IELTS Vocabulary

50 Essential Words

Important Nouns

1. Action + affirmative, appropriate, decisive, legal, political, positive, responsible, tough, urgent

Example: The leaders have agreed on joint action to combat terrorism.

We need to put these ideas into action.

The government must take action immediately to stop the water pollution issue.

2. Attention + considerable, full, public, serious, special

Example: Movies with excellent actors and actresses always attract special attention.

3. Ability + artistic, exceptional, intellectual

Example: The school does nothing for children of high ability.

4. Atmosphere + dreadful, easy-going, friendly, hostile, peaceful, political, relaxed, tense, warm

Example: Pesticides can kill wildlife and pollute the atmosphere.

Last night's storm had cleared the atmosphere.

5. Access + direct, easy, equal, immediate, public, unlimited, unrestricted

Example: Men and women should have equal access to education and employment.

6. Advantage + competitive, considerable, distinct, important, main, major, obvious

Example: There may be some advantage in laying down a clearer procedure.

They argue that the possible risks attached to such vaccines vastly outweigh any advantages.

7. Burden + additional, administrative, extra, financial, heavy, intolerable, undue

Example: The administrative burden must be lifted from local government.

8. Behaviour + abnormal, aggressive, disgraceful, general, immature, learned, understandable, usual

Example: Teachers can't always respond effectively to problem behaviour.

Parents can influence the behaviour of their children. 

Animals in zoos often display abnormal behaviour.

9. Child + eldest, grown-up, old, only, small, young, youngest

Example: There are a lot of street children in the poorer parts of the city.

Teaching is particularly difficult when a class contains both slow and bright children.

10. Care + extra, intensive, medical, nursing, personal, primary, special

Example: He loved his books and took special care of them.

Prices of skin care products vary widely from shop to shop.

The government should deeply care about environmental issues.

11. Cause + important, likely, main, major, noble, possible, real, reasonable, underlying, worthy

Example: Smoking is a common cause of premature death.

The real cause of the problem lies in the poor construction of the bridge.

12. Concern + environmental, grave, primary, serious, social

Example: The lack of firefighting equipment has caused concern.

Increased use of drugs is of great concern to parents.

13. Climate + global, harsh, warm

Example: The new policies have created a climate of fear.

The city has a warm climate.

14. Condition + economic, environmental, good, social

Example: He is still in a critical condition in the local hospital.

The experiment is conducted under strictly controlled conditions.

15. Crime + juvenile, serious, violent

Example: Not returning phone calls is a grave crime in today's culture.

Many crimes are never reported to the police.

The public have a crucial role to play in detecting crime. 

16. Country + developed, developing, foreign, industrial, poor, rich, 

Example: He accused the government of leading the country to disaster.

It's difficult to live in a foreign country when you don't speak the language.

17. Diet + balanced, daily, poor, strict, vegetarian

Example: People can fight infection more easily if they have an adequate diet.

18. Demand + great, growing, high, huge, increased

Example: There have been renewed demands for the government to take action to reduce crime.

There's always a great demand for our soups in winter.

19. Disease + contagious, deadly, fatal, incurable, infectious, serious

Example: Chickenpox, mumps, and measles are infectious diseases.

He was diagnosed with an incurable disease.

20. Environment + cultural, economic, pleasant, social

Example: Investors are showing more caution in the current economic environment.

21. Effort + good, great, joint, tremendous

Example:  All the team members have put in a great deal of effort.

It takes constant effort to become fluent in a language.

22. Example + clear, fine, notable, prime

Example: The leaflet includes several examples of bad grammar.

The book is full of practical examples of classroom activities.

23. Growth + economic, rapid

Example: The factory has achieved a steady growth in output.

The economy enjoyed the highest growth rate in Asia. 

Communications technology has proved to be a growth area.

24. Health + good, mental, poor, public

Example: You need to maintain your physical and mental health.

The poisoned food has been removed from the shops and there is no threat to public health.

