Updated Mar 28, 2019


Return to Index of Vocabulary Lists


Note that if you incorrectly or inappropriately use what you think is an example of "high level" vocabulary, you might actually lose points for vocabulary rather than gain points. This is mostly because communication can be damaged, or even broken, by such errors. In other words, using a simple word or repeating the same word is usually better than using an "impressive" word incorrectly. Clear communication is the Number 1 priority in the IELTS test!


42. Toys

43. Trees and Forests

44. Memory

45. Imagination

46. Art

47. Complaining

48. Words connected with 'Travel'

49. Fear

50. Money

51. Medicine

52. Plants and Agriculture

53. Work

54. Teenagers

55. Borrowing

56. Decisions

57. Your Country


42. Toys

Many children's toys involve the child playing a role, an imagined adult role. For example, boys play with toy weapons and imagine they are soldiers (killing people) while girls play with doll babies (= baby dolls), imagining they are mothers (taking care of new-born life).


Words of the pattern, "toy + noun", such as "toy piano", "toy gun", "toy rabbit" are pronounced with the noun spoken more emphatically than the word, "toy". It is the same stress pattern as with the words, "model + noun". Here is the way, "model railway" is pronounced.


Other Internet Sites about Toys


For Both Boys and Girls





        ("Building brick" is pronounced with the same stress pattern as "building block".)


(For pronunciation of "wind-up" - wind-up & definition 4 here -

A Robot Dog


            A jigsaw puzzle





Mostly for Boys


            - a toy gun

            - a toy sword













Mostly for Girls






43. Trees and Forests

Parts of a Tree

- the roots

- the trunk

- the bark

- the branches

- leaves, plural of leaf (or "needles" for some pine trees)

- flowers and seeds


What Trees Give Us

- timber (for construction, furniture, paper etc.)

- firewood (esp. in poor parts of the world)

- shade (for humans and some farm animals) ["Shade" and "shadow" are different. A shadow is a silhouette on a flat surface such as a wall or the ground. It is 2D. Shade is 3D. A shadow can be produced by the sun or a man-made light, but the word "shade" is only used in connection with the sun, i.e., outside.] Adjective - shady

- a home for birds and small animals

- greenery (beautification, important for city dwellers in parks and gardens)

- soil stabilization (esp. important on mountain slopes; mangrove trees stabilize coastal areas + provide breeding grounds for fish)

- trees act as windbreaks (usually on farmland to prevent wind erosion; in Northern China, to help prevent dust-storms)

- important for the ecology of an area (e.g., food for bees and other insects, a home for living creatures, etc.) It is best to say, "the ecology of an area", not just "the ecology" like the way we say, "the environment".

- large forested areas promote rainfall (large reforested areas amazingly have more rainfall after the trees grow again) (See Note, below)

- trees help to regulate underground water flows (After trees are cleared, sometimes the underground water table rises to the surface, bringing salt to the soil and thereby damaging farmland. This is "salinization" of the soil.) (See Note, below)

- oxygen = O2 (fresh air; trees absorb carbon dioxide, CO2, which is food for trees, and give off oxygen)

- medicines

- sap (rubber, edible syrup etc.)

- fruits and some nuts

- spices and flavourings

- cork

- balsa wood



- a virgin forest ( =  a native forest; usually = an old growth forest)

- a rainforest (tropical rainforest; temperate rainforest. There are also dry climate forests.)

- a commercial forest (usually = a "plantation", most often fast-growing trees such as pine)

- a national park (Most national parks contain forests - camping, hiking in some national parks; can see wild animals)

- wilderness

- logging (verbal noun, an activity, to create and transport logs. )

- timber ("Lumber" is more American English and refers to timber that has been cut into boards or pieces of wood, ready for use. There is "the timber industry" but, "the lumber industry" is not a common expression, although "the lumber trade" is used in the U.S.)

- softwood

- hardwood

- a bush fire (mostly used in Australia, NZ & English-speaking parts of Africa = a forest fire)

- undergrowth (what grows under the trees in a forest)

- a "wooded" area (similar to a "forest"; not necessarily a native forest - it could be a plantation or simply some tress planted by humans). The tree are not as close together in a wooded area as they are in a forest.

