Technology vocabulary and exercises

This lesson provides you with some useful vocabulary for technology – one of the key topics in IELTS. I have tried to do more than give you a list of words, so you will find notes, phrases and examples:

  • to show you which other words these words are used with
  • to give you ideas for speaking and writing essays
  • to help you use the words correctly
There is also a download of this vocabulary at the bottom of the page and exercises to see how well you know these words.

Test yourself first

Want to know how good your technology vocab is? Try this quick quiz.
[QUIZZIN 20]

  Progress words

When you write and speak about computers and technology, very often you will be asked to say how technology has changed or progressed.

 

notes

Progress is an uncountable word, while advance is countable. So you say that “digital technology is an advance” but you cannot say that “digital technology is a progress”

Impact words

Another common topic is to talk about what effect computer technology has had on our lives

notes

Be careful with the difference between “affect” (generally a verb) and “effect” (generally a noun). Just to confuse you, in English they sound exactly the same.

“impact” and “influence” are often used with the preposition “on”

Technology and computer words

It is very easy to keep on repeating the same word without knowing it. One way not to do this is to change the form of the word or to use it in a different phrase.

 

notes

Be careful with the spelling of technology.

A “technophile” loves technology  and a “technophobe” hates it. In speaking, you could use the less formal word “geek” for technophile, but I would avoid it writing.

There is no great difference between “ICT” and “IT”. However, as my example shows ICT is most frequently used as the name of an academic subject.

Adjectives

notes

It is normal to use hyphens (-) in adjective phrases such as “state-of-the-art” when they are used before nouns (“state-of-the-art technology”), but you do not always need them when they are used without a noun (“this technology is state of the art”).

“obsolete” is similar in meaning to “outdated”, but is a stronger word to show that the technology is so old that it cannot be used any longer.

It is normal to write “high tech” rather than “high technology”.

Device words

This is a rather confusing set of words to describe different kinds of objects.

notes

A “device” is often something fairly small that allows you to complete a task. There is a strong collocation (very common phrase): “labour-saving device”.

“Equipment” is an uncountable word so you need to say “a piece of equipment”. It is a very general use word that can be used to describe almost anything mechanical.

“Gadget” is a word often used to describe objects that are either small or have a less serious purpose.

“Appliance” is typically used in the phrase “electrical appliances” (eg irons and kettles) that are less advanced technology.

Other useful words

This is a selection of other words that may come in useful when discussing technology

Exercises

Download the vocabulary

Technology vocabulary (22853)

Useful sites to improve your science and technology vocabulary

The best way to improve your vocabulary is without doubt reading. So why not try looking at these sites to see if you can find something to interest you:

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9 Responses to Technology vocabulary and exercises

  1. Radmila December 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    WOw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you very much))) It is really helpful and you made it easier to remember!!

  2. Sad BoY January 29, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Thanks for this exercise
    its really helpful

  3. elahe December 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    so beneficial thanx

  4. luz Viviana Reina November 26, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    very helpful!!! thanks

  5. Feride February 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    very helpful, thank you. but what does “cloud” mean in technological vocabulary. I coudn`t find it in the dictionary.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole March 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Okay, I’m no IT specialist but here is my explanation. The cloud is where we can store information remotely – it’s somewhere up in the air and not on our hard drive. One of its uses is to share information.

  6. Jenifer February 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Gracias por el ejercicio

  7. Jenifer February 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Gracias

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  1. TECHNOLOGY | ENGLISH FOR EVERYONE - March 23, 2014

    […] VOCABULARY                                                                                      INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY […]

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