Category Archives: Vocabulary

FREE IELTS ACADEMIC TEST PREPARATION COURSE

Hello! How is everyone doing with their IELTS Preparation?

We would like to share a free IELTS Academic Test Preparation Course which anyone can take online. This course is provided by Edx.org and the course was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia. This is a self-paced course, which means you have the liberty to study at your own time and at your own pace.

You might need to register to the website in order to access the course.

Here is the link and feel free to share with anyone you know who might need this course.

FREE IELTS ACADEMIC TEST PREPARATION COURSE

 

 

 

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HOW TO TALK ABOUT THE ARTS IN THE IELTS EXAM

ESSENTIAL VOCABULARY TO TALK ABOUT THE ARTS IN IELTS

Candidates should clearly understand that “art” does not only refer to “paintings”. When you are asked to describe a piece of art in the IELTS test, you are usually expected to describe one of the different forms of visual arts such as drawing, painting, ceramics, and photography. It may also include sculpture, architecture or one of the conceptual forms of art.

You might be asked to talk about a form or type of art (what is the most famous type of art in your country, talk about a traditional form of art in your country…for example), you may include other forms like performance arts, literary arts and applied arts.

TYPES OR FORMS OF ARTS

  1. VISUAL ARTS
    1. Drawing – a piece of art produced using tools such as pencil, pen, crayons, markers and other tools or techniques. Illustrations, animation, and comics are examples of drawings. Modern drawing techniques involve computer software and other devices.
    2. Painting – a piece of art mainly consists of colors. There is a wide variety of coloring materials used in paintings such as acrylic paint, pigment, oil pastel, and watercolors. These days, there are artists who use non-traditional materials such as sand, cement, wood.
    3. Ceramics – a form of art including pottery, tableware, figurines and tile using ceramics and clay.
    4. Photography – art produced by taking pictures using a camera, with the purpose of expressing the artist’s vision through photos
    5. Architecture – the art of designing buildings and structures, which the main purpose is to create pleasing aesthetics.
    6. Sculpture – the art which involves carving and modelling using materials such as wood, stone, clay, ceramics, metal and others.
  2. LITERARY ARTS – this includes written pieces such as poems, fiction and non-fiction prose and drama.
  3. PERFORMING ARTS – as the name implies, this type involves people as the main “material”. Dance, mime, theater and music all belong to this category.

 

HOW TO DESCRIBE A PIECE OF ART

COLORS. Here are words you can use to describe how you feel about a painting for example. These terms can also be used to tell something about your impression on the look and feel of that piece of art.

  • Bright, lively, vibrant, clear, intense, strong, interesting, stimulating, rich
  • Dull, flat, pale, weak, mellow, subtle, depressing, unfriendly, violent, subdued, quiet, vivid, cold, dark, saturated
  • Natural, harmonious, compatible, sympathetic, warm, light, pure, deep, blended, distinctive
  • Artificial, broken, muddied, contrasting, clashing

TEXTURE

  • Sticky, course, smooth, rough, hairy, uneven, polished, raised, flat
  • Soft, hard, scratched
  • Glossy, matte, frosted, shiny, semi-gloss

MOOD – these are words you can use to describe your feelings or emotions when you are looking at a piece of art.

  • Calm, relaxed, peaceful, content, tranquil, cheerful, joyful, happy, romantic
  • Dark, gloomy, depressed, miserable, somber, boring, distressing, lifeless, dull

SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PIECE OF ART

  • Landscape, cityscape, urban, industrial, man-made, seascape, abstract
  • Portrait, figurative, still life
  • Imaginary, mythological, fantasy

SHAPE OR FORM

  • Natural, realistic, abstract, static, moving
  • 3D, 2D, flat, geometric, linear, hard-edged, soft-edged
  • Long, narrow
  • Detailed, exaggerated, blurred, sharp, overlapping

Vocabulary to Describe the General Look of a Piece of Art

  • Antique, worn, battered, old, dusty, shiny, new, clean
  • Commercial, industrial, decorative, functional, fancy

 

 

 

 

IELTS Vocabulary: How to Express Your Opinion

HELPFUL WORDS AND PHRASES TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION IN THE IELTS EXAM

In the IELTS Speaking and Writing Tasks, you will be asked to express your opinion about a given topic. In the essay, speaking parts 1 and 3, it is important to be able to effectively convey your thoughts by using a variety of appropriate expressions.

In this article, we are also going to discuss the possibility of expressing your lack of opinion about a certain topic without affecting your IELTS speaking score.

PHRASES TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION

Expression … Example Sentence
In my view … In my view, the quality of education in my country is getting worse as time goes by.
I feel that… I feel that my career is going on a downhill.
Personally, I think… Personally, I think that taking the course is a waste of time.
I would say that … I would say that her fashion sense is a lot more practical than most people I know.
In my opinion … In my opinion, the President is taking things too slow.
I believe that … I believe that everyone should have equal access to quality education regardless of his or her ethnic background.

There will be an instance when you lack opinion about or completely have no idea about the examiner’s question. Don’t fret, there are ways to manage this situation. Here are helpful expressions you can use:

PHRASES TO EXPRESS A LACK OF OPINION

Expression … Example Sentence
I’m afraid I am not keen on … I’m afraid I am not keen on the political situation in my region.
I am sorry, I am not familiar with… I’m sorry, I am not familiar with the traditional music in my country.
I have not really thought about that… I have not really thought about that but
I’m afraid I do not know much about … I’m afraid I do not know much about art but I know a little bit about…
I’m afraid I have not been very interested in … I’m afraid I have not been very interested in TV programmes but I will try my best to…

IELTS Practice Questions and Sample Responses: Expressing Opinions

IELTS Vocabulary: How to Effectively Describe a Book

WORDS TO DESCRIBE A BOOK

One of the most common IELTS Speaking Questions is related to books. Specifically, test takers are most of the time asked to describe a book they just read or talk about their favorite book.

Here are words and phrases you need to learn to effectively describe a book. Being able to correctly use these set of vocabulary during the IELTS Speaking Test will certainly give you a chance to get a high score.

There are 2 types of books: Fiction and Non-Fiction and there are many genres of books.

WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE GENRE OF THE BOOK

Travel Guide Novel
Self-help book Autobiography/Biography
Science Fiction (Sci-fi) Satire
Drama Romance
Horror Suspense
Thriller Health
Historical Comics
Journals Diaries
Religion, Spirituality & New Age Fantasy
Series Trilogy

 

ADJECTIVES FOR DESCRIBING A BOOK

POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Amusing Boring
Easy-to-read Hard-to-read
Brilliant Silly
Captivating Predictable
Gripping Confusing
Informative uninformative
Entertaining Inaccurate
Hilarious Complicated
Well-written Creepy
Deep Deceptive
Funny / Goofy Dreary
Action-packed Erratic
Addictive Gross
Astonishing Haunting
Inspiring Obnoxious
Adventurous Redundant
Breath-taking Terrifying
Charismatic Tragic
Futuristic
Goofy
Mystical

Read our sample responses to the IELTS Speaking Questions about Books in the link below:

IELTS VOCABULARY: HOW TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS

GO AHEAD! MAKE UP NEW WORDS

Did you know that the word “MOTEL” is a compounded word from “motor” and “hotel”?

Well, this TED-Ed video by Erin McKean explains how words in English are formed. The speaker also encourages everyone to go ahead and make up new words. In the IELTS test however, you have to be very careful about the use of words, not just grammar.

Here is the link to the video. Watch and enjoy, and let us know what you think about her idea.

Cheers!