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

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:


  1. Hi Liz, your tips are very useful. I used to not give my attention to the questions, instructions and panic and just focused on the reader/tapes and sometime made a wrong spelling, but after listening to your tips which makes me lots of sense and change my mindsets to more concentrate and focus. Hope your tips are going to help me to overcome my target band score of at least 6 or 6.5.

    Thanks for your patient and wish you have lots of good luck!

  2. Shashank Pradhan says

    Hi Liz,

    First of all thank you so much for your efforts. I have a question, suppose I would write initials as J K Rowling, without giving dot in between J K will it be considered as right answer?

  3. Hi Liz.
    Thanks a lot for your worthless efforts.
    Could you amswer to my question?
    If I wrote Mister instead of Mr. is it a mistake?

  4. Hi Liz! Thanks for all the knowledge that you have taught us.
    I am confused about this sentence;

    If they hadn’t interviewed participants face to face, they could have used a much bigger sample size.

    Can we understand ”they were interviewed face-to-face” from this sentence?

    • Correct. It means people were interviewed face to face, but if that choice had not been made, they could have had a bigger sample size.

  5. Hi Liz,

    Please confirm if the second initial in Rowling’s name in your video tutorial for names is actually written as a small letter k or a capital letter k? For people with two or three first names are the initials written in capital letters too in the IELTS listening test?

    • They are all capital letters. My writing isn’t clear. This is a good lesson for you all to learn about writing during the paper based IELTS test – make your writing clear.

  6. Ali Hasan AL - Burom says

    Thanks a lot for your great efforts exerted.

  7. Hi liz,
    This lesson is very helpful for me,
    Thanx for this video. U make me understand very clearly👍

  8. Kiranjot kaur says

    Thanks so much Liz !
    You are best teacher
    Your all videos are improving extremely helpful for me

    • I’m glad they are useful 🙂

      • Thilini Semasinghe says

        Hey Liz.. I did my ielts last week. And they said the word “Gold Coast” which is a place in Australia. However I didn’t know the word and I wrote “goal coast” since that’s how I heard it. They didn’t pronounce the word as well. Since it’s a proper noun, are they not supposed to spell out that word? You didn’t hear the “d” in gold because it is not pronounced when linking with a word that begins “c”. The “d” tends to melt into the “c” sound. Linking sounds is a normal part of spoken English and something that you learn at a higher level.

        • The two words are common words in the English language. They would not spell out a word unless there are two ways of spelling it or it is an uncommon name.

  9. Rashmi Munasinghe says

    Great Tips ! Thanks a lot for sharing these Liz!

  10. Hi Liz,

    I like the way you have organized the lessons.
    I have a question regarding initials. While using initials, I mentioned J K Rowling than J.K. Rowling. Is it necessary to use dots while mentioning it?
    Similarly, do we need to use it while we write titles such as Mr., Mrs.?


  11. Viviana Schwengber says

    I love your videos and this blog. Thank you so much, they´re very helpful.

  12. I got all correct:
    Thanks a lot, a very useful tip.

  13. Hello Liz
    Is it possible to provide us with a list shows the most common names of people in Ielts because I’m Egyptian man and I’m not familiar with these names

  14. Mina Moeini says

    Dear Liz,

    You are great. 🙂


  15. Uzair Mehmood says

    Hello Liz,

    Shouldn’t there be a dot after Mr and Mrs? Miss and Ms will not have dots but Mr and Mrs are abbreviations. You only used a dot after Dr.


  16. Eugene Ndungutse says

    Hello Liz,

    Thank you for your help on tips and training videos, they are much important to all ielts trainees.

  17. Hi Liz, thanks for all you do. Could names in the listening test be written in all capital letters like you have advised beforehand, for example, JOHN SMITH or must it be written in the standard form – John Smith?

  18. Thank you Liz!!

    I never knew about this. Thanks a ton!

  19. Andres Jaramillo says

    You´re lessons are really useful, thank you so much.

  20. If the questions says’ no more than three words’ and the answer is 10th january, should we write the number in words.. Ten january?

    • It’s best to use digits for numbers rather than words. Any spelling mistake will mean the answer is marked wrong. The instructions, when the answer is a number, will always say “No more than three words and/or a number” OR “No more than three words and/or numbers”.

      • Liz isn’t 10th itself is considered as a one word?

