Monday, 28 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Holidays (Vocabulary)

all-in package/package holiday - travel and accommodation is included in the price
self-catering - a holiday where you supply your own food
breathtaking view - an extremely beautiful view
stunning landscape - extremely beautiful countryside
picturesque village - very pretty village
places of interest - sites of interest to tourists
to go sightseeing - to look around the tourist sites
charter-flight - a cheaper form of flying
check-in desk - place where you register your flight and leave your luggage
departure lounge - where you wait for your flight to be called
to get away from it all - to take a holiday to escape a stressful lifestyle
guided tour - an organised group shown around a place of interest by an expert
holiday brochure - a publication with details of holiday packages
holiday destination - where you go for a holiday
a resort - a place where many people go for holiday
a youth hostel - a cheap form of accomodation
local crafts - objects produced locally
a souvenir - a thing that is kept as a reminder of a place
a long weekend - an extended weekend holiday including Friday or Monday
a short break - a short holidy
out of season - outside the main holiday period

Saturday, 26 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Vocabulary (Relationships)

to break up - to end a romantic relationship
to drift apart - to become less close to someone
to fall out with - to have a disagreement and stop being friends
to have an argument with/to argue - to have a disagreement
to get a divorce - to disolve a marriage legally
to get along like a house on fire - to like someone's company a lot
to hit it off - to quickly become good friends
to get on well with - to understand someone and enjoy similar interests
to enjoy someone's company - to like spending time with someone
to have ups and downs - to have good and bad times
to ask someone out - when someone asks another person out for a date
to get to know - to begin to know someone
to fall for - to fall in love
to fall head over heels in love - to start to love someone a lot
love at first sight - to fall in love as soon as you meet someone
a healthy relationship - a good, positive relationship
to be in a relationship - to be romanticallly involved with someone
to work at a relationship - to try to keep a positive relationship with someone
to settle down - to give up the single life and start a family
to get engaged - to make a promise to get married
to tie the knot - to get married
to go back years - to have known someone for a long time
to have a lot in common - to share similar interests
to be well matched - to be similar to
to just be good friends - to not be romantically involved
to keep in touch with - to keep in contact with
to lose touch with - to not see or hear from someone anymore

IELTS Speaking - Technology (Vocabulary)

to access websites/email - to locate
to back up files - to make a copy of files in case of a computer problem
to bookmark a webpage - to mark a webpage for future reference
to browse websites/to surf the web - to look at websites
to crash - to suddenly stop working
word processing - producing written texts on a computer
to cut and paste - to move text/images from one place in a document to another
a desktop - a computer that isn't portable
to download - to save a copy of a file from the internet on your own device
to enter a web address - to type the address of a website into the address bar of your browser
a gadget - a technological device e.g. mobile phone, camera
to go online - to start using the Internet
an operating system - the software that tells the computer how to work
to send an attachment - send an email with an accompanying file
social media - media used to interact with other people e.g. Facebook, Twitter
to upgrade - to obtain a more powerful/feature-rich computer or software
video conferencing - to see and hear people from different locations using the Internet
wireless hotspot - a public place where you can access the Internet
wireless network - a network where users can access the Internet without the use of fixed cables

Thursday, 24 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Sports (Vocabulary)

a football match - a game of football
a football pitch - the surface on which you play football
a football season - a period in the year when football is played
a season ticket - a ticket that gives you entry to most of a team's home games during the sporting year
a football fan - someone who likes football
a home game - a football match played in the team's own stadium
an away game - a match played in an opposing team's stadium
a fitness programme - a schedule of activities to keep fit
to get into shape - to become fit
to keep fit - to stay in good physical condition
to take up exercise - to start doing exercise
to train hard - to train with a lot of effort
a personal trainer - a sports coach that helps you on a one-to-one basis
to go jogging - to run around the streets
a brisk walk - a fast walk
strenuous exercise - exercise that needs a lot of physical effort
a personal best - to achieve the best personal result so far in sport
to set a record - to achieve the best result in a sport
a sports centre - a public building where people can do various sports
sports facilities - the equipment and services needed to do a sport
a squash/tennis/badminton court - the surface where you play these sports

