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Advertising vocabulary and exercises

This lesson helps you with advertising vocabulary for essays and discussion tasks. You’ll find some exercises at the bottom of the page to test your skills.

 Advert, advertisement or ad?

All these forms of the words are correct but adis mostly used in spoken English only. You should also be aware of a common pronunciation problem:

  • advert
  • advertise
  • advertisement
This means that you make an “iss” sound when say advertisement.This is a very common mistake and one way to avoid it is to say and write advert.

Different forms of advertising

Adjectives to describe advertising

Other related words




These are model paragraphs that should give you ideas for writing or speaking about advertising

an essay


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23 Responses to Advertising vocabulary and exercises

  1. Leyla December 18, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    Hello Dominic!!!

    Please help me!

    Yesterday I had an exam (IELTS). In writing section I had opinion essay.
    So my question is is it obligatory to discuss both views and in conclusion to write your own view? In my case I wrote only about advantages and nothing about disadvantages.
    How examinators assess such kind of essay? Is it rude mistake and what about point which they can give it?

    Thank you!

    • Dominic Cole December 18, 2011 at 6:36 am #

      Hmmmm. It all rather depends on the wording of the question. Did it ask you to talk about both views and then give your own? Or did it just ask something like “To what extent do you agree or disagree?” In the second case, it is possible to argue only one side of the issue. My general advice though is that it is almost always safest to look at both sides of the case – it’s the academic thing to do.

      If you did need to write about both sides (Discuss and then give opinion), and you didn’t, then there would certainly be a penalty under task response – from memory the way it works is that in this sort of case the max score for task repsonse is something like 5.0 or 6.0. Your grammar/vocab/coherence scores remain unaffected. That’s the good news.

      Best of luck

      • Leyla December 18, 2011 at 7:27 am #

        Thank you for your kind response!

  2. Iman December 18, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    That is one of the most helpful sites for preparation for band 7 ielts. thanks.

  3. Radmila December 18, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Hello Dominic! I`m a bit confused. You have written “Advertising is essensial for companies WHO need to build their brand awareness”. I suppose that WHICH or THAT is gramatically more correct , because companies are not people.

    Can you please explain why have you used who in a relative clause instead of which or that? Or are the two versions correct?

    • Dominic Cole December 18, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      Hmmm. I’ve corrected this to “company that”, as this is the normal usage (found in text books) and the one I would encourage people to follow. However, there is a slightly different truth out there too and, for your interest, here it is:

      My “mistake” was to treat companies as human. Many people would say wrong, wrong, wrong, but it is a “possible” usage, particularly when you are thinking of the people within the company and not the company itself and/or you are thinking of the company as a person. Something that happens a lot in advertising when companies try and present their human face. Check this from Merriam Webster. It is fairly common usage as a quick `google search shows. It is not a dissimilar idea to referring to groups of individuals (Manchester United/the government etc) as grammatically plural (“The government are looking at ways of…”) – something the British do a lot.

      To recap though, I have corrected it. The standard and universally correct usage is to use “that” or “which” with companies. What the British accept as usage is not always the best guide for the exam.

      • Radmila December 19, 2011 at 11:44 am #

        Thanks a lot for the lucid explanation! (=

  4. Kasia January 4, 2012 at 12:08 am #


    I’ve just found your site and I’m very impressed.Since over a year I have been constantly trying to pass IELTS exam,ans everytime I fail in writing.I’m not able to score band 7.5 in writing which’s very frustrating…even though my overall band ‘s 7.5 I’m not able to practice/work as a junior doctor in UK due to my IELTS result.I hope thats to your site I ‘ll be able to improve my writing skills.I would like to know how can I download pdf files with vocabulary.I don’t have much time,my next 6th attempt will occur in the middle of January.I found a nice pdf file about technology which I’ve just studied but I guess I won’t be able to read all your pages on this blog before I sit the exam.So it ‘ll be easier for me to find them all combined.

    • Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Hi there

      Do you need 7.5 in writing for the Plab nowadays? If writing is the problem paper, my best suggestion is to find a teacher to have a look at your writing to analyse what is going wrong.

