Different & Better Ways To Say "I DON'T LIKE IT!" | Say this Instead! | mmmEnglish (2023)

Video Transcript
Section 1
Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish and today I'm going to share some different, some more appropriate ways of saying that you don't like something. Now of course, it's okay to say “I don't like it” It's simple, it's direct and it communicates your message clearly but there are lots of different situations where that might sound a little rude or a little too direct.

You might also be interested in learning more natural everyday expressions that native English speakers use when they don't like something. If that sounds like you, you're in the right place because I'm sharing twenty alternatives to I don't like it so that you can communicate clearly and effectively and naturally in English so let's get into the lesson!

“I don't like it” is obviously a negative thing but today we're going to talk about a whole bunch of different ways that you can express that same negative idea in English and I've got some really casual, informal expressions and some idioms to share with you, ones that I use all the time instead of saying “I don't like it” along with some more formal, maybe more polite ways of saying that you dislike something.

Most of the time when we say “I don't like it” we don't mean to offend anyone, we need to say it politely, right?

But then there's times when you're chatting with your friends, you know people that you're close to or really comfortable with and you might want to be a little more direct or honest about your feelings. I knowyou know what I mean.

So I'm going to include this little dial on screen with each expression we go through to help you understand how intense the meaning is. You know sometimes we just want to hint that we don't like something but other times we want to be super clear, we want to emphasise how much we really, really, really don't like the idea.

So this little dial is going to show you how intense the meaning is in each of these expressions so that you can choose one that'smost appropriate for the situation.

So let's look at “I don't like” something. It could be food, itcould be music, any activity but not people.

I'm really deliberately highlighting this because not all of the expressions that I'm gonna go through now can be used in every context okay? The ones that I'm sharing first are usually used when we're talking about things, not people.

So think of this simple question “Do you like Thai food?”

1. It's not my favourite.

Now this is a bit of a cheeky response. I'm not saying I don't like it but I'm implying that I don't like it by avoiding the question and this is something that I do all the time when I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I might say:

  • It's not my favourite, there are other things that I like more.

2. It's not my thing

I could also say “It's not my thing”

And that might seem like a really odd response here, usually when we say that's not my thing, we're talking about something, a notebook or a pen. We're saying I don't own it, it's not mine.

However when it's used as a fixed expression in this context it's an informal but still quite a polite way of saying that you don'tlike something.

  • Do you want to join our cycling club?
    Cycling's not really my thing.

3. I'm not into (something)

We can alsojust say “I'm not into it”

  • I'm not into something.
  • I'm not into Thai food or I'm not into contact sports.
  • I'm not into Christmas.

So what about those times when you want to respond a little more respectfully?

I've got a few different options to share here and it really helps if you think about a situation where you mightneed to show respect with your answer.

So imagine this situation. You're invited to a friend's house and they introduce you to a friend of theirs, a Thai friend and you're chatting away having a good time and then they ask you: “Do you like Thai food?” and you think notreally.

(By the way, this is just an example. I love Thai food. It's just an example)

So in this situation, you can take my trick from before and respond by talking about what you do like instead so you kind of dodge the question a little so you could answer by saying:

4. I prefer…

  • I prefer Italian food.
  • To be honest, I'd rather eat Japanese food when I go out.

Even more formal or more polite again is to simply respond by saying:

5. It's not to my taste

You know especially when you're talking about food or you're talking about style then you can say “It's not to my taste.”

  • Do you want to come to theTame Impala concert with me?

So you could say: “Nah I don't like them

But you could also choose your words a little more carefully and you could say:

6. I'm not a fan of (something)

  • I'm not really a fan of them.
  • I'm not a fan ofsomething.
  • I'm not a fan of Tame Impala.

This expression works really well for bands and for music and movies, things like that but it can also be used in lots of different contexts just to mean I don't like it.

  • I'm not a big fan of strawberries.
  • I'm not a fan of queuing at restaurants.

So what if someone's suggesting an idea? They obviously really like this idea but you don't. There's some great idioms that you can use in this situation. You can say that:

7. I'm not crazy about (something)

  • I'm not crazy aboutit.
  • I'm not crazy about this idea.

