Words to avoid in IELTS Speaking

Here are the 50 Words to avoid in IELTS Speaking to score High

IELTS Speaking test is an informal speaking test that comprises of:
Greeting and ID check

  • Part 1 : Questions & Answers; ideally related to oneself for 4-5 minutes
  • Part 2 : A talk 1-2 minutes
  • Part 3 : Discussion for 4-5 minutes

The IELTS Speaking test is an informal English test, and thus one needs to attain certain vocabulary skills for securing a higher band score. The following words and phrases are presented in terms of the context in which they might be used:

Words To Avoid In IELTS Speaking:


1. Things that you like/dislike

For questions related to what or whether you like/dislike a specific activity or food or anything for that matter, we could use a phrase that wouldn’t be cliched like ‘I like travelling’ or “I love swimming”, etc.

For example,


I found the story line very appealing.

Chess appeals to me because it’s an intellectual game


I am keen on making new experiences,

I am a keen supporter of the republican party

Fond of:

I am fond of learning new languages.

I am not very fond of beaches unlike most people.

Get a lot of pleasure out of/doing something: I get a lot of pleasure taking my dog for a walk because it’s a stress buster.

To grow fond of (started/starting to like) : I grew fond of the old teacher.

Growing on me (liking more than you did before) : Classical music started growing on me quite recently

2. For Clarifications :

Whenever you are required to ask for a clarification or want the examiner to rephrase something for you, here are some add ons to your vocabulary that can come in handy.

Sorry,I didn’t quite catch that.

Could you say that again?

Could you please repeat the same?

Do you mind rephrasing the statement/question?

Note : Ideally these can be only used in Part 3 of the test.

3. Providing clarification :

In this scenario, you are giving a clarification on the statement that you just made or when you are concluding or rephrasing. Few examples are as follows:

To put it another way : To put it another way, I believe that India could be a superpower within the next decade.

What I am trying to say : What I am trying to say is, at the current rate the world would have a huge drinking water crisis.

What I am mean is : What I mean is, in near future, we can expect India in Football World cup.

Imply : What I am implying is that we need to focus more on women empowerment.

4. Fillers

Fillers are basically phrases used to buy you extra time, in case you need more time to answer or you’re not very sure of what to answer.


That’s a difficult question

That’s a good question

I haven’t really thought about it

That’s an interesting question

Note: The above options can be mixed and matched according to appropriateness but over usage will lead to repetition and loss of marks.

5. Opinions

When asked questions on personal opinion, the following words can be used to express yourself:

To agree

I couldn’t agree more..

I totally agree with..



To disagree

I would like to think of it in another way.

I’m afraid i can’t agree with you on that.

That’s an interesting perspective but I think..

I beg to differ with..

Article on 50 Words to avoid in IELTS Speaking

6. Linking Words

Linking words are words that are used to add more information, substantiate ones idea, help in connecting ideas and concepts, to compare and contrast etc.

Adding more information



As well as

Another reason is

Expressing ideas

I think the main difference is

I guess one reason is

Giving examples

For instance

Such as


Contrasting and concessions


On the other hand



Time phrases


When I was younger


Right now

In the past

Causes and solutions

The main reason is

I suppose the best way to deal with this problem is

I guess it’s because

Being clear

What I mean is

As I was saying

While you practice make sure you use these, do that you inculcate these phrases and words in your vocabulary so that it comes naturally. It will result in a better IELTS band score in Speaking Test.

Hope 50 Words to avoid in IELTS Speaking article helpful

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  • bala
    Posted at 06:23h, 05 April Reply

    Thank you very much from my heart

  • krish
    Posted at 06:25h, 05 April Reply

    Give sentences for every word an example, it will be useful

  • rajwinder
    Posted at 06:30h, 05 April Reply

    Very helpful for writing and speaking as well.

  • s.khuma
    Posted at 06:32h, 05 April Reply

    Very informative and educative.

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