      One strong possibility is that your error count in grammar is too high – particularly if you are a fluent second language speaker. Mistakes which go unnoticed in speaking are sure to be picked up in writing. What you need to know is the type of mistakes you are prone to.

      That much said, grammar is just one of marking criteria and it is sometimes quicker to improve your coherence and cohesion and/or task response because there this typically requires less language – just better writing skills which are very learnable.

      Re vocab. I intend to update the vocabulary page about once a fortnight and I try to make everything as downloadable as poss. There is a button at the bottom of the page which allows you to download any page.

      • Kasia January 4, 2012 at 9:46 am #


        I’m european citizen so I don’t need to take PLAB exam which’s reserve mostly for non-european doctors.But I need to enroll into NHS to be able to work in the foundation programme which ‘s a british 2 years medical intership,any graduated doctor in UK must complete foundation programme after medical university.Sometimes I think vocabulary’s my weak point.I don’t hae much time,around half year before applying to the programme so going to work strong.I’m in UK,in Scotland,if you know any IELTS teacher here,please let me know.I have been searching around for IELTS courses but unfortunately they propose courses for students who want to score around band 6.

  5. Kasia January 4, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I’m a European citizen which’s resered mostly for non-EU doctors.But I do need to enroll into NHS to be able to work in the foundation programme which ‘s a british 2 years medical intership,any graduated doctor in UK must complete foundation programme after medical university.Sometimes I think vocabulary’s my weakest point.I don’t hae much time,around half year before applying to the programme so I’m going to work hard.I’m in UK right now,in Scotland,if you know any IELTS teacher here,please let me know.I have been searching around for IELTS courses but unfortunately they propose courses for students who want to score around band 6.

    • Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      I’ll try and put you in touch with someone if I can. Have you tried any of the teachers on the teachers page?

      • Kasia January 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

        I haven’t ,I ‘d be keen on meeting someone in my town,Glasgow…

  6. Kasia January 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    BTW where can I dowlonad a list of all academic vocabulary?I only found 3 sections,you mentioned that the list contains of 10.

    • Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      Well this is a long-term project on my behalf so it will take time to get all the words completed. What I will do though this weekend is add the other words i have yet to do exercises on. In the meantime, the next best place to access it is here.

  7. LUCIA April 3, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Hello Dominique,

    Your web site is helping me pretty much to prepare for academic IELTS.
    I wonder whether you could me give some extra advices especially for the assay task 2 structure and for the speaking.
    This time on 11th April will be the fourth time I will take IELTS.
    The last one was in March when I got reading 8 Listening 6.5 writing 6.5 and speaking 6. Overall 7.
    But I need 7.5 overall and 7 or plus in each task.

    The speaking results dissappointed me very much since It seemed to me everything went well: good fluency, as well as grammatical and coerhence; one last thingh the fort ti me I took IELTS was in December 2014 and I got 6.5 in speaking but it was worse than the last one.

    Thank you for your help


  8. Nhi May 29, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Hello Dominic,
    Could you help me to explain why the word “form” in the phrase “some form of regulation” is sometimes used in a singular form as in your example above (‘Many people would accept that advertising industry needs some form of regulation’) but other times in a plural form as in ‘Some forms of regulation will work well and others will work poorly’?
    Thank you.

    • Dominic Cole September 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm #


      The difference is really whether we are talking generally or specifically.

      “Some FORM of regulation” is a general/undefined concept, whereas some “FORMS of regulation” refers to precise concepts – i.e. we know which forms we are referring to.

      Does that make sense? It’s really just to do with whether you are talking about a countable something or an uncountable concept.

      • Nhi September 16, 2015 at 3:51 am #

        Yes, it definitely helped. Thank you so much!

  9. lucy September 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    i’m really appreciate your website, but sometimes, i couldn’t find approporiate vocabulary in this website related with writting topic in IELTS . such as ,happniess is considered very important in life, why is diffcult to define? actucally, i really do not know how to combine it with theses vocabulary?
    there is another question, i have no idea with the writting task 1, could you please give me some adviceor some writting skiils?

    • Dominic Cole September 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm #


      I’ll put a lesson together on this for you.


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