IELTS Listening: English Names

In IELTS Listening Section 1, it is common to be asked to listen for English names.

This lesson will test you on your ability to listen and write down English names. After the answers, I’ll give you a list of tips to help you understand how to listen for names in IELTS Listening Section 1.

UPDATE 2017: ย Capital letters are not marked in IELTS listening or reading so don’t worry about them. See this page for more info:ย

Are you good at spelling? Do you know your English names? Let’s see…

Listening for English Names


Click below for more useful listening practice for IELTS:




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  1. hi
    can i use all capitals ?

  2. Liz,
    Thanks for the video session. I found it very useful and insightful. Kudos!

  3. Ammar Ayed says:

    Thanks for very much for the videos , it is really fruitful videos
    Would you please post another videos for common names ?
    Regarding Initial I noticed there is a dot between initial letter like J.K. ,so is it a must to put dot after Dr. what Sir and others ?

  4. Alaba Eunice says:

    Hi Liz!
    Thank you very much, I love your classes especially, this listening part, I will like to get more to practice with.

  5. Eric Tremolanti says:

    Hi Liz,
    If during my listening test the recorded voice spells the family name “Brambling”, can I answer both


  6. Hello Liz I need more exercises for listening tips please

  7. If I am attempting the listening section in capital letters, then the names should be written entirely in capital letters, right?
    eg MRS SMITH and not Mrs Smith?

  8. Pratyaksh says:

    In listening module, specially in writing names can i write names in capital letters for.e.g MR HARRY POTTER.
    Can j write in this way? or i have to follow the conventional method i.e. Mr Harry Potter
    Please guide.๐Ÿ˜‡

    • I recommend that all your answers are written in capital letters for listening and reading.

      • can we right all the answers with capital letters in listening and reading

      • mmachukwu nwokolo says:

        UPDATE 2017: Capital letters are not marked in IELTS listening or reading so dont worry about them.

        This is on this page, but you said that we can use capital letters in reading and writing.
        Please reply

        • It means you can use them or not use them – as you want. My recommendations are that you use all capital letters for listening and reading.

  9. Amandeep kaur says:

    Hello Mam…. your way of teaching is awesome and your voice is melodious….i daily watch your lessons…Mam i have a problem in reading…how can I improve my reading?

  10. Lota Onuba says:

    Hi Liz, the practice “listening for English names” was really helpful. Thank you for the guide. Please, I will need more practices on this. Thanks

  11. Harpreet says:

    I have a lot of problem in map section and this section is so helpful for us .so, thank you so much mam

  12. Loved the common names lists! You have lists for common boy and girl names. Maybe common last names as well (e.g. Smith, Black, Johnson)? Last time I had an online free practice from somewhere else, I needed to spell Hewitt and I couldn’t then … Thanks!

  13. Cyril jed says:

    Hi Liz,
    What instances (Ms) is usually used?
    Thank you!

    • It is used for a professional woman who does not want her marital status to be known. She will decide if she wants to be called Miss or Ms.

  14. is it okay if you write titles like “Mr.” and “Mrs.” instead of “Mr” and “Mrs” or is it incorrect?
    Thank you!

  15. Hi Liz,
    Is ‘Miss’ and ‘Ms’ considered 2 different answer, if I write ‘Ms’ instead of ‘Miss’, will my answer be considered wrong?
    I also find it difficult to differentiate ‘a’ and ‘e’, they sound the same…

  16. martina says:

    Do i have to write the full stops when writing for example J.K: ? If yes, shoul I write them in space ?

  17. hi Liz,
    I need to get 8 in listening, however when i try to practice real tests , I always get 34 or 35 from 40, I cannot exceed more than that, I answered lots of exams and didn’t find it is useful to improve my score, should i switch to listening to movies? please advice ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You need to study. Doing practice tests isn’t studying, it is testing. You need to go through each answer and make a list of reason why you got the question wrong, what language would help you get it right (this means write down the paraphrases) and spot the difficulty with the question. You need to practise spotting key words and finding them in the transcript. Do you spend time reading the transcript? Start doing it.

