Paraphrase is an essential IELTS skill. This is a technique which is simply re-writing a phrase or sentence so that it has the same meaning, but with different words. It is most important for writing and speaking, but will also help you in the reading and listening tests.
Example: Paraphrasing is one of the most important skills to learn before doing your IELTS test.
-> Prior to taking the IELTS test, mastering paraphrasing is one of the most crucial things to do.
These are the three main methods you should use in the IELTS test to paraphrase sentences. Ideally, you should try to use all three but sometimes two will only be possible.
The biggest mistake students make is trying to paraphrase and the word having a similar meaning, but not the same meaning.
Example: Violent crime is on the rise among teenagers.
-> Violent offences are rising among young people.
teenagers 13-19 years old
young people mean children and young adults, aged between 18-30.
Then, using adolescents is a better way to paraphrase that sentence.
Example: Global warming is mostly caused by emissions from internal combustion engines.
-> Climate change is mainly caused by the release of fumes from motor vehicles
2-Change the Word Order:
There are two straightforward ways we can change the word order in the most IELTS questions.
- You can easily change the order of the clauses, if the original sentence has more than one clause.
Question: As languages such as Spanish, Chinese and English become more widely used, there is a fear that that many minority languages may die out.
Paraphrased by changing word order: There is a fear that many minority languages may die out, as languages such as Spanish, Chinese and English become more widely used.
We could also add some synonyms to paraphrase it even more:
Paraphrased with changing word order AND synonyms: There is dismay that many lesser used languages may pass away, as languages such as Chinese, English and Spanish become more broadly spoken.
- You can also change the word order if there is an adjective or noun in the question. You do this by simply changing the adjective into a relative clause.
Question: Learning to manage money is one of the key aspects to adult life.
Paraphrased using a relative clause: Learning to manage money is one of the aspects to adult life that is key.
3- Change the Form of the Word:
Question: Longer life spans and improvements in the health of older people suggest that people over the age of sixty-five can continue to live full and active lives.
Paraphrased by changing word form: Longer life spans and improvements in the health of older people are suggesting that people over the age of sixty-five can continue living full and active lives.
4-Change from Active to Passive:
Only verbs with an object can be turned into the passive.
Example active sentence: The property developers invested $20 million in the development of the shopping centre.
Example passive sentence: $20 million was invested in the development of shopping centres.
We often use the passive voice in academic writing when we don’t want to say it is our opinion.
Example active: People say that global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Example passive: Global warming is said to be caused by the burning of fossil fuels.