Most of the time when we're using this expression, we're using it to say that we don't like an idea or maybe a suggestion that someone's had.

  • I'm not crazy about the idea of driving through the night for fifteen hours.
  • Do you want to wake up at 5am on Sunday and go for a ten kilometre run?

8. Uhh… I'd rather not

  • I'd rather not, I don't like that idea.

I'd rather sleep in on my Sunday morning, right? It's the only day of the week where I get to do it.

So I'm using I'd rather, again just as a more polite and more indirect way of saying no I would not like to do that.

9. (something) is not my cup of tea

When we're talking about an activity that we don't like then we can also use this great idiom to say that it's not our cup of tea, you know.

  • Getting up early and going for a run on a Sunday morning is not my cup of tea.

All right here's your first piece of homework.

Has anyone ever made a suggestion to you that you just didn't like the sound of?

  • Let's spend our holidays doing a short course in accounting.
    I don't like accounting.
  • I got your mum a worm farm!
    She doesn't like worms.

See if you can respond to one or both of these ideas using one of the expressions that you've just learned.

So we're still thinking about those times when someone makes a suggestion that you don't really like.

10. (something) doesn't tickle my fancy

You could say “that doesn't tickle my fancy” Now usually this expression is used when someone suggests an activity or maybe an idea for an activity.

  • Why don't we go skiing on the weekend?
    Nah, that doesn't tickle my fancy.

If you don't like the idea of something or the concept of something like marriage or waking up early then, you can simply just say:

11. It's not for me

So it's quite casual, really relaxed informal way of saying that it's not something that I like. It's not something that I enjoy.

  • I've come to realise that marriage is not for me.I don't really like the idea of marriage.
  • Early mornings are not forme.

Actually, if I was to be honest, I'd say that sleep-ins are not for me. I like being awake early. What about you? Do you like being awake early or do you like to sleep in?

See if you can make a sentence using one of these expressions and add it down in the comments below.

So now we're ready to talk about I don't like a person. When you're talking about a person you don't like, we've got to be a little bit careful, don't we? Again we can use I'd rather.

12. I'd rather not…
I'd rather you didn't (+ verb)

But we've got to make sure that we're talking about the action, not the person. I'd rather not do something with them because I don't like them, okay:

  • I'd rather not see them.
  • I'd rather not meet them.
  • I'd rather not go to their house or hang out withthem.
  • Is it okay if I invite Jess to your birthday?
    I'd rather you didn't. We don't get along. We don't really like hanging out with each other.
  • I'd rather you didn't. We've never really clicked.

So when you click with someone, your personalities match and you get along really, really well but here we're using it in a negative way, aren't we?

13. We never really clicked

We're saying we never really clicked. We never really enjoyed hanging out with each other so I don't want her to come. I don't really like her.

Now if you're looking for a much stronger meaning then you can say:

14. I can't stand her/him

  • I'd rather you didn't invite her, I can't stand her.

A little more formal but still just as strong as I can't stand her is:

15. I find her intolerable

  • I'd rather you didn't invite her. I find herintolerable.

All right now is the part that I know you've been hanging out for. We're going to talk about some options that have a much stronger meaning okay so when you really, really want to make it clear that you don't like something.

You're not worried about being polite, you want your message to be crystal clear, you don't like it. I'm serious, you don't like it. I want everyone toknow that.

16. I find (something) intolerable
17. I can't stand (something)

So we just talked about using I find someone intolerable or I can't stand someone. We can use both of these expressions to talk about people or things and probably specifically activities.

  • I can't stand watching cricket.
  • I find horse racing intolerable.

18. loathe
19. detest
20. despise

And there are some really, really strong synonyms of dislike so if you want to get serious say that you loathe something or someone or you detest them or you despise them.

  • I loathe the idea of getting stuck on a cruise ship for three whole weeks.
  • I detest the way he takes credit for Sam's work.
  • I despise people who leave their cigarette butts in the sand at the beach, it's disgusting.

21. Disapprove of (someone's behaviour)

You can also say in a really strong way that you disapprove of someone's behaviour if you don't like whatthey're doing.

