IELTS Vocabulary: Paraphrasing Tips

This lesson focuses on IELTS vocabulary and paraphrasing problems. Many students try so hard to paraphrase a word that they are actually making too many mistakes which will lower their band score. This lesson explains how to be careful with paraphrasing and avoid losing marks.


  1. Can I use: The number of youngsters committing crime has grown.

  2. Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing good. I have come across some words which spelling are different.

    For ex, in India, we write behaviour but, Us and Canada spell it as behavior. Which one should be followed?

  3. Hello Liz, please in what context can I use “individual” as paraphrase for “people”?
    kind regards.

    • It means each individual person in a group of people. We often use this when we refer to environmental responsibilities – each person in the population has a responsibility = “each individual has a responsibility” or “individuals have a responsibility”.

  4. Hello liz, You are such a eye opener to identify mistakes. Can i use ‘song’ as a paraphrase of ‘music’ in writing task 2, when topic is music? Please enlighten me with your versatile knowledge.
    With Regards

    • A song is only one type of music. Music includes – songs, lyrics, instruments, music groups etc. This means “song” is not a paraphrase for the word “music”. Song is a type of music. Song is an example of music.

  5. Ghadeer Ghazi says

    Can we use “individuals” as a synonym of people?

  6. Kamal bhatta says

    Wow thank you liz

  7. Dear Liz,
    The confusing part for me is that whenever we google a word or read it somewhere, we are usually constrained to the context in which it is used there. Say I heard a word and went on to google it, and there we know its meaning along with an example, but from the meaning, we remain unable to understand which nuance of meaning does this word actually hold apart from one example which has been used there. As most of the examples fail to illustrate the separation point of the word from the rest of its synonyms.

    • Learn vocabulary is not just about meaning, as I explained. A deeper understanding comes from studying English dictionaries that offer more explanations and sentence examples – also you can learn more from reading articles which might include the word or doing more research on the word. Learn one single word can take a lot of time if you are to learn that word thoroughly.

  8. Oyetayo han says

    Please whats the difference between task 1 and writing task 2. Is there any difference

  9. Liz, thank you so much for these videos, they are simply amazing.

  10. Muhammad Atif says

    It,s really a fantastic experience while having a look at this site. Everything is being elaborated in such a nice way. Hat off for you mam.

  11. The bar chart illustrates the ownership of the accommodation in UK and Wales during 1918 to 2011.
    Overall, the fraction of rented accommodation peaked at the beginning but it was decreasing conversely to the percentage of the owned house ,to correspond both at the same rate in 1971.

    To begin, the rented house fraction was almost three doubled (75) than the owned one (22)in 1918. There were a gradual change from 75 to 68 regarding the rented house and from 22 to 32 for the owned house in 1939 and remained the same til 1953.till 1981 there was a rapid change by 30% positively in the percentage of owned house and negatively in the rented house, the identical trend was followed until 2001 where the owned house reached the trough of 68%.Over the given period, the rented house fraction grew up to 35% while the owned house fell just by 4%.

  12. Dear Liz,
    Can you please post some vocabulary with respect to maps. I gave my speaking test on 15th Novemeber 2018 and I was asked questions such as how frequently do you use maps, do you like paper maps or online maps, have your school focused on maps in teaching, do you ask anyone for directions when you visit a new place? I have never read about this topic on any website so I failed to answer these questions in an articulated way. So I seek your help to upload some vocabulary on this topic and also some suggestions how to answer such questions in an impressive way.

    • I’ve just written a list of model answers for this topic with useful vocabulary underlined. I’ll post it either on Friday or Monday next week. Follow this site to know when it’s up and ready to see – thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  13. hello LIZ. Thank you for this lesson.

    would you please give me a formal word can I use instead of “Friends” ??

    • The word “friends” is suitable to use in formal and informal writing and speaking.


        Is soulmates, classmates, bosom friends and colleagues are not useful in this? instead of a friend?

        • The words “bosom friend” is not modern and hasn’t been used for about one hundred years. The word “soulmates” is about love and romance. You should only paraphrase if you are 100% sure the word is 100% perfect for the context. When you take chances with paraphrasing, you will make mistakes and get a lower score for Vocabulary.

