Words To Avoid In IELTS Speaking

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, wherein a candidate is scored on the basis of 4 parameters: Fluency (the ability to speak English without stops and stammers), Grammar, Pronunciation (the ability to produce the 44 sounds of English) and Vocabulary. Thus it is of absolute importance that 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,


  1. I found the story line very appealing.
  2. Chess appeals to me because it’s an intellectual game
  3. He gave an appealing speech at the farewell.


  1. I am keen on making new experiences,
  2. I am a keen supporter of the republican party
  3. I am keen to learn a new skill set.

Fond Of:

  1. I am fond of learning new languages.
  2. I am not very fond of beaches unlike most people.

(c) 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.

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

(e) 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.

  1. Sorry,I didn’t quite catch that.
  2. Could you say that again?
  3. Could you please repeat the same?
  4. 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:

  1. To put it another way : To put it another way, I believe that India could be a superpower within the next decade.
  2. 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.

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

(D) 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.

  1. Well..
  2. That’s a difficult question
  3. That’s a good question
  4. I haven’t really thought about it
  5. 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

  1. I couldn’t agree more..
  2. I totally agree with..
  3. Absolutely
  4. Definitely

To Disagree

  1. I would like to think of it in another way.
  2. I’m afraid i can’t agree with you on that.
  3. That’s an interesting perspective but I think..
  4. I beg to differ with..

6. Linking Words

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

Adding More Information

  1. And
  2. Also
  3. As well as
  4. Another rea

Expressing Ideas

The following words or phrases can be used while expressing an inner idea.

  1. I think the main difference is..
  2. I guess one reason is..
  3. My guess would be..
  4. In my opinion..

Giving Examples

This is a list we would like you to exploit, instead of just using the phrase ‘for example’. For instance,

  1. Such as
  2. Like

Contrasting And Concessions

In case of speaking about something wherein two or more sides exist, the following words can be used to compare and contrast.

  1. But
  2. On the other hand
  3. Although
  4. While
  5. As compared to
  6. In comparison with

Time Phrases

In order to express time frames, the following words should suffice

  1. Now
  2. When I was younger
  3. Nowadays
  4. Right now
  5. In the past

Causes And Solutions

In order to express causation and solutions, the following words and phrases can be opted for

  1. The main reason is
  2. I suppose the best way to deal with this problem is
  3. I guess it’s because

Being Clear

While stating oneself clearly or summarizing one’s view, the following can be opted for

  1. What I mean is
  2. As I was saying
  3. As per my understanding

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

Hope 50 Words to avoid in IELTS Speaking article helpful

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