  • I know John's going through a rough time at home but I really disapprove of himturning up late every day.

22. To have no desire (to do something)
No desire whatsoever

If you want to make it really clear that you don't want to do something, then you can say “I have no desire to do it”

  • I have no desire to spend three weeks on a sailing boat in the middle of the ocean.

And if you want to make it even stronger again you can add: no desire whatsoever.

  • I have no desire to spend my holiday completing an accounting course. No desire whatsoever.

What do you have no desire to do? No desire whatsoever. Make sure you share it with me down in the comments. I'm super curious now.

So that's it, my friends, they are my suggestions on alternatives that you can use for I don't like it. I wonder if you can think of any others? There are so many different and quite frankly better ways of saying that you don't like something in English so I hope that you were able to build on your vocabulary and learnsomething new with me today.

Keep practising your natural English expression with me right here in this imitation lesson and make sure you subscribe to mmmEnglish as well. You can do that right down here. I make new lessons every week. You've got to subscribe if you want to keep up to date.

Thanksfor watching and I'll see you in the next lesson!


How do you say I don't like in a professional way? ›

  1. It's not my favourite.
  2. It's not my thing.
  3. I'm not into (something)
  4. I prefer…
  5. It's not to my taste.
  6. I'm not a fan of (something)
  7. I'm not crazy about (something)
  8. Uhh… I'd rather not.
Dec 3, 2020

What is a better word than enough? ›

Some common synonyms of enough are adequate, competent, and sufficient. While all these words mean "being what is necessary or desirable," enough is less exact in suggestion than sufficient.

What is the other way of saying not enough? ›

Scarce, inadequate and not enough.

How do you say I don't like you politely? ›

Here are a few more simple things you can say to reject someone nicely:
  1. “I really enjoyed getting to know you. ...
  2. “I'm sure you're amazing in many ways, but I have a good handle on what I want at this point in my life, and I don't see us as a good match. ...
  3. “I really appreciate your interest, but I just don't feel the same.
Nov 3, 2021

How do you say no in a smart way? ›

Different Ways to Say No and When to Use Them
  1. I appreciate the offer, but I can't.
  2. I'm honored, but can't.
  3. I'd love to, but I can't.
  4. I appreciate the invitation, but I am completely booked.
  5. Thanks for thinking of me, but I can't.
  6. Regrettably, I'm not able to.
  7. You're so kind to think of me, but I can't.

How do you replace too with enough? ›

Too indicates that there is too much of a quality, or too much or too many of some object. Enough means that there is no need for more of a quality or object.
Here are some examples:
  1. She's too sad these days. ...
  2. I don't have enough sugar. ...
  3. You're driving too slowly!
  4. There are too many students in this class.
Mar 6, 2019

How do you say not good enough professionally? ›

  1. amiss.
  2. bad.
  3. damaged.
  4. deficient.
  5. disappointing.
  6. disconcerting.
  7. displeasing.
  8. disquieting.

What word means not enough or not good enough? ›

inadequate. adjective. not enough, or not good enough for a particular purpose.

How do you say no professionally? ›

7 tips to help you politely (and professionally) say no
  1. Know your workload. Before you can decide whether to say yes or no, you need to know your current workload. ...
  2. Lead with positivity. ...
  3. Politely and clearly decline. ...
  4. Explain why. ...
  5. Offer a different solution. ...
  6. Be consistent. ...
  7. Practice empathy.
Jun 3, 2022

How do you respectfully say no? ›

10 different ways to say no
  1. Sadly, I have something else going on.
  2. I have another commitment.
  3. I wish I were able to.
  4. I'm afraid I can't.
  5. I don't have the bandwidth for that right now.
  6. I'm honored you asked me, but I simply can't.
  7. Thanks for thinking of me. ...
  8. I'm sorry, I'm not able to fit this in.
Jan 7, 2022

How do you say no to someone without saying no? ›

How to Say No Without Ever Saying No
  1. Say nothing. ...
  2. Ask for more information. ...
  3. Say “Maybe.” After they get back to you with that information you were sure they wouldn't have, say you'll have to think about it. ...
  4. Say “Not right now.” After they don't forget about it, say that now isn't a good time.

