Questions about different types of entertainment such as films, TV, and music are common on the IELTS exam. It is important you can discuss the ways in which you or other people entertain themselves. This page contains words and phrases that will help you make your answers sound more advanced and complete. There are some practice activities for you to practice using the words with some real IELTS questions.

1. General Entertainment Vocabulary and Music/Film/Book Genres

  • A gig/show – A performance by musicians or comedians
  • A musical – A film or theatre production in which dancing and singing play an integral part
  • A play – A theatre production/performance
  • Absorbing – Something that is extremely interesting and captivating
  • Audience – The people watching a particular show/event
  • Background music – Music that is played as an unassuming compliment to another activity. For example, music that is played in restaurants, elevators, shopping centres etc…
  • Band / Group – A group of people that join together to play or perform music
  • Cinema/Movies/Pictures/Flicks – The place where people go to watch films with a public audience
  • Classical – A musical genre that uses traditional instruments and follows established principles and convention
  • Comedy – A film/book/play designed to make people laugh
  • Director – The person in charge of actors and crew during film or theatre productions
  • Drama – A genre that involves stories containing conflict and emotions
  • Dubbed – When a film/TV show has different audio from the original and in a different language
  • Electronic – A musical genre that involves the electronic production and processing of sounds
  • Folk – The traditional music of a country or region / A genre using traditional acoustic instruments that experienced a revival in the 1960s
  • Genres – Categories of either film, literature, plays, or music that are similar in style/composition
  • Heavy metal – A musical genre of highly amplified harsh-sounding rock music
  • Hip Hop/Rap – The cultural movement associated with rap music / A musical genre where the words are spoken rather than sung
  • Horror – A genre that is designed to scare or shock the audience
  • Jazz – A musical genre associated with improvisation and brass instruments
  • Lyrics – The words of a song
  • Melody – A satisfying sequence of musical notes
  • Mystery – A genre that tells stories that are puzzling or confusing. They are very often crime stories
  • Orchestra – A group of people playing classical instruments
  • Overrated – To have a higher prestige or opinion that is deserved
  • Plot – The sequence of events in a play/film/book
  • Posthumous – Occurring or being released after the death of the originator
  • Record label – A company that produces, records, and sells music
  • Reggae – A musical genre that started in Jamaica and which is influenced by Rastafarian ideas
  • Rock – A popular musical genre that typically involves guitar, bass, drums and a vocalist
  • Star – A famous person
  • Streaming platforms – A TV-based entertainment source that broadcasts movies/TV shows/events to paying subscribers
  • Subtitles – The text that appears at the bottom of the screen to translate the audio into different languages
  • Thriller – A genre of film/book/play that aims to excite the audience
  • To binge-watch – To watch several episodes of a TV show in quick succession
  • To chill – To relax
  • To improvise – To create or perform drama or music spontaneously
  • Venue – The place where an event takes place

IELTS writing correction

IELTS Vocabulary – Entertainment

Activity 1
Choose the correct answer to complete the IELTS questions
Are foreign films popular in your country?

Yes, foreign films are extremely popular in my country mainly because of the growth of like Amazon and Netflix, which show films from abroad. I think that fewer people go to the these days, which has also meant that they watch more foreign films. People enjoy them so much because they like to see that they recognise or watch films from well-renowned whose films they have seen before. I personally enjoy watching them as long as they have I feel it is difficult to understand the when they are into a different language because you can’t hear the original voice of the actors.

Do you think older and younger generations prefer different kinds of music

Yes, I think that in general, people tend to prefer the they listened to when they were in their late teens or early twenties. For example, my parents listen to a lot of from the 60s like Janis Joplin or Bob Dylan, or they listen to acts such as Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix. I think that the days of the traditional rock are over. The people I know from my generation prefer to listen to more modern genres like because they enjoy the poetic qualities of the and how they rhyme is also popular with youngsters because that is what they hear and dance to in nightclubs. The advancement of technology has also meant that this type of music can be made easily on a computer in someone’s bedroom.

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Are foreign films popular in your country?

