Band scores in all aspects of the IELTS Test can be increased by demonstrating accurate usage of a broader vocabulary.
I’ve mentioned before that one way to extend your vocabulary is to note and learn unfamiliar words together with synonyms and antonyms.
You’ll recall that synonyms are words which are similar or have a related meaning to another word. Their use makes your speaking and writing much more interesting (especially to an IELTS examiner!) as they help you to avoid repeating the same words over and over and using overused words such as “like”.
However, there is a certain skill involved in choosing the most appropriate synonym. You should remember that words are not all created equal and synonyms, by design, do not have an equivalent meaning as the word they replace. It is important to consider the context of the sentence the word is being used in because some synonyms can result in a much different meaning than that intended. One synonym of sad, for example, is “gloomy”. Gloomy carries quite a negative connotation. So if you just want to say that someone is “down” then another synonym such as “blue” or “unhappy” is likely to be more applicable.
To illustrate synonyms, here is a list of adjectives and their synonyms commonly used to describe people:
Beautiful: Attractive, Pretty, Lovely, Stunning
Fair: Just, Objective, Impartial, Unbiased
Funny: Humorous, Comical, Hilarious, Hysterical
Happy: Content, Joyful, Mirthful, Upbeat
Hardworking: Diligent, Determined, Industrious, Enterprising
Honest: Honorable, Fair, Sincere, Trustworthy
Intelligent: Smart, Bright, Brilliant, Sharp
Introverted: Shy, Bashful, Quiet, Withdrawn
Kind: Thoughtful, Considerate, Amiable, Gracious
Lazy: Idle, Lackadaisical, Lethargic, Indolent
Mean: Unfriendly, Unpleasant, Bad-tempered, Difficult
Outgoing: Friendly, Sociable, Warm, Extroverted
Rich: Affluent, Wealthy, Well-off, Well-to-do
Strong: Stable, Secure, Solid, Tough
Unhappy: Sad, Depressed, Melancholy, Miserable
I hope you enjoyed this post – test your own vocabulary below.
To your IELTS Success.