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

What can you do when the Examiner asks you about your preferences on IELTS?

You need to be ready for this question with amazing vocabulary if you are aiming for a 7, 8, or a 9.

Today you’ll learn five impressive phrases to talk about preference so that you can knock the IELTS Examiner’s socks off on the IELTS Speaking test.

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What word should you avoid?

Lisa in our Facebook group asked us if she can say, “I fancy bunjee jumping over parachuting” instead of using the verb “I prefer.’”

Should you use the phrase “I fancy”?

In American English we don’t use that term very much.

If you use it on the IELTS Exam it won’t get you a 7 or higher because you won’t stand out from other candidates.

We know that this phrase is still used in British English but it won’t get you the score you need. This is an old, worn out term.

The phrase “To be keen on” is also old and boring.

Don’t say those phrases!

What should you say to communicate preference?

  • “I’d much sooner choose coffee over tea”: This isn’t super common but it’s on a different level. It’s great for both Speaking Part 1 and Speaking Part 3 and it checks the box for a 7 or higher in Vocabulary.
  • “To tend towards”: You can say, “I tend towards water activities so that’s why I choose bungee jumping if it’s over a river instead of parachuting.”
  • “I’m leaning towards”: This is a great way to say that you are still in the process of deciding on something but you feel like you have a certain preference. It could be temporary. You could say, “I’m leaning towards getting dessert but I’m not sure.”
  • “I would way rather”: We have added the word “way” to the phrase to make your language more interesting. This will set you apart from other students and will increase your pronunciation score.


IELTS is about sharing who you are!

You are going to use these phrases to show what you like and you don’t like in the world.

The Examiner has to hear you expressing your opinion with strong pronunciation and vocabulary in different parts of the IELTS.

Use these words that you learned today and watch your score jump higher!

What questions do you have today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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