Likes and dislikes vocabulary

Help your student improve their English conversation with these different phrases to express likes and dislikes.

How to say you like something

To like/ love + gerund.

‘I love skiing and my boyfriend likes climbing.’

Remember: ‘To like/ love + infinitive’ means that you think that something is a good idea, not that you like it. For example:

‘Sophia likes to do her homework before dinner.’

Less common expressions
Intermediate

To be a fan of something.

‘I am a fan of science fiction but I am not a fan of fantasy movies.’

To be mad/crazy about something.

‘My neighbour is crazy about video games. He spends all night playing them.’

Advanced

To be keen on something.

‘My nephew is keen on football.’

To be fond of something/someone.

‘Both my children are fond of travelling.’

‘Invite Rachel to the dinner, we are very fond of her.’

To appeal to me /to be appealing to me.

‘Travelling in South East Asia appeals to me at the moment.’

Developing a passion for something

To get into something – to develop a passion.

‘My aunt is getting into salsa dancing, she takes a class every week.’

To be into something – to have a passion.

‘My sister is into yoga, she has been doing it for years.’

Liking food

To be partial to something.

‘I am partial to chocolate after a meal.’

To talk about a future desirable event

To look forward to + gerund

‘I am looking forward to going on holiday.’

To not be able to wait to do something.

‘I can’t wait to see you this weekend! We’re going to have lots of fun.’

Ways to say that you don’t like something

Intermediate

To not like/hate + gerund.

‘I hate driving in the dark!’

To not be able to stand – a way to say ‘you don’t support something.’

‘I can’t stand travelling in rush hour.’

Advanced

To loath – a very strong way to say ‘hate.’

‘She loathes cheese. Don’t give her any or she’ll vomit.’

To detest – a very strong way to say ‘to hate.’

‘I detest graffiti on national monuments. It’s so disrespectful.’

Lighter ways to say you don’t like something

It’s not my cup of tea – a British saying to say that something ‘is not for you.’

‘You go and play tennis if you want to, but it’s not my cup of tea.’

(Alternatives: ‘It’s not my thing’, ‘it’s not for me.’)

To be not a big fan of something.

‘Actually, I am not a big fan of Japanese food. Can we order something else?’

Speaking practice
  • Have your tastes changed as you have got older? Is there anything that you used to hate and now like or vice versa?
  • Is there anything that your partner/best friend is really into which is not your cup of tea?
  • Have your older relatives got into anything new, since they have retired?

Opinions

Intermediate

Good: To think that something is great, fantastic or wonderful.

‘That film was fantastic.’

Medium: To think that something, is alright, not bad or so-so.

‘The food in that restaurant is so-so. I don’t think I’ll go back.’

Bad: To think that something is awful, terrible or rubbish.

‘The performance of the actor was awful. No wonder he got a terrible review.’

Advanced

To take it or leave it – when your opinion on something is neutral.

‘I don’t mind watching football. But to be honest with you, I can take it or leave it.’

To be overrated or underrated – when everyone else thinks that something is very good or bad but you don’t agree.

‘That film was so overrated. The critics said it was great but I thought it was boring.’

Speaking practice

Give me your review of:

  • The last film you watched.
  • The last place you visited.
  • The last restaurant you went to.

Liking and disliking people

Intermediate

To get on well with someone – to have a good relationship with someone.

‘I get on well with my teacher.’

Advanced

To get on like a house on fire – when two people meet and really like each other in a friendship way (not romantic).

‘My girlfriend met my sister and they got on like a house on fire.’

To fall out – to have an argument and stop liking someone.

‘My two best friends have fallen out over money. What a shame.’

To fight like cat and dog – to constantly argue with someone.

‘My kids are fighting like cat and dog at the moment.’ ‘What do you expect, they’re teenagers!’

To get together with someone – to start a romantic relationship or meet someone to do something.

‘Let’s get together on Friday.’

‘My sister got together with her boyfriend at a party.’

To get back together – to break up with someone and then form a romantic relationship again.

‘He got back together with his girlfriend.’

Speaking practice
  • Do you get on well with your colleagues?
  • Have you ever had a colleague or boss who you have hated? Why?
  • Did you use to get on well with your siblings when you were growing up or did you fight like cat and dog?
  • Can you think of a celebrity couple who have broken up and then got back together?

Final thoughts

What like and dislike phrases have we missed? Add them in the comments below. Happy teaching!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.