  14. Hello Elizabeth,

    I live in Canada and would write organize with a “z” instead of “s” to mention just a few. Would that affect my marks?

    thank you in advance


    • You can use either US spelling or UK spelling – just don’t mix them.

    • Fatehali m balya says

      Hello liz

      I have one conflict. Will you clear it?
      Can we use same heading more than once in Reading module?

      • If you are matching headings, then one heading can be used only once. If you are matching paragraph information, one paragraphs can be used more than once. Always read the instructions slowly and carefully.

  15. thankuu ma’m for ur useful vlogs….😊👐

  16. Hello Liz, I thank you for the wonderful job you have been doing and I enjoyed your 50% discount offer. Please on the topic below,is it safe to list different things people should do to stay healthy or will the examiner expect you to elaborate on the ones already listed in the topic.

    Topic says:

    “A healthy person is often described as someone who has a good diet, gets plenty of exercise and avoids stress.
    What should people do to stay healthy in your country?
    Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.”

  17. Hi Liz, please is it appropriate to start a sentence with conjunctions such as because, but.

    Thanks in anticipation!

  18. Hello Liz!
    I am thinking about to but your extra lessons. You mentioned about 5 types of questions in video. But there are only 3 types of writings that you provide. What about others?

  19. Rajesh Sheth says

    Hello… I am confused if we can use the Non-English Words such as Prima Facia in Writing Task. Other words such as etc./ e.g/ i.e ….and much more as well…
    Rajesh Sheth

  20. namastye Mam
    can i use fillers in speaking test such as amm, uhh, well, youknow and so on?

    • “umm” is not a word and is not a filler. “ah” is not a word and not a filler. But “you know” are words and can be used. IELTS speaking is an informal language test and informal words can be used.

  21. Hi..
    Thank you so very much indeed for your lesson, it was very helpful . I am so happy to find you respond to our questions. I wonder where can I find your videos regarding the writing task 1 and 2. I would be most grateful if I could send you samples of my writing to be corrected and comment on them.
    N.B I took IELTS exam without preparation, I only scored 6!

  22. Thank you for your video. It’s helpful for me so much.

  23. Very helpful video.

  24. Rahul Sharma says

    Hello Liz,
    I must thank you for your exemplary work. I have one question” is the kind of vocabulary you use in your lessons is good enough to achieve band score 7.5 or above ?”

  25. santosh hirve says

    Dear Liz , i am so lucky person that God sent to you for solve of queries related to IELTS exam. And now my question is that approx. how many words could be write in introduction part of Writing task- o1 & 02.

  26. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for sharing your myriad experience with us.
    Really appreciate it. 🙂

  27. Can i paraphrase age group 0-14 as young, 15-59 as adult and 60+ as elderly/old people

    • Not “young” but you can use “the youngest group”. You can only use this if you introduce all age groups fully in your introduction.

  28. dear teacher

    could you please tell me how to take notes for the speaking part 2 (1min preparation time) effectively?

    • Make any notes you want to help you remember your plans for your talk. Don’t write sentence because there isn’t time. Just jot down words (trigger words) to guide you. Your task is to go beyond the prompts given by adding extra details, past memories, comparisons, future hopes etc – so jot down ideas for that information as well.

      • I watched a video on the internet telling students that also write down some academic vocabularies. then my time always not enough. I would like to know how much academic vocabulary should a student use then he can be considered “used a wide range of vocabulary”?
        What’s more, I had a mock speaking test (only part2) the other day, and there is “there are fillers noted”, how should I improve this?

        Thank you.

        • The speaking test is informal – it not academic. There is one speaking test which is the same for GT and Academic students. It is not an academic speaking test, it is an informal chat with the examiner.

  29. Dear Teacher,

    Can i use “folks” instead of people? is it a correct word to use in between sentences, or without paraphrase the word “people” just continue to use, this word when i write for essays (Writing Task – 2)

  30. Sweta Rawal says

    Liz you are just amazing!!!!
    I would really recommend all to go for the advanced easy videos by you they are really nice and very helpful!