IELTS Speaking - Food (Vocabulary)

to be full up - can't eat anymore
to be starving/dying of hunger - very hungry
to eat a balanced diet - to eat the correct types and amounts of food
to eat like a horse - to eat a lot
to follow a recipe - to cook a meal following instructions
a fussy eater - someone who has their own high standards about what to eat
to grab a bite to eat - to eat something quickly
to have a sweet tooth - to enjoy sugary food
home-cooked food - food cooked at home from individual ingredients
the main meal - the most important meal of the day
to make your mouth water - to make you feel very hungry for something
to play with your food - to push food around the plate to avoid eating it
processed food/a ready meal - commercially prepared food bought for convenience
a take away - a cook meal prepared in a restaurant and eaten at home
fast food/junk food - pre-prepared/packaged food that has low nutritional value
a snack - a small amount of food between meals
to spoil your appetite - to eat something that will stop you feeling hungry when it's meal time
ingredients - foods/substances that are combined to make a certain dish
calories - a measure of the energy value of food
cuisine - a style or method of cooking of a particular country or region e.g. Indian cuisine
traditional food - consumed over a long period of time in a region or country
nutritious - nourishing
vitamins - organic compounds which are essential for normal growth
a vegetarian - a person who doesn't eat meat, fish, animal products for moral, religious or health reasons.
vegan - a person who doesn't eat or use animal products
lactose intolerance - inability of someone to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products
dairy products - milk products e.g. cheese, yogurt
red meat - meat that is red when raw e.g beef, lamb
white meat -  pale meat e.g. chicken, rabbit
to fry - cooking in oil or other fat
oily food - greasy
to steam - to cook in boiling water in a covered pan
barbecue (BBQ) - food cooked outdoors over an open fire
food label - label found on package giving information about the nutritional value of the food item
to go on a diet - to follow healthy nutrition rules mainly to lose weight
delicious/tasty - pleasant to the taste

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Education (Vocabulary)

to attend classes - to go to classes
an intensive course - a short course that offers a lot of training
higher education - college or university
bachelors degree - an undergraduate course which usually lasts 3-4 years
masters degree - a course following a bachelors degree which usually lasts 1-2 years
distance learning - studying online or by post
to fall behind with your studies - to progress less quickly than others
to keep up with your studies - to not fall behind
to give feedback - to offer guidance on a student's work
a graduation ceremony - an event where a students get their degree
to learn something by heart - to memorise it
a mature student - someone who is older than the average age
to meet a deadline - to finish a task in the time allowed
to play truant - to stay away from class without permission
a single-sex school - a school where only boys or girls attend
to sit an exam - to take an exam
a state school - a school paid for by public funds and available to the general public
to take a year out/a gap year - to spend a year working or travelling before starting university
tuition fees - the money paid for a course of study
to work your way through university - to have a paid job whilst studying to support yourself financially
a seminar - a university class where a topic is discussed by a professor and a small group of students
a lecture - an educational talk given to university students

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Work (Vocabulary)

to be called for an interview - to be invited to attend an interview
to be your own boss - to have your own business
a dead-end job - a job with no promotional opportunities
a good team player - somebody who can work well with other people
full-time - the number of hours that people usually work in a complete week
a heavy workload - to have a lot of work to do
a high-powered job - an important job
holiday entitlement - the number of days holiday allowed
job satisfaction - the feeling of enjoying a job
manual work - work that requires physical activity
maternity leave - time off work given to a woman about to have a baby
to meet a deadline - to finish a job by an agreed time
a nine-to-five job - a normal job that consists of an 8 hour day
part-time - working less than full-time
temporary work - work done for a limited time only
voluntary work - to work with pay
sick leave - time allowed off work when sick
to be stuck behind a desk - to be unhappy in an office job
to be well paid - to earn a good salary
working conditions - the hours, salary and other entitlements that comes with the job
manual work - to work with your hands

