Top Tips for IELTS

Resolve – IELTS word of the day

Today’s word from the academic word list is



The main forms of this word are resolve, resolution, resolved and unresolved.

This is an extremely useful set of words with two main usages: problems get resolved and people resolve/decide to achieve something.


One of the more common question types in IELTS writing task 2 is the so-called problem/solution essay. You should see though that almost all IELTS essays are based around a problem or issue and that you can use this family of words in many different kinds of essays, not just the problem/solution essay. Here are a few examples:


One suggestion would be fund a special counselling service to help resolve the differences that can arise in the family.

The first step, however, must be to resolve any uncertainty about the future of further education; until this is done, no progress can be made.

These problems are unlikely to be resolved, however, until their root causes have been established.

One way to find a lasting resolution to this issue would be to involve parents in any discussion.

The government should set up a body to resolve any complaints about the services provided.


A note on solve and resolve

What is the difference between “solve” and “resolve”? Often almost nothing. You can solve a problem and you can also resolve it. If there is a difference, it is that you are more likely to “resolve” a problem if there are two or more ways to do it and you need to choose between them.


Resolve and decide

This is a less common usage, but still useful. It is typically used when the decision is more formal in nature. You should also note that “resolve” can be both a verb and noun.

The UN needs to resolve to reduce the amount of logging in the Amazon Basin.

Some young graduates do not show enough resolve when they are looking for their first job and are too easily deterred from applying for jobs.




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3 Responses to Resolve – IELTS word of the day

  1. zara March 3, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for the useful examples and a great word to add to the vocabulary!

    • Dominic Cole March 3, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Yes, it is a good word isn’t it. Interestingly, one of my students corrected me the other day by saying that problems are resolved and not solved.

  2. sherzod March 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    your assistance will be highly appreciated. Thnx. U r a great person!

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