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IELTS WRITING & SPEAKING

MrBis IELTS Overall

USEFUL LANGUAGE BANKS


FOR IELTS LEARNERS
There are hidden treasures in the famous Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary.
This is one of them, the Language Banks. They cover the most important aspects
when we speak and write in an academic environment. I have compiled the
scattered banks all over the Dictionary into this document, in order that you can
improve your speaking and writing. Print this document, and read it carefully.

I have made some modifications to make things easier for IELTS learners to
follow:
The phrases in bold and dark red are more formal, often appropriate for
writing and formal speaking, while those in bold and blue are more casual,
suitable for speaking.
Some confusing words and phrases are further explained by bold, italicized
NOTE parts.

Hope you will enjoy!


Bui Hai Anh (MrBi)

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IELTS WRITING & SPEAKING

MrBis IELTS Overall

1. MAKING AN EXCEPTION

She wrote all of the songs on the album except for the final track.
Apart from (Aside from) the final track, all of the songs on the album were written by
her.
The songwriting with a few minor exceptions is of a very high standard.
With only one or two exceptions, the songwriting is of a very high quality.
The majority of the compositions are less than three minutes long, with the notable
exception of the title track.
With the exception of the title track, this album is a huge disappointment.
Here is a list of all the bands CDs, excluding unofficial bootleg recordings.

2. ADDING ANOTHER ITEM

Bilingual children do better in IQ tests than children who speak only one language. In
addition/ What is more, they seem to find it easier to learn third or fourth languages.
Learning another language not only improves childrens job prospects in later life, but
also boosts their self-esteem.
Teaching children a second language improves their job prospects in later life. Other
benefits include increased self-esteem and greater tolerance of other cultures.
Another/ One further/ One additional reason for encouraging bilingual education is
that it boosts childrens self-esteem.
Studies suggest that bilingual children find it easier to learn additional languages. There
is, moreover, increasing evidence that bilingual perform better across a range of school
subjects not just foreign languages.
His claim that children find bilingual education confusing is based on very little
evidence. Moreover, the evidence he does provide is seriously flawed.
Research has shown that first-language development is not impeded by exposure to a
second language. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the claim that children
find bilingual education confusing.

3. REFERRING TO A CHART, GRAPH OR TABLE

This bar chart illustrates how many journeys people made on public transport over a
three-month period.
This table compares bus, train and taxi use between April and June.
The results are shown in the chart below.
In this pie chart, the survey results are broken down by age.
This pie chart breaks down the survey results by age.
As can be seen from these results, younger people use buses more than older ones.
According to these figures, bus travel accounts for 60 per cent of public transport use.
From the data in the graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of
public transport.

4. GIVING PROOF

There is clear evidence that TV advertising influences what children buy.


It is clear from numerous studies that TV advertising influences what children buy.

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Recent research demonstrates that TV advertising influences childrens spending


habits.
Many parents think that TV advertising influences their children. This view is
supported by the findings of a recent study, which show a clear link between
television advertisements and childrens spending habits.
The findings also reveal that most children are unaware of the persuasive purpose of
advertising.
There is little evidence that children understand the persuasive intent of advertising.
The results contradict claims that advertising is unrelated to childrens spending
habits.
Manufacturers argue that it is difficult to prove that advertising alone influences what
children buy.

5. DESCRIBING A DECREASE

Car crime in Oxford fell significantly last year.


Car crime fell by about a quarter over a 12-month period.
The number of stolen vehicles dropped from 1,013 to 780, a fall of 26 per cent.
According to this data, 780 vehicles were stolen, 26% down on the previous year.
There was an 11% drop in reported thefts from motor vehicles, from 1,871 to 1,727.
These figures show that, as far as car crime is concerned, the main trend is
downwards.

