A list of 142 adjectives to learn for success in the IELTS, TOEFL, or any other English exam. To communicate more powerfully in English, avoid weak, boring and overly-used words such as good or bad. Instead, choose one of the thousands of other more specific descriptive adjectives that can energize your language, convey greater meaning, and boost your IELTS and TOEFL scores.


examples: She’s a helpful person. · He’s a selfish person.
Good Bad
helpful unhelpful
friendly unfriendly
generous selfish
kind mean
compassionate wicked
sympathetic evil
reliable unreliable
gentle violent
honest dishonest
loving ruthless
caring uncaring
humble snobbish
receptive rude
understanding manipulative
cheerful angry
patient impatient
trustworthy untrustworthy
loyal disloyal
faithful unfaithful


examples: The weather was warm and sunny. · The weather was cold and windy.
Good Bad
lovely stormy
sunny cold
warm freezing
pleasant windy
balmy awful
beautiful rainy
summery humid
mild foggy
fine cloudy
clear nasty


examples: It was an amazing book. · It was a boring movie.
Good Bad
amazing boring
exciting unpleasant
positive negative
wonderful difficult
enriching frightening
interesting scary
unique horrible
magnificent terrible
joyful depressing
productive traumatic
relaxing stressful


examples: What a pretty dress. · What a terrible accident.
Good Bad
a pretty dress a terrible accident
an attractive kitchen an evil plot
a colourful painting a tasteless meal
a splendid meal a horrible day
a terrific show a stupid idea
an amazing concert a dreadful incident
a wonderful holiday a violent demonstration
a superb actor an exhausting trip
a magnificent collection a bitter employee
an excellent presentation a vengeful gang
an exceptional teacher a tough customer
an extraordinary performance a dirty room
a marvelous holiday a dangerous neighbourhood
a fantastic movie a tiring day
a tremendous honour a difficult exam
an outstanding musician a challenging quiz
a fabulous location a notorious criminal
a beautiful woman an illegal activity
a breathtaking performance an immoral act
a lovely home an isolated place
an exquisite painting a lonely widow
an intelligent professor a frustrating time
a gorgeous view a confusing situation
a safe area a disgusting smell
a proud parent a shocking attack
a well-behaved child a tense mood
a flexible policy a helpless feeling
a fragrant garden a cowardly act
a talented comedian a strict rule
a comfortable bed a careless driver
an optimistic attitude a pessimistic view
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