IELTS Vocabulary and avoiding repetition

Avoiding repetition is extremely important to score well for vocabulary as you want to show the examiner that you have a wide RANGE of vocabulary. Below are three ways to avoid repetition.

1.Use pronouns
Pronouns are words such as:

  • he/she/it
  • this/that/these/those
  • one
  • both

The way these words work is that they refer back to something already mentioned and replace that word. So used well, they help you avoid repeating words and link your writing.
EXAMPLE: My teacher is kind. He let me turn in my assignment late.

2.Use Synonyms
This is a key technique. The idea is that you don’t repeat the word, you use another similar word or phrase. Very often, you will need to use phrases and not individual words to do this well.
EXAMPLE: My manager is kind. My boss let me turn in my project late.

3.change word forms
Sometimes it is often enough to change the form of the word from a verb to a noun or a noun to an adjective. By doing this, you are showing how you can use language flexibly.
EXAMPLE: My managers are all kind. The management at my company always give the staff gifts.

When not to rephrase words
One danger is that you try and change all the words in your writing. That can be a mistake. Sometimes you will need to repeat some words. Here are two times you should consider doing it:

1.technical words
Some words have very precise meanings and don’t have synonyms. It would be a mistake to try and replace these words with other less precise words. In the paragraph above I do repeat wordssentence and paragraph.

2.emphasising connections
Variety is good but if you vary things too much you may confuse. A possible danger is that if you change the word, the reader may think you’re talking about something different and not the same thing. Sometimes it’s better to repeat words just to make connections clear.

Look at some of my model answers and see how this is done…especially in the introductions:


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