IELTS Reading Vocabulary – Learn 38 Verbs for IELTS

IELTS Vocabulary Lesson

In the IELTS lesson above, we do an activity to learn 38 verbs for the academic reading section of IELTS.

A sentence will appear on the screen. From the list of verbs that is given, the viewer needs to say which verb best describes the action in that sentence.
For example: The planet Earth moving round on its axis.
Would you say… spin or rotate or revolve?
What is the difference between these words?

While this lesson was recorded LIVE on YouTube, it will still be very useful for IELTS students.

List of 38 Verbs for the IELTS Reading Test

Here is a list of the 38 verbs that appear in the live IELTS lesson in the video above. I have included a definition for each verb and example sentences.

These verbs may appear in the IELTS Academic reading section.

bounce ● burn ● change ● congeal ● contract ● crack ● crumble ● drop ● erode ● erupt ● escape ● evaporate ● expand ● explode ● fade ● float ● flow ● freeze ● grow ● meander ● melt ● raise ● revolve ● ring ● rise ● rotate ● set ● sink ● smoulder ● spill ● spin ● spread ● stretch ● subside ● trickle ● turn ● vibrate ● wobble

Bounce: to move or make something (esp. a ball) move quickly up and down (or away) by hitting or kicking it.

  • The goalkeeper bounced the ball twice before kicking it.

Burn: to destroy, damage, injure something or someone by fire, heat or acid.

  • All of his belongings were burnt in the fire.

Change: to make something different.

  • Our plans have changed for the weekend.

Congeal: to make something thick or semi solid especially by cooling.

  • The blood had congealed round the cut on her knee.

Contract: to become smaller of tighter.

  • Metals contract as they get cooler.

Crack: to break without dividing into separate parts. A partial fracture with the parts still joined.

  • The ice cracked as I stepped onto it.
  • His lips were dry and cracked.

Crumble: to break into very small pieces (fragments).

  • The cake crumbled when she tried to cut it.
  • The great empire began to crumble over time.

Drop: to make something lower or less, often suddenly or accidentally.

  • The price of pen drives has dropped considerably over the last decade.
  • He accidentally dropped his mug.

Erode: to destroy or wear away gradually.

  • Metals are eroded by acid.
  • The ocean slowly eroded the cliff.

Erupt: when a volcano becomes active and ejects lava. To throw out with great force.

  • It has been many years since Mount Vesuvius last erupted.

Escape: become free or to get out of a container (gas, liquid). To leak.

  • There is gas escaping somewhere – can you smell it?

Evaporate: to change or make something (normally liquid) change into steam and disappear.

  • The water soon evaporated in the sun.

Expand: increase in size or volume.

  • Metals expand when they get heated.

Explode: to suddenly burst loudly and violently owing to a release of internal energy.

  • They exploded the bomb by remote control.

Fade: to lose colour, strength or freshness.

  • Jeans fade when you wash them too many times.

Float: to stay on or close to the surface and not sink.

  • The wood floated on the water.

Flow: to move freely and continuously, usually of a liquid.

  • Most rivers flow into the sea.

Freeze: to change from liquid to solid as a result of extreme cold.

  • It was so cold that even the river froze.

Grow: to increase in size, height or quantity.

  • She wants to let her hair grow.

Meander: to follow a winding course, flowing slowly.

  • The river meandered through the plains.

Melt: change to a liquid condition by heat.

  • The ice-cream melted very quickly in the sun.

Raise: to increase the amount or level of something. To move something to a higher level or position.

  • How can we raise the standard of our work?
  • She knew the answer so she raised her hand.

Revolve: to move around in a circle.

  • The Earth revolves around the sun.

Ring: to make a long clear sound. A vibrating sound especially of a telephone or bell.

  • The church bells rang loudly to announce the end of the ceremony.

Rise: to go up, increase, an upward movement of progress.

  • The price of the dollar has risen a lot lately.

Rotate: move around on an axis or center. Move in circles around a center point.

  • The blades of the helicopter were rotating.

Set: to solidify. To become firm, fixed or hard from a soft or liquid state. When the sun goes down.

  • He put the jelly in the fridge to set.
  • The sun sets earlier in winter than in summer.

Sink: to go down under the surface or towards the bottom of a liquid (or soft substance).

  • The Titanic sank after it hit the iceberg.

Smoulder: to burn slowly with the smoke but without a flame.

  • The cigarette smouldered in the ashtray.

Spill: to fall over the edge of a container (usually by accident).

  • I knocked my mug and the coffee spilt.

Spin: to turn rapidly round and round a center point.

  • The ballet dancer spun around many times.

Spread: to cover the surface of something (with an even layer).

  • He spread some butter on his bread.

Stretch: to make something longer, wider or looser by pulling without breaking it.

  • The shoes will stretch after you have worn them a few times.
  • He stretched my sweater and now it is too big.

Subside: to become less. To sink to a lower or normal level.

  • The flood waters gradually subsided.
  • He waited until the applause had subsided.

Trickle: to flow slowly in a thin stream or in drops.

  • The tears trickled down her cheeks.

Turn: to move around a center point. To change direction.

  • The wheels turned slowly and eventually came to a stop.

Vibrate: move continuously and rapidly from side to side.

  • The whole house vibrates whenever a big truck passes.

Wobble: to move (or sway) from side to side in an unsteady way.

  • He was very fat and his stomach wobbled as he ran.
Lesson tags: Academic, General Training, IELTS, Reading, Verbs, YouTube
Back to: IELTS Preparation Course > IELTS Reading

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