make an event earlier e.g. They’ve brought the date for the Shanghai art project forward to 31st December.
Bring in something = to earn money e.g. It’s about time you brought in some money.
Bring in something = to make a law/rule exist e.g. The government will bring in legislation for drinking and driving.
Bring in someone = to attract e.g. I hope our new branch in Nanjing road will bring in customers.
Bring in someone/something = to include in a conversation e.g. I don’t want to bring culture into this discussion.
Bring something on = to make something unpleasant begin e.g. Unemployment has been brought on by the financial crisis.
Bring something upon someone = to cause trouble e.g. He brought this situation upon himself.
Bring out something = to produce and sell something e.g. The company has brought out their new mobile phone model.
Bring out something = to make a particular quality more noticeable e.g. Stress brings out the worst in me.
Bring out somebody = to become more confident e.g. Lee was so shy but university has brought him out of his shell.
Bring up someone = to look after a child until they become an adult e.g. She was brought up in Taipei.
Bring up = to vomit e.g. That croissant was too sweet and I brought it up.
Bring something up = to talk about it e.g. I’m going to bring inequality up in the next meeting.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Idioms with 'short'

At short notice = with little warning
To cut a long story short = to summarise briefly
For short = in an abbreviated form
Short for = an abbreviation of
Go short = have too little of something
Run short = to not have enough
In short = stated briefly
Short and sweet = brief and to the point
The long and short of it = an abbreviated account
In short supply = not easily available
Little short of = almost the same as
Nothing short of = exactly the same as
In the short term = over a short space of time
Make short work of = to finish something quickly
Short-handed = not enough staff
Short of breath = breathless
Short-tempered = to get angry easily
Stop short of = to not go as far as
Cut short = to interrupt
Fall short = fail to meet a specified amount or standard
Short list = a list of fewer people or items chosen from a longer one

Monday, 9 July 2012

Phrasal verbs with 'break'

Break away = to leave a group because you disagree with them e.g. We broke away from the Creative Writing Group because we wanted to take our writing seriously.
Break away = to be different e.g. Leslie’s novels break away from traditional narratives.
Break down = to stop working e.g. The coffee machine broke down.
Break down = to start crying e.g. Hardeep was so upset when he heard the news that he broke down and cried.
Break down = to become mentally/physically ill e.g. After his son’s death he had a break down.
Break down = to divide information into small pieces e.g. We can break down the information according to age and region.
Break in = to enter a building/car in order to seal something e.g. They broke into my flat last night and stole my computer.
Break something in = to wear some new to make it more comfortable e.g. I wore my new McQueen shoes to break them in.
Break into something = to become involved in an area that is difficult to enter e.g. The fast food chain broke into the Chinese market.
Break off = to stop talking suddenly e.g. The president broke off in mid-sentence.
Break something off = to end a relationship e.g. Chang broke off their friendship as she didn’t trust him anymore.
Break out = to escape from prison e.g. The inmates broke out by digging through a wall.
Break out = If a war, disease or fire suddenly starts e.g. The fire broke out in the hotel lobby.
Break out into = if sweat, spots or a rash suddenly appears on your skin e.g. When I got up to speak in front of all the university I broke out into a sweat.
Break through = an important discovery or success e.g. The university has made a major breakthrough in its research on dyslexia.
Break up = a marriage or romantic relationship that ends e.g. Manisha and Alok have broken up.
Break something up = to add a different colour to make something more interesting e.g. Loucas wore a blue jacket to break up the excessive black in his outfit.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Idioms with ‘side’

From all sides = from all directions
Let the side down = to perform badly in a team
On every side = everywhere
On the side = an extra job
Put something to one side = to postpone something
Side by side = close by
Side with someone / Take sides = support someone in an argument
Take someone to one side = Talk to someone privately
To be on the safe side = in the likelihood of something happening
Bit on the side = to have an affair
Brush to one side = to ignore
Get on the wrong side of someone = to make someone dislike you
Get out of bed on the wrong side = to be in a bad mood
Look on the bright side = to be optimistic
On the other side of the coin = another point of view

Idioms with ‘stand’

As things stand = according to the circumstances now
Know where one stands = to be aware of one’s position
Make a stand against = to resist
On stand-by = in reserve and ready
Stand alone = to be unique / without help
Stand by = to observe passively
Stand by = to be ready for action
Stand corrected = to accept you have made a mistake
Stand down = to withdraw from a contest
Stand firm = to be inflexible
Stand for = to represent
Stand in for = to substitute
Stand in someone’s way = prevent someone from doing something
Stand-offish = to have an unfriendly attitude
Stand by something = to be committed
Stand out = to be more noticeable that other things
Stand someone up = to fail to keep an appointment
Stand to win or lose = likely to win or lose
Stand up and be counted = to make your view known to all
Stand up for = support
Stand up to = resist
Take a stand on = prepared to defend a point of view
Stand one’s ground = to be firm
It stands to reason = it is logical
To not be able to stand the sight of someone or something = to have a strong dislike for someone or something
Stand a good chance = to be fairly likely to
Standing on ceremony = to behave too formally
Stand on one’s own two feet = to be independent

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Phrasal verbs with 'come'

Come about = to explain how something unplanned happened e.g. Can you tell me how this accident came about?

Come across = to meet someone or discover something by chance e.g. I came across this old typewriter when I was cleaning the attic.
Come across = to behave in a way which makes people think you have a particular characteristic e.g. Because of his tone he came across as being bossy.
Come across = an idea/emotion that is expressed clearly e.g. Her strong support for women’s rights came across in the film.

