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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 5: Vocabulary Range


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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

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Today we'll look at some strategies for meeting the requirements of vocabulary, one of the

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criteria used to assess IELTS candidates.

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When writing, you can expand what you want to say by adding words that give more detail,

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or are more specific and descriptive.

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This is a good way of showing the extent of your vocabulary.

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Take this sentence for example:

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Collection services can reduce rubbish.

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What can you say to make this sentence more specific and descriptive?

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First, look at 'collection services'. Ask yourself who, what, why and where?

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What sort of collection services reduce rubbish?

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They could be 'weekly collection services' or 'better collection services'. You could

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also say 'more frequent collection services':

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More frequent collection services can reduce rubbish.

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You can do more than just use words in front of 'collection services'. You can also add

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a phrase after it.

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Ask yourself the same sort of questions: 'what is collected, who is collecting it'?

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So you can add:

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More frequent collection services for recyclables can reduce rubbish.

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You don't have to stop at just one phrase. You might also want to say who does the collecting.

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So:

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More frequent collection services for recyclables by councils can reduce rubbish.

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You can also add words to the verb in the sentence. We know more collection can reduce

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rubbish - but by how much?

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It can substantially reduce rubbish.

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So:

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More frequent collection services for recyclables by councils can substantially reduce rubbish.

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Substantially is an adverb. It's one of the forms of the word substantial.

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Adverbs often end with '-ly'

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Other words that mean a large amount are vast, considerable and great.

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Their adverbs are vastly, considerably and greatly.

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Any of these words could be used instead of 'substantially'.

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A good vocabulary is not simply the number of words you know. It's being able to use

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all the forms of a word correctly.

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For instance 'reduce' means to become smaller or to lessen. Listen to how it's used in this

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clip from a story about sealing roads:

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In Asia the cost of re-doing roads is very high. We can address that issue and give them

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a tightly bound surface, which will reduce the costs for the regional councils.

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Will reduce the costs. Reduce - that's the base form of the verb. Reduce is a regular

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verb with the forms reducing and reduced. He uses one of these here:

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Here you have a car that is travelling along an untreated section of road and then hitting

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a treated section of the road. You can see that the dust is reduced by a significant

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amount.

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Is reduced by a significant amount. That's a verb form. But what form of reduce would

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you use as an adjective?

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Our product very effectively binds the soils and particles that make up the materials for

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the roads. This means you can have a reduced cost in terms of the number of times that

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road authorities have to maintain and repair that road over a long period of time.

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A reduced cost. The -ed form can also be used as an adjective like this.

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reduced price reduced pressure

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Reduce has a noun form. Listen: One of the problems of driving on an unsealed

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road is the amount of dust that comes off the surface. With our treatment, we find there's

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a dramatic reduction in that dust problem.

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The noun is reduction. You'll find that -ion endings for nouns, -ly for adverbs and -ed

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for adjectives are very common.

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When you learn new words it is important that you know all their forms and practise using

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them. It's a good strategy for building your vocabulary.

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So learn word forms.

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Another good strategy is to know which prepositions are normally used with particular words.

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Let's look at the word 'reason', a word you're likely to use in an IELTS essay.

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What preposition is reason used with?

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Listen to this woman talking about a famous road in Australia:

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The Great Ocean road is probably the most spectacular coastal drive in the world. I

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think the reason for that is that it's got such a variety of scenery from cool temperate

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rainforests to the cliffs and rock stacks around the Twelve Apostles.

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She says, "the reason for that is…". Reason can be followed by the preposition

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'for'. You can say, reason for leaving … or reason for arguing …

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Look at 'know' for instance. With the verb form 'know' we use the preposition 'about',

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know about, like this woman when explaining why she makes a scrapbook of her life:

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I'm creating something that gives me a chance to put something about who I am onto that

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page. I often think when I'm working on a project, "What would my kids like to know

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about me in 20 or 40 years time?

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Know about me. But with the noun form 'knowledge', we use 'of', 'knowledge of'. Listen to this

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man use 'knowledge of' to talk about an art collection that students are studying:

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We have students from overseas in the course. They get to get this first-hand knowledge

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of this terrific collection, but also they can take that back with them to the countries

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they come from.

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So let's recap.

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You can add detail about who, what and where to sentences like this.

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The dragon is paraded.

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The colourful dragon is paraded. The colourful dragon is noisily paraded.

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The colourful dragon with people inside it is noisily paraded.

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The colourful dragon with people inside it is noisily paraded down the street.

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To do this you need to know that the adjective of the word colour is colourful and the adverb

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of noise is noisily.

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And you need to correctly use phrases such as 'with people inside it' and 'down the street'.

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This is the kind of vocabulary the examiners are looking for.

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You also need to be aware of the prepositions that go with certain words.

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You say that you know about something:

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I'm creating something that gives me a chance to put something about who I am onto that

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page. I often think when I'm working on a project, "What would my kids like to know

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about me in 20 or 40 years time?

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But have knowledge of something:

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We have students from overseas in the course. They get to get this first-hand knowledge

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of this terrific collection, but also they can take that back with them to the countries

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they come from.

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And you say that you have a reason for doing something:

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The Great Ocean road is probably the most spectacular coastal drive in the world. I

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think the reason for that is that it's got such a variety of scenery from cool temperate

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rainforests to the cliffs and rock stacks around the Twelve Apostles.

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That's all for now.

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To find more information about vocabulary visit our Study English website at: australianetwork.com/studyenglish.

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Good luck with your studies.

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