6. DESCRIBING AN INCREASE

Student numbers in English language schools in this country increased from 66,000 in
2008 to just over 84,000 in 2009.
The number of students increased by almost 30% compared with the previous
year.
Student numbers shot up (increased dramatically) in 2009.
The proportion of Spanish students rose sharply from 5% in 2008 to 14% in 2009.
The 2009 figure was 84,000, an increase of 28% on the previous year.
The 2009 figure was 84,000, 28 per cent up on the previous year.
As the chart shows, this can partly be explained by a dramatic increase in students
from Spain.

7. DISCUSSING PREDICTIONS

The number of people using mobile phones to purchase goods and services is
expected/likely to more than double by the end of 2015.
Experts have predicted/ forecast that the number of people using their mobile phones
to pay for goods and services should exceed 190 million in 2015.
This figure is set to reach 200 million by 2016.
By 2016, 800 million mobile phone users worldwide will be participating in social
networks via their phone.
Sales of mobile phones in 2009 were lower than expected.
The companys announcement of 1.26 billion handsets sold for the year is in line with
predictions.

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8. DESCRIBING FRACTIONS AND PROPORTIONS

According to this pie chart, a third of students leisure time is spent watching TV.
One in five hours is/are spent socializing.
Socializing accounts for/ makes up/ comprises about 20% of leisure time.
Students spend twice as much time playing computer games as doing sport.
Three times as many hours are spent playing computer games as reading.
The largest proportion of time is spent playing computer games.

9. HIGHLIGHTING INTERESTING DATA

What is surprising about these results is that boys are more likely to be left-handed
than girls.
Surprisingly, boys are more likely to be left-handed than girls.
Interestingly, even when both parents are left-handed, there is still only a 26% chance
of their children being left-handed.
One of the most interesting findings is that only 2% of the left-handers surveyed
have two left-handed parents.
It is interesting to note that people are more likely to be left-handed if their mother is
left-handed than if their father is.
The most striking feature of these results is that left-handed mothers are more likely
to have left-handed children.
NOTE: this part has a casual tone, so we should use it in speaking.

10. HIGHLIGHTING DIFFERENCES

This survey highlights a number of differences in the way that teenage boys and girls
in the UK spend their free time.
One of the main differences between the girls and the boys who took part in the
research was the way in which they use the Internet.
Unlike the girls, who use the Internet mainly to keep in touch with friends, the boys
questioned in this survey tend to use the Internet for playing computer games.
The girls differ from the boys in that they tend to spend more time keeping in touch
with friends on the telephone or on social networking websites.
Compared to the boys, the girls spend much more time chatting to friends on the
telephone.
On average the girls spend four hours a week chatting to friends on the phone. In
contrast, very few of the boys spend more than five minutes a day talking to their
friends in this way.
The boys prefer competitive sports and computer games, whereas/ while the girls
seem to enjoy more cooperative activities, such as shopping with friends.
When the girls go shopping, they mainly buy clothes and cosmetics. The boys, on the
other hand, tend to purchase computer games or gadgets.

11. MAKING COMPARISONS

This chart provides a comparison of the ways that teenage boys and girls in the UK
spend their free time.

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IELTS WRITING & SPEAKING

MrBis IELTS Overall

In many cases, the results for boys and girls are virtually the same/ identical.
In many cases, the results for boys are virtually the same as/ identical to the results
for boys.
Both boys and girls spend the bulk of their free time with friends.
Most of the boys do more than two hours of sport a week, as do many of the girls.
Like many of the girls, most of the boys spend a large part of their free time using the
Internet.
The girls particularly enjoy using social networking websites. Similarly, nearly all the
boys said they spent at least two to three hours a week on these sites.

12. WAYS OF SAYING IN GENERAL

Women generally earn less than men.


Generally speaking, jobs traditionally done by women are paid at a lower rate than
those traditionally done by men.
In general/ By and large, women do not earn as much as men.
Certain jobs, like nursing and cleaning, are still mainly carried out by women.
Senior management posts are predominantly held by men.
Most senior management posts tend to be held by men.
Women are, for the most part, still paid less than men.
Economic and social factors are, to a large extent, responsible for women being
concentrated in low-paid jobs.

