synonyms ielts writing

Synonyms are essential in IELTS writing if you want to paraphrase successfully, avoid repetition and improve your band score in Lexical resource. In this guide, we will look at some important synonyms that you can use in the writing section of your IELTS Academic test.

1. Synonyms for IELTS writing Task 1

In IELTS writing task 1, you have 20 minutes to write a formal report that summarises the key features of a given chart, graph, table, flowchart, process diagram or map.

We’ve put together a collection of useful synonyms that you can use in any writing task 1 and adapt for your given figure/ diagram

1.1 Introduction synonyms

Using synonyms can help you to paraphrase the given statement that will always follow a similar pattern. Take the example below:

IELTS Statement:

The graph below gives information about international tourist arrivals in different parts of the world.

Your introduction should paraphrase the given statement. Here are some different ways you could rephrase the underlined part of the statement:

  • The chart/graph/ table/ map/ diagram shows
  • The chart/graph/ table/ map/ diagram illustrates
  • The chart/graph/ table/ map/ diagram gives information about
  • The chart/graph/ table/ map/ diagram demonstrates
  • The chart/graph/ table/ map/ diagram depicts…

IELTS writing correction

1.2 Writing about time

You will often be given data with a time-frame ranging over a period of time, as shown in this example:

IELTS Statement:

The graph shows average carbon dioxide emissions per person in the United Kingdom and the USA between 1977 and 2007.

In your report, instead of repeating the structure ‘between ___ and ___’ you could use the following:

  • From ___ to ___
  • In ___
  • In the years of ___ to ___

Here are some more ways to introduce time in your report:

  • At the beginning of the given period…
  • At the end of the period…
  • In the first year…
  • In the final year…
  • The next two days showed…
  • …in the following three days…
  • Over the next two days…

1.3 Phrases to start paragraphs

You always need to make your overview paragraph easy to find. To do this, you can begin your overview with one of the following:

  • Overall,…
  • In summary,…
  • To summarise,…

Here are some useful phrases to continue your overview paragraph:

  • …, it can be clearly seen that…
  • …it is apparent that..
  • …it is evident that…
  • …what stands out from the graph/chart/table is that…

And phrases to start your main body paragraph:

1.4 Synonyms to describe trends

It is important to learn a range of languages to describe upward, downward, or any other trends that appear in the data. We’ve put together a list of synonyms you could use in your report.

Upward trend:

  • Increase (v)
  • An increase (n)
  • Go up
  • Grow (v)
  • A growth (n)
  • Rise (v)
  • A rise (n)

Downward trend:

  • Decrease (v)
  • A decrease (n)
  • Decline (v)
  • A decline (n)
  • Drop (v)
  • A drop (n)
  • Fall (v)
  • A fal (n)


  • Remain steady
  • Remain stable
  • Remain unchanged
  • Stay constant
  • Stay at the same level


  • Fluctuate (v)
  • Fluctuation (n)

1.5 Transition words

To create cohesion throughout your report, as well as avoid repetition, you should use a range of transition words/ cohesive devices. Here’s a list of appropriate transitions to use in IELTS writing task 1:

  • To begin with,…
  • To start with,…
  • And then,…
  • At this point,…
  • Subsequently,…
  • After this,…
  • Then,…
  • Afterwards,…
  • Finally,…
  • …with the figure at ____

1.6 Synonyms for estimates

It is likely that you will not be able to precisely read the figures on a given chart, especially if you are given a bar chart. In this case, you need to use language to estimate the data. Here are some synonyms you can use to describe figures above or below and exact number:

  • Approximately
  • Roughly
  • About
  • Around
  • Just above
  • Just over
  • Just under
  • Just below
  • nearly

1.7 Making predictions

Occasionally, you may be given a graph/chart where predictions are made about what may happen in the future. Since it is not certain that these predictions will happen, you should avoid using grammatical structures that express certainty such as ‘will’. You could instead use:

  • …is shown to…
  • …is predicted to…
  • …is projected to…
  • …is expected to…
  • …is forecast to…

IELTS writing correction

2. Synonyms for IELTS Writing Task 2

2.1 Giving your opinion

  • In my opinion…
  • It is my belief that…
  • I am of the opinion that…
  • To my mind…
  • From my point of view…
  • From my perspective…
  • My point is that…
  • My argument is that…
  • As far as I am concerned,…
  • In my view…

2.2 General introduction statements

  • Some people think that…
  • According to many people…
  • It is generally said that…
  • Some people argue that…
  • People often say that…
  • A common argument is that…
  • People often claim that…
  • Some people say that…
  • People generally think that…
  • People often put forward the argument that…

2.3 Synonyms for body paragraphs

Topic sentence starters:

  • One advantage of ____ is that ….
  • Another benefit of ____is that…
  • One downside of ____ is that…
  • Another downside of ____ is that…
  • One reason that I believe…
  • One argument in favour of… is that…
  • The main reason that I think…
  • Another reason to second….

Supporting sentences starters:

  • This is because…
  • The result/consequence/reason is that…
  • This means that…
  • As a result/consequence,…
  • In other words,…

2.4 Cohesive devices/transition words


  • To summarise,…
  • In conclusion,…
  • To sum up,…
  • Overall,…


  • First
  • Firstly
  • In the first place
  • Then
  • Eventually
  • Meanwhile
  • Finally


  • But
  • However
  • Nevertheless
  • Although
  • By comparison
  • In comparison
  • On the other hand
  • In spite of
  • While
  • Whereas

Giving examples/ restating:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • That is ( to say)
  • Including
  • In other words
  • Such as


  • Because
  • So
  • Therefore
  • Consequently
  • Due to
  • As a result


  • And
  • Also
  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Moreover
  • Similarly

2.5 Common synonyms for words in Questions

Word in IELTS Question Synonyms
AdvantagesPros, benefits, positives
DisadvantagesCons, downsides, drawbacks, negatives
GovernmentAuthority, administration, leadership
PeopleIndividuals, the public, humankind
TeachersEducators, lecturer (university)
DifficultHard, challenging, demanding, problematic
SchoolEducation, High school
UniversityHigher education, institution, tertiary education
DangerousAlarming, critical, risky, serious
wasteConsume, deplete, go to waste, misuse, exhaust
businessOccupation, career, profession
essentialCrucial, imperative, fundamental
ChildrenYoung person, youth
ProblemDifficulty, complication
SolutionExplanation, clarification
FundingFinancing, resources
FreedomAbility, right, privilege, opportunity
goodAdvantageous, beneficial, acceptable, suitable, appropriate
badDangerous, unhealthy, damaging, detrimental
populationCommunity, culture, people, society
communicationConnection, correspondance
internetThe web, world wide web
improveAdvance, develop, enhance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *