How to Paraphrase on the IELTS

Paraphrasing means to express the same meaning of a text by using different words. It is an essential skill for IELTS writing and speaking because simply copying or repeating the questions will lower your grade. It is also important for listening and reading as it will help you to understand the questions and give right answers. Today’s blog is going to introduce how to paraphrase in the IELTS to help you get a higher score!

The first and the most important step to paraphrase is to understand the original text. It involves your English language skills to understand words, sentence structures and grammar. Check out our Five Ways to Remember English Words to help you get through this step!

Then you can use different strategies of paraphrasing. Let’s take a look at several ways to paraphrase in the IELTS!


Use synonyms

The first way is to use synonyms to replace the words in the original text. Here is an example:

Original sentence: The position of women in the society has changed greatly in the past 20 years.

Paraphrased sentence: The social status of female has dramatically changed in the last two decades.

As you can see, status, female, dramatically, last and two decades are used to replace position, women, greatly, past and 20 years.


Change the part of speech

The part of speech refers to different types of words such as nouns, verbs, pronouns and adjectives. Changing the part of speech of a word can help you to paraphrase the text. In the previous example, social (adj.) is used to replace society (n.). Below is another way to paraphrase that sentence.

Paraphrased sentence: The social status of female has undergone a great change in the last two decades.

Here we can use a great (adj.) change (n.) instead of change (v.) greatly (adv.) to show the same meaning of the original sentence.


Change sentence structure

Another way to paraphrase is to change the sentence structure. For instance, you can alter the word order of a sentence or make two sentences into one. Here is an example.

Original text: His phone was stolen last week. Therefore, he was worried about the leak of his personal and bank information.

Paraphrased sentence: He was afraid that his personal and bank information would be leaked out because his phone was stolen a few days ago.

The example text are two simple sentences. We can combine them by using subordinating conjunction ‘because’.


In the IELTS test, you may use a mixture of paraphrase strategies to help you get a higher score. Here are some sentences from IELTS Academic writing questions for you to practice.

1.The table and chart show the time spent at leisure and household activities in 2008.

2.Some people think that the amount of noise people make should be controlled strictly, while other say that people are free to make as much noise as they wish.


1. We can see how people distribute their time on leisure and household activities in 2008 from the table and chart.

2. Some people claim that it is people’s right to make as much noise as they want. However, others think that there should be strict control over the amount of the noise.

Note: The keys offer possible ways to paraphrase the original sentence. Your answers don’t have to be exactly the same.

IELTS Paraphrasing Resources

Last but not least, check out our videos on how to paraphrase on the IELTS, and try paraphrasing by writing your own introduction paragraph. Good luck!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • Kuangyan

    Kuangyan creates IELTS blogs at Magoosh. She is passionate about language education and has a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from New York University. Kuangyan has experience of teaching English both in China and in US. In her free time, she drinks mocha, does yoga, takes photos and travels to different places to explore the exciting world.