        • Don’t confuse writing with listening. All numbers in IELTS writing are counted as words because examiners are counting words. However, instructions in IELTS Listening allow for numbers to be counted as numbers: “No more than one word and a number”. So, January 10th is one word and one number. It is important that you don’t take one black and white rule to cover everything in IELTS and instead learn to apply rules when appropriate.

  21. Thanks for sharing these videos, it really benefits.
    Well done

  22. Thank you Liz, may I know if spacing is required between initials? Thank you!

    • AS long as your answer is easy to read and it is written clearly, it’s fine. There are no fixed rules. Just don’t squash your letters together too much or make it difficult to read.

  23. Thank you Liz,
    Please I will like to know if punctuations after a title or an initial is looked into?

    • It is optional.

      • Is it possible for me to write the Names or address in the worksheet ( question sheet) while hearing itself. Mean may be spelling the words right, so is it possible to do note it the same time?

        • You can write all over the question paper. The examiner never sees it. It is thrown away as soon as the test is completed. So, make all the notes you want on the question paper. This applies to reading, listening and writing.

  24. Elizabeth Adrah says

    Thanks so much. This is really useful


    Dear Liz,

    Thank you so much, that is easy to understand your lessons, It is helpful for me.



  26. Thanks liz .God bless you

  27. Hi Liz,
    Realy helpful for me, your pronunciation is very clear, I can understand easily.
    Thank you so much for this video.

  28. It has been a wonderful experience to go through the tips taught by Liz. She is doing awesome job. The most impressive part of her teaching is her originality. she herself writes on the white board and talks very enthusiastically. i just wish her all the success in future.

  29. Hey Liz, I just took a practice listening test where the answer was “CAFÉ” but I wrote “CAFE”.

    Am I right or wrong?

  30. Liz, thank you so much. You make ILETS listening easy to hit band 8 to 9.

  31. Kushaldeep Singh Sandhu says

    Thankyou Liz . Your tips have taught me a lot

  32. Pavan Kumar Raparthi says

    Hi Liz,

    I have a query, which one is correct in the below words




  33. Hi Liz,

    I just had a course for Ielts, they told me that now they do not take points or mark a question as wrong if you forget the capital letters. They are not part of the score.

    Is that correct?

    Thank you, your lessons are very helpful

  34. Thank you Liz for your videos. I have one question. You spelled Hilary with one L, will I be marked wrong if I spell HI(LL)ARY and MITCHE(LL)

    • If the spelling or name is not common, any differences will be highlighted for you or the name will be spelled completely. If it is a usual common name with usual spelling, it probably won’t be spelled.

  35. Thank you very much Liz. I improve each time I watch your lecture videos.

  36. You’re the best IELTS tutor.I’m proud of you.God bless you.

    • I fully agree, just I am a little disappointed not having found you before and just 2 weeks my IELTS test occurs, but hopefully it won’t be too late!!!!

  37. Akor Enemona John says

    The lesson was very Educative. I learnt new things. Thanks

  38. Dear Liz,
    When one has to write a title like Mr.,
    Should we write it with a dot following Mr or just Mr
    Mr. Vikas Or Mr Vikas

  39. Ven. O. Nandaloka thero says

    Thank you so much it was very helpful ,

  40. You are wonderful!
    I love you lesson a lot,
    Thanks so much.

  41. very useful

  42. LORIJAENE says


    Thank you Miss Liz, indeed your lesson is worth watching and learning. God bless!

  43. It’s very very useful.I never heard these instructions even from my paid course trainer.
    God bless you.

  44. Tanpreet Singh says

    Hello Liz ,

    This is very useful .

    Thanks !

  45. Hi Liz,
    I find this tips very useful. Would love to have more of this tips. Thank you

  46. maryem souli says

    very usueful many thanks
    your great teacher

  47. Hi Liz
    thanks once again for your devotion to teaching IELTS
    having watched your video on IELTS listening: English Names, may I know whether dots will be required to separate initil=als as in ‘JK Rowling’?

  48. Huong Nguyen says

    Thank you so much teacher Liz

  49. You are a great teacher of ielts. I watch all your YouTube videos and follow all tips which are working in my every module…..Thanks Liz

  50. Adetuase Christiana says

    Found this very useful, please I don’t mind have more of it to practice.
    Thanks Liz.

