Writing vocabulary to get ready for TOEIC and CAMBRIDGE exams

By learning to use  fixed expressions and frequent phrases, you can do an excellent writing. Furthermore, you will be able to write more quickly and effectively and get ready for the exam. And you will feel comfortable using some of expressions from each group below, so they come to mind easily during the exam.

General explaining

1. In order to: It is used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument.

Example: “He had to work full-time in order to earn a living for her family.”

  1. In other words: it is used when you want to express something in a different way, to make it easier to understand.

Example: They were people who fought for money. In other words, they were mercenaries.”

  1. To put it another way: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words.

Example: “Europe means freedom, democracy, and solidarity or, to put it another way, social and ecological responsibility.”

  1. That is/That is to say: It is used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise.

Example: All the B Vitamins work synergistically. That is to say, they are more potent when taken together than when used separately.

  1. To that end/ to this end: it is used in a similar way to “in order to” or “so.”

Example: “He was aiming to get into the school swimming team, and to that end he swam every evening.”

Giving additional information

6. Moreover: It is used at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making.

Example: “The new professor is smart and, moreover, he is incredibly handsome.”

7. Furthermore: This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information.

Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore.”

Example: “You should remember it, and what’s more, you should get it right.”

  1. Likewise: it is used when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned.

Example: “My sister  Mary hates green beans, and I, likewise, do not like the vegetables.”

  1. Similarly: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise.”

Example: “Most of the children who were at the party were similarly dressed.”

11. Another key thing to remember: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”.

Example: “Another key thing to remember is surely the question of training.

12. As well as: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”.

Example: “When I’m on holidays I like doing excercise as well as watching series.”

13. Not only… but also: It is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information.

Example: “The car , not only is economical, but also feels good to drive.”

  1. Coupled with: It is used when considering two or more arguments at a time.

Example: “Major enlargement, coupled with fundamental reforms, is imminent.”

  1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other.

Example: Firstly, I prefer the train because I can see the landscape. Secondly, I have control over my luggage, and thirdly, it is better for the environment.

Words and phrases to show contrast

16. However: It is used to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said.

Example: “Young people often spend many hours a week on their social life. However older peolpe are often too busy.”

17. On the other hand: The