Everything You Must Know About Paraphrasing in IELTS

Paraphrasing may seem simple, but it is not. It’s an art that can be mastered by practice and proper IELTS Coaching. It may not be bigger deal if you are asked to paraphrase in your native language, but when it comes to non-native speakers, they may find it quite a task.

Simply put, paraphrasing is expressing the same message in different words.

As we are discussing about paraphrasing in IELTS here, we know we are dealing with English language. Paraphrasing in English is fun! Yes! And it can be your saviour in IELTS or any other English proficiency exam, for that matter. It is a skill that involves re-writing a phrase or sentence so that it has the same meaning, but with different words. In fact, paraphrasing is one of the most important skills to learn when taking IELTS.

Here are some of the top tips to use paraphrasing in IELTS.

Use Synonyms

Synonyms are different words that have the same meaning. Simply put, two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context.
Synonyms play a vital role in paraphrasing as these help you reframe the sentence in different ways. You can use different synonyms and recreate the sentence multiple times as long as it doesn’t change the meaning/context of the sentence.

This is one of the reasons you are asked to increase your vocabulary, for it helps you increase content by rephrasing sentences using synonyms.

Here’s a simple example.
Initial Sentence: My car needs petrol.

Paraphrased Sentence: My vehicle requires fuel.

Do you see the difference? While we have used entirely different words in the paraphrased sentence, the meaning remains the same. We have used 3 synonyms in the above example – replacing “car” by “vehicle”, “needs” by “requires” and “petrol” by “fuel”!
See, it was simple, but you must know what to do, what to replace, and where to replace.

Change the Word Order

This is another technique that is effectively used by a lot of students taking IELTS.
Changing the word order enables us to effectively paraphrase a sentence, but again, we need to be cautious about it. As word order changing may affect the grammar significantly, you just cannot do it randomly. Take into consideration the grammar of the sentence and then change the word order. You may need to add/subtract a word or two in order to change the word order successfully.
Do not change the word order if you are not sure about the outcome 100%. Your final outcome should be completely error-free!

Here’s an example.
Initial Sentence: As languages such as French, Spanish and English become more widely used, there is a fear that many minority languages may die out.

Paraphrased Sentence: There is a fear that many minority languages may die out, as languages such as French, Spanish and English become more widely used.

In the above sentence, you’ll notice that the word order has been changed without disturbing the context and meaning of the sentence.

Change the Form of the Word

As you know there are many different forms of words that you use. We are talking about nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs here. Changing the form of a word allows us to paraphrase effectively.
It is again suggested to do it carefully, for you may end up making grammatical mistakes doing so. Make sure the sentence is error-free and makes sense!
Paraphrasing using this technique takes more practice than the above-mentioned methods. Do not use this method if you are not 100% sure about it!

Change the Voice

By changing the voice of the sentence, we mean you can switch it from active to passive and vice versa. This is one of the most common and most effectively used techniques for paraphrasing in IELTS.
It’s easy, quick and effective!

Here’s an example.
Initial Sentence: People say that burning of fossil fuels causes global warming.

Paraphrased Sentence: Global warming is said to be caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Only the voice has been changed in the above example and it has entirely changed, without any change in its meaning or context. Both the sentences are grammatically correct and make sense! Right? Right.

Paraphrasing is an effective tool when taking an exam like IELTS. Just practice more, take high-quality IELTS training and you’ll know how to go about things. Stick to the basics and use the aforementioned techniques, and you’ll be good to go! All the best.