A key skill in IELTS is giving examples – it’s something you need to do both in your writing and your speaking. Obviously, the most useful phrase is just “for example”. It really helps though if you have different ways to do this and you don’t just get stuck on “for example”. This lesson helps you out by showing you a variety of vocabulary for giving examples.
You should note that “for example” is typically used with a comma and is used either right at the beginning of a sentence or just after the the first phrase.
For example, many people fall into debt because they use credit cards rather than debit cards.
They may, for example, decide to buy goods on credit even though they do not have sufficient funds to pay for them.
This is a useful alternative that works in exactly the same way as “for example”
For instance, someone might be more likely to decide to make purchase online using a card than in a shop on the high street.
Don’t forget that you can also qualify your examples with adjectives. Here are a couple you might like to try:
A striking example of this is the number of students who leave university with debts of up to £30,ooo.
A notable example of how cashless transactions have helped business is the fact that a huge proportion of companies now have online shops.
More important vocabulary for giving examples are the verbs that you use most often with “example”
It is possible to provide numerous examples of this process
To give a brief example, a company is much more likely to sell its products abroad if its customers do not need exchange currency.
To take a simple example, it is just more straightforward for tourists to travel abroad if they do not need to worry about exchanging currency.
This is shown/illustrated or exemplified by
Another pattern you should try is using “this”with a verb.
This is illustrated by the Oyster Card system on the London Underground
Illustrate and illustration
If you are looking for another synonym, this can be a good choice. I would add that these words are especially useful for Task 1 writing:
One illustration of this is the rise in the number of women who chose to take the bus in 2007.
Case and A case in point
Case is another very useful synonym that can help in varying vocabulary for giving examples. You can often use “case’ by itself as a synonym for “example”, or you can try using the phrase “a case in point”
The self checkout queues in supermarkets are a case a point
This phrase is most useful when you are giving shorter examples, often as additional information in a sentence.
There are some purchases that are so small, such as buying a bus ticket, that people prefer to use cash
“If” by itself is not used for examples, but it is a very useful structure that can be helpful when you are talking or writing about examples.
For example, if your credit card is stolen, it may take several days for it be replaced, which would be a serious inconvenience.
These too can help you add detail exactly in the same way as examples. You could say “Pollution is caused by cars. For example, some older vehicles emit dangerous gases and lower air quality” or you could say:
One major cause of pollution is the number of older vehicles on the road that emit dangerous gases and lower air quality.
Transitional Words and Phrases
Updated lists by Joanna Taraba
(printable version here)
This page only provides a list of transitional words; be certain you understand their meanings before you use them. Often, there exists a slight, but significant, difference between two apparently similar words. Also remember that while transitions describe relationships between ideas, they do not automatically create relationships between ideas for your reader. Use transitions with enough context in a sentence or paragraph to make the relationships clear.
Example of unclear transition:
The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma. In the same way, the characters in Book B face a similar problem.
The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma, a contested inheritance. Although the inheritance in Book B consists of an old house and not a pile of money, the nature of the problem is quite similar.
Examples of Transitions:
Thus, for example, for instance, namely, to illustrate, in other words, in particular, specifically, such as.
On the contrary, contrarily, notwithstanding, but, however, nevertheless, in spite of, in contrast, yet, on one hand, on the other hand, rather, or, nor, conversely, at the same time, while this may be true.
And, in addition to, furthermore, moreover, besides, than, too, also, both-and, another, equally important, first, second, etc., again, further, last, finally, not only-but also, as well as, in the second place, next, likewise, similarly, in fact, as a result, consequently, in the same way, for example, for instance, however, thus, therefore, otherwise.
After, afterward, before, then, once, next, last, at last, at length, first, second, etc., at first, formerly, rarely, usually, another, finally, soon, meanwhile, at the same time, for a minute, hour, day, etc., during the morning, day, week, etc., most important, later, ordinarily, to begin with, afterwards, generally, in order to, subsequently, previously, in the meantime, immediately, eventually, concurrently, simultaneously.
At the left, at the right, in the center, on the side, along the edge, on top, below, beneath, under, around, above, over, straight ahead, at the top, at the bottom, surrounding, opposite, at the rear, at the front, in front of, beside, behind, next to, nearby, in the distance, beyond, in the forefront, in the foreground, within sight, out of sight, across, under, nearer, adjacent, in the background.
Although, at any rate, at least, still, thought, even though, granted that, while it may be true, in spite of, of course.
Similarity or Comparison
Similarly, likewise, in like fashion, in like manner, analogous to.
Above all, indeed, truly, of course, certainly, surely, in fact, really, in truth, again, besides, also, furthermore, in addition.
Specifically, especially, in particular, to explain, to list, to enumerate, in detail, namely, including.
For example, for instance, to illustrate, thus, in other words, as an illustration, in particular.
Consequence or Result
So that, with the result that, thus, consequently, hence, accordingly, for this reason, therefore, so, because, since, due to, as a result, in other words, then.
Therefore, finally, consequently, thus, in short, in conclusion, in brief, as a result, accordingly.
For this purpose, to this end, with this in mind, with this purpose in mind, therefore.
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