Mastering Adjectives in the IELTS Exam: A Sure-Fire Way to Ace the Test

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  • Updated On:Aug 31,2023 01:35 PM IST

Adjectives are essential in IELTS exams as they help to articulate ideas more precisely and accurately. It is crucial to use adjectives appropriately in IELTS exams and to avoid using too many of them. Read the blog to comprehend the importance of adjectives and how to enhance one's IELTS scores.

Students who want to study abroad must prove their English proficiency by taking various tests, including the IELTS exam. It is crucial for test-takers to have a strong understanding of grammar, particularly adjectives in the IELTS exam.

Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. They can be used to describe the size, colour, shape, texture, taste, smell, or quality of a noun. Adjectives are important words that can help candidates express their ideas more precisely and accurately in the exam. Using adjectives correctly can help improve your band score.

Importance of Adjectives in the IELTS Exam

Grammar is the foundation of a language. A good understanding of grammar for IELTS is essential for clear and effective communication, both in writing and speaking. Without a solid understanding of grammar, it can be difficult to construct meaningful and logical sentences. Adjectives play a pivotal role in grammar. Candidates appearing for the IELTS exam should use a wide variety of adjectives appropriately and accurately. Adjectives are important in the IELTS exam because they help to add detail, precision, and vividness to your writing. Adjectives in IELTS can also be used to create a more engaging writing style and to show the examiner that the candidate has a good vocabulary.

Here is an example of how adjectives can be used to add detail to the writing

Original: The house was big.
Improved: The house was a spacious two-story building accompanied by a white picket fence.

The improved sentence uses more specific adjectives to describe the house. The reader now knows that the house is two stories tall, that it is made of red brick, and that it has a white picket fence. This gives the reader a more detailed picture of the house.

Here is an example of how adjectives can be used to create a more vivid writing style

Original: The city was busy.
Improved: The city was a bustling metropolis, with skyscrapers reaching into the sky and people rushing around on every corner.

The improved sentence uses more vivid adjectives to describe the city. The reader now feels like they are right there in the city, surrounded by skyscrapers and people. The adjectives "bustling" and "metropolis" create a sense of excitement and energy, while the adjectives "skyscrapers" and "people" create a sense of size and activity.

Here is an example of how adjectives can be used to show the examiner that you have a good vocabulary

Original: The food was good.
Improved: The food was delicious, with a wide variety of flavours and textures.

The improved sentence uses more specific adjectives to describe the food. The reader now knows that the food was not just "good," but that it was also delicious and had a wide variety of flavours and textures. This shows the examiner that the writer has a good vocabulary and can express themselves precisely.

By using adjectives effectively, candidates can improve their writing and speaking and score higher in the IELTS exam. Be sure to use adjectives in IELTS writing or speaking to add detail, precision, and vividness.    

Types of Adjectives:

1. Adjectives of Quality: The adjectives of quality refer to the quality or kind of a person or thing. For example: Mumbai is a large city.
2. Adjectives of Quantity: The adjectives of quantity refer to the quantity, type, or degree of something. For example: I ate some chocolate.
3. Adjectives of number: This type of adjective specifies how many people or things occur or in what order they occur. For example: there are several mistakes in the essay.
4. Demonstrative Adjectives: This kind of adjective points out the position of a noun in pace or time. Some of them are: that, the other, the, this, etc.
5. Distributive Adjectives: Distributive adjectives refer to each one of them separately. Example: Every word of it is false.
6. Interrogative Adjectives: Words such as what, which, and whose are considered interrogative adjectives. For example, whose phone is this?
7. Possessive Adjectives: A list of possessive adjectives is: my, our, your, his, her, their, and its. For example: Her book was lost.

Adjective Patterns

Form and use of adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe nouns. They do not change their form to show number or gender, but they can be formed from other words by adding suffixes or changing the spelling. 

Adjectives can act as nouns when they describe a particular group or characteristic. It generally uses the definite article for IELTS grammar and a plural verb. 

For example: The rich live a luxurious lifestyle.

In this sentence, "rich" is an adjective describing a particular group of people (the wealthy or affluent individuals). We can transform it into a noun and use the definite article "the" with a plural verb.

Adjectives before nouns

Adjectives are usually placed before nouns and noun phrases they modify. This is called the attributive position. For example, "The big dog ran across the park. In the given sentence, "big" is placed before the noun "noun" to describe its size.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Some adjectives can be placed after the noun they modify, which is called a predictive position. For example: "The dog is big". Here the adjective is "big" and is placed after the noun "dog".

Participle (ing or ed) adjectives;

The participles (ing or ed) are often used as adjectives in the same position as other.

For example, I never find noodles very satisfying.

Testimonials from satisfied clients can help in growing the business.

It is, however, important to note that some participle adjectives can only be used after a noun, such as applying, causing, discussing, finding, providing, questioned, and taking.


Participles can be combined with other words to make compound adjectives. These participles are usually used last. For example, a mind-boggling puzzle

Here, "mind-boggling" is a compound adjective created by combining the participle "boggling" with the noun "mind”. The participle "boggling" indicates that the puzzle is so challenging or perplexing that it overwhelms the mind, making it a mind-boggling puzzle.

Commonly used Adjective Synonyms  in IELTS Speaking and Writing

Candidates must use a wide range of word forms in the IELTS exam to achieve a high band score. To achieve a good band score in IELTS, it is important to use a wide range of vocabulary. One way to learn new vocabulary is to note down less commonly used words, along with their synonyms and examples. This will help applicants avoid using the same words over and over again in their writing.

Adjectives Synonyms
BadNegative, detrimental, inferior, harmful, unacceptable, unpleasant
BigSizable, broad, spacious, grand
HappyPleased, satisfied, glad, blissful, overjoyed
InterestingFascinating, gripping, inviting, engrossing, absorbing, exciting, attractive
Great Noteworthy, remarkable, mighty, powerful
ImportantChief, critical, essential, key, necessary, urgent
UsefulHelpful, effective

To expand their vocabulary for the IELTS exam, candidates should research and study synonyms for commonly used adjectives. This will help them to avoid using the same words over and over again in their writing and to express themselves more precisely.


A solid grasp of adjectives is a valuable asset for students aiming to succeed in the IELTS exam. Practicing and incorporating adjectives in IELTS exam effectively will not only improve their performance in the test but also enhance their overall English proficiency for successful academic and professional endeavours.

Also readA guide to the IELTS exam 


The rule for adjectives is that in a sentence, the determiner always comes first. This is followed by the quantity, opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, and purpose or qualifier of the noun being described.
Yes, one should use adjectives in the IELTS speaking section to give general or precise information. They can use extreme adjectives while illustrating a story or explaining an opinion in IELTS speaking to add enthusiasm and interest.
Some synonyms for famous are well-known, renowned, noted, etc.
Yes, one must try using synonyms for adjectives, as it helps in enhancing vocabulary but also advances the candidate’s writing and speaking skills.
The most commonly used synonym for beautiful is attractive.

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