Lack: vocabulary and sample sentences

This lesson looks at the word “lack” and gives the meaning with sample sentences. Many IELTS students make mistakes using this word. Although many students understanding the meaning, they make mistakes with how to use it accurately. The more mistakes you make, the lower your score will be. So, make sure you read this lesson carefully.

Word Form and Meaning

  • lack (n) = being without / not having enough
  • lack (vb) = being without / being deficient
  • synonyms = shortage, scarcity, loss, shortfall
  • antonyms = sufficiency, enough, abundance, plenty

Please remember that a synonym has a similar meaning but may not always be used in the exactly the same way. You must learn both meaning and how to use words to avoid mistakes in IELTS.

About the word “lack”

  • Students mainly confuse verb and noun as well as how to use prepositions: “a lack of” (n) or “it is lacking in” (vb).
  • This word can be used for both IELTS speaking and writing task 2.

Sample Sentences with “lack”

  1. Due to the lack of employment opportunities in the countryside, a large number of workers are moving to cities to find work.
  2. Under developed countries are often lacking the adequate infrastructure needed for the development of the economy.
  3. Many children are struggling with weight problems due to the lack of physical exercise and a diet rich in fat and sugar.
  4. Many modern films have a lot of special effects but are lacking in quality dialogue and character development.
  5. One of the benefits of living in the countryside is the lack of noise.
  6. Lack of sleep can really affect my mood. It sometimes makes me impatient and irritable.

Error Correction

Find the mistakes in the sentences below for the word “lack”. This exercise will help you develop the accuracy needed to use this word correctly.

  1. Some people lacking the imagination needed to become a good writer of children’s books.
  2. Many major cities have lacking of public transport which can result in more people using their own private vehicles.
  3. Young leaders are often lack of the experience needed to make the right decisions for successful companies.
Answers

Here are some possible options for how to write the above sentences correctly.

  1. Some people lack the imagination needed to become a good writer of children’s books. / Some people are lacking the imagination needed to become a good writer of children’s books.
  2. Many major cities lack public transport which can result in more people using their own private vehicles. / Many major cities have a lack of public transport which can result in more people using their own private vehicles.
  3. Young leaders often lack the experience needed to make the right decisions for successful companies. / Young leaders are often lacking in the experience needed to make the right decisions for successful companies.

 

Never memorise sentences to use in your IELTS test. 

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Comments

  1. Dear Liz,
    Regarding to this topic,
    In this sentence; Some people lack the imagination needed to become…
    are we allowed to say ”some people lack of the imagination needed to become…” ?

    Because here ‘lack’ is in noun format, so I thought ‘lack of’ is used to make noun.
    Thank You.

    • If you write “some people lack of …” – where is the verb? Every sentence needs a verb and when you write “lack of”, it is a noun. So, your sentence would be grammatically wrong. You can choose to use “lack” either as a verb “People lack water” or as a noun “there is a lack of water”.

      • obviously it is my mistake, I can correct my question, is it okay when we say ‘ some people are lack of imagination’ ?
        Thank you.

        • No, it is still incorrect. If you want to use “lack” as a noun with the subject “people”, you need to use the verb “have”. It is essential that you learn correct collocations – the correct nouns with the correct verbs. Also remember that you need an article “a”. “People have a lack of ….”. If you want to use the verb “to be”, you need to write “there is a lack of …” which is different in meaning. All this is explained in the page above.

  2. hi,
    liz

    can we use proverbs in writing task 2?

  3. Hi liz
    I’m bit confused in this statement
    Being a celebrity- such a famous film star or sports – bring problem as well as benefits.
    Do you think that being a celebrity brings more benefits or more problem?

    Is ielts asking about benefit to individual celebrity or benefit to the country? Can you please help me to understand the need of this essay?

  4. Svitlana says:

    Dear Liz, I know you have posted the notice that you won’t provide any comments or feedbacks due to the lack of time. But i think a lot of students would like to have the following issues explained. First of all, would it be correct to write or say:
    “Many major cities are lacking public transport…”

    Furthermore, could you please explain why the form “to be lacking smth” is used in the 1st sentence, whereas the 3rd one has “to be lacking in smth” construction?

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for your valuable effort on it. I have learnt how to use word ‘lack’.

    Could you please guide how and where we can use word ‘whilst’ ?

    Thanks!

  6. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for this vocabulary lesson.
    I’m a bit confused when to use “it is lacking in” (prepositions are always so tricky to me).
    So for the first sentence in the above exercise, can I re-write it as ” Some people are lacking in the imagination needed to become of a good writer of children’s books”

    Thank you,

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