13. SUMMING UP AN ARGUMENT

In conclusion, the study has provided useful insights into the issues relating to peoples
perception of crime.
Based on this study, it can be concluded that the introduction of new street lighting
did not reduce reported crime.
To sum up, no evidence can be found to support the view that improved street lighting
reduces reported crime.
The available evidence clearly leads to the conclusion that the media do have an
influence on the public perception of crime.
The main conclusion to be drawn from this study is that public perception of crime
is significantly influenced by crime news reporting.
This study has shown that peoples fear of crime is out of all proportion to crime itself.
Fear of crime is out of all proportion to the actual level of crime, and the reasons for
this can be summarized as follows. First
Overall/ In general, women are more likely than men to feel insecure walking alone
after dark.

14. HIGHLIGHTING AN IMPORTANT POINT

This case emphasizes/ highlights the importance of honest communication between


managers and employees.
Effective communication skills are essential/ crucial/ vital.
It should be noted that this study considers only verbal communication. Non-verbal
communication is not dealt with here.

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It is important to remember that/ An important point to remember is that nonverbal communication plays a key role in getting your message across.
Communication is not only about the words you use but also your body language and,
especially/ above all, the effectiveness with which you listen.
I would like to draw attention to the role of listening in effective communication.
Choose your words carefully: in particular, avoid confusing and ambiguous language.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must learn to listen as well as to speak.

15. SAYING THAT SOMETHING IS NECESSARY

It is vital that journalists can verify the accuracy of their reports.


Journalists play a vital/ crucial role in educating the public.
Public trust is a crucial issue for all news organizations.
The ability to write well is essential for any journalist.
The Internet has become an indispensable tool for reporters.
In journalism, accuracy is paramount./ is of paramount importance.
It is imperative that journalists maintain the highest possible standards of reporting.

16. VERBS FOR REPORTING AN OPINION

Some critics argue that Picasso remained a great master all his life.
Others maintain that there is a significant deterioration in quality in his post-war work.
Picasso himself claimed that good art is created, but great art is stolen.
As Smith has noted (As the author points out), Picasso borrowed imagery from
African art.
The writer challenges the notion that Picassos sculpture was secondary to his
painting.
It has been suggested that Picassos painting was influenced by jazz music.
Photography is, according to Vidal, the art form of untalented people.
For Vidal, photography is the art form of untalented people.
His view is that photography is not art but merely the mechanical reproduction of
images.
Smith takes the view that photography is both an art and a science.
In Browns view, photography should be treated as a legitimate art in its own right.
James is of the opinion that a good painter can always be a good photographer if he or
she so decides.
Emerson believed that a photograph should only reflect what the human eye can see.

17. GIVING
LANGUAGE

OPINIONS

USING

IMPERSONAL

It is vital that more is done to prevent the illegal trade in wild animals.
It is clear that more needs to be done to protect biodiversity.
It is unfortunate that the practice of keeping monkeys as pets still continues.
It is difficult for many people to understand the reasons why certain individuals
choose to hunt animals for sport.

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Unfortunately, it would seem that not enough is being done to support tiger
conservation.
There is no doubt that the greatest threat to polar bears comes from global warming.

18. MAKING AN OPINION SOUND LESS DEFINITE

Most cybercrime involves traditional crimes, such as theft and fraud, being committed
in new ways. Phishing is perhaps/ possibly/ probably the best-known example of
this.
It seems/ appears that the more personal data which organizations collect, the more
opportunity there is for this data to be lost or stolen.
It seems clear that introducing national ID cards would do little to prevent identity
theft.
It could be argued that the introduction of national ID cards might actually make
identity theft easier.
It is possible that/ It may be that the only way to protect ourselves against DNA
identity theft is to avoid the creation of national DNA databases.

