Paraphrase in IELTS and important notes

Paraphrase is one of the points that IELTS learners need to practice a lot to not only recognize but also use well, especially in Writing.

Practice Paraphrase in IELTS

Paraphrasing, also known as Parallel expression, as mentioned in the previous article, is a way of writing two sentences that are different in terms of vocabulary or grammatical structure but express exactly the same meaning.

It is no exaggeration to say that paraphrasing is at the core of everything in all 4 skills of IELTS. However, the reality is that many students are unable to paraphrase in speaking and writing, not recognizing paraphrase in listening and reading. Today’s article will explain part of the cause and how to fix it.

– Vocabulary: not recognizing pairs of synonyms, antonyms, phrases with similar meanings is the first reason why many people cannot paraphrase. In addition, you also have to pay attention to other forms of the same keyword (N, V, Adj for example.)

– Grammar: only with grammatical structures, one can completely rewrite a sentence without changing vocabulary, for example, changing active to passive or changing the order of grammatical components. grammar in a sentence, especially the position of adverbs.

– Not doing enough exercises: people often tell each other that learning English in Vietnam is full of grammar, no practice, all memorized, so it’s boring. This is not true. If the theory doesn’t belong, the grammar is wrong, are you going to practice communicating with body language? On the contrary, it is the grammar exercises, sentence rewriting, verb conjugation, error finding, etc that teachers still let us do that are the most important foundation for you to accumulate vocabulary and apply phrases. grammar, and memorize common paraphrases.

Let’s try some sentence transformation sentences below!

– It’s impossible for me not to laugh when he starts joking. (HELP)
-> I can’t ….. when he starts telling jokes.

– I really don’t want to go out tonight. (FEEL)
-> I really don’t ….. out tonight.

– They played so much better than their opponent, so it was a pity that they lost the match (DESERVE).
-> They ….. the match because they played much better than their opponent.

– Rock stars often wear sunglasses so that people don’t recognize them. (PREVENT)
-> Rock stars often wear sunglasses ….. them.

– It’s obvious that he shot himself in the foot by accident. (MEAN)
-> He obviously ….. himself in the foot.

– I hate it when I’m ill. (STAND)
-> I ….. ill.


– help laughing

– Feel like going

– deserved to win

– to prevent people from identifying

– didn’t mean to shoot

– cant stand being

Remember to check out this article to practice Paraphrase: Synonym synonyms and 3 ways to paraphrase in IELTS Writing

Be careful when Paraphrasing in IELTS

In Writing lessons, many of you probably try to find a way to paraphrase with synonyms. However, not many of you realize, or remember, that there are many exceptions that absolutely must not be paraphrased.

First, try to bring out an idiom, proverb, or a very common catchphrase in Vietnamese, and then paraphrase 1 of the words with synonyms, to see if the result will be catastrophic. how?

Eat the fruit remember who planted the plant?

Drinking water remember the source?

It is also the lameness when you try to paraphrase with synonyms in a very naive way with compound nouns, terms and collocations in English. In terms of semantics, although it looks very uncomfortable, the meaning of these odd phrases is not wrong, but the main problem here is the level of “naturalness” – naturalness of the language. To put it simply, which phrases/expressions that a native speaker would naturally use would be correct and should be used, and vice versa.

Below, I will give a few examples of which phrases to use or not to use.

– Phrase: “Job opportunities”

Employment opportunities:

Job opportunities:

Work opportunities:

Labor opportunities: x

– Phrase: “Labor market”

Job market:

Labor market:

Employment market:

Work market: x

– Phrase: “Environmental pollution”

Environmental pollution:

Environmental contamination:

– Phrase: “Air pollution”

Air pollution:

Air contamination:

Air degradation: x

– Phrase: “Environmental degradation”

Environmental degradation:

Environmental downturn: x

– Phrase: “Economic recession”

Economic downturn:

Economic degradation: x

– Phrase: “Incomparable” (when comparing the importance, quality, meaning, etc. between two things, events, people: A cannot be compared with B)

A pales in comparison to B./ A pales by comparison to B.

A pales into insignificance in comparison to B./ A pales into insignificance by comparison to B.

