Word formation

Word Formation.

This topic crosses both vocabulary and grammar, but we are going to cover it in the grammar section.

Word formation is a critical topic to study for IELTS. One of the main features of the exam is the use

of paraphrasing and synonyms. In IELTS the same work in a different form is treated as a ‘different word’

for variety purposes.

Let’s go straight in and look at an example of a word which is quite common in the exam.


Success = a noun  Succeed = a verb  Successfully = an adverb   Successful = an adjective.

Many essays in task 2 writing for example, mention advantages, solution, effects, and more…..

So we can take a typical sentence and use the 4 words forms to repeat the sentence meaning.


To have success, most companies need good management and a solid workforce. (noun)

A good company succeeds because the have capable management and a reliable workforce. (verb)

To have a successful company, one needs to manage well and employ good people. (adjective)

To successfully run a company, one has to combine good management with a capable workforce. (adverb)

You can see that the 4 sentences have the same meaning. I have also changed the structure of the other parts of the sentences to show variety.



Increase =a noun  Increase = a verb  Increasingly = an adverb  Increased/Increasing = adjectives.

There was a slight increase in sales during the period (Task 1) (noun)

Sales increased during the period. (Task 1) (verb)

Sales rose increasingly throughout the period. (Task 1) (adverb)

Increased sales were established during the period. (Task 1) (adjective)

An increasing number of sales were achieved throughout the period. (Task 1)(adjective)


It is important to learn how to use vocabulary in different forms in the exam. It will really save your neck sometimes.

Word Formation Exercise