Yes, foreign films are extremely popular in my country mainly because of the growth of streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix, which show films from abroad. I think that fewer people go to the flicks these days, which has also meant that they watch more foreign films. People enjoy them so much because they like to see stars that they recognise or watch films from well-renowned directors, whose films they have seen before. I personally enjoy watching them as long as they have subtitles. I feel it is difficult to understand the plot when they are dubbed into a different language because you can’t hear the original voice of the actors.

Do you think older and younger generations prefer different kinds of music

Yes, I think that in general, people tend to prefer the genre they listened to when they were in their late teens or early twenties. For example, my parents listen to a lot of folk from the 60s like Janis Joplin or Bob Dylan, or they listen to rock acts such as Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix. I think that the days of the traditional rock band are over. The people I know from my generation prefer to listen to more modern genres like rap because they enjoy the poetic qualities of the lyrics and how they rhyme. Electronic is also popular with youngsters because that is what they hear and dance to in nightclubs. The advancement of technology has also meant that this type of music can be made easily on a computer in someone’s bedroom.

Using idioms and phrasal verbs correctly on the IELTS test will make your answers sound more advanced and natural. Here are some essential words and phrases you can use to enrich your answers on the topic of entertainment. There is also an activity for you to practice using the words in context.

  • A cliff-hanger – An ending that leaves the audience guessing or in suspense
  • A crowd-pleaser – A thing or person that holds substantial popular appeal
  • A popcorn movie – A film that is entertaining and easy to watch but with low artistic merit
  • A sell-out – A person who betrays their original cause/integrity to gain popular appeal
  • Be into something – To have a general interest in something, for example, a musical genre, the films of a specific director etc…
  • Couch potato – A person who spends lots of time on the sofa watching TV
  • Critical acclaim – Very good reviews from critics
  • Gave me food for thought – Something that makes you think
  • Get into something – To become interested in a specific book/film/play/TV show
  • Go downhill – To gradually get worse
  • Heart-warming – Something that creates happiness, sympathy, or an emotional reward
  • Hit the big time – To become famous
  • Hit the headlines – To be focused on in the press/media
  • In the limelight – To receive a lot of attention from the press/media
  • Music to my ears – Something that is pleasant or gratifying to hear
  • On the edge of your seat – In a state of excitement
  • Play by ear – Proceed instinctively or spontaneously according to what happens rather than following a plan
  • Put something on – To make something start on a device such as a TV, CD player etc…
  • Show stopper – A performance that receives long and enthusiastic applause from the audience
  • Star-studded – Containing lots of famous people
  • Steal the show – Attract the highest amount of praise and attention
  • Take up – To start something such as a musical instrument or hobby
  • To be tone-deaf – Someone that is not sensitive to differences in musical pitch

IELTS Vocabulary – Entertainment

Activity 2
Choose the correct answers to complete the IELTS questions.

Even though she wasn’t the headline act, she completely  wand got the biggest applause of the night. I really dislike it when bands have a little bit of success and then by releasing songs that are just designed to sell as many records as possible. When I go out I don’t like to plan things too rigidly, I would rather and see what happens. I think that many musicians should give up and retire before their musical output starts going Some famous people do not like the attention that comes with being in the If I go to the cinema with my kids, we tend to see because they are too young to understand anything deep. I find it incredibly difficult to books. I usually read 20 pages, get bored, and then end up turning the TV on. The thing I enjoy about Netflix series is that they always have endings that keep you and wanting more.

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Describe an interesting animal you have seen

Even though she wasn’t the headline act, she completely stole the show and got the biggest applause of the night.
2. I really dislike it when bands have a little bit of success and then sell out by releasing songs that are just designed to sell as many records as possible.
3. When I go out I don’t like to plan things too rigidly, I would rather play it by ear and see what happens.
4. I think that many musicians should give up and retire before their musical output starts going downhill.
5. Some famous people do not like the attention that comes with being in the limelight.
6. If I go to the cinema with my kids, we tend to see popcorn movies because they are too young to understand anything deep.
7. I find it incredibly difficult to get into books. I usually read 20 pages, get bored, and then end up turning the TV on.
8. The thing I enjoy about Netflix series is that they always have cliff-hanger endings that keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.

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