Monday, 21 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Health (Vocabulary)

aches and pains - minor pains that continue over a period of time
to be a bit off colour - to feel a little ill
to be under the weather - to not feel well
to feel poorly - to feel ill
a blocked nose - when the nose has excess fluid due to a cold
to catch a cold - to get a cold
to go down with a cold - to become ill
a heavy cold - a bad cold
a sore throat - inflammation that causes pain when swallowing
cuts and bruises - minor injuries
to make a speedy recovery - to recover quickly from an illness
to be on the mend - to be recovering after an illness
to be over the worst - to have got through the most serious stage of an illness
fit as a fiddle - to be healthy
to go private - to choose to be treated privately rather than by the state
General Practitioner (GP) - family doctor
to make an appointment - to arrange a time to see a doctor
a check-up - a physical examination by a doctor
to phone in sick - to call work to explain that you won't be going due to illness

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Academic IELTS - Task 1 (Writing)

The line graph shows the percentage of 14-60 year olds that went to the cinema at least once a year over a twenty year period.

To begin with, 90% of those aged 14-24 visited the cinema annually in 1990. Attendance reached a peak in 1998 at 95% as well as in 2010. Between 1998 and 2008 attendance by this group was steady at 90%. While only 60% of the 25-34 year olds visited the cinema in 1990, this percentage rose by 20% ten years later. Stable attendance was noted in the next four years followed by a 10% drop. Similarly, the 35-49 year olds began with attendances of 60% in 1990 to gradually reach 85% twenty years later. Between 1996 and 2002 the percentage of cinema goers in this age group remained at 70%. Finally, 40% of the oldest age group went to the cinema in the first two years and 10% more the following two years as well as 2000 and 2002. Interest in cinema for the 50+ age group gradually rose to 60% in 2010.

In conclusion, more youngsters attended the cinema in the 20 year time frame whilst fewer of the oldest group did so. The percentage of the 50+ and 35-49 year olds enjoying the cinema increased whilst the figures for the 14-24 year olds remained relatively stable.

IELTS Speaking - Books and Films (Vocabulary)

an action film - a film with fast moving scenes, often containing violence
to be based on - to use as a model
a box office hit - a financially successful film
a blockbuster - a film that is a big commercial sucess
the central character - the main person in a film/book
to get a good/bad review - to receive positive or negative feedback
to go on general release - when a film can be seen by the general public
a low budget film - a film made with a small amount of money
on the big screen - at the cinema
to see a film - to see a film at the cinema
to watch a film - to watch a film on TV
the setting - where the action takes place
soundtrack - the music that accompanies a film
special effects - the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to produce naturally

genre - a style of literature
bedtime reading - something to read before sleeping
to be a big reader - someone who reads a lot
to be heavy-going - difficult to read
a classic - of the highest quality
to come highly recommended - to be praised by another person
couldn't put it down - wasn't able to stop reading a book
an e-book - a digital book
to flick through - to look quickly through a book
a historical novel - a story set in the past
hardback - a book with a rigid cover
paperback - a book with a flexible cover
a page turner - a book that you want to keep reading
plot - the main events in a book/film
to read from cover to cover - to read a book from the first page to the last
to take a book from the library - to borrow a book

Friday, 18 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Accommodation (Vocabulary)

modern comforts - technology at home that makes jobs easier e.g. microwave
detached house - not physically connected to other property
apartment block - a large building made up of smaller apartment units
dream home / ideal home - a home you regard as perfect
to do up a property - to repair an old building
fully-furnished - rented property with all furniture included
house-hunting - looking for a property to live in
house-warming party - a party to celebrate moving into a new home
hall of residence - a college/university building where students live
to live on campus - to live on the university/college grounds
to move into - to begin to live in a property
to own your own home - to have bought the property you live in
property market - the buying and selling of land or buildings
to put down a deposit - to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future payments
rented accommodation - property owned by someone else.  A person pays a fixed amount to live in
single room - a room for one person
a spacious room - a large room
the suburbs - a residential area on the edge of towns or cities