How do you politely reject someone? ›

Be honest, direct, and kind.

A little temporary awkwardness will probably leave both of you feeling better in the end. Something as simple as "It was nice talking to you, but I'd like to just leave it at that. Thanks," might do the trick.

How do you reject a guy nicely? ›

It's a cliché, but actually works.
  1. "I am glad and amazed that you showed interest in me but the problem is I love someone else." ...
  2. "I am already with someone. ...
  3. "I never ever saw you like that, you know. ...
  4. "Thank you, I'm really flattered, but I'm not looking for a relationship right now."
Apr 18, 2021

How do you say no without hurting others? ›

Must Read
  1. I'm honoured but I can't. . .
  2. I wish there were two of me. . .
  3. Unfortunately, now is not a good time. . ...
  4. Sorry, I'm booked into something else right now. . ...
  5. Damn, not able to fit this one in! . ...
  6. Sadly, I have something else. . ...
  7. No, thank you but it sounds lovely, so next time. . ...
  8. I'm not taking anything else right now. .
Apr 19, 2019

How do you say things professionally? ›

1 Use active voice. To sound more professional, be concise and to the point. Short and uncomplicated sentence structure that uses active verb phrases and minimizes passive voice will express your point more quickly and clearly, avoiding potential miscommunication and confusion.

How do you say no without feeling guilty? ›

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty
  1. Take a Look at Your Own Personal Limits. ...
  2. Be Clear About Your No. ...
  3. Be Prepared for the Reactions Of Others. ...
  4. Journal Your Progress. ...
  5. Stick to Your Decision. ...
  6. Repeat Reassuring Phrases. ...
  7. Take a Step Back From Your Emotions. ...
  8. Don't Forget Self Care.
Oct 22, 2020

What is the negative form of enough? ›

'Not enough' means that it is less than the amount that you want or you need. It's a really negative thing.

What is a simple sentence with enough? ›

Adverb I couldn't run fast enough to catch up with her. She's old enough to know better. Are you rich enough to retire?

What is the phrase of enough is enough? ›

idiom. used to say that one wants something to stop because one can no longer accept or deal with it. I don't mind lending her a bit of money now and then, but enough is enough!

How do you say I don't politely? ›

Must Read
  1. I'm honoured but I can't.
  2. I wish there were two of me. . . ...
  3. Sorry, I'm booked into something else right now. . . ...
  4. Sadly, I have something else. . .
  5. No, thank you but it sounds lovely, so next time. . .
  6. I'm not taking anything else right now. . .
  7. Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can't! . .
Apr 19, 2019

How do you say I like in a formal way? ›

It's to my liking :

a very formal way to say 'I like it'. Example : The tea is to my liking.

What are the 5 polite expressions? ›

9 Things Polite People Always Say
  • Please.
  • Thank You.
  • You're Welcome.
  • Pardon Me.
  • Excuse Me.
  • I'm Sorry.
  • May I Help You?
  • I Would Like... / May I Please Have...?
Jul 21, 2022

How do you professionally say you don't agree? ›

I'm sorry but I don't agree. I don't see it that way. I'm sorry but I disagree with you on this. I respectfully disagree.

How do you say respectfully no? ›

10 different ways to say no
  1. Sadly, I have something else going on.
  2. I have another commitment.
  3. I wish I were able to.
  4. I'm afraid I can't.
  5. I don't have the bandwidth for that right now.
  6. I'm honored you asked me, but I simply can't.
  7. Thanks for thinking of me. ...
  8. I'm sorry, I'm not able to fit this in.
Jan 7, 2022

How do you say I like you in a smart way? ›

Try these simple but thoughtful ways to tell someone what they mean to you.
  1. I'm crazy about you.
  2. You're my dream come true.
  3. You take my breath away.
  4. Since you've been around I smile a lot more than I used to.
  5. There is no one I'd rather steal blankets from.
  6. You're my partner in crime.
  7. You look great today and every day.
Feb 10, 2014

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