Come after someone = to chase/search someone to punish them e.g. Our neighbour came after us when we kicked a ball through his window.

Come along = to go somewhere with someone e.g. Do you want to come along with us?
Be coming along = to ask about someone’s progress e.g. How are your Chinese lessons coming along?

Come apart = when something separates into pieces e.g. My mobile phone came apart when it fell on the floor.

Come around = to visit someone e.g. Come around for some tea when you have time.
Come around = to move around a group of people e.g. The waitress came around offering us drinks.
Come around = to stop having a bad opinion after thinking about it for a long time e.g. Initially I didn’t like the plan but I can around to it.
Come around = to regain consciousness e.g. When I threw some water on his face he came around.

Come at someone = to move forward so as to attack someone e.g. The dog came at the burglar as he was
trying to enter the house.

Come away with something = to leave a situation/place with a long lasting impression e.g. I came away with the impression that Indra doesn’t like children much.

Come back = to return e.g. I’ve just come back from Vietnam.
Come back = something becomes fashionable again e.g. Pink shirts have come back into fashion.
Come back = to happen again e.g. The pain in my leg has come back.
Come back = to remember e.g. It’s all coming back to me now.
Come back to something = to start talking about a particular topic again e.g. I’d like to come back to the subject of dinosaurs.

Come before = to be judged by a person/group in authority e.g. His case will come before the court in a month.

Come between someone = to interfere with a relationship e.g. Don’t let money come between you.

Come down = to pass from older to younger people e.g. That story has come down from two generations.
Come down on someone = to strongly criticise/punish e.g. The police are coming down hard on drug dealers.
Come down with something = to become ill e.g. Punam came down with a cold.

Come forward = to offer to do something e.g. The police asked the public to come forward with information about the robbery.

Come from = origin e.g. These toys come from China.

Come in = to arrive e.g. Jeff came in late last night.
Come in = received news e.g. Reports have come in of a tsunami.
Come in = to start speaking e.g. Can I come in at this point and tell you about the new developments?

Come into = to get money from someone who has died e.g. Amarpreet came into a fortune when his uncle died.

Come of something = the result e.g. What came out of your date with Patrick?

Come off something = to stop using medicine or drugs e.g. He came off the antibiotics when he felt better.

Come on = to start speaking on the phone e.g. My grandmother came on and wished me for my birthday.

Come out = to disappear e.g. Do you think this oil stain will come out?
Come out = available to buy e.g. Lady Gaga’s new album has come out.
Come out = a secret becomes publically known e.g. It came out that Phil was involved in fraud.
Come out in something = a skin disease that appears e.g. I came out in spots.
Come out with something = to say something suddenly e.g. Daisy came out with it and said she stole the money.
Come out with = the launch of a new product e.g. The toy company has come out with a new model.

Come over = to visit someone’s home e.g. Bikal came over on Friday night.

Come through = to receive e.g. Have your IELTS results come through yet?

Come up = to mention something e.g. The topic of cheating came up several times.
Be coming up = an event will happen soon e.g. Chinese New Year is coming up soon.
Come up against = to deal with a difficult situation e.g. They came up against a lot of opposition.
Come up with something = to think of a plan/idea/solution e.g. Don’t worry we’ll come up with something soon.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Phrasal verbs with 'pass'

Pass around = to offer something to each person in a group e.g. Pass these copies around.
Pass away / pass on = to die e.g. He passed away last year.
Pass by = to go past a person or place without stopping e.g. I pass by the bakery every day.
Pass by = time goes past e.g. Time passes by fast when you are having fun.
Pass something down = to teach or give something to someone to continue after you have died. e.g. The story was passed down from generation to generation.
Pass off as someone = to pretend you are better than you really are e.g. He passed himself off as a professional actor.
Pass on something = to tell someone something that someone else has told you. e.g. Please pass the message on to Keith.
Pass on to = to give a disease to another person or animal e.g. The virus was passed on to humans.
Pass on to something = move on to another topic e.g. Let’s pass on to the next item for discussion.
Pass out = to become unconscious e.g. He ran into a closed window and passed out.
Pass to = to become responsible for something e.g. The EU presidency will pass to Cyprus in 2012.
Pass something up = to not use an opportunity e.g. She passed up the offer of teaching in Ukraine.

Vocabulary - Dinosaurs

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Idioms with 'say'

As you say = I agree
As they say / as the saying goes = according to an expression
Have no say in = to have no opportunity or authority to express a point of view
Have something to say for oneself = to be able to account for one’s actions
Have one’s say = to forcefully express a point of view
I couldn’t say = I don’t know
If I may say so = if you want my point of view
I mean to say = to emphasise a previous point
I’m not just saying that = I really mean it
I must say = to emphasise
I wouldn’t say = I don't exactly mean
It goes without saying = It need not be mentioned
I wouldn’t say no = I would gladly agree
I wouldn’t say that = I disagree
Say no more = I don’t need to be persuaded
Just say the word = say what you need
Says you! = according to you!
That is to say = in other words
There’s no saying = one cannot guess
They say that = there is a rumour
What would you say to? = would you like?
You can say that again = I agree with you
Do you mean to say? = is that what you really mean?
You don’t say? = is that true?
Say when = tell me when to stop
To say the least = without exaggerating