Everyone who studies for the IELTS knows that we need to avoid repeating words too much in an essay. We need to paraphrase. However, for those who have a limited range of vocabulary (non-native English speakers, like me!), finding a synonym to paraphrase can usually be challenging, especially when being in the exam room.
There is one great and simple trick that very few students notice: We can paraphrase by simply changing the word forms ( or word classes). For example, we can use the same word but change it from a noun into a verb, an adjective into a noun, and so on. By doing this, we avoid repeating the same words, and this can be counted as a successful attempt of paraphrasing, which should get us a better score.
Some simple examples:
- People have different views about which factor contributes the most to an individual’s success (n) ….
-> Personally, I believe hard work is the most important element that helps a person to succeed (v).
- Playing sports regularly can improve (v) people’s health.
-> Playing sports regularly can contribute to improvements (n) in a person’s health.
- There are several ways to help children become more creative (adj). …
-> This might help children to develop their creativity (n).
Of course, it will be better if you learn more vocabulary in order to improve your paraphrasing skills. However, this technique will still be very useful in the situation where you cannot think of a synonym for a word.