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

When it comes to IELTS vocabulary you need to use interesting words!

It is especially powerful in the Examiner’s eyes when you can use very specific and high-level vocabulary words for niche topics like describing when something is broken.

You need to make sure that you don’t use general and vague Band 6 vocabulary words which will make you sound like every other candidate.

In today’s video lesson Jessica will show you some native ways to say that something is broken or busted.

Watch the IELTS video lesson

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Thank you to IELTS Energy TV subscriber Moshima.

This student wanted to know other ways to describe that something is broken.

This could come up in Speaking Part 1 if you are talking about shopping and you order something that arrives broken.

It could also come up in IELTS Speaking Part 2. You may have to describe a time when you bought something that was broken.

In Speaking Part 3 you may have to answer what businesses might do if things arrive broken or you could talk about asking a company to do something because it arrived broken.

Ways to Say Broken or Busted:

  • Busted: If you are describing something that is no longer working. Example: “My new bike is busted.”
  • Totaled: This phrase is great if you are describing a car that has been in a major accident and will never run again. Example: “I got in a car accident and I totaled my car.”
  • On the fritz: If a piece of equipment is not working now but could be repaired you can use this phrase. Example: “We can’t use my TV to watch the game because it’s on the fritz.”
  • Dinged up: The appearance of something is scratched or messed up. Example: “My car got hit in the parking lot and now it is dinged up.”
  • Marred: This describes something that has a messed up appearance. Example: “This camera is marred. Look at the screen. I am not paying full price.”


Remember that vocabulary is an easy way to increase your IELTS score.

Spend some time learning these new words today and implement them into your Speaking answers if they are appropriate.

If you implement these tips successfully you will impress the Examiner and make them see you on a different level than other candidates. These new words today will get you that 9 for Vocabulary.

Take our quiz here to find out what score you would get if you took IELTS tomorrow.

What questions do you have about today’s video lesson?

Let us know in the comments below.

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