Many English verbs you know well and use often are informal. They are common in normal conversation and informal or semiformal emails. However, when you are writing an IELTS essay, particularly an IELTS Academic essay, you are expected to use the formal academic style. If you are looking to elevate your writing and achieve Band 7+, try to avoid those verbs and use one-word alternatives instead.
IELTS verbs to avoid examples found in this video
1. Get – Receive, Obtain
I’ve got my master’s degree in Business Management with Distinction.
I have received my master’s degree…
Get – Bring
Can I get some water?
Please, can I have some water?
May I have some water, please?
2. Get, Buy – Purchase, Acquire
The city council has bought/purchased/acquired the land.
The land has been purchased/acquired by the city council.
You will gradually acquire a good knowledge of English.
3. Let – Allow, Permit
Parents should not let spend too much time on social media.
Parents should not allow/permit their children to spend too much time on social media.
Children should not be permitted to spend too much time on social media.
4. Say – State
Please state why you wish to apply for this scholarship.
5. Do – Perform
This operation has never been done/performed before.
6. To say sorry – Apologise
Your flight has just been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner.
7. Need – Require
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
This situation needs/requires immediate attention.
8. Seem – Appear
It seems/appears there has been a mistake.
9. Call off – Cancel
The labour union called off/cancelled the strike.
10. Come up with – Find, Produce
Schools should come up/find with more interesting ways of teaching science subjects.
11. Cut down on – Reduce
People who cut down on smoking live longer.
People who reduce smoking live longer.
12. Find out – Discover
Scientists have found out/discovered that sea levels are rising.
13. Get over – Overcome
Will you get over the difficulty of passing the IELTS exam?
Of course, everyone eventually overcomes this difficulty.
14. Go against – Oppose
The majority went against/opposed this decision.
15. Go down – Decrease, Shrink
The level of crime in London has been going down/decreasing since the 1970s.
16. Go up – Increase, Rise, Grow
Air pollution has gone up.
Air pollution has risen above an acceptable level.
17. Go on, Carry on – Continue
We can’t go on polluting the sea with plastic waste.
People cannot continue polluting the sea with plastic waste.
18. Hand in – Submit
Students must hand their assignments in on time.
Students must submit their assignments on time.
19. Leave out – Omit
Important details had been left out of the article.
Important details had been omitted from the article.
20. Look into – Research, Investigate
When you are preparing for your IELTS exam, look into recent IELTS topics.
Research recent IELTS topics.
21. Look up to – Admire, Respect
Who do you look up to/admire?
22. Make sure of – Ensure, Check
Always make sure of/check your facts before accusing anyone.
23. Make up – Constitute
Male workers make/constitute the majority of the labour force.
24. Pick up on – Notice
I failed to pick up on/notice this term of the contract straight away.
25. Point out – Indicate
Research points out/indicates that eating habits are changing fast.
26. Put off – Postpone
Do not put off/postpone important decisions.
27. Put up with – Tolerate
There is a limit to what one person can put up with/tolerate.
28. Set up – Establish, Arrange, Organise
My company was set up/established in 2014.
29. Speed up – Accelerate
The increased capital could greatly speed up/accelerate economic development.
30. Think over – Consider
Please, think my proposition over.
Please consider my proposition.
31. Touch on – Mention
The report did not touch on/mention the issue of immigration.
32. Try out – Test
Try out any new IELTS preparation tips at home before using them during the exam.
Test any new tips at home.
33. Turn down – Reject
The proposal was turned down/rejected.
33 Verbs You Must AVOID in IELTS Writing
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