- forestry = the science and practice of planting, caring for and managing forests


Some Other Vocabulary Associated with Trees

- to lop a branch off a tree (= to cut off)

- to prune a small tree, hedge or shrub (= to trim it)

- to cut down a tree (= to "chop down" a tree when an axe is used = [a bit more formal-sounding] to "fell" a tree)

- an axe

- a chainsaw

- a hollow tree

- a log (a hollow log is often a home to animals)

- a tree house (No, it's not a house where trees live. It's a tree where a house lives!)

- a fork in a tree

- fragrant

- a (tree) stump

- to shed leaves (deciduous trees shed their leaves in winter)

- a dead tree

- Some tree leaves change colour (to red, yellow etc.)

- a pine cone; pine needles

- a Christmas tree (usually a pine tree)

- deforestation (the possible start of desertification)

- tree rings (give the age of a tree)

- a swing (child's plaything hanging from a strong tree branch)

- to uproot a tree (what a typhoon or cyclone does to some trees)

- an overhanging tree (usually overhanging a fence or a house)

- an orchard (a farm consisting of fruit trees)

- a sapling (a young, immature tree)

- a twig (a small piece of a dead tree branch, like a short stick, not necessarily straight)

- a few trees "dotting the landscape" (= a few trees appearing on a landscape such as farmland where there are not many trees)

- deciduous trees (shed their leaves in winter)

- evergreen trees (keep their leaves in winter)

- termites = white ants (they eat wood, usually dead trees and fallen branches)

- a bonsai tree (small twisted ornamental tree in Japan, produced by humans twisting the tree when it is young)


A Few Varieties of Tree

It might be a good idea to know the English name for one or two trees in your area. But, at the same time, you need to be careful in the test of showing that you obviously knew that this topic is in the test and obviously showing that you are speaking a prepared answer. Examiners don't like that (both of them) and, in fact, the examiner could deduct points from your score if you show it too much throughout the test.

- a eucalyptus tree ( = a gum tree. An Australian tree that has also been planted in many parts of the world. There are many varieties of this species, as with most of the species shown below.)

- a palm tree (coconut palm, date palm, etc.)

- a banana tree (and many other fruits)

- a pine tree

- a willow tree

- a poplar tree

- an oak tree

- a mahogany tree

- an ash tree

- a cedar tree

- a fir tree

- a birch tree

- an olive tree (Esp. in the Middle East and the Mediterranean area; for food)


Some internet links

Vocabulary lists - (not all the words on these pages are useful for the IELTS test)

Tree Houses

(Kids love tree houses)

Forests  (Very many more links at the bottom of that page)


Note  (about large forested areas promoting rainfall)

Although this is a valid fact, I think not many examiners would know about this. Some examiners might even think you had made a mistake of some kind in your English because they might not understand what you are talking about if you say this. So, since this is rather complex to explain and since Part 1 answers should be rather summarized, it would be best to only use this fact in a Part 3 answer, when you can, and should, give longer, more complex answers.

Another point is this – you need to be careful not to speak so that the examiner knows, or is almost sure that you have read this website. If the examiner thinks you have read this website, he or she might be extra strict when grading your answers, might actually reduce your score if they recognize a memorized answer, and also might ask you questions that are much more difficult than usual.


44. Memory

Look up the meanings, pronunciation & examples of usage of these words in good dictionaries & other reference books.

The two words that are most often mistakenly used are the verb, "memorize" and the noun, "memory".

An interesting fact about memory is that it is easier to learn (= to understand and remember) new abstract concepts such as new mathematics when things, including some steps or processes, are given a name. Another example is the verb tenses in English. If you first learn the names of the 12 verb tenses, even in your own language, then it is easier to learn more about these verb tenses.


45. Imagination

the imagination (uncountable noun) = the power of imagination

to imagine (to "see" something in your mind, not using the eyes; = to visualize)

imaginary (= not real but believed to be real in some cases)

to visualize (when you cannot actually see something with your eyes)

abstract (= not concrete)


Uses of the Imagination 

when understanding abstract ideas or concepts (= "when understanding" since all ideas and concepts are abstract; i.e., all ideas and concepts are in the mind)


thinking of possibilities

predicting future possibilities

visionary (far-sighted)

to hope

goal-setting (and visualizing achieving the goal)

to create

creativity (uncountable noun; an ability)


a creation

to invent

an invention

to innovate

an innovation


when creating art (especially when the art is a form of self-expression, or representing an idea, not simply copying)


when appreciating art (imagining the meaning, ideas or feelings of the artist)

when reading a novel or listening to a story (= visualizing the people, the scenery, the actions etc.)

