RELATED VOCABULARY: Talking about the city environment

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See also: IELTS vocabulary for city people and IELTS vocabulary for a city infrastructure

Essential IELTS vocabulary split into common IELTS topics and subsections. In this lesson, we are focusing on vocabulary used to describe cities, particularly the city environment  – the places, buildings and locations that you can refer to when talking or writing about cities.

ielts-vocabulary-for-cityTake a look at the list below. How many words do you know? If there are any words you are not familiar with, we strongly recommend that you look them up in a dictionary. Once you have looked through the list, try the vocabulary exercise that follows.

  • cosmopolitan (environment)
  • metropolitan (city)
  • downtown
  • city centre
  • urban
  • the suburbs / suburban areas
  • rural
  • the outskirts
  • CBD (Central Business District)
  • city hall
  • coastal city
  • inland city
  • mountainous city
  • housing
  • accommodation
  • housing complex
  • industrial estate
  • housing estate
  • apartment (US) / flat (UK)
  • house
  • villa
  • 2-storey house
  • 5-level apartment building
  • office tower
  • skyscraper
  • landmark(s)  buildings
  • marina
  • port / harbour
  • airport
  • bus/train/air terminal
  • urban sprawl

Using words from the list above, match a definition with a word:

EXAMPLE: The ‘edge’ of the city, where it meets the countryside. ANSWER: Outskirts

1. Opposite of rural

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2. The main area where most business is done in the city 

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CBD or Central Business District

3. A city that has different influences from around the world 

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4. Residential areas of cities, in other words, where people live

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Suburbs / suburban areas

5. An area with many factories 

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Industrial estate

6. Famous buildings that identify a city, such as the Eiffel Tower

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Landmarks / landmark buildings

7. A very tall building

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8. The rapid growth of a city, often with adverse (negative) effects 

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Urban sprawl

9. An area where a high concentration of people live 

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Housing estate

10. The main area at which public transport stops or starts from 

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