Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Who knew that prefixes and suffixes could help you out on IELTS?

Today you will learn to use the suffix “-aholic” and the prefix “quasi-” to boost your scores.

This helps make your vocabulary incredibly flexible and native!

These are a great way to add slang and vary your vocabulary.

It’s a very interesting way to expand your vocab instantly!

The power of suffixes and prefixes

In episode 969, we talked about adding “-ish” and “-wise” to create slang in this same way.

Check out that episode if you missed it.

Adding these suffixes makes a word slang.

To score 7+ on Vocabulary for the IELTS Speaking exam, you have to show a range of vocabulary.

The easiest way to do this is to add some slang to Part 1 and Part 2!

And the easiest way to do THAT is to throw in some prefixes and suffixes that convert words to slang!

#1: -aholic

This suffix is added to show how much you love something.

We add it to nouns.

You will add “-aholic” to the first syllable.

  • Chocaholic: someone who loves chocolate
  • Workaholic: someone who works a lot!
  • Sleepaholic: someone who loves to sleep

This can be added to any noun!

This replaces the idea of being really really into or loving something.

Instead of saying, “I love shopping.”

I’m a total shopaholic!

Add it to any noun!

I’m a cataholic! He’s a laughaholic!

Michelle and Lindsay discussed this on episode 1,580 so check that one out if you missed it!

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#2: Coin a phrase

If you’re not sure something is a word, use a native phrase to create one!

You’re letting the Examiner know that the word you’re using might not be in the dictionary.

Now, I’m so into music. If I may coin a phrase, I’m a total musicaholic.

You’re not making a mistake!

Natives do this all the time!

I’m not sure you would find this in the dictionary, but I’m a total filmaholic.

  • Cinephile: someone who loves movies.

Are you communicating like a native?

It comes down to your ability to sound like a native.

You can’t sound like a student!

It’s normal to say no to some questions.

You need to be able to communicate when you don’t like something!

Don’t memorize prepared answers.

It is good to practice answers a few times, especially Part 2.

However, you don’t want to rehears answers too much.

Instead, be ready to natively and naturally answer any question!

#3: Quasi-

This replaces “sort of.”

Because it’s very common and used often, “sort of” is band 6.

Instead of “it’s kind of good,” you can say “it’s quasi-delicious.”

Instead of “I’m not a good writer,” you’d say, “I’m a quasi-talented writer.”

This is band 9 slang!

It boosts your Vocabulary score and helps get you the range you need.

This might be a humble brag, but I’m a quasi-talented cook.

  • Humble brag: pretending to be humble, but actually bragging about something you’re good at

Use slang adjectives to boost your IELTS Vocabulary score

Another great way to add slang to Part 1 and Part 2 is with adjectives!

The adjective “very” or “really” is extremely common.

Replace it with interesting, informal slang to get the range of vocabulary you need.

  • Super
  • Way
  • Totally
  • Crazy

Watch the following video for an explanation and example sentences.

Watch the video now!


Adding prefixes and suffixes to words is band 9 slang!

This is because students don’t do it often!

It will be very impressive to an Examiner.

Practice using these when answering Speaking Part 1 and Part 2 questions.

This will boost your Vocabulary score!

For all the Speaking strategies you need to score 7 or higher, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS today!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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