  18. I have a question. When IELTS spell the name, if they say “wt”, sometimes it is spelled “wt”, but can be “tt”. How can I tell the difference ?

    • “w” is pronounced “double you”. So, “WT” is pronounced “double you tee”. But “TT” is pronounced “double tee”. Can you see the difference?

  19. Mohamed says:

    thanks ,alot its very helpful tips and exercise as well
    i appreciate all the efforts

  20. Tayyab Awan says:

    thanku so much gorgeous lady

  21. Victoria says:

    Thank you very much for your teaching and explanations! The videos are really useful! I would ask you to make some more videos with names, please! I am easily trapped on names.

    • It’s funny that you have asked me. I’ve just finished preparing a listening exercise for names today. I’ll try and post if this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Hello Liz.
    If I wrote “JK.” instead of “J.K.” would it be wrong?

  23. Good day Liz!
    Is it possible to use all capital letters in answering questions/ identifications for listening? will it affect my score especially on proper nouns..such as names..
    i have an ugly handwriting that’s why I’m planning to use all capital letters… thanks in advance!

    • If your handwriting is not clear, use capital letters at all times. It saves a lot of problems. You can use capitals for listening, reading and writing if you want.

      • hi Liz,
        i would like to ask, in writing test, do I have to emphasize the capital letters when i am using all caps? do I need to make it much bigger to be differentiated? tnx

        • I do not recommend using all capital letters in the writing test. Use them in the listening and reading test but not in the writing test.

  24. Hi Liz,
    First of all i must admit that you are a great teacher, I am impressed with the way you teaching the lessons, Thanks you very much and upload more videos

  25. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for sharing all the videos for free. I would like to know if I write everything in capital letter in listening section, then how to write initials MR or Mr?


  26. Praveen Kumar says:

    Hi Liz,
    I’m really pleased with your phenomenal teaching on IELTS preparations.
    Could you provide me a clarification on the same topic.
    If in case first Name has already given and asking for the last name similar to below
    Mr Paul _________.

    Do we need to write the entire name in answer sheet or only the Last name.
    eg. Mr Paul Anderson or Anderson?

  27. Hi Litz

    Provided video is really helpful and will clear basic doubts .

  28. Ashish deval says:

    Hi mam,
    your listening and writing lessons are so helpful and easy to understand with British accent.
    it helped me a lot.
    Thanks & regards
    Ashish Deval

  29. Dear Liz,
    The listening part was helpful for me.

  30. Hi Liz
    You are really very good teacher, clear accent, you have an organized thoughts so I’m pleased to subscribe in every social media that you have(youtube channel, Facebook, and website of
    I hope you are very well and see you in other next posts

  31. I knew you since last year. I really like your way of teaching in particular and your website in general.
    I answerd q1, 2, 4,and 5 correctly and q3 incorrectly. I was confused when you call the First letter of the suranme (Mr Sean Fergus). I undestood as if you said S nstead of F.
    last thing, can I write….like JK Rowling? your’s was J.K.Rowling?

    Many thanks

  32. Hi Liz,
    I need more practice on the names. Could you please provide more links and more lessons on the same.

  33. Sukhpreet Mangat says:

    Thanks mam for giving us great tips. i hope i will get high score in my IELTS exam.

  34. Hi Liz,
    Would you recommend to write all listening test answers in upper case i.e. capital letters

  35. Execellent lessons

  36. Thanks! This video, as well as the other one where you spell city names are quite helpful for IELTS ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Hi liz
    I’m falling in love with your lesson .It was beyond my idea that how a person teach tough things such a easiest way. Its really awesome. I always got afraid about IELTS. But now I’m getting little bit courage after watching your lesson. Thanks a lot.