19. WAYS OF SAYING BUT

Politicians have promised to improve road safety. So far, however, little has been
achieved.
Despite clear evidence from road safety studies, no new measures have been
introduced.
Politicians have promised to improve road safety. In spite of this/ Despite this, little
has been achieved so far.
Although politicians have promised to improve road safety, little has been achieved so
far.
Some politicians claim that the new transport policy has been a success. In fact, it has
been a total disaster.
Government campaigns have had a measure of success, but the fact remains that large
numbers of accidents are still caused by careless drivers.

20. CONCEDING A POINT AND MAKING A COUNTERARGUMENT

While the film is undoubtedly too long, it is nevertheless an intriguing piece of cinema.
It can be argued that the movie is too long. It is nonetheless an intriguing piece of
cinema.
The film is undoubtedly too long. Still, it is an intriguing piece of cinema.
Of course, huge chunks of the book have been sacrificed in order to make a two-hour
movie, but it is nevertheless a successful piece of storytelling.
Critics are wrong to argue that the films plot is too complicated. Certainly there are a
couple of major twists, but audiences will have no difficulty following them.
It is true that you cannot make a good movie without a good script, but it is equally
true that a talented director can make a good script into an excellent film.
It remains to be seen whether these two movies herald a new era of westerns, but
there is no doubt that they represent welcome additions to the genre.

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21. EXPLAINING REASONS

The number of people with diabetes is growing, partly because of an increase in levels
of obesity.
The number of overweight children has increased dramatically in recent years, largely
as a result of changes in diet and lifestyle.
The increase in childhood obesity is largely due to/ the result of changes in lifestyle
and diet over the last twenty years.
Many obese children are bullied at school on account of their weight.
Part of the problem with treating childhood obesity stems from the fact that parents
do not always recognize that their children are obese.
Childhood obesity may be caused by genetic factors, as well as environmentally ones.

22. X CAUSES Y

Childhood obesity can cause/ lead to long-term health problems.


Changes in lifestyle and diet over the last twenty years have caused/ led to/ resulted
in a sharp increase in childhood obesity.
Several factors, including changes in diet and lifestyle, have contributed to the
increase in childhood obesity.
Research suggests that fast food and soft drinks directly contribute to childhood
obesity.
Genetics, lifestyle and diet are all important factors in cases of childhood obesity.
Even small changes in lifestyle and diet can bring about significant weight loss.

23. DESCRIBING THE EFFECT OF SOMETHING

One consequence of changes in diet over recent years has been a dramatic increase in
cases of childhood obesity.
Many parents today do not have time to cook healthy meals for their children.
Consequently/ As a consequence, many children grow up eating too much junk food.
Many children spend their free time watching TV instead of playing outside. As a result,
increasingly more of them are becoming overweight.
Last year junk food was banned in schools. The effect of this has been to create a black
market in the playground, with pupils bringing sweets from home to sell to other pupils.

24. WAYS OF SAYING FOR THIS REASON

Todays children eat more junk food and get less exercise than previous generations of
children. It is unsurprising, therefore, that rates of childhood obesity are on the
increase.
Children who grow up on a diet of junk food find it difficult to change this habit later in
life. It is essential, therefore, that parents encourage healthy eating from an early age.
Children who grow up on a diet of junk food find it difficult to change this habit later in
life. For this reason/ This is why it is essential that children eat healthily from an early
age.
Eating habits formed in childhood tend to continue into adult life. Thus, the best way to
prevent heart disease among adults is to encourage healthy eating from an early age.

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Eating habits formed in childhood tend to continue into adult life, hence the importance
of encouraging healthy eating from an early age.
NOTE: We do not use hence and thus synonymously. Hence should always be followed
by a noun phrase, as the example mentioned directly above. Hence can be translated into
Vietnamese as do dn ti.