  31. Wonderful site. It’s lovely to find someone who actually understands English well AND is willing to devote time to sharing that knowledge with the world. I am naturally sceptical of anything on the net, especially when it comes to teaching English, but your site is a refreshing change. The video on paraphrasing succinctly demonstrates both the richness and the depth of the language. I look forward to watching more.

  32. Thank you to provide these useful tools, Liz.

  33. Khurshand Bhathena says

    This is really very helpful Liz!! Whoever said free stuff cannot be good lied. Thanks a million Liz your blog is really very helpful. 🙂 🙂

  34. Fida Adra says

    Hello Liz,
    Can we use the word juvenile for the teenager crimes?
    Thank you

  35. Hi Liz,
    Please, IELTS test considering British English spelling or American?
    As I see that spelling for some words is different
    Favorite American
    Favourite British
    Or both will be correct?

    Thank You

  36. Hello,

    In your video, the people synonym second example the one talking about traffic, can I replace the word human with society members or community members?

    Thank you

    • It’s best not to try and paraphrase the word “people” too often. This word will be repeated and it is a normal part of the English language. Aim to paraphrase other words. Successful paraphrasing is knowing which words to paraphrase and which words to keep the same.

      • Can we paraphrase people by masses .

        Swiftly by leaps and bounds.

        • People are people. It sounds like you are trying to impress the examiner – big mistake. It won’t help your score. Your suggestions are not appropriate. It would be better to spend your time learning the right techniques instead.

  37. Good day Liz.

    Thank you for the sacrificial work you are doing. Kindly confirm if the calculation for band score of ielts academics is different from general.. what is the difference between academics and general?

    Tthank you.

    • There is no difference in the scoring of GT and Academic IELTS, except for task 1 which contains slight different criteria for Task Achievement.

  38. Thanku Liz thanks for ur support I must say u r helping me alot in improving my vocabulary and ur all videos are so much useful in ilets preparation

  39. Hi Liz,

    I’m doing GT exam and your essay writing tips are really helpful. learned a lot from it. Thaks for your great service.
    Could you please tell me how to write a conclusion?


    • Your conclusion usually summarises / restates your main points or your position. It can be one sentence or two.

  40. Ath.eyes says

    Thanks you so much for this sharing <3

  41. muhammadbilal says

    Hi dear mam, i want to receive your daily free lesson but i am facing more trouble and not receiving lesson

    • I don’t post lessons each day. If you don’t get the emails, just come and check my site. The recent posts are listed in the right hand column of my site or, if you use a mobile phone, at the bottom of each page.

  42. hii everyone i want to improve my speaking and it may be helpful if i get speaking partner.

  43. Tomorrow is my LWR. I have prepared well but i am scared.

  44. Hi everyone I want to improve my speaking skills and I need english partner too

  45. I just can’t thank you enough!!

  46. Very useful content.

    Thank you

  47. Obiapuna Mikel says

    All I want to say is a BIG thank you ,this your website is super helpful to me. Please keep up with the good work.

  48. Hi Liz
    My speaking and writing skills are weak, can I find a partner for improving speaking via your website?

    • Hello dear,I’m also Ielts student,u can practice with me,via email or Whattsapp

    • hi I am mitch. just like you my skills are also weak and I really need to practice. I was wondering maybe we can help each other because I am also reviewing for my upcoming IELTS exam.

      • I want to practice my speaking too with anyone interested. I want to improve my skills. Thank you..

        • I want to practice my speaking with you , I’m also ilets’s student using whattsapp or skype .. this is my phone number 0201141895349

          • Muhammad Saqib says

            Hy everyone, I am SAQIB, I also want to improve my speaking ability. I am a student and repeater of IELTS . Would anyone like to help me;

          • kindly help me, my speaking is also need to practice a lot. i have no friends who can be my english partner.

  49. Thank you, Liz!
    But, I have a question concerning a word “youth”. Why did you use the word in plural while defining it as uncountable?

  50. Nabin Pathak says

    problem in speaking.How to improve?

  51. hi
    Iam going to attend the IELTS test soon. Your tips are of great help.
    Thank you Liz

  52. CHANDAN S says

    This is chandan, I started my IELTS coaching classes four days back. I started with speaking, but i found many difficulties. Can you please help me..