  38. Mahbub Hossain says:

    Thank you very much for ur video tips.
    How should I Write titles before name – Mr Mrs Miss Ms or Mr. Mrs. Miss. Ms. ? which one is correct?
    How should I write initials before name – J K or J.K. or J.K ? which one is correct?

  39. Hello mam,
    I have one doubt, which words starts with Capital, I am not getting. Most of questions I got wrong because of this only. Any tips for this? Thanks in advance

  40. Hi Liz thank you very much for your helpful tips.

  41. Hi Liz thank you very much for your helpful tips for ielts.

  42. hello Ma’am.
    thank you so much for all your useful lessons. i just need to know that if i began writing my listening answers in capital letters then i should also do this for the names right? i mean then it wouldn’t be just the 1st letter of the name capitalized, it should be the whole name. am i mistaken?

    • thank you so much for your reply. one more thing please. if the recording spelled a name for us letter by letter (for example : Smith) should we write it (Smith) or (S-M-I-T-H)?

  43. Thank you very much Liz! It’s very helpful and I hope to see more “English name” video from you!

  44. Hi Liz
    if I wrote the initials without dot after them , is it right ?

  45. Thank you so much Liz.
    If it is possible more spelling exercises I would be grateful.

  46. Ahmed Hassanin says:

    Excellent web site and great effort from Liz
    Thank you very much

  47. Mawahib says:

    Hello Liz,
    grateful thanks for your effort it was really beneficial to me I didn’t know before that my answer will be wrong if i spell the names in small letters or not writing the initials .thanks a lot

  48. Kelvin Matheus says:

    Hi, good evening.

    I loved your video. Thanks so much for this!

    Do have extra material spelling names, addresses, number, credit card number? A lot of examples? I have plenty of difficult to listen the,.

    Thanks for your help and congrats for your job, it is amazing!


    Kelvin Matheus

    • I only have what is available on the main listening page. I hope to make more practice listening for different types of numbers in the future.

  49. Tamer Ads says:

    Dear Liz,

    Considering the initials, should all the letters be in Capital, or is it only the first one?

    Thank you.

    • In this video, I used all capitals for the initials but in IELTS listening, you don’t need to worry about using them or not.

  50. Shahid says:

    I seen lots of videos about ielts of your ,then i visited the website ,its really very help full for me thanks for all the efforts from you for ielts prepartion .

  51. Thanks for the great tutorials! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I use CAPITAL letters when I transfer my answers to answer sheet. Can I write all the letters in capitals for names?

  52. Thanks a lot Liz:)

  53. Dear Liz, thank you so much for your tips!
    Unfortunately, your links with common English names for boys and girls are not available… It would be highly appreciated if you could fix it.

  54. Girija Kirtikar says:

    Excellent totorial Liz It has helped me a lot please keep sending me more help thank you.

  55. Abirami says:

    Video for practicing Name is good.
    But when I practice of IELTS listening audio the pronunciation of P,B looks similar.
    similarly for t,d.
    But,In your name practice video ,I could differentiate B pronounced.

    We need some video tips for such letters which pronounce similar

  56. Dear Liz
    Thank you very much for your great work. Above that, it’s all free. I have taken IELTS test a couple of years back while accompanying a friend on vocation just as part of a discucssion how our English was. I was indeed on vocation in London and we decided to take it. I had no knowledge of the test pattern or what is expected from the candidates. I managed to take 7.5 in speaking as well as listening. I have totally misplaced the filling of answers for reading test on answer sheet and better not to mention the score. For reading I got 6 and I had no idea of the techniques of scanning and skimming. I am taking the test again now as I need it and I found your blog. Your detailed explanations, generous replies, plentiful of practice material makes it a must to appreciate your work. Stay always blessed.

  57. hello liz mam, im from india nd going to fill ilets exam but im confused between 21 april and 19 may2016 .(21st april that day only acedemic test nd will this date test difficult or not ) which is best date accroding to you plz help me thnx

  58. Hina Vadsarya says:

    Thanks for your lesson, but I have to ask for titles, can we write titles with full stop like Mr. Mrs. or no full stop.

