In your IELTS Speaking test, part one, you might be asked, “What do you dislike about your house?” or “What do you dislike about your flat?”
Let’s look at exactly how you can answer this question about your home, and 10 good example answers for a band-seven score (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Say
First, you could say if you like your house/apartment/flat overall or kind of like it, or don’t really like it, or hate it.
This will allow you to use a nice conjunction like ‘but’ or ‘however’ or ‘that said,’ which sounds very fluent and conversational.
For example: Well, I really like most things about my apartment, but to be honest, I don’t like how noisy it is at night.
Then, talk about one thing you dislike. And explain why you dislike it. For some ideas, you might say:
- It’s too small
- It’s too expensive
- It’s too old
- It’s too dirty, moldy, or smelly
- It’s too hot or cold
- The furniture is bad, cheap, or ugly
- The wall paint is tasteless or boring
- You don’t like something your flatmates or roommates
Something about one of the rooms:
- The kitchen doesn’t have enough cooking equipment or utensils
- The living room is cramped
- Your bedroom is stuffy, small, or sparsely furnished
- There’s no balcony or garden
Something about its location:
- It’s too far away from the city center
- It’s in a bad neighborhood
- It’s in a noisy area
- It’s in a boring or empty area
- You don’t like your neighbors
- Anything else that comes to your mind
Grammar Tip: Use Past & Present Perfect
It’s easy to use some past tense or present perfect tense in this kind of question (which the examiner will like). You could say:
- How long you’ve lived there
- When you moved in
- When the problems started
- How long you’ve had this problem for
Don’t Speak For Too Long
An important thing to remember in part one of the speaking test is that your answers should be short and simple.
You can save all your amazing vocabulary and grammar for part two when you have time to prepare.
Part 1 is just for warming up, so focus on fluency.
You can use the three-step YES Method to give just the right length of answer. Just say:
- Your answer (say what you dislike)
- Explain your answer (say why you dislike it) or add more details
- Stop talking (stop, and just smile, to let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
If you answer this way, the examiner will be really happy with you, because you’re making their job easier.
They like short answers. Remember, they have to ask you 10-12 questions in only four to five minutes, which isn’t a lot of time!
Also, if your answers are shorter, you’re less likely to make any mistakes.
Let’s take a look at 10 good example answers to this question about your home.
1. Well, my apartment is nice and cozy, but it is a little too small for me. I sometimes feel quite cramped and I wish I had more space.
2. I really don’t like my roommate, who moved in earlier this year. She’s messy and often doesn’t do the washing up after dinner. It drives me up the wall.
3. I suppose one thing I don’t like about my apartment is the decor. The wallpaper in all the rooms is really ugly and flowery, not my style at all.
Far Away From Work
4. I have to commute for over an hour every morning to work, so I really hate how far my apartment is from the city center. I’m going to move somewhere nearer to downtown next year.
5. I love my house, but the rent is much too high. It costs me an arm and a leg to pay for it each month. I think I’ll have to move somewhere cheaper.
6. I bought my apartment three years ago, and at first it was fine. But last year a new neighbor moved into the apartment next door, and they’re so noisy in the evenings. I really don’t like it.
Small Living Room
7. I like my house but I only wish we had a bigger living room. It’s so cramped. There’s not even enough space for all of my flatmates to hang out there at the same time.
8. My apartment is close to work, which is great. But it doesn’t have a garden. My old house had a nice big garden with lots of grass, and I really miss it.
9. Well, I live in Valencia, in Spain, which is a very hot place. But the apartments aren’t made to keep heat in, so during the winter, it gets much too cold for me inside the apartment. It’s freezing.
10. To be honest, I really like everything about my home. It’s in the perfect location and it’s very nice and spacious inside. I can’t complain at all.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
Give this question a go yourself.
While practicing alone, it’s always a good idea to record yourself.
That way you can listen afterward, notice your mistakes, and then improve your answer.
So, set up your voice recorder and ask aloud, “What do you dislike about your house?”
When you’ve finished, listen, write down what you said, notice any mistakes, and repeat the process.
This is the best way to prepare for a band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.