  51. Navpreet Kaur says

    Hi Liz,

    I have always followed your videos. One thing I want to know is that in IELTS listening “CV Hotspot” is considered as three words or two words. I had given the test on 1 st November, 2018, in which they asked to write answers in two words only. I wrote hotspot because I thought CV are two Alphabets. Is it correct or CV hotspot would have been correct.

    • I have never seen any instructions where they ask you to write two words. The instructions are always “two words and/or a number(numbers)”. The letters CV count for one word – you can see they are together.

  52. Sarah Ezekiel says

    Hello Liz
    Thank you so much for the test, I took the test and I got all correct. However I have a number of questions I would like to ask
    Firstly, I noticed you didn’t put a full stop at the end of the Mr, but you did put a full stop at the end of Dr.
    I did put a full stop at the end of mine (Mr. , Mrs.) is this in anyway wrong and would I be marked wrong in the real IELTS exam

    Secondly, I noticed the initials you wrote was J.k. with a small letter “k”. The second letter in the initials does it have to be a small letter or a capital letter. And I also noticed the full stop at the back of the “k” is it necessary for one to put the full stop?

    • In your test, you should be consistent with your dots after a title. You ether use them or don’t use them – choose one. That was actually a capital “K” – my writing isn’t clear.

  53. Thank you, Liz, you are a new ray of hope for me please keep on doing this thank you a lot. with a lot of good wishes.

  54. Vinayak Nilajkar says

    Hello Mam,
    The above video for names was done in 2014 where in tips you place emphasis on capital letters to be used careful. Now I see on your website updated in 2017, you have mentioned we can go with all capital letters for listening and reading. Kindly confirm about use of capital letters and on my observations.

    Vinayak N

  55. Tesfalegn Bogale says

    Thank you very much Liz!! I am learning a lot from your videos

  56. Mohamed Adam says

    You’re a stunning teacher…
    I would like to ask a question, can I capitalize all the letters of the name or only the first one, in case I’m using all capital letters in all my writing.

    Thanks in advance

    • If you use all capital letters, it means each letter is capital. They will ALL BE WRITTEN IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Avoid using all capital letters for the writing test.

      • Hi Liz,

        I see in your comment above you have mentioned to avoid using all capital letters for writing. However other comments below you have recommended to use all capital letters for writing and reading test. I am confused now.

  57. Shekhar Iyer says

    I got all correct.

  58. Onyinyechukwu Uloaku Okeahialam says

    It was very useful,Liz thanks so much.Please i need more lessons on this too

  59. Chinmay Panchal says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you very much for your useful tips around all sections in lELTS. I apologize to ask this repeated question but just wanted to clarify regarding the use of capital letters v/s small letters. It is fine to right everything in small letters for both listening and reading section right as long as Names or Proper nouns start with capital letter?

  60. Waleed Arafa says

    Thank you so much for your marvelous site!
    But I’m very confused about using capital letters in listening and reading tests!
    at the top of this page you wrote: “UPDATE 2017: Capital letters are not marked in …..”
    does this mean ALL CAPS is NOT considered correct answer?

    • It means you don’t have to worry about capital letters. It is good to use all capital letters for your answer.

  61. Neha Menon says

    I wrote ‘Simmon Brambling’ instead of ‘Simon’. Will that be correct?

  62. Deep kamal says

    Thank you liz😊

  63. I really love your lesson. Thank you so much!

  64. Hi Liz,

    Lovely lesson, absolutely bang on! and cracking

    is Dr correct way to write or is Dr. correct way or both are ok? Notice dot in the end
    same goes for Mr /Mr. or Mrs /Mrs. etc

  65. Mamata Vichare says

    Hi Ma’am Thank you for the tips. Just want to know, in the answer no. 4 is it correct to write J K Rowling instead of J k Rowling.
    Waiting for your reply

  66. Than you Mam for the names listening. If it is possible to send more listening i am happy to practice all the excerise.

  67. Hi Liz,
    I am a bit confused, do you mean that i can write all my answers either they are names or not in capital letters?
    Also do you mean all the word in capital letters or only the first letter.
    thanks a lot!

  68. Hey Liz,

    first of all thank you very much providing us with your amazing videos. Unfortunately, I have only one week to study so I am very depending on your videos.

