We use this sentence pattern to talk about our weaknesses. It shows a lack of talent, skill, or ability. It has the same meaning as "not good at".
Subject + be verb + bad at + noun...
- I am bad at golf. = I am not good at golf.
- I am bad at math.
- We are bad at yoga.
- He is bad at jiujitsu.
- She is bad at her job.
- He is bad at everything.
- Tina is bad at basketball.
- My daughter is bad at science.
We can also use gerunds. Subject + be verb + bad at + gerund...
- She is bad at cooking.
- We are bad at working together.
- Tony is bad at lying.
- They are bad at making small talk.
- We are bad at snowboarding.
- Mark is bad at cooking.
- Greg and Sally are bad at expressing their feelings.
We can add adverbs before "bad" to add more feeling or detail.
- I am really bad at soccer.
- She is pretty bad at speaking in public.
- They are kind of bad at sales, but they are both salesmen.
- I am somewhat bad at dancing.
- She is extremely bad at dealing with customers.
We can also use "not bad at". It has the same meaning as "okay at".
Bonus Tips and Points
- I am not bad at dancing, but I am not good at it either.
- She is not bad at math.
- She is not bad at her job.
1. We can replace the word "bad" with any similar word. "Horrible", "terrible", and "awful" all mean very bad.
- She is terrible at dancing.
- I am awful at singing.
- They are horrible at math.
2. Here are some examples of questions that use "bad at".
Real-World English Conversations
- Are you bad at dealing with children?
- Is he bad at dancing?
- Is your boss bad at motivating employees?
- What are you bad at?
- Why are you so bad at studying?
A) Do you want to go dancing tonight?
A) Why not?
B) I hate dancing because I am really bad at it.
A) Why am I so bad at English?
B) You are not bad at English.
A) I feel like I can't express myself perfectly in English.
B) It takes a lot of practice to become a fluent speaker.
A) Are you good at cooking?
B) No. I am terrible at cooking, but I want to learn.
A) If you want to learn, then I can teach you.
A) It seems like you are good at everything. What are you bad at?
B) I am bad at art. I can't paint, draw, or make anything.
A) That's interesting because you are really good at fixing things.
B) I am good at fixing and putting together machines, but I'm just not good at art.
A) Why does everybody hate working with James?
B) James is terrible at working with other people. He is stubborn and never listens to other people. And when he disagrees with something, he starts to yell and gets very angry.
A) It seems like he is not very good at controlling his emotions.
B) He is terrible at it. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using the sentences and questions at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget. If you do these three things, then you will be speaking English like a native English speaker in no time!