In a complex collocation like this, any single synonym of the main nouns (comparison = juxtaposition, contrast, or insignificance = unimportance, pettiness, etc) will ruin the whole phrase.

A few examples of terms: if you want to paraphrase these terms, you need to rely on their definition in the dictionary or in the corresponding science, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT arbitrarily substitute any synonyms. what meaning.

– Carbon footprint: the amount of gases and carbon compounds released into the environment due to the consumption of fossil fuels in human activities, production, travel, etc.

– Cybercrime: cybercrime

– Food safety and hygiene: food hygiene and safety

– Food security: food security

– Gender equality: gender equality

– Population density: population density

– Social justice: social justice

– Social security: social insurance

So, how to know if a certain phrase is true or false, acceptable or not? The easiest way is to look up the phrase directly on Google, but REMEMBER to put it in quotes “…”

With this trick, Google will find out the times when two words are combined to form a compound noun.

For example, the search keyword “Economic downturn” yields 13,700,000 results, (search with quotes)

The keyword “Economic degradation” only yields 65,700 results.

“Work market” produces 450,000 results, but it is the name of a company, not a word used in books.

In contrast, “labor market” produces 52,000,000 results, and there is a definition for this phrase in the dictionary.

So, you have clearly seen which phrases to use in your writing, and how to test them yourself. In the end, it can be said that the best way to increase one’s vocabulary and understanding is through the ability to read and understand good vocabulary, important scientific concepts from the mainstream press or scientific journals.

In addition, always practice the habit that after each article, you take time to re-read each sentence that you write, highlight the good grammatical structures that you have used and even the paraphrases. successful.

Through this, people will be able to learn from their own writing, be more conscious of applying grammar and vocabulary in future expressions, and gradually optimize their Grammatical Range scores. and Accuracy and Lexical Resources in IELTS Writing. Let’s come to the following topic.

Topic: Money spent on space exploration is a waste of resources, and it should be better spent on other areas for the better lives of humans on Earth. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


It is suggested that (1) the amount of money allocated (2) to studying the outer space should instead be spent (3) on other purposes for the betterment of human lives on our own planet. From a personal perspective, despite some positive results in weather forecast, telecommunication, and national defense, any further investment is wasteful due to its failure to show any obvious benefits.

For once, it is undeniable that (4) space research has brought about some major changes in human lives. First, due to the presence of artificial revolving in the Earth’s orbit, weather forecasting can be (5) with higher accuracy, so humans can predict and be well-prepared for natural disasters. Moreover, also with the assistance of satellites, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and satellite television have been developed (6), which is a great advancement in telecommunication. Furthermore, pictures captured (7) from satellites can help nations establish or reinforce their defense by detecting incoming enemies in advance, thus more possibility of successful defensive operations. (8)

nevertheless, venturing further into the infinity and beyond is consider (9) a total waste due to its vague results. Billions of dollars have been invested (10) in promoting space ships, launching of rockets, and the cost of fuel. Exorbitant flights into the universe, however, have led neither in any additional natural resources. Nor have they found the possibility of human settlement on another planet. (11) Meanwhile, the lives of millions of poverty-stricken people on Earth are in desperate need of financial aid. In various parts of the globe from Africa to the Middle East, years of war and conflict have crippled agriculture, education, and healthcare. It is unquestionable that (12) people’s vital needs are much more urgent.

In conclusion, improving the living standards of people on Earth should be prioritized (13) over inquire into the universe and other planets. (293 words)

Grammatical highlights:

– (1, 4, 12): pseudo-subject structure It is Adj/Vpt2 that + clause

– (2, 7): shorten relative clause with passive structure, omit “which + be”, keep Vpt2

– (3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13): passive sentence

– (8) advanced structure with because: clause indicating cause, so + noun phrase indicating result

– (11) Nor + inversion: The sentence is negative with neither. Nor + auxiliary verb + S + V.

Phrases in italics (studying the outer space; space research; venturing further into the infinity and beyond; explore into the universe): paraphrase for space exploration: explore/study the universe

Phrases in italics (spent, allocated, invested, investment): Paraphrase for spent in the text.

Remember to practice often. Good luck with your training.

In addition, please refer to the following lessons:

IELTS writing Task 2 – Topic: Art and Culture

How to write 5 common Task 2 types

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