when trying to follow or understand an explanation

when listening to the radio (visualizing what is being talked about)

when speaking to someone on the telephone (visualizing the face of the other person)

story-telling (story creation)

a myth (= an imaginary or untrue explanation or belief)


when empathizing with another person; when feeling empathy (= imagining oneself in the other person's situation; imagining oneself feeling what the other person is feeling)

when showing kindness (imagining what another living creature needs or wants; similar to empathizing)

when teaching or explaining (imagining the steps to understanding that the student or the other person needs to experience)

when communicating (imagining how the other person is understanding you)


 46. Art

 Examples of paintings and drawings:


47. Some Words Related to Complaining

Look these words up on,  , and, 


48. Words connected with 'Travel'

Some words in English can be used as either a noun or a verb. But other words cannot be used this way. It is also important to know the differences in meaning, and therefore differences in usage, between similar words.

Let's look at five different words; journey; voyage; travel; trip; and tour (There are also several other words connected with this idea.)

Note: British spelling has double 'l' for the words, "travelling", "travelled etc. but American usage has only one 'l'.

Word Meaning Used as a Noun?  Used as a Verb? Common (phrasal verb) Expressions



a) the distance travelled

b) the experience of travelling this distance

c) the time of travelling this distance

Usually (but not always) used when referring to long distances or a long time spent traveling. For example, "Travelers along the Silk Road often endured a long and dangerous journey."

Yes. Usually used as a noun. Although it is possible to use "journey" as a verb, it is not often used this way because, when used as a verb, the word is emphasizing the great length and difficulty of the journey. For example, "They journeyed across Australia from south to north."

When talking about a long trip or journey but without emphasizing the length or difficulty, it is more appropriate just to use the word, "travelled".

"go on a journey"

"Have a journey" is possible but not often used. If you use it, it's best to use it with an adjective such as, "We had an interesting journey." That sort of sentence is commonly used.

"Make a journey" is possible, but is not commonly used so I suggest not using it because the examiner might think it is an incorrect usage.

Word Meaning Used as a Noun?  Used as a Verb? Common (phrasal verb) Expressions


航行, 航海

A "voyage" is a long journey, especially by sea. Yes. Usually used as a noun. No.

There is an old-fashioned and formal usage of "voyage" as a verb but you should not use it. (Besides, "voyaged" and "voyaging" are hard to say!)

"go on a voyage"

"embark on a voyage"

"undertake a voyage"

"set out on a voyage"

"make a voyage" (less common)

Word Meaning Used as a Noun?  Used as a Verb? Common (phrasal verb) Expressions


旅游, 旅行, 移动,

a) The basic meaning is "to go" or "to move". It is similar to, "go on a journey", "go on a voyage", "go on a trip" or "go on a tour" but there is no special emphasis on the length of the journey - the usage is related to the idea of 'movement'. For example, "I traveled across the city to sit for the IELTS test."

b) In this modern age, "to travel" usually means to use a vehicle such as a bicycle, car, bus, train, plane or ship. However, it is possible to use, "travel" to mean, "walk" when the distance or time is not short. For example, "I traveled (walked) from my home to my office in 30 minutes" or, "This morning, I traveled (= walked) all around the old centre of Beijing."

c) Sometimes, but not always, the verb "to travel" means, "to travel for recreational purposes" = "to tour" = "to go sightseeing" = 游览

In the Part 1 topic, "Travelling", the emphasis seems to be on this usage of traveling for recreation. But people such as traveling salesmen also travel for work, and some students travel between their hometown and their university (which might be hundreds of kilometers apart) at vacation time, and so on.


For example, in English we do not say, "I have been on many travels around China" or, "I plan to go on a travel to Tibet."

In English we can use the verbal-noun, "travelling" ( "traveling")  to mean the activity. For example, "I like travelling very much." A verbal-noun is a type of noun.

We also see the following usages in English: "the cost of travel" and "Travel broadens the mind". You should think of these usages of the word "travel" as shortened forms of the verbal-noun, "travelling". For example: "the cost of travel" = "the cost of travelling" and "Travel broadens the mind" = "Travelling broadens the mind"

We also see this in English: "I've seen some interesting things on my travels." ("某人的 travels") This is a special expression only and it does not mean you can say, "I have gone on many travels."

