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Type 3: Adjective + Noun (always joined when written) STRESS ON FIRST WORD


I suggest you consider the first list, called the "Basic List", as part of your essential "IELTS vocabulary" because these words are often used or needed in the Speaking test by candidates.

List 2 is similar to the Basic List but these words are much less frequently needed or used in the test.

List 3 has words that English speakers are familiar with and use sometimes but these examples would be rarely used in the IELTS Speaking test.

List 4 has examples that are even rarely used by native English speakers.

Also note that some words are considered to be rather offensive and it is of course, not a good idea to use these in the Speaking test.


          Basic List                                         

a blackberry (audio on right)

You could also choose to use the British pronunciation, blackberry but that pronunciation is less clear than the North American pronunciation.

a blackbird

a blackboard

a blackout

a blueprint

a briefcase

a broadcast

a freeway

a Frenchman

a gentleman

a grandchild

a granddad

a grand-daughter

a grandfather

a grandmother

a grandparent

a grandson

a greenhouse

a highlight

a highway

a hotdog


a hotspot

a latecomer

a newcomer

a shortcoming

a superman

a supermarket

a superstar

a sweetheart

a whiteboard

a wildfire

a wildflower

an Englishman 





a shortcut


(a) softball




hot-pot  (especially useful for Chinese students)




          List 2

a "busybody"

a cheapskate

a darkroom

a deadline

a deadlock

a downfall

a downgrade

a falsehood

a forerunner

a freefall 

a grandstand

a greenback

a greengrocer

a greyhound

a highchair

a highjack

a highlighter

a hotbed

hotcakes ("sell like hotcakes")

a hothouse

a loudspeaker (Am.)  a loudspeaker (Br.)

(a merrymaker) merrymakers


a middleman

a strongman

a supercomputer

a superpower


bluegrass (a kind of country and western music)

a hotline


(the) lowlands

a blacklist

a blacksmith 

a brownout

a "madhouse"

a microchip

a microscope

a shortcoming

a shortfall

a/the shortlist

a supermodel

a superpower

the nearside

a "lazybones"

a hotshot

a halfwit

a hothead

a hotplate

a redhead

a wetland

a wet-nurse

a wetsuit

a whiteout







          List 3

a blindfold

a dumbbell (offensive if used to mean, "a stupid person")

a superdome

a supertanker

lowlife (offensive)




superconductor (Br.) Also: a superconductor (Br.), superconductor (U.S.)

a stronghold

a "deadbeat" (offensive)

a fullback

a halfback

a halfbreed (offensive)

a redneck

a shortcake

a strongbox

a stronghold





hardball ("play hardball")


a superbug

a sharpshooter

blackjack (a card game)

a sidecar

a blackhead

a blindside

a greatcoat

a half-caste (offensive)

a highbrow (a highbrow person)

a hot-rod

a six-pack

the lowdown

the quickstep (a dance)

the Superbowl (in the U.S.)

a fathead (offensive)

a longbow



          List 4

a bluebell (a type of flower)

a bluebird

a bluebottle (a living thing in the ocean)

a forepart

a supertax

a tallboy

a wetback (offensive)

a yellowtail

Bluebeard (a name)


quicksilver (= Hg = mercury)


the quicktime (a dance style)

the superstructure

a flatfish