  59. Hi Liz, I’ve watched your videos. It is very helpful. Before this I got 5.5 in listening twice, 6 and 5.5 for reading. Recently, I sat for another test and I got 7 for listening and 6.5 for reading. Thank you very much!

  60. hi mam,
    in this lesson i have some confusion..
    like: in initial i will write JK or J.K. both are right or not
    and in titles DR or DR.
    i mean that punctuation is compulsory
    thank u

  61. One question madam, in including titles,, should I put a period/dot after the title? say Mr. Sean? or just Mr Sean?

    also, would the answer above apply if I write my listening and reading answers in upper case? say MR. SEAN BRAMLING?

    appreciate your answer and I really find your tips very helpful.

  62. Hello Liz,
    Just wanted to say thank you for all your resourceful materials, I am benefiting immensely from them.

    Kind regards.

  63. Hello!
    Thank you for providing this course for IELTS preparation. I’m really struggling with spelling. I would appreciate if you provide more listening practice .

    Thanks in advance

  64. Ms Liz thanks a lot u r really wonderful and helpful.

  65. FAKHRE ALAM says:

    Thank you liz for such a nice lecture.You are doing excelent job for those who can’t pay for brand intitute.I like your way of teaching its interesting and useful for us.

  66. salama zewail says:

    This is a very useful video, thank you for your hard working. I really appreciate this.

  67. Hi,

    This website is very useful and it is helping me to understand in depth the requirements of all sections. Thanks a lot for your guidance.


  68. Hi,

    I find your videos very helpful for understanding the minute details in listening section that i was not aware of. Thanks a lot… Also i feel your smile and teaching methods encourage me to improve on my mistakes.


  69. manideep nomula says:

    i find this lesson is very useful to improve my score in listening section and i what a lesson how to use punctuation in ielts writing task one and two to improve score .

    i am really enjoying your lessons
    thank you
    with regards
    nomula manideep

  70. FATH ELRAHMAN says:

    Thanks a lot Miss Liz, it is very useful

  71. Hi,
    thanks for this video and I need more example for the name

  72. dear Liz,
    I understand that the singular and plurals are very important in listening test but I have this problem:
    the sport center ; the sports center
    the arts center, the art center
    maths department building, math department building

    sometimes I repeat the recordings many times trying to understand whether there is an “s” at the end or not but it still not clear.
    My question is : since this would not affect the grammar of the sentence and since both forms are acceptable to be used in UK as I checked some websites, would that be acceptable to use any of these forms in the ielts exam?


    • You must write exactly as it is in the recording. If the recording says “sports center” then you need the “s” for a correct answer. My next free video lesson will be about listening for plurals. I hope to release it next week.
      All the best

  73. Dr. Syed Iqtidar Ali Raza says:

    Dear Liz
    Kindly solve this problem once for all
    Do we need to put full stop after Mr Mrs
    Dr Ms and so on. Because since childhood we have learnt to put full stop after these.
    But now it’s the other way round
    What to do
    Kindly help

    • The full stop was used back in the days before computers. Nowadays both for typing and handwriting we don’t use the full stop after titles.
      All the best

  74. Hi Liz. How are you doing? I just went through the video on Listening for names. thanks for making it so clear as to which points to look after.(5 nos.) I want to know if there is a title like “Mrs”, do we need to add a full stop after “Mrs” as “Mrs. Hilary Mitchel”? Thank you in advance!

  75. Hi Liz.
    My name is Mary. I have studied by Cambridge 1-10 and I would like to know in real test time listening and reading tests are similar those?

  76. Sercan Ulucan says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you very much for the lessons. They are very helpful. I have a question about using punctuations at initials. I think there is no need to add a full stop after Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr etc. Wikipedia explains this issue like below:

    “If the abbreviation includes both the first and the last letter of abbreviated word, as in “Mister” – “Mr” and “Doctor” – “Dr”, a full stop is not used.