IELTS Speaking - Clothes and Fashion (Vocabulary)

to be trendy - fashionable
the height of fashion - very fashionable
to keep up with the latest fashion - to wear the newest fashion
to have an eye for fashion - to ge a good judge of fashion
to take pride in your appearance - to pay attention to how you look
well-dressed - to be dressed attractively
to look good in/to suit someone - to wear something that suits you
to mix and match - to wear different itsms of clothing that aren't part of a set
casual clothes - not formal
classic style - a simple, traditional style
timeless - something that doesn't go out of fashion
vintage clothes - clothes from an earlier period e.g. 70s
smart clothes - the kind of clothes worn for a formal event
designer clothes - well-known, expensive brand
to dress for the occasion - to wear clothes that are suitable for a particular event e.g. wedding
fashion icon - a person famous for their sense of fashion
fashion show - an event where models show off the latest designs
to go out of fashion/old fashioned - not in fashion anymore
a slave to fashion/a fashion victim - someone who always feels the need to wear the latest fashion

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Describing a person (Vocabulary)

complexion - natural skin colour and texture
fair hair - light-coloured hair
shoulder-length hair - hair that comes down to the shoulders
to be good looking - to be attractive
medium height - average height
to be overweight - to weigh more than is regarded as healthy
to have a slim figure - attractively thin
to be well-built - to be muscular
to have a youthful appearance - to look young
middle-aged - about between 45-65

to be open-minded - prepared to accept other views/behaviours
easy-going/laid-back - relaxed and not easily worried about anything
extrovert - an energetic person who likes the company of others
fun-loving - to enjoy having fun
having a good sense of humour - able to understand what is funny
introvert - someone who is shy
to put others first - to think of others before yourself
self-confident - believes in one's own ability/knowledge
trustworthy - can be trusted
honest - truthful
loyal - giving constant and firm support
supportive - giving encouragement of emotional help

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Business (Vocabulary)

self-employed - to work for yourself
to run your own business - to have a business of your own
to set up a business - to start a business
to go into business with - to join another person to start/expand a business
niche business - a business that serves a small, particular market e.g. a shop that sells products for left-handed people
to earn a living - to earn money
to make a profit - income is greater than cost of running a business
to take out a loan - to borrow money
to take on employees - to give people a job
to launch a product - to start selling and promoting a new product
to lay someone off - when a company ends an employee's contract of employment
to fire an employee - to dismiss a worker from a job
to retire - stop working when reaching the normal age for leaving service (e.g. 65)
an employee - someone who works for a salary/wages
an employer - a person/organisation that gives someone a job
a manager/a director/a supervisor - a person who supervisors a person or activity
a wage - a payment made on a daily or weekly basis for work or services

Sunday, 13 March 2016

IELTS Speaking - Music (Vocabulary)

types of music - pop, rock, classical, jazz, reggae, electronic, R&B, rap, Hip Hop, instrumental etc.
taste in music - the music someone likes
fans - people who love a particular band or singer
background music - music that is played while something else is happening e.g. music played in a shop or restaurant
a catchy tune - a song that is easy to remember and makes you want to sing it
to download music - to get music from the Internet
to go on tour - to plan performances around a country
live performance - music that is listened to while it is performed
to have a great voice - to sing well
a hit - an album or single that sells many copies
a single - a CD that has only one song
a record/an album - a recorded song or music available for the public to buy
a music festival - performance by different artists over several days
a group/band - a small group of musicians who play or sing together 
a musical instrument - an instrument that makes a musical sound e.g. piano, guitar, saxophone
the music industry - the industry that represents companies that record, produce and market music
music piracy - when an artist does not give consent to the copying or distribution of their music
a music video - a short film made with a song to promote it
the charts - a weekly listing of recent bestselling records

