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

Today we’ll teach you some high level vocabulary that can be used to talk about beginnings and endings.

These words could be seen on the IELTS Listening and IELTS Reading exams.

They can also be used on the Writing and Speaking sections of the IELTS exam.

Add these to your vocabulary notebook and practice them so you can use them accurately on test day!

Beginning Vocabulary #1: Commence

  • commence: verb meaning to begin

You can use this verb as a parallel for “start” or “begin.”

Doctors are commencing new research using stem cells.

  • commencement: noun meaning a beginning

This is often heard to describe graduation ceremonies, which signify the commencement of the next part of your life.

It can also be used as a noun to describe any beginning.

The ambassadors chose discussion topics during the commencement of the meeting.

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Beginning Vocabulary #2: Embark

  • embark: verb meaning to begin or commence

I embarked on a journey to the Middle East.

This is a high level phrasal verb that can be used anywhere on the IELTS because it’s interesting and unique.

Beginning Vocabulary #3: Idioms

  • nothing ventured, nothing gained: you have to take chances if you want to learn and grow

This idiom means that if you don’t take a chance and try, you’ll never get anything in return.

You can say this when someone is challenging you to something.

I’m going to try that! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • Out with the old and in with the new!

This is a great expression to use when referring to a fresh start.

Ending Vocabulary #1: Culminate

  • culminate: the height or apex of something; the biggest moment

Use this to talk about the climax of something and what it lead to.

All of our hard work has culminated in the best IELTS preparation available.

Ending Vocabulary #2: Wound up

  • wound up: to end up doing something

This is usually used when plans change or something unexpected happens.

We had plans to go to the park, but it was raining so we wound up going to a museum.

Ending Vocabulary #3: Tie up loose ends

  • to tie up loose ends: finish up some final details

Use this idiom when you’re at the end of a long process and there are just a few small details to finish.

The lawyer was nearly ready for the court date, but had a few loose ends to tie up.


These high level terms about beginnings and endings are excellent words to use on the IELTS exam!

You very likely will be able to tell a story as part of the Speaking Exam, and you can use this vocabulary to describe the start or finish.

These words will also be extremely useful on the Writing exam!

For many topics, you will be able to describe a beginning or ending.

Note down this vocabulary and practice using it accurately so that you are ready to use these high level words on test day!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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