kinds / types / sorts

When talking about different varieties of things, kinds, types, and sorts are essentially the same:

  • I like many different types of music.
  • All sorts of people come to this club – students, professionals, artists.
  • This restaurant has fifty different kinds of sushi.

    When asking questions, we usually use the singular form:

  • What type of music do you like?
  • What sort of people come to this club?
  • What kind of sushi is your favorite?

    “Type” is the most formal, and it implies more definite categories:

  • What type of car is that?

    (Answer = A definite type: It’s a Volkswagen / BMW / Ferrari / Toyota / etc. )

  • What kind/sort of women do you like to date?

    (Answer = More general and descriptive: I like smart women with a good sense of humor / I tend to be attracted to tall blonde women / etc..)

    We can also use “kind of” and “sort of” in informal English to mean “a little bit.”

    They are usually pronounced kinda and sorta:

  • A cup of coffee here is $2.50. That’s kinda expensive. at the cafe near my house, it’s $1.50.
  • I’m sorta hoping the party is canceled this weekend. I’m not really excited about going.