    So that means we shouldn’t add a full stop after these abbreviations. But if the initial is “Prof” we should add it.

    Is that right? At the lesson, you added a full stop after “Dr” so I’m a little bit confused ๐Ÿ™‚ However, if we make a mistake while using this type of punctuations, which are complicated, do we lose points?

    Thank you so much,


  77. Hi,Mrs Elizabeth .
    My name is Vikash Kumar Panjwani.
    I am student of BBA however 1 years in university of Pakistan. so kindly some tips gives me for reading and listening. and i am joining the online classes and registration.

    • Go to the main page for each section to get tips – the pages are accessed through links on the red nav bar.
      All the best

  78. Thank you very much for your useful video and your tips.
    Best regards,

  79. Thank you so much for the valuable material. This is by far the best site that i have come across for IELTS.

  80. Thanks a lot

    Very useful video

  81. Can we write Mister in lieu of Mr.? Thanks Liz.

  82. Dear Liz,
    thank you a lot, these exercises are very useful. Although I already did an English taught Master and I’m currently doing a Phd in English, the partner university I am going to enrol in for the joint degree requires me to take the IELTS test and score at least 7.5.
    Despite I consider myself fluent in English and I don’t have any particular problems, I sometimes struggle with spelling ๐Ÿ™‚
    So my question to you would be: do you think it can be a good idea to write down the vowels according to the phonetic alphabet on a scratch paper? Then I would copy them in their correct form to the answer sheet. As I am Italian, vowels are my greatest concern. Of course, this would work if scratch paper is provided/allowed…
    Thanks a lot

    • I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean writing vowel sounds during the test? All notes you make in your listening test must be written on the question paper because no extra paper is provided. You must decide how to make notes that work well for you. Each students has their own system. If you are fluent using the phonetic alphabet, then try it in a full practice test first.
      All the best

  83. Mohammed Azeen says:

    Dear Liz, your work is wordless to speak so you have been doing a great job for humanity .

    • Thanks. I’m very pleased you find my blog useful ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dear Liz!
      Thank you so much for such an amazing job you are doing. Your tips are invaluable, and I am sure they help hundreds of people.
      In my last IELTS exam I had 7.5 for Listening, but I need 8. Multiple choice questions and the maps are the trickiest parts. Could you recommend some links for these particular tasks?
      Thanks in advance.
      Best wishes,

  84. Mohammed Azeen says:

    My dear Liz, thanks for your valuable efforts, But i need more videos if possible.

  85. Ranny Labastida says:

    Hey Liz, you are a very good instructor of IELTS, You are doing a great job, hope to learn more tips from you as I am preparing my self for my future exam.

    More power to you!


  86. I really didn’t know that “Ms” differs from “Miss” in pronunciation.
    Thank you.

  87. hi liz, can i write the full name in capital letters.

  88. Thank you! It was very useful!

  89. Tran Nam says:

    Thank you so much for your lessons,

  90. Thank you so much it’s really very interesting and beneficial .

  91. Too interesting. Simply amazing to listen and too clear to understand.


  92. thank you

  93. very usef tips

  94. Very useful! I got 5.Thank u so much.

  95. Seyidali says:

    Hi Liz.
    My name is Seyidali. Firstly thank you for your efficient and helpful videos. Liz I follow you on “Sound Cloud” and I would like you to send me listenings. Would you mind if you put much videos for Listening Task 1.Please help me i am going to take IELTS exam on 11th July.

