Natural English: how to talk about what you like/dislike

grabbing-hand-psd19419Today’s post is about expressions you can use when talking about what you like or dislike. We’re also going to look at some language that you can use when discussing your opinion about a book or movie that you’ve watched. So if you don’t want to go for “I like/don’t like”, here are some options you can choose from:

TO BE A BIG FAN OF something / someone

I’m not a big fan of meat
I’m a big fan of Wes Andersons’ movies

TO BE INTO something

I’m not into football, I’m more into rugby.
Are you into Italian cinema?

TO BE KEEN ON something

I’m not really keen on cycling
She’s very keen on French cinema

NOT TO BE ABLE TO STAND something / someone – to really dislike

I can’t stand running when it’s raining
I can’t stand George, he’s so annoying

something IS NOT someone’S THING

Running is not my thing
Cooking is not my thing

If something is not your thing, you don’t enjoy doing it and you’re not good at it.

TO BE FOND OF something /someone

She’s fond of her cousin
I’m fond of chocolate

TO NOT GET MUCH FROM something – to find something uninteresting

I don’t get much from reading contemporary fiction.
I don’t get much from my drawing lessons

And now some phrases you can use when someone asks your opinion about a book or a movie. If you didn’t think the book or movie in question was that good, you can say:

“it didn’t move me”

= it didn’t make me feel much emotionally

“it didn’t grab me”

= it didn’t manage to arouse my interest

“I didn’t think much of it”

“I never got into it”

=it never got me interested

“I thought it wasn’t worth reading / watching”

=reading / watching it was a waste of time

“I didn’t get much from it”

= I didn’t enjoy it

If you really disliked it, you should go for one of these phrases:

“I thought it was rubbish”

“I thought it was appalling”

Finally, if you really liked a book, you could say:

“That book was a real page-turner!”

=a book that you read very quickly because it’s so engaging

“It was a compelling story”

=a very engaging and fascinating story

Talk soon,



Confusing questions with ‘like’

A lot of my beginner students seem to be confused by the use of the word “like” in questions. Let’s have a look at the examples below:
questions with like

Question 1: what’s he like?
or in other words: “what type of person is he?” or “tell me something about his personality”.
Hence, a possible answer could be “He is friendly and easy-going”.

Remember! Never answer this question starting with “he is like…

Question 2: what does he look like?
or in other words “Can you describe his physical appearance?”
To this question, you could reply “He is tall, thin and has got brown hair”

Question 3: who does he look like?
or in other words “Who does he resemble to?”
You could answer saying “He looks like Brad Pitt!”.

Question 4: what does he like?
or in other words “What are his interests / hobbies etc?”
and so a sensible answer could be “he likes swimming, Chinese food and spy-stories”

diaporama,1928-Les-jardins-du-Champs-de-Mars,Paris_largeQuestion number 1 could also be used to ask you about a city.
Look at the example below:

A:“What’s Paris like?” (“what sort of place is Paris?”)
B: “Paris is big, chaotic and expensive”

Remember that if someone wants to know your opinion about Paris, he or she would probably use the question “What do you like about Paris?” or simply “Do you like Paris?”.
Look at the following dialogue:

A: “Do you like Paris?”
B: “Yes, I love it!?”
A: “What do you like about Paris?”
B: “I like the people, cafes and walking along the Seine!”

Hope this is clear, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!:)