Unit 1: Understanding Speaking Test
Unit 3: Focus on Fluency & Coherence
Unit 3: Focus on Pronunciation
Unit 6: Focus on Lexical Resource
Unit 5: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy

How to talk about the advantages and disadvantages in IELTS?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to talk about the advantages and disadvantages. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering these IELTS speaking questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on How to talk about the advantages and disadvantages in IELTS?

In this lesson, you’ll master the Formula for evaluating two different sides of a topic. This is a skill that you will need to use in all Part Three lessons. It is a basic native speaker discussion skill.

When IELTS examiner asks you such question they really have no interest on the content of your answer but construct. They just want to know weather you can use right grammatical structure.

First let’s see some questions under this category

» What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying and using a motor car?
»
Tell me about the advantages of keeping pets like dogs and cats in the home.
»
Describe some of the disadvantages of big city life.

There are three types of questions the examiner is likely to ask you:
1. What are the advantages of X?
Talk about two or three advantages of X and give reasons and examples.
2. What are the disadvantages of X?
Talk about two or three disadvantages of X and give reasons and examples.
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of X?
Talk about two advantages and disadvantages of X and give reasons and examples.

Remember This Formula


To evaluate two opposite, you should:-

Language steps:

  1. Use introducing advantages phrases.
  2. Use introducing disadvantaged phrases and highlighting bad points phrases.
  3. Use transitional words and phrases properly to weigh up advantages and disadvantages.

Step 1:How to talk about the advantages and disadvantages in IELTS?

Use introducing advantages phrases.

What are the advantages of doing a job where you can work from home?
One of the main advantages of working from home is the amount of freedom you have. You don’t have to worry about traveling to work on public transport, which can be very stressful, and you can often manage your time more efficiently according to your own routine. Another good thing about working from home is that you…


When you introduce the advantages of something, you should use a variety of expressions so that you really sound like a native. Here are some really common and useful introducing advantages phrases:
» one of the main advantages of
» one of the main benefits of
» one of the major strong points of
» the great advantage of
» a key advantage of
» a really /very good thing about
» another good thing about
» another advantage of
» one more great thing about

All of the above phrases can be completed with the following:
» verb-ing/noun is you can…
» verb-ing / noun is that you’re able to…
» verb-ing/noun is you don’t have to…
» verb-ing/noun is you don’t need to…

Look at the table below for examples of the above phrases combined:

advantage phrase
advantage phrase

Extra language point 1 Positive Adjectives

Let’s see how the two IELTS candidates, Sophia, uses positive adjectives.
Sophia: Another good thing about working from home is that you don’t have to get changed into smart clothes or uncomfortable office shoes. A lot of work-from-home jobs are part-time or offer a few hours of work per day, rather than standard jobs that pay a fixed amount every month. So, they are not as secure and stable as most other jobs.

When talking about why something has certain advantages or strong points, you should use positive adjectives to help support your claims. Look at the following table of useful positive adjectives:

Examples:
The main advantage of the laptop computer is that it is portable.
The one good thing about the new advertising laws is that they protect the consumer and so I think they are just and sensible.
The major advantage of the new curriculum is that it provides the nurturing and culturally rich environment.

Step 2:How to talk about the advantages and disadvantages in IELTS?

Introducing Disadvantages & Highlighting Bad Points phrases.

To introduce disadvantages or highlight bad points about X, you should first use some of the following phrases:-
» The main disadvantage of
» a/the bad thing about
» a major disadvantage of
» one drawback of
» a /the one bad point about /of
» Another disadvantage of

Then use one of the following:
» verb-ing/ noun is you can / might/ may / could
» verb-ing/ noun is that it can / might / may / could / is possible that it may

Then use one of the following:
» damage / harm
» cause illness / health problems/stress / harm to
» get damaged /get stolen /get broken easily /get cheated by /get addicted to /get obsessed
» with / get bored with / get frustrated by
» not be so good for
» be problematic for
» be inconvenient because /for
» be confusing
» give a bad impression of somebody /something to somebody

Examples:-
The main disadvantage of working outside is that it might cause health problems in winter.
The bad thing about owning an expensive bike is that it could get stolen.

Extra language point 2 Negative Adjectives

Mike: On the other hand, it can be awful to work outside because you may have to work in terrible weather conditions like rain, snow, and extreme cold. Outdoor work in my country is generally quite poorly paid, so that’s certainly another disadvantage.

When talking about disadvantages or drawbacks, it’s good to use a range of adjectives to help explain what these are.

advantage adjectives
advantage adjectives

Examples:-

» The disadvantage of the new subway system is the cards- they are all disposable and made of plastic and therefore this is quite environmentally unfriendly.
»The drawback of going to the gym is that it’s quite exhausting after you’ve done a long day’s work.
» The bad thing about the legal system there is that sometimes the laws are very oppressive.

Step 3:How to talk about the advantages and disadvantages in IELTS?

Transitional Words & Phrases

Sophia: A lot of work-from-home jobs are part-time of offer a few hours of work per day, rather than standard jobs that pay a fixed amount every month. So, they are not as secure and stable as most other jobs, people keep fit and healthy and strong as well as being outside in the open air. On the other hand, it can be awful to work outside because you may have to work in terrible weather conditions like rain, snow, and extreme cold…

Sometimes the interviewer will ask you about the advantages and disadvantages at the same time. You should try to show that there are good points and bad points, weighing them up with a transitional word or phrase. Look at the following transitional words and phrases:

  • although
  • however
  • while
  • yet at the same time
  • while at the same time
  • having said that
  • then again
  • on the one hand…on the other hand

Examples:
» The main disadvantage of eating in restaurants is that it’s expensive although it can be exciting and fun to eat out every now and again.
» A great thing about computers is that you can buy a computer now that was state-of-the-art only a few months ago quite cheaply. Then again, this means that the computer you buy now will soon be outdated.
» The telephone is incredibly useful, while at the same time it can be quite annoying when you
want to be left alone.
» Being into fashion can be a really good thing, yet at the same time, it can sometimes be a bit silly if people spend too much time thinking about fashion.
» Going to see sports games can be fun and exciting and exhilarating. Having said that, it can be annoying to be in a crowded stadium with lots of people.
» On the one hand, contact sports are a great way to exercise, but on the other hand, they can be quite dangerous.