Apart from the need to use a variety of sentence structures in your Task 2 essay, it is important you use a wide range of vocabulary in your writing. To improve your vocabulary range, you need to use modifiers and synonyms.
Compare the two paragraphs below and decide which paragraph uses a better range of vocabulary.
|Paragraph 1||Paragraph 2|
|Teenagers are vulnerable to feelings of isolation, as they have not developed peer groups and lack strength. Use of the Internet could lead to the inability to communicate with other people and comes at the expense of activities such as meeting with friends.||Teenagers are especially vulnerable to feelings of isolation as they have not developed strong peer groups and often lack emotional strength. Excessive use of the Internet could lead to the inability to communicate effectively with other people in face-to-face situations and often comes at the expense of more social activities such as meeting with friends.|
Synonyms are words that have the same meaning.
Look at the paragraph below.
|Athletes’ careers are often short and the majority retire when they are quite young. Therefore, a high salary and medical care should be given to professional athletes for their future lives. Athletes have worked hard and deserve these rewards.|
The word ‘athlete’ has been used repeatedly in the previous paragraph.
There are many other words that have the same meaning as athlete:
We can now use these words to improve the range of vocabulary of the paragraph.
|Athletes’ careers are often short and the majority retire when they are quite young. Therefore, a high salary and medical care should be given to professional sportspeople for their future lives. These competitors have worked hard and deserve such rewards.|
In the second and third sentences, the synonyms for athlete, ‘sportspeople’ and ‘competitors’, have been used.
Be careful using synonyms
Firstly, some words may look the same, however, they may not be synonyms. Look at the sample sentences below:
|Parents are responsible for their childhood. Without guidance from their father and mother, children may experience a variety of problems.|
Can you find any problems with these sentences? In this example the writer has tried to use the word childhood as a synonym for the word children. Both of these words are nouns, however they are not synonyms. The word children refers to young people, usually under the age of twelve. The word childhood refers to the period of time when someone is a child. These sentences could be better expressed as:
|Parents are responsible for their offspring. Without guidance from their father and mother, children may experience a variety of problems.|
Secondly, not all synonyms for a word will be appropriate in your essay as they may be too informal.
For example, look at these two sentences:
- Sports competitors get good money.
- Sports competitors receive a good salary.