  53. should we write both the “BACK GROUND STATEMENT” AND “THESIS STATEMENT” in introduction ?

  54. I’m really confused by this. Of course you can say ‘youth crime’; it’s an extremely common way of talking about crime committed by young people!?

  55. navan badesha says

    hello liz
    i have given ielts test twice.
    first time i scored Listening 7
    Reading 6
    writing 6
    speaking 7
    second time i got L 8.5 R 8.5 writing 6 speaking 7
    i need 7 in writing. I have found your lessons very informative and heplful
    please guide me how can i get band 7 in writing.

  56. AlireZa says

    Hi Liz,

    I’m going to take the IELTS exam next Saturday and your tips are very useful for my last-minute study. Many thanks 🙂
    A question! You said that the expression ‘youth crime’ is completely wrong, but I’ve seen this combination frequently on the internet and also in IELTS practice books. Could you explain the reasons for that?

  57. Deepak Subedi says

    hey liz i have given ielts exam two times but there is not progress just i brought band five also two times. I am big troubling because i need band 6 or 6.5. how to be success in ielts and get band 6 or 6.5 please help me.

  58. Hi liz, I took ielts last february and I got 6.5 in writing. Can you help to get a 7? Thanks

  59. Respected Liz,
    How would you paraphrase the word ‘average’ in this sentence: ” The graph shows the average cost of housing in rural, urban and suburban areas in 2000 and 2010″.

  60. hey liz you are doing a great job by keeping the tips for ielts in your blog it is very useful for all,i have a problem in listening that to mainly in the choose the correct answer type question
    it seems that the speaker is mentioning all the three options so how can i recognize the correct answer can you give me the tips for these type of issues

  61. Dear liz,
    Thanks for your help in your site, if it is possible please put transcripts of this video coz I have problem to watch, I cannot open video and always read transcripts.



    • I’m so sorry but I don’t have transcripts available. You could try and read the automatic transcript on youtube but it isn’t accurate and often uses incorrect words.
      All the best

  62. Dhrupad jaiswal says

    Liz you are Awesome !!! Very Good Job Done by you…..Your Videos are very helpful to me and my friends !!! Great…. But can you plz explain briefly Task 1 pie chart , tabular form so on as well as task 2 introduction and conclusion …please

  63. Could you send me some synonyms using to paraphase?
    Many thanks.

  64. Hi Liz,
    I need to give general ielts test. So, I could not find out reading tests for it on your blog. Where these are?
    Kindly help me.

    • You can find reading tests for GT IELTS on the BC website and IELTS official website. However, you can practice with all my exercises and tips becuase the question types are the same for both tests.
      All the best

  65. Girish Soni says

    Hi Liz,

    Today only I started browsing this site, your writing task2 videos and blogs are really very helpful. Many thanks for the wonderful work. keep posting.


  66. Hi Liz,

    I have come across three types of paraphrasing techniques
    1. using synonyms
    2. changing just the verb tense
    3. changing the structure of the sentence, i.e. from active to passive

    however, technique to doesn’t sound convincing enough..

    what are your thoughts on second point ?

    • Yes, all these techniques are ways of altering the language to make it your own. They all show the examiner skills in English to adapt language. Changing the structure of the sentence can also mean altering the word order. You should only change from active to passive voice if it is appropriate. For example, it is common to do that with diagrams for writing task 1 and in some cases for writing task 2. But only when appropriate.
      All the best

      • thanks for your prompt resonse.

        can we have a more model essays on this website ? as of now I could only find 2 essays for each structure type.

        your model essays that I have gone through are very easy to comprehend.

        Leaving me wanting for more

        • last week I gave IELTS here in Sydney, Australia. this was the essay question:

          number of companies that are selling their products across the countries are increasing. does this phenomenon have more advantages or disadvantages ?

        • I will post more essays over time. Presently I’m focusing on filming and editing videos. My next free video will be released on Monday.
          All the best

  67. Hello liz I am from punjab please help me for ielts preparation

    • All lessons on this site are for people who are preparing for IELTS. I do not give personal help to students. But all these lessons on this site are free for all.

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