Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn band 9 vocab, like detract, for higher IELTS scores.

We had a super high-level vocabulary question from on of our 3 Keys students:

I have one question about the difference between detract and depreciate. They both have the same meaning of lower the value, so, are they synonyms?

No, these are not straight synonyms. The contexts they’re used in are totally different.

Detract‘, on the one hand, describes something that takes away the perceived value of something. ‘Take away from’ is the key here.

For instance, “The fact that kids are a lot of work, does not detract from the fact that they are the greatest joy in life.”

Using this word is excellent for showing a contrast.

Note also that detract is used with the prepositionfrom‘.

This word wouldn’t be appropriate for most Academic Task 1’s, as it’s not focused on numbers.


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However, it’s excellent for Writing Task 2 or anywhere on IELTS Speaking, using it in your opinions while offering a concession.

Focus on using the phrase “…does not detract from the fact that...”.

For focus on a negative element, you could say, “It’s supposed to be an amazing library; however, the homeless people in the lobby detract from the overall enjoyment of being there.

Now, as to ‘depreciate‘ is used for numeric value, especially in terms of money.

For example, “New cars depreciate in value immediately when you drive them off the lot.”

Thus, if Writing Task 1 is expressing anything about money, you can use this word.

How would you use today’s high-level vocabulary?

Share your example sentences in the comments section below.


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