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Obvious – IELTS word of the day

Today’s IELTS word from the academic word list is



This is a very useful word with two variations: obvious and obviously.  A useful synonym is clear. To understand how common and useful a word it is you simply need to look at the words it is used with. You should, however, be careful when you use it and make sure that the reasons you explain are in fact obvious – something everyone sees. If they are not, you might consider using the word possible instead.

Writing about advantages and reasons

One obvious reason why factories continue to cause air pollution is the lack of regulation.

While the connection between drink and crime may not be entirely obvious, it is nevertheless significant.

An obvious advantage of bringing up children in the countryside is that the air tends to be much cleaner there.

Another obvious benefit is that children can safely play outside, whereas in the city they only have the streets to play in.

Writing about disadvantages

There is, however, an obvious danger in allowing dangerous criminals to return to society.

One obvious problem that this presents is that they may not be fully rehabilitated and may re-offend.

Another obvious difficulty is that some criminals are incapable of reform, no matter how long they spend in gaol.

Writing about differences, solutions and examples

There is at least one obvious difference between secondary and higher education.

An obvious way in which this problem could be solved would be to hire classroom assistants.

The obvious choice here is for the government to legislate much more strictly and introduce heavy fines for companies that fail to comply.

A fairly obvious example is how foreign NGOs have helped to improve living conditions in some developing countries.

Obviously for clear facts

Obviously, a solution needs to be found or we will exhaust our supplies of fossil fuels in the near future. (note Obviously comma)

This obviously means that governments should fund research into global warming.

Qualifying what you say

As I mentioned above, obvious can be a dangerous word to use and you should think carefully before using it. You should also see that there are ways of qualifying just how obvious something is. It can also be academic to say that something is not obvious!

It may seem obvious that….. but

While this may not be obvious, it may still be quite feasible

It seems fairly obvious that there is a link between smoking and cancer

It is perfectly obvious that the transport authorities need to encourage people to use their cars less



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