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

Today you’ll learn IELTS vocabulary that is not rubbish.

We’ve had some excellent questions from students in our course Facebook group.

Here’s the first question:

Can I paraphrase ‘easily’ with ‘with ease’ and ‘at ease’?

No, because these two phrasal verbs have different connotations.

Firstly, ‘with ease‘ and ‘easily‘ are synonymous. In fact, ‘with ease‘ is a formal phrasal verb, and can be used in IELTS Writing and Speaking.

However, ‘at ease‘ means ‘relaxed‘, like, ‘I’m more at ease when my boss is not in the office.’

That’s fantastic for your Speaking test!

Next question:

What do I do if I don’t know the meaning of a word in a Task 2 question?

Task 2 question:

People create massive amounts of rubbish.

What problems does this cause?

What are the solutions?

If you don’t know the meaning, you have to guess the meaning of the word from context. However, there is no context in this question to clue you in to the meaning of rubbish.


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Honestly, you need to prepare widely enough so that this doesn’t happen on the test.

Here’s another great question:

Can I use the idiom ‘it runs in the family’ in Task 2?

This is a fantastic phrase, however, it is a bit too informal for Task 2.

You should replace this with ‘hereditary‘ in your academic writing, but would be fantastic for Speaking or General Task 1 informal letters.

Final question:

Can I use ‘astronomical price’ in IELTS?

For sure!

Astronomical‘ is excellent for prices, in Speaking or Writing, formal or informal.

What vocabulary questions do you have?

Leave them in the comments section below!


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