25. Industry + manufacturing, private, nuclear

Example: John is working to bring about changes in the food industry.

Running down the nuclear industry will result in heavy job losses.

26. Income + extra, high, low, steady

Example: Real income per head of population was at a low point five years ago.

A high income allows people to meet their basic human needs.

27. Issue + complex, economic, environmental, main, political, social

Example: The government must take action immediately to stop the water pollution issue.

They called a meeting to discuss important political issues.

28. Job + demanding, full-time, manual, part-time, regular, temporary

Example: Custodial work and waitressing are definitely dead-end jobs.

He plans to look for a part-time job to earn a little pocket money.

29. Lifestyle + active, comfortable, healthy, lavish, present-day, sedentary

Example: Almost young people these days lives a hectic lifestyle.

We want them to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

30. Mistake + costly, serious, terrible

Example: Tom made a serious mistake when deciding to study abroad.

31. Opportunity + economic, educational, rare, unique

Example: For many athletes, the Olympics are the opportunity of a lifetime.

Students should take every opportunity to widen their experience.

32. Occasion + formal, particular

Example: It was the first of many such occasions.

He has even been known to go shopping himself on occasion.

33. Outcome + final, positive, satisfactory, social


34. Problem + major, serious, social

Example: Depression is a natural feeling if your problems seem intractable.

His teachers say he has an attitude problem.

35. Personality + forceful, great, outgoing

Example: He developed a split personality after the crash.

36. Purpose + main, sole, useful

Example:The school was founded with the express purpose of teaching deaf children to speak.

37. Relationship + family, personal, social

Example: They are just in a casual relationship, but they enjoy each other's company.

The school has a very good relationship with the community.

38. Reason + good, major, obvious, personal, possible, real, special, valid

Example: The underlying reasons for these differences will be explored in depth in the next chapter.

The government put forward many valid reasons for not advertising tobacco and alcoholic drinks.

39. Research + historical, recent, scientific

Example: He has carried out extensive research into renewable energy sources.

Most research in the field has concentrated on the effects on children.

40. Role + active, key, major, minor, positive, vital

Example: Every member of staff must have a clear role.

Schools play a vital role in our society.

41. Status + economic, high, marital, social

Example: They argued that the email had no signature and therefore no legal status.

He achieved celebrity status through his role in a popular sitcom.

42. Service + legal, military, social, essential

Example: Essential services (= the supply of water, gas, electricity) will be maintained. 

The government provides her children most essential services.

43. Support + financial, moral, political, social, technical

Example: The plan received strong support from farmers.

the company's generous financial support of the arts

44. Situation + current, dangerous, economic

Example: We are well aware of the problems of our current situation.

I always seem to get into sticky situations on holiday.

45. Sport + competitive, popular, professional

Example: Combat sports such as karate and judo carry with them the risk of injury.

46. Step + important, major

Example: I gasped and took an involuntary step backwards.

We shall take all necessary steps to prevent public disorder.

47. School + elementary, middle, primary, private, pubic, secondary, senior

Example: She attends a special school for children with learning difficulties.

David is about going to a boarding school in England.

48. Society + contemporary, modern, traditional, western

Example: Our throwaway society must be encouraged to recycle.

She was active in the Society for Women's Suffrage.

49. Technology + advanced, digital, medical, modern, new

Example: The company is investing heavily in new technologies.

50. Use + good, industrial, personal, private, regular, wrong

Example: Drug use in this age group is on the increase.

51. Understanding + basic, better, full, mutual

Example: You need to read more widely to gain a proper understanding of the issue.

Some religions have a common understanding of the nature of a divine being.

52. Well-being + economic, emotional, material, mental, physical, psychological, social

Example: Emotional well-being also has a great effect on our physical health.

He finds it difficult to maintain his positive mental well-being from time to time.

53. Year + current, financial, following, previous, recent

Example: Thomas won the award for best actor last year.

The government is planning to call an election before the end of the year.