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

Today we answer a question about vocabulary related to astronomy.

This vocab is perfect for IELTS and can earn you astronomical scores.

You need high level, less common words to score 7+ on Vocabulary scores.

However, if you use these words incorrectly, your score could go down.

You must learn vocabulary in context and practice using it.

If you’re unsure of the meaning, you can run it past us!

Join 3 Keys IELTS for access to our private IELTS Facebook group!

Today’s question

Nima Mokhtari left a comment on our YouTube channel with this question.

A few weeks ago you and Aubrey discussed Zodiac signs and suggested the best strategies for each, which is awesome.

Could you pls discuss metaphorical and literal meanings of space and astronomy words that could be used in exam, such as eclipsed, astronomical, and so on.

This is a fantastic question, as there are many high level words related to astronomy.

These can boost your IELTS Vocabulary score!

Metaphorical vs. literal meaning

  • metaphorical: referring or making allusion to something else

Metaphors compare two things.

Similes share what something is like.

Imagery is language that calls an image to your mind.

These are all types of metaphorical language.

  • literal: the ordinary or expected meaning of a word

We are using the literal meaning when we talk about what something actually is.

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#1: Eclipsed

The literal meaning is light being blocked out by a celestial body.

Two years ago there was a solar eclipse.

Metaphorically, we use this to mean something important is overtaken by something else.

The original important thing is then forgotten.

The pandemic has eclipsed the environment in news headlines.

Use this for Change Over Time Task 1 essays!

It’s perfect if something was the highest number and changed.

Apples eclipsed pears in 2018 as the highest purchased commodity, with 12 bushels.

#2: Astronomical

The literal meaning is anything related to astronomy.

The metaphorical meaning is an adjective meaning “extremely large.”

They charged an astronomical parking fee!

This is a band 9 adjective that can be used on any IELTS exam.

You can use it on Speaking and Writing.

#3: Nadir

This describes something at its lowest point.

It is great for Task 1 Change Over Time essays!

This is a band 9 word to describe the lowest number on a chart.

The price fell to a nadir in 2018, at $45.

Using this word boosts your Vocabulary score.

#4: Apex

This means the peak or highest point.

Use it to describe the highest point in a Task 1 Change Over Time essay.

In 2016, the quantity of homeowners hit an apex, with 3 million.

Using this helps you avoid repeating words like “peak” or “highest point.”

Takeaway

Vocabulary related to astronomy can be extremely useful on IELTS!

Practice using these words on practice Task 1 essays.

For astronomical and eclipse, use these on Speaking and Writing.

Practice so you are ready on test day!

For more tips on increasing IELTS scores, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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