IELTS Speaking - Town/City Vocabulary

inner-city - the central part of a city where people live, often in poor conditions.
poor housing - housing that is not in good condition.
run down - buildings that are old and of a poor standard.
residential area - an area where people live.
suburbs - the outer area of cities/towns where people live.
local facilities - local buildings or services that service the public.
office block - a large building that has offices.
places of interest - buildings that have an interest for visitors.
tourist attraction - a place of interest to tourists.
public spaces - areas that are open to the public e.g. a square, a park
shopping centre - an area with many shops.
shopping malls - large indoor shopping centres.
upmarket shops - expensive fashionable shops.
public transport system - public vehicles e.g. buses, trains, trams that run at regular times and routes.
to get around - to travel around.
traffic jam/congestion - heavy traffic which makes it hard to move around.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

IELTS Speaking (Vocabulary)


Talking about your preferences
What I like/dislike about...
Generally, I prefer X to Y.
I'm not really fond of/I don't really like...
I love/I can't stand...

Talking about frequency
I often..., but sometimes/now and again I...
I rarely/occasionally/hardly ever...

Describing people and places
I have a pretty/fairly/small/average/large family.
It's a pretty/fairly/very small/large/lively/quiet place.

Talking about future plans
I hope to go to...
I want to...
I'd love to...
I dream of...


Introducing the topic
I would like to talk about...
I'm going to tell you about...

Introducing an opinion
To my mind...
I suppose...
I guess...
In my opinion/view...
I really/strongly believe that...
Personally, I think...
I'm really in favour of...

Introducing an explanation
The reason why I don't that...
One of the reasons is that...

Giving an impersonal opinion
Some people think/feel/believe that...

Giving advice
I think people should...
It's important that...
It's a good idea to...

As a rule...
On the whole/in general...

It's likely/unlikely that...will...
It probably/definitely won't...
It's difficult to say, but maybe...
I'm not sure, but perhaps...
I'm pretty sure/certain that...
I predict/expect that...
As far as I can see...will...

I agree up to a point...
I tend to agree...
I don't really agree/think that...
I completely agree/disagree...
I'm not really sure about...

Comparing and contrasting
For me, X is more/less important...
I don't think X is Y.
...whereas, on the other hand...

Qualifying an opinion
Actually, I'm not really sure about this, because I've never...
Well, I guess it depends, because there are many...
I think it's hard to say, because...
I don't have a strong opinion on this, but probably...

Introducing an opposing viewpoint
But I think it's also important to consider...
Well, yes, buy on the other hand...

Linking ideas
Plus/Also/In addition... well/too
Another reason why I that...

Outlining your response
There are two main problems..Firstly...Secondly...
I think there are several points to consider...

'Buying time'
Well, let's see...
Let me think about that for a moment.
That's a good question...

Clarifying your idea
What I'm trying to say is....
Perhaps I should make myself clearer by saying...
What I mean to say is...
Let me put it another way...

Taken from IELTS Language Bank 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 2 (Vocabulary)

Presenting an impartial opinion
It is often argued/said that...
It is generally agreed that...
Some/Many people believe/say/think/feel/argue that...

Outlining contrasting views
Despite claims that...
While/Whereas it may be true that...
On the other side of the argument...

Describing cause and effect
As a result...
This means that...

Providing supporting evidence
From my experience...
A good example of this...
For instance...

Linking arguments/reasons
Furthermore/Moreover/In addition...
For one thing...for another...

Giving a personal opinion
In my opinion...
I agree that...
I think it is reasonable to say that...
I tend to think that...

In short/conclusion/summary...
To conclude/summarise/sum up...
Overall, I think the most important thing is...

Taken from IELTS Language Bank p.3

Academic IELTS - Writing Task 1 (Vocabularly)

Making an overview statement
We can see from the chart/table...
The chart/table shows (us that)...

Introducing an overall trend
From an overall perspective...
Looking at the figures, we can see that...
One of the first things to not is that...
One thing that clearly stands out is...

Introducing a point of interest
It is interesting to see that...
A striking point is...

Introducing supporting details
For example/For instance...
More specifically...

Comparing data
There is three times as much X as Y
There are twice as many X as Y
In comparison to X, Y is...
There are (slightly/significantly) more/fewer X than Y

just above/over/under/below
a little/slightly less/more than...