25. GIVING EXAMPLES

The website has a variety of interactive exercises (e.g. matching games, crosswords and
quizzes).
The website has a variety of interactive exercises, including matching games,
crosswords and quizzes.
Web 2.0 technologies, such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites, have changed
the way that people use the Internet.
Many websites now allow users to contribute information. A good example of this is
the wiki, a type of website that anyone can edit.
Wikis vary in how open they are. For example, some wikis allow anybody to edit
content, while others only allow registered users to do this.
Wikis vary in how open they are. Some wikis, for example/ for instance, allow
anybody to edit content, while others only allow registered users to do this.
More and more people read their news on the Internet. To take one example, over 14
million people now read the online version of The Oxford Herald.
Online newspapers are now more popular than paper ones. The Oxford Herald is a
case in point. Its print circulation has fallen in recent years, while its website attracts
millions of users every month.

26. DEFINING TERMS

It is important to clarify what is meant by climate change.


Climate change can/ may be defined as the long-term fluctuations in temperature,
precipitation, wind and other aspects of the earths climate.
A generally accepted definition of global warming is the gradual increase in the
overall temperature of the earths atmosphere owing to the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect is defined by the author as the process by which heat from the
sun is trapped in the earths atmosphere, causing the temperature of the earth to rise.
The author uses the term climate change to refer to any significant change in
measures of climate lasting for an extended period.
The term carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the
atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual or organization.
Scientists suggest that increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will result in an
increase in global temperatures, and the term global warming is used to describe
this phenomenon.

27. SAYING WHAT A TEXT IS ABOUT

The book is about homeless people in the cities.


The report deals with the issue of homelessness in London.
The writer discussed the problems faced by homeless people.

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The article presents an overview of the issues surrounding homelessness.


The novel explores the theme of friendship among homeless people.
The first chapter examines the relationship between homelessness and drug addiction.
The paper considers the question of why so many young people become homeless.

28. EXPLAINING WHAT YOU MEAN

Some poems are mnemonics, i.e. they are designed to help you remember something.
Some poems are mnemonics, that is to say, they are designed to help you remember
something.
Mnemonic poems, that is poems designed to help you remember something, are an
excellent way to learn lists.
A limericks rhyme scheme is A-A-B-B-A. In other words, the first, second, and fifth
lines all rhyme with one another, while the third and fourth lines have their own rhyme.
In this exercise the reader is encouraged to work out the meaning, or rather the range
of meanings, of the poem.
This is a poem about death, or, more precisely, dying.
He says his poems deal with the big issues, by which he means love, loss, grief and
death.

29. ORDERING YOUR POINTS

This study has the following aims: first, to investigate how international student in the
UK use humour; second, to examine how jokes can help to establish social
relationships; and, third, to explore the role that humour plays in helping overseas
students adjust to life in the UK.
Let us begin by identifying some of the popular joke genres in the UK.
Next, let us turn to/ Next, let us consider the question of gender differences in the use
of humour.
Finally/ Lastly, let us briefly examine the role of humour in defining a nations culture.

30. DESCRIBING A PROCESS

The diagram illustrates the process of paper-making./ The diagram shows how paper
is made.
First/ First of all, logs are delivered to a paper mill, where the bark is removed and the
wood is cut into small chips.
Next/ Second, the wood chips are pulped, either using chemicals or in a pulping
machine.
Pulping breaks down the internal structure of the wood and enables/ allows the
natural oils to be removed.
Once/ After the wood has been pulped, the pulp is bleached in order to remove
impurities./ is bleached so that impurities can be removed.
The next stage is to feed the pulp into the paper machine, where it is mixed with water
and then poured onto a wire conveyor belt.
As the pulp travels along the conveyor belt, the water drains away. This causes the
solid material to sink to the bottom, forming a layer of paper.

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At this point the new paper is still wet, so it is passed between large heated rollers,
which press out the remaining water and simultaneously dry the paper./ dry the
paper at the same time.
The final stage is to wind the paper onto large rolls./ Finally, the paper is wound onto
large rolls.

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