Top Tips for IELTS

Words and phrases for change

One very common topic in IELTS writing and speaking is change. Very frequently you are asked to discuss

what has changed from the past

what changes you think will occur in the future

what change you think should be made

To do this well, you need a variety of ways to discuss change and his lesson helps you out with some words and phrases to do just this.

Basic variations from the Academic Word List – word forms

The AWL has several words that can help here. Try looking at the lessons on these words and trying these exercises. The idea is that it is not enough to know one word, you want to be able to use all the words in that family.






Types of change

Big changes

All the following phrases can be used to talk/write about big changes

Beyond all recognition

Educational systems have changed beyond all recognition in the last 20 years.

Dramatic/ dramatically

The nature of communication has changed dramatically with the advent of computer technology.


Smart phones have revolutionised the way we use the internet as we are now no longer reliant on computers.

Radical shift

In recent years there has been a radical shift in the way people think about the environment.


Science, and genetical modified crops in particular, have transformed farming practice.

Smaller changes

These phrases show smaller changes.

a slight shift

There has been a slight shift in attitudes towards immigration and more people are now willing to accept that it can help the economy.

a minor adjustment 

There is no need to completely change the way our children are educated, the curriculum only need a minor adjustment.

Speed of change

rate/pace of change

Not everyone is happy with this rate of change and many would prefer that there were fewer new developments built in town centres. 

an overnight change  

It is unrealistic to expect this change to occur overnight as first of all attitudes towards air travel need to change.

slow but steady/slowly but steadily

Slowly but steadily more and more people are doing their shopping in out of town supermarkets and this is changing town centres.

a gradual process

This change has been evolutionary and a gradual process as it has taken people some time to get used to the idea of shopping online.

Try an exercise


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One Response to Words and phrases for change

  1. Lee June 7, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you for your lesson and all helpful materials. I am looking for many kind of IELTS book to help me expand my vocabulary but I have to assume that your page is the best. Many thanks!!!

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