Cool & contemporary vocab: change
Look at this Part 2 question from the IELTS speaking test:
‘Describe a positive change in your life.’
To get a high score in IELTS you need to use natural-sounding, everyday phrases with some evidence of idiomatic language. Here are some examples you can use to answer this question well.
- a new beginning
meaning = when something in your life changes and it is like you start again
example = When Obama took office, it was hailed as a new beginning for American diplomacy.
- a change for the better/worse
meaning = when a change improves the current situation or makes it worse
example = I recently changed jobs and now commute less. It’s a change for the better because I can spend more time with my family.
- a life-changing decision
meaning = when a change has huge consequences on how you live
example = I volunteered to teach kids English in Africa and it was a completely life-changing decision.
- a life-defining moment
meaning = when a change in your life alters your perspective and how you think
example = Being in a fatal car accident was a life-defining moment for me. I know I appreciate things a lot more now.
- to wish you had done something weeks/months/years ago
meaning = when a change is so good that you regret not doing sooner
example = I finally got my driving license. It’s fantastic to have so much freedom. I wish I’d done it years ago.
- to reap the rewards
meaning = to get benefits from an action
example = I invested some money on the stock market years ago and now earn a lot of money from the shares, so I’m reaping the rewards of my investment.
- to take stock (of something)
meaning = to assess something like your life or your priorities
example = Once I’d taken took stock of my priorities, I realised I needed to relax more and take a holiday.
- a no-brainer
meaning = a decision that is so simple it requires no discussion / analysis
example = The train fares went up 20% but the bus fares stayed the same, so changing to using the bus was a no-brainer.
- to change course
meaning = when you make a significant change or your life changes direction
example = When I got married and moved abroad, my life changed course completely.
- out with the old and in with the new
meaning = to remove things you had or people you had relationships with and replace them with new ones
example = I quit my job and moved to a different city. It was out with the old and in with the new this year.
- a change is as good as a rest
meaning = changing something in your life has the same benefits as a holiday/break
example = I was feeling really fed up, so I decided to get my hair cut and have a new look. They say a change is as good as a rest.
- to never look back
meaning = when you change something for the better and don’t regret it
example = I stopped smoking 5 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I feel so much healthier these days.
- to test the waters
meaning = to try something first before you make an important decision
example = I took an online course in teaching to test the waters before signing up for a degree.