    • Unfortunately, my audios can’t be emailed. They are stored on my soundcloud. I wikll certainly put more videos up about listening but it will take time.
      All the best

  96. Prashant K Gupta says:

    Hi. I am Prashant Gupta. I belong to India. I am pursuing Ph.D and a faculty too but I teach technical subject to engineering students such as circuits, etc. The link to my youtube channel is:
    I was always afraid of the technicalities of English “as a subject”. I had always wanted to go and study abroad preferably New Zealand or Denmark, to settle there. For moving abroad I had to appear for IELTS. I was fearing as to I will fail badly. But you are actually a savior. I will look forward to your more videos for all four IELTS sections. Any how I have to appear for IELTS not before January 2016. So, I will have lot of time to practice and improve.
    I am gaining a lot of confidence by looking at your videos and practicing simultaneously.
    Thanks a lot !!
    It will be really great if you can have a look at my one or more videos from the link above and let me know how much more I need to improve for speaking part.

    • I’ve taken a look at two videos briefly. Your English is accurate but you are taking on a subject that you know well. I can’t say if you will speak with the same level of English language if you are asking to talk about photography, cookery or walking. To get a high score in IELTS speaking, you need to be able to speak with fluency on a range of topics. Another point to consider is that you do have a strong accent. For me, I found some sentences difficult to understand but it is possible that the examiner will find it easier to understand you.
      If you focus on developing language for a range of topics, speaking clearly and just being chatty, you will be fine.
      All the best

      • Prashant K Gupta says:

        Thank you Liz for those motivating words. Yes I have been teaching the subject for past 9 years, twice a year for semester students, which makes it 18 times till date.

        I will do take care of the important tips that you have given me. I am watching your videos regularly and also trying to catch the pronunciations of words. Shortly I will start sending you the links to my videos that will be improved as compared to this one.

  97. Hi Liz,

    The lesson was really helpful You have touched on the areas where I usually take for granted, now I realized how important they are during the exams.



  98. Prashant says:

    Hi Liz

    Thanks for useful videos and tips . I have one query .. In such question , if one option is incorrect than do we lose all three marks ?

  99. Teshome Kebede Dheressa says:

    Hi Liz!
    First and foremost I would like to express my profound appreciation for your wonderful teaching style on IELTS. Honestly I have learnt and gained a lot from your smiling lectures. Thank you very much indeed. However, I have one comment. The videos posted on the website are not clear and neat when I zoom the page especially on the listening part. Could you take a type of action to correct this please?
    Warmest regards,

    • Make sure you watch the videos at the high quality setting which you can alter on your youtube settings. My videos can not be uploaded at a higher setting because they are already at the highest possible.
      All the best

  100. Ramakanth says:

    Sorry, I mean, liz can we write all our listening and reading answers in capital letters.
    Excuse for previous wrong was sent by mistake

  101. thank you Liz . all your video is useful ,please practice more about writing too.

  102. Jhenel R.Bayno says:

    Thank you so much Liz!Seeing your site is such a blessing.

    More power to you!


  103. Such an amazing teacher

  104. i enjoyed all sessions and it helped a lot to overcome my issues with listening especially . tnx for providing such a valuable stuff

  105. thank you so much teacher.

  106. Thank you so much teacher.
    I really enjoy all your lessons!

  107. Hi Liz,

    Thank you so much for your very helpful videos, can you post more video on names, especially names of roads and cities.



    • Hi Hassan,

      I plan to make a video lesson for names, places, addresses etc. Not sure when it will be ready, but it’s definitely on my list. Thanks for letting me know the videos are useful.
      All the best

  108. Hello Liz
    To be honest I have to confess that your videos and the information at your website are the best ever I have met in my life. You seem so presentable and your language is really clear and understandable. Not to forget you great, friendly smile.
    Thank you so much and always be ahead

    • Hi,

      Thanks – very kind comments. I’m pleased all the lessons are useful ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Chotey Lal says:

        Respected Madam,
        I would like to say thanks for you are preparing such good useful video. Please make some more video including name and telephone and street name and numbers.
        I will glad to tell us ILETS preparing material and video or online access .

        Chotey Lal

        • Next week I will put up a listening practice lessons for place names. I’m working on a video for different types of numbers at the moment – hopefully it will be ready this month or next month.
          All the best

  109. i like it as i am ignoring some basic thing to wites but u mention them in details.thanks

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