    I have read in another comment that it is allowed to write words in capital letters. Now I am wondering if it´s going to be marked when I write the answers of the listening part in capital letters while the answers of the reading part not.

    Thank you for your help.


      • You mentioned that we must stay with our choice! Is that about listening answers or reading answers or both together? In other words, would it be wrong if I write ALL the answers for listening in capital but ALL the answers for reading in lowercase?

        • Why would you choose that? Write all your answers for listening and reading with capital letters.

          • Thanks for your reply.

            Just because it usually takes more time to write words in capital letters as we are not used to it.

            • For the listening test, you have 10 mins to transfer your answers – that is plenty of time using capital letters. For reading, using capital letters means you will be careful when you copy words from the passage to the answer sheet.

  69. Ezeoha Coleth says

    Hello ma
    Please am to write my IELTS on may 19th and am yet to start practice,i dont want to attend any classes, just want to follow your tutorials online and pass…. Have gone through most of your you tube class and was amazing and i also subscribed with you…… Please how do i go about this with you? I barely have 3weeks and few days, i want to get band 7 or above please
    Waiting for your reply, Thanks alot Ma

    • There are over 300 pages of tips, lessons, model answers etc on this website for free – have you completed all of them? If not, click on the red bar at the top of the website.

  70. Fatemeh Mohammadzadeh says

    You are one of the my besr teacher who I have in my life. Thanks alot Liz🌷🌷🌷🌷

  71. Hi maam i would like to ask if i spell John Smith as JOHN SMITH would that be also correct? Thank you.

  72. Elisheba says

    Thank you Liz

  73. Thank you for your work.

  74. I just wanted to say you are wonderful!! Thanks for everything.

  75. uche kenneth emeh says

    I spelled J.K Rowland instead of rowling

  76. Thank you Teacher Liz I really admire learning on your website it cleared my mind.

  77. kingsley konyeha says

    Hi,I enjoyed the practise video for name. I would like to receive more video.

  78. Hi,
    That’s so kind of you to share all this info with us.
    How important is Hyphen and spacing in IELTS? I mean that once for example I wrote “keep fit” instead of “keep-fit” or I wrote “new town” instead of “Newtown” or similary, “door to door” instead of “door-to-door” and “bankroad” instead of “bank road”. I’m getting confused. Would you please help me with it? Thank you.

    • This is about learning compound nouns. Some are written as one word, some as two words and some using a hyphen. You need to learn the list. You can google this online.

  79. Thank you liz..
    I can see that in the video .. capital letters are not marked??
    What does it mean?
    you mean the capital letters at the beginning of the names??

  80. mohd yousif says

    thank you its really useful ,i loved.

  81. Hi Liz
    I have a question
    If I write J K Rowling instead of J.K.Rowling is it correct?Both are correct? or I have to use a full stop at initials?

  82. Hi Liz ,
    Thanks a lot for your help and your very useful website
    I’ve a Q
    in terms of listening section, if I wrote the half of the correct answer, will it be right?
    Ex : if the correct answer is( global temperature) and I write (temperature) , am I right ??
    also in the common names question , the people say their full name but spells only their first name and I wrote the first name is it right?
    Ex : in the audio he said ” Hi, I’m Kevin Smith , k-e-v-i-n ” so i wrote in the answer only Kevin …is it right??
    It is the first time for me to study for IELTS , hope to complete

    • Your answer is either 100% correct or it is wrong. There are no half points awarded in listening. If you are asked for a name, you must write the full name.

  83. I’m not sure if I should post it in here. Could you confirm if the questions/answers for listening comes in order as the record is played?

    • The questions will come in the order of their numbers. Question 1 first, question 2 second etc.

      • Thank you Liz,

        Well I actually wanted to know if the answers for the questions comes in the order as the recording is played.

        Eg. Answer for question 1 comes in the first part of the recording and answer for the last question of section comes in the last part of the recording.

  84. Virender Singh says

    hello Liz u so good & nice thanks for creating these videos

  85. hi Liz can we use all capital letters or not ?

  86. hi
    can i use all capitals ?

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

  88. 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 ?

  89. See my main listening page:

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

  91. 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?

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

  93. 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?

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

  95. Tayyab Awan says

    thanku so much gorgeous lady

  96. Tika thapa says

    hi liz
    Is it correct to write only JK instead of J.K.

  97. 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.

  98. 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?

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


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

  101. 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.



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