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IELTS Writing Task 2: Paraphrasing Practice

IELTS writing task 2 paraphrasing practice exercise. To get a good mark in IELTS writing task 2 for the criterion of vocabulary, you need to be able to paraphrase. The exercise below is a chance for you to practice your paraphrasing skills.

The answers for this exercise have now been posted below. No more writing should be posted for this lesson. But you can still learn from completing the exercise on your own and checking your writing with the answers provided.


Paraphrase the words in this paragraph using the words in the box below. Only paraphrase a word if you are sure it is appropriate to do so.

Many people, when driving their cars, go over the speed limit in city centers. As a way of solving this, the government should put more speed cameras on major streets to put people off  speeding. If this is done, more people who speed will be caught and this problem will eventually be solved.

Paraphrasing Options

You do not need to use all the words. You must decide which words to use and which words not to use.

town         an answer            the law           install         motorway         stop        humans         put away         authorities               exceed               deter  from         directly          riding        ought to            key             by doing this            arrested       vehicles               resolved             citizens            large            caught red handed             speed prevention             increasing       urban

Answers and Advice

Please see the answers given below:


Answers: Click here


Many people, when driving their cars, exceed the speed limit in urban centers. As a way of solving this, the authorities ought to install more speed cameras on major streets to deter people from  speeding. By doing this, more people who speed will be caught and this problem will eventually be resolved.

Common Mistakes and Explanations

  1. Collocation: drive a car, not ride a car. We use the verb “ride” with bicycles.
  2. A town is not a city.  You can write “city center” or “urban center”. A town is much smaller and this essay is not about small towns and villages.
  3. The government can usually be paraphrased with the word “authorities”.
  4. The word “should” can be paraphrased as “ought to”. This is a common paraphrase.
  5. If you are writing about setting up or putting up equipment, you can use the word “install”.
  6. “to deter” is used to put people off committing a crime or an offence. It is actually a better word to use than “put off” for formal essay writing.
  7. “By doing this” and “As a way of solving this” both have the same meaning in this context. You can’t write “As an answer for solving this” – it isn’t correct English even though the meaning is the same.
  8. “people” are people. We rare use the word “citizen” in an essay about transport. However, it would be acceptable to use it in the second sentence which refers to the government.
  9. “people” cannot be paraphrased as “humans” except in one context – please watch the video below to learn. Any student making this mistake is not studying effectively. The video below explains this very clearly so you should not be making this mistake.
  10. “caught red handed” must be written as it is shown. You can never write “caught red”. There are three words in this idiom. However, this expression is mainly for theft or other crimes in which a person is caught face to face by the police. It can’t be used for speed offences caught by camera.
  11. “vehicles” is used when we don’t know what type of transport is being written about or when we refer to different types. This essay is about cars only which means you can’t use the word “vehicle”.
  12. This paragraph is about “streets”. This is not the same as a “motorway”. A motorway is a very large road outside a city which contains two or three lines in both directions for heavy traffic.

Results and Advice

  • If you had one mistakes, it is acceptable for band 7 or 8.
  • If you have two or three mistakes, it is around band 6.
  • If you are making more mistakes, it means you are not being careful enough with your language.
    • More Mistakes = Lower Score
    • You need to learn both the use and meaning of a word.
    • Don’t aim for range until you can achieve accuracy.
    • When you learn a noun or verb, learn the full collocation.
    • When you learn a word, learn when you can and cannot use it.
    • When you learn an idiom, learn if the words can be changed or not.

Best Writing Posted:

Well done to Esmaeil Bahmyari ! You wrote very well indeed but don’t avoid using the word “people”, it is the correct and most appropriate word to use for this essay. You have the potential to well with your level of English.

To all other students, I hope you learn to be careful when paraphrasing. Try to avoid making errors. You can see that a band score 9 student does not paraphrase continuously.

I hope you benefited from this lesson. I will put similar lessons up in the future if you found it useful.


Video: Paraphrasing Tips


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