Top Tips for IELTS

Vocabulary for giving examples

A key skill in IELTS is giving examples – it’s something you need to do both in your writing and your speaking. Obviously, the most useful phrase is just “for example”. It really helps though if you have different ways to do this and you don’t just get stuck on “for example”. This lesson helps you out by showing you a variety of vocabulary for giving examples.

For example,

You should note that “for example” is typically used with a  comma and is used either right at the beginning of a sentence or just after the the first phrase.

For example, many people fall into debt because they use credit cards rather than debit cards.

They may, for example, decide to buy goods on credit even though they do not have sufficient funds to pay for them.

For instance,

This is a useful alternative that works in exactly the same way as “for example”

For instance, someone might be more likely to decide to make purchase online using a card than in a shop on the high street.

Obvious/striking/notable examples

Don’t forget that you can also qualify your examples with adjectives. Here are a couple you might like to try:

A striking example of this is the number of students who leave university with debts of up to £30,ooo.

A notable example of how cashless transactions have helped business is the fact that a huge proportion of  companies  now have online shops.


More important vocabulary for giving examples are the verbs that you use most often with “example”

It is possible to provide numerous examples of this process

To give a brief example, a company is much more likely to sell its products abroad if its customers do not need exchange currency.

To take a simple example, it is just more straightforward for tourists to travel abroad if they do not need to worry about exchanging currency.

This is shown/illustrated or exemplified by

Another pattern you should try is using “this”with a verb.

This is illustrated by the Oyster Card system on the London Underground

Illustrate and illustration

If you are looking for another synonym, this can be a good choice. I would add that these words are especially useful for Task 1 writing:

One illustration of this is the rise in the number of women who chose to take the bus in 2007.

Case and A case in point

Case is another very useful synonym that can help in varying vocabulary for giving examples. You can often use “case’ by itself as a synonym for “example”, or you can try using the phrase “a case in point”

The self checkout queues in supermarkets are a case a point

Such as

This phrase is most useful when you are giving shorter examples, often as additional information in a sentence.

There are some purchases that are so small, such as buying a bus ticket, that people prefer to use cash


“If” by itself is not used for examples, but it is a very useful structure that can be helpful when you are talking or writing about examples.

For example, if your credit card is stolen, it may take several days for it be replaced, which would be a serious inconvenience.

Relative clauses

These too can help you add detail exactly in the same way as examples. You could say “Pollution is caused by cars. For example, some older vehicles emit dangerous gases and lower air quality” or you could say:

One major cause of pollution is the number of older vehicles on the road that emit dangerous gases and lower air quality.



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