Why is word formation so important?
Word formation is important in IELTS because:
- It helps you express yourself more clearly and precisely in your SPEAKING TEST.
- It allows you to use more sophisticated/academic expressions in the WRITING TEST.
- In the LISTENING TEST, you are specifically tested on your spelling of different forms, especially irregular ones.
- An understanding of different forms will help you speed up in the READING TEST and guess meaning from context.
Last week in the Facebook Group we practised ‘irregular’ word forms. Of course there are hundreds of these, but we looked at some patterns and at words that often come up in IELTS in one way or another.
How can I build my knowledge of word forms?
Little by little.
- Every time you learn a new word, write down the different forms.
- Keep a notebook specifically for vocabulary.
- Write the forms in full sentences (use a good dictionary to help you).
- Colour-code any irregular spelling changes.
- Check the pronunciation! Syllable stress often moves in different forms.
- Say the words aloud and repeat them regularly – record them on your phone if you can!
I’ve made this list of the ones we learnt and I’ve included lots and lots of PRACTICE.
It’s no good just learning lists of word. You have to practise using them.
All of the sentences I’ve used in the practice sections are particularly USEFUL for using in your Writing Task 2.
How reading can help
In the Facebook group we looked at a Reading about the electrification of a road in Sweden.
You can easily guess what the article will be about because you know the word ‘electric‘.
If you learn word forms, you will be able to recognise ‘electrify‘ as a verb (like simplify or modify) and I’m sure you’ve seen its noun form in other words (like simplification or modification). So this will help you work out the word from context.
Make sure that you write down word forms like this when you’re reading.
Also, think about how this can help your writing.
The title of the article is:
World’s first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden
So what does it mean? What do you think? Choose one of the sentences below:
- Sweden has made a road which can charge electric cars.
- Sweden has made a road which can produce electricity to charge cars.
- Sweden has electrified a road so that it can charge cars.
- Sweden has installed its first electrified road for charging cars.
- The electrification of a road in Sweden allows electric cars to recharge.
You’re right! They all mean the same thing! But which one sounds better?
‘Electric/electricity’ are quite simple words that are probably similar in your language or you learn them when you are a Beginner. So using these words correctly might get you a Band 5 in your Writing.
However ‘electrify/electrified’ are far less common and more sophisticated – closer to a Band 6 or 7.
And if you use ‘electrification’ in a Task 2 essay about the solution to pollution in towns, I’m pretty sure you’d get an 8 for vocabulary range, precision and flexibility!
You can download my full Word Formation Worksheet here.
You can find lots of useful readings in the collection I update on a daily basis here.
And join the Facebook group if you haven’t already!
Look out for more to come!