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Video: Qualifying words


When studying for the IELTS reading test, you should be using keywords, synonyms and rephrases to help you find the correct section of the reading passage to answer the question. Once you have found the correct section, you will often need to read the question again and then turn back to the passage and read in detail. It is at this point that you need to be very careful of qualifying words. Qualifying words are words that modify the information in a sentence. Here is an example. In this sentence, the word some is a qualifying word – it gives more specific detail to the sentence. Qualifying words are extremely important in the IELTS test as they can mean the difference between an answer being correct or incorrect. To demonstrate, we will use True, False, Not given style questions. Imagine this was one of the statements in your list of questions. We know that the qualifying word in the passage is ‘some’. In our question statement, however, the qualifying word is ‘none’. This means that the statement is false. Here, the statement uses the qualifying word ‘Most’. The passage simply says some but does not say whether this is most or not, so the answer would be Not Given. Here is another example of a qualifying word in a passage. In this situation, the qualifying word tells us about time. Looking at the first statement, we can see that ‘immediately’ and ‘delayed’ contradict, so the answer is false. In the second statement, the qualifying word is ‘currently’. From the passage, we do not know if ‘immediately’ is also ‘currently’, so the answer is not given. Here is a list of some of the more common qualifying words used in the IELTS test.