Describing trends
(The figures) increased/rose/went up
(The figures) decreased/dropped/fell
There is/was little/no change

Time referencing
From the beginning of this period
From then until March...
Between March and June...
During this period...

Making forecasts
The trend looks set to continue likely to... estimated to... predicted to...

Describing a process
First...Then/Next/After that...Finally...
as soon as

Passive Voice
The X is made/done...
After X has been completed, Y is initiated...

Taken from IELTS Language Bank p.3

Monday, 7 March 2016

IELTS - General Tips for Listening

  • You only hear the recordings once - so write the answers as you listen.
  • Listen carefully to the introduction for each section and try to imagine what the speakers will talk about. This will give you useful information about the situation and the speakers.
  • You have time at the beginning of each section to look at the task. Use this time well to read the questions and think about the topics.
  • The questions always follow the order of the recording. If you miss a question look ahead and think about the next one.
  • Write clearly when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
  • When you transfer your answers to the answer sheet, don't copy any extra words from the question paper.
  • When you read the question, you may find it helpful to think of words to listen for which have a similar meaning.
  • Listen to the intonation of the speaker as this could help you to decide whether the sentence is positive or negative.
  • It is useful to underline key words in the question to help you focus on the words (or similar words) to listen for.

Taken from Top Tips for IELTS

Friday, 4 March 2016


Important - essential, significant, imperative, vital, valuable, critical

Very - excessively, severely, highly, extremely, immensely, utterly

Negative - adverse, alarming, unfavourable, risky, serious, bad

Understand -  comprehend, recognise, grasp

Good - beneficial, satisfactory, excellent, acceptable, positive

Believe - maintain, argue, perceive, claim, feel, think

Dangerous - hazardous, perilous

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The diagrams illustrate the design of houses located in places where the weather is cool and another where it is warm.

To start with, houses built for cool climates are designed with insulation in the walls, roof and floor in order to reduce the loss of heat.  In addition, buildings are equipped with thermal material that sores heat. Large windows are installed in the direction of the sun to allow heat to enter the house.  Finally, the roof is designed at a high angle.

The houses situated in warm climates are designed to have a different function during the day and in the evening. At night the large windows can be left open and ventilation allows the stored heat to be removed. The external insulation and reflection features of the house allow it to be cool during the day in warm climates. The overhanging roof allows for shade and the reflective material does not allow the heat from the sun to enter the house. Insulation is also added below the roof to stop the heat coming through it. Finally, the large windows are covered during the day.

In conclusion, the aim of the design of houses in cool climates is to store heat and prevent heat loss whereas in warm climates houses are constructed to keep the heat out during the day and remove it at night.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Describing a process - Passive voice

is  + past participle (singular)
are  + past participle (plural)
 I/he/she/it was + past participle (past)
you/we/they were  + past participle (past)

add - added e.g. Water is/was added.
apply - applied
clean -  cleaned
create -  created
cut -  cut
deliver - delivered
design -  designed
develop - developed
distribute -  distributed
mix - mixed
pack -  packed
place - placed
put -  put
remove - removed
sell - sold
send -  sent
take - taken
transport - transported
use - used

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The steps needed to produce crisps in a factory are illustrated in the diagram.

Initially, the potatoes are washed with cold water provided by overhead pipes and their skin is removed in the same compartment. The peeled potatoes are transported with a conveyor belt to a slicer where they are loaded individually. Once they have been cut into small pieces cold water is added from overhead pipes. The next stage known as the drying stage involves hot air being applied to the sliced potatoes which are moved along a conveyor belt and end up in a temperature cooker.

Here, the raw potatoes are cooked before passing onto a conveyor belt to be salted. The final stage is that of packing the salted crisps into individual bags in order to prepare them for distribution and consumption in the market.

As we can see, this production process consists of six stages all carried out by machines that are responsible for washing, peeling, slicing, drying, salting and packaging crisps.

Question taken from Top Tips for IELTS p.74