Type 3: Disliking [IELTS speaking test – Part 1]

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Question Type 3: “Disliking” Questions

“Disliking” questions are quite common in Part One of the IELTS speaking test. The answers can be very similar to the “liking” questions but with “disliking” vocabulary.

The following language can be used to express “dislikes”.

  • I’m not so keen on…
  • I’m not really that fond of…
  • I’m not much of a fan of…

And for very strong “dislikes” use the following:

  • I totally detest…
  • I really can’t stand…
  • I absolutely loathe…

In your answer, try to use a “dislike” and a “strong dislike” phrase. Use the same style of structure as the “liking” answer but change the linking phrases.

Example:

“Is there anything you don’t like about your hometown?”

“Of course I think I have to say that I’m not so keen on the weather. To be more precise, I really can’t stand the summer months. This is due to the fact that the temperatures can get as high as 40 degrees so it can be quite uncomfortable if you don‘t have air conditioning in your house. In addition to this, I’m not really that fond of the public transport system. And I guess this is probably because the buses are too old and the seats are really hard, so long journeys are usually pretty bumpy.”

Now answer the following “disliking” questions using a similar structure:

  • Is there anything you don’t like about your school / studies?
  • Is there any food you don‘t like?
  • What’s the worst thing about shopping?
  • Are there any clothes that you don‘t like?
  • What type of weather do you dislike?

Summary of “Liking / Disliking” Questions

The most important thing is to avoid the simple vocabulary (like, dislike. enjoy, love, hate) and replace these with the expressions given in this chapter.

Many candidates put “likes” and “dislikes” in the same answer (usually the “liking” question). This is not wrong, but as we have seen, the answers to these questions can be quite long, so it is better to split them into two separate answers.

Remember: Give a developed answer to every question. In the past I have heard answers like these:

  • Do you like animals? – No, I don’t like animals.
  • Do you like reading? – No, I like watching TV instead.
  • Is there anything you don’t like about your hometown? – No. I like my city.

As a rule, if the examiner asks you if you like something, give a positive answer (yes) even if that answer is not true. In the same way, if the question is: “Is there anything you don’t like about…?” you should also give a positive answer (yes).

Speaking positively is much easier than speaking negatively and it is easier to give reasons and examples to say “why” rather than “why not”.

Remember: Base your answer on language not on fact or truth. You do not get any marks for telling the truth!