Sentence Completion Questions in IELTS Reading

When you get sentence completion questions you must fill in the miss word or words with an appropriate word(s) taken from the reading passage. The completed sentence must be grammatically correct. This is a common type of question in IELTS reading.

Skim read the passage below and then spend time reading through the sentences in each question. Preparing paraphrased for words and think about what type of word you need to find to fill in the gap. Remember that answers do come in order.

Water Pollution

Clean and plentiful water provides the foundation for prosperous communities. We rely on clean water to survive, yet right now we are heading towards a water crisis. Changing climate patterns are threatening lakes and rivers, and key sources that we tap for drinking water are being overdrawn or tainted with pollution. NRDC experts are helping to secure safe and sufficient water for people and the environment by:

  • Promoting water efficiency strategies to help decrease the amount of water wasted;
  • Protecting our water from pollution by defending the Clean Water Act and advocating for solutions like green infrastructure;
  • Helping prepare cities, counties and states for water-related challenges they will face as a result of climate change; and
  • Ensuring that waterways have enough water to support vibrant aquatic ecosystems. Qs
    Complete the sentences below with the correct word(s) taken from the passage. Use no more than three words and/or a number.
    1. The keystone to any thriving society is to have ………………. water.
    2. It can be said that a ………………. is currently imminent.
    3. One way to help keep water clean is by the construction of …………………..
    4. Polluted water can be a ………………. as chemicals and other pollutants enter the water supply.
    5. Drinking water can become contaminated because of the deficiency in ……………

Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States. When water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way. Many of our water resources also lack basic protection, making them vulnerable to pollution from factory farms, industrial plants, and activities like fracking. This can lead to drinking water contamination, habitat degradation and beach closures. NRDC is working to protect our water from pollution by:

  • Drawing on existing protections in the Clean Water Act, and working to ensure that the law’s pollution control programs apply to all important waterways, including headwater streams and wetlands, which provide drinking water for 117 million Americans;
  • Improving protections to reduce pollutants like bacteria and viruses, which threaten Americans’ health and well being; and
  • Establishing new pollution limits for top problem areas, such as sources of runoff and sewage overflows.

Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences below with the correct word(s) taken from the passage. Use no more than three words and/or a number.

  1. The keystone to any thriving society is to have ………………. water.
  2. With the increase in water pollution a ………………. is imminent.
  3. One way to help keep water clean is by the construction of …………………..
  4. Polluted water can be a ………………. as chemicals and other pollutants enter the water supply.
  5. Drinking water can become contaminated because of the deficiency in ……………

Answers

Click to reveal the answers below:

Answers
  1. clean and plentiful
  2. water crisis
  3. green infrastructure
  4. health risk
  5. basic protection
Vocab Builder
  • foundation = keystone / bedrock
  • prosperous = thriving / flourishing
  • key = vital / critical / major
  • tainted = contaminated / polluted  / fouled / spoiled
  • advocating = backing / supporting
  • vibrant = alive / energetic
  • toxic = lethal / deadly / poisonous

 

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Comments

  1. Ashis Barua says:

    You’re brilliant and vibrant language teacher.
    I am trying to achieve standard skill in language with you.

  2. May Basco says:

    I was surprised with my score, 4/5. The activity is quite difficult but I guess you really need to focus. Vocabulary and understanding of the passage are really important. Thanks Ms. Liz.

  3. Burhan says:

    Hi Liz,

    4th answer should be “biggest health risk” as mentioned in paragraph.
    Why correct answer is only “health risk” and what if i write “biggest health risk”? Will it consider as correct answer?

    • You can’t have “a biggest health risk” – that’s incorrect English. The grammar in the question explains the answer.

  4. Hi Liz
    For Q.1 I thought the answer was ‘clean’. But it’s actually supposed to be ‘clean and plentiful’. Would my answer still be correct?

  5. Hi there Liz,

    I suppose “a green infrastructure” in number 3 sentence would be alright, wouldn’t it?

    Cheers

    • No. There can’t be an article.
      Liz

      • Thanks Liz for the prompt reply.
        Would this error be due ONLY to the fact that words must be “taken from the reading passage” (where the article is missing)? ‘Cause, in general, “infrastructure” is both a countable and uncountable noun, is it not?
        Sorry for bothering with such trivial matters, it’s just for the sake of better mastering the test’s nuts and bolts 😉
        Stef

        • Yes, it can be used with an article but it’s best to take words as they are written in the passage.
          All the best
          Liz

  6. Hi Liz. I got 4/5. not too bad. I’m thinking of getting only 2/5 or 3/5, quite a difficult round but I was surprised with my score. My only mistake was Q4. I answered biggest health risk. When it should be health risk only.

    What I learned from my mistake is that I should not write everything indicated in the passage. I should check also if the answers were grammatically correct! I will apply that to my exam.. Thanks Liz. such a big help!

  7. You are the best english teacher.

  8. Sharnjeet Singh Jaura says:

    3 out of 5 .

  9. Hi Liz

    i think i have all 5 correct. just one question , for number 5 i have written ‘ protections’ instead ‘ basic protections’ . will that be still correct?

    Be awaiting your reply
    Many thanks

  10. Dear Liz,
    Can we write “biggest health risk” Instead of “health risk” for question 4. ?

    With best regards,

  11. Hi Liz,
    Thanks a lot for your instructions. I am following them from last one day. It’s really helpful.
    Kindly explain me why the answer to the fourth question is “Health risk” ?

    Thank You in advance …

    • Answers come in order and the information for this answer is found in these sentences “Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States. When water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way.” The answer to the sentence may be provided in more than one sentence.
      Liz

  12. Hi Liz,

    I can’t figure out why water crisis is the answer for number 2? Isn’t risky to alter original word from the passage for able to get the right grammar for the sentence? Pls advise.

    Thanks!

    • Hi,

      The words haven’t been changed, the answer is found in the second sentence in the passage. But I’m very glad you are thinking of these things.
      All the best
      Liz

  13. Hi Lize ,

    Thanks for your hardworking and great efforts ,I found your site useful for preparing myself for IETS ,you are successful to make a good connection with your audiences congratulations.
    Reading frighten me because of lack of vocabulary in my vocab memory ,
    I am advised to studdy diffrent subjects from diffrent sources ,that is fine ,I read alote ,
    However I would like to target ielts reading vocabs ,My time is limit.
    Could you plz advise me.
    Regards,

    Parisa

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your kind comments. It’s certainly useful to read up on various academic topics for IELTS reading but the real key in IELTS reading is learning how to deal with unknown vocabulary, knowing how to tackle each type of question, the speed of your scanning and time management. Work on some of those skills as well as your wider reading.
      All the best
      Liz

  14. Amritpal singh says:

    Hello

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