Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Can you use shortened forms, such as wanna and gonna on the IELTS Speaking Exam?

Great question!

This query came from one of our 3 Keys’ IELTS students. Good thing she came to us, because some tutors who do not know the IELTS exam intimately might give bad advice here!

She posted:

I have a question about speaking. Can I use the word wanna, instead of want to, or gonna instead of going to? Also, can I say the word hate on the test? I have a small child and try to teach her not to use the word ‘hate’ in public. So I’m wondering if I can say “I hate winter” on the test.

Shortened forms

These are informal. Thus, using wanna and gonna is completely acceptable, appropriate and natural in Speaking Part 1.

However, you shouldn’t use them in Speaking Parts 1 and 2.

This is because Speaking Part 2, although still about an informal topic, is more like a two-minute speech. Therefore, try to use more formal grammar and some high-level vocabulary.

Also, of course, Speaking Part 3 answers should be more formal and academic, so I wouldn’t use these phrases.


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Vocabulary to use instead of “hate”

There’s nothing wrong with using the word “hate” on the exam. It’s not rude or inappropriate.

However, why not try using more impressive vocabulary to express this idea of dislike?

Try using these synonyms for ‘hate’:

  • loathe– I loathe cold water. I can’t take cold showers, even when camping, and I certainly can’t swim in cold water.
  • detest– I detest seeing people chew food with their mouths open. 
  • abhor– I abhor romantic movies. The plots are predictable and boring, and I see no entertainment value in them whatsoever.

That is high-scoring vocabulary!

What do you think of today’s advice?

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