Answers: Phrasal Verbs & Proper Verbs

Below you can see the options available for changing phrasal verbs into formal verbs:

  1. The business was set up / established / founded in the 1980’s.
  2. People often prefer to hang out/ socialise with other people who share similar perspectives on life.
  3. Students must hand in / submit their applications before March 15th.
  4. Putting off / To delay / To Postpone visiting the doctor can result in symptoms becoming worse.
  5. Fires need to be put out / extinguished immediately before they spread.


The phrasal verb “set up” is fine to use in IELTS writing task 2 and speaking.

“hang out” is a phrasal verb that can be used for IELTS speaking but not IELTS writing. The verb “meet” is not the same.

The verb “hand in” can be used for both speaking and writing. The verb “join in ” is not a paraphrase because it means “to participate”.

The verbs for question 4 can all be used in both writing and speaking.

Both verbs for question 5 cab be used in writing and speaking. The verb “quench” is mainly used for quenching thirst by having a drink and is not a suitable paraphrase. Also the verb “stop” means to prevent which is not a paraphrase for put out. Also the verb “terminate” is not suitable.


  1. Hi Liz,

    Eventhough I haven‘t started the complete study guidelines mentioned on your website for pre-ielts students to take advantage of, I actually admired and appreciate your works just the few times
    spent using your site.

  2. Hello,Liz your tips are very useful.I have a question
    In task 1 ,while writing overview, can we use”With regards to bar chart” or “In a jist” instead of “Overall”.

    • Let me ask you a question. Which word is the best for indicating an overview? You need to think logically because that is how the examiner will mark you.

  3. Hi Liz,
    Question: Do you recommend us to learn, practice and use phrasal verbs for the speaking part?? Can we get the same score if we use formal or conventional verbs in the speaking test?

    • The speaking test is informal which basically means that you chat naturally. During the test, you will be asked simple personal questions and also questions on serious world issues – you will use a range of language to express your views. The key in speaking is to be chatty, speak naturally and just explain what you mean in a normal manner. IELTS writing is the opposite, you need to be careful in choosing your language.

  4. Ebenezer Obimpeh says

    Thank you Liz. You are the best.

  5. Hai liz,
    It would be kind of you to clarify one doubt regarding a writing task 2 question
    some universities offers online courses for students. Is this a / Do you think this is a positive or negative development ?
    Is this an opinion essay ? If not please explain how to approach this question ?

  6. Thanks a lot you are the best

  7. Should it be ‘extinguishED’ in this case Liz. I assumed it’s a typo.

  8. Hi Liz,

    As always, I thank you for your excellent tips.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.
    I think “Fires need to be ‘extinguished’ immediately before they spread.’ is correct.

  9. It is during the monday or during monday.which one is correct

    • Look in a dictionary or a language website. My website is for IELTS skills. You can research for yourself. Do the work and learn for yourself.

  10. Hi Liz
    M Naim
    Mai I know difference between paraphrase words n pair of words like, hang out ND carry on carry out put off so on…..

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!