["in my travels" = "on my travels]

Yes. This is the usual usage.  
Word Meaning Used as a Noun?  Used as a Verb? Common (phrasal verb) Expressions


 旅行, 远足

A trip is similar in meaning to "a journey", "a voyage" or "a tour" but, unlike "journey" and "voyage", a "trip" is usually not very long, in either distance or time. For example, when meeting someone at the airport who has just made a 3-hour plane flight, you might ask: "How was your trip?" 

Or, "While the advertisements were on TV, I made a quick trip to the kitchen to prepare a snack."

You can also say something like this: "In my last holidays, I took a trip to Australia." Here, you are expressing the feeling that the experience felt quite short because the two weeks you spent in Australia were not enough to see and do all that you wanted to see and do. Australia is a long way from China but you can still use the word "trip" to express the idea that it did not seem to be a very long journey.

Yes. The usual usage is as a noun. No.

There is an expression in English that treats "trip" as a verb: "day-tripping". This means to go on a trip (or trips) that only last for one day. Related to this, we can say, "He's a day-tripper". But besides this example, "trip" is not used as a verb.

There is also a (slang) verb, "to trip" that means, "to have a hallucinogenic drug experience". So I suggest you do not say to the examiner, "I like to trip" or, "I like tripping". Instead, say, "I like travelling" or, "I like to go on trips".

There is also a different verb, "to trip" that means "to stumble and (almost) fall" (绊倒)


"go on a trip"


"take a trip"

These two are usually used to refer to traveling for pleasure. For example, "I'm going on a trip to Thailand next month." But those two expressions can also be used to refer to business trips.

("going" = "going to go")


"make a trip"

This is usually only used when you include the information of where you are going to go or went. For example, "I made a trip to the post office." It refers to a short journey, not a holiday trip as for the first two examples, above.


Word Meaning Used as a Noun?  Used as a Verb? Common (phrasal verb) Expressions

旅游, 参观

a) As a verb, "to tour" means to "to travel to (to visit) different parts of a place that is new to the traveler in order to see interesting things" such as, "I toured the Forbidden City in Beijing". 

b) A similar meaning to above is to visit the different parts of a place in order to inspect or to have a good look in order to gain knowledge. For example, "The new manager toured the factory". In this example, the manager is not a "tourist" because he toured the factory as part of his job.

c) The word "tour" is equally used as a noun. The examples above can be changed to: "I took a tour of the Forbidden City in Beijing" and, "The new manager had a tour of the factory".

Yes Yes "to tour (usually) + noun" =

"to make a tour of + noun" =

"to have a tour of + noun" 

The expressions, "to take a tour" and "to go on a tour" can also have the added meaning of, "to join an organized group that is shown around a certain place by a tour guide". When used this way, you can add, "of + noun" in order to give more information but it is not necessary to add this.


49. Fear 


50. Money


51. Medicine


52. Plants and Agriculture

·        Agriculture (farming)

·        To plant / a plant

·        A flower garden, a vegetable garden

·        To water a plant

·        Cereal crops

·        Vegetable crops

·        Fruit crops

·        Cash crops

·        Harvest (n), to harvest (v)

·        Produce (n) is pronounced differently to produce (v) See Vegetables at the market are sometimes called, “produce” (the noun).

·        Agriculture

·        Horticulture

·        Aquaculture

·        Pig farming

·        Chicken farming

·        Cattle farming / raising

·        Dairy farming

·        Organic food, e.g., organic vegetables

·        Organic farming


53. Work

Jobs are usually described by using a verbal noun (动名词), for example, "teaching", “nursing”, “mining”,  “fishing”,  “building +”, “driving +”,  "being a doctor", "being a lawyer", "being a businessman", "being a businesswoman", "doing business", "managing a company", "accounting", "being an accountant" (= "accounting"), "writing software for computer games" etc.

Alternatively, you could describe a job by saying, "working as a ____"; for example, "working as a teacher", "working as a doctor", "working as a lawyer", "working as a businessman", "working as a businesswoman", "working as an accountant" etc.


54. Teenagers


55. Borrowing

                    = "Do you mind if I borrow your hair dryer?"

                    = "May I borrow your hair dryer?"

        B:  "No, I don't mind."

        In this example, "No, I don't mind."= "No, it is not a problem." = "Yes, you may borrow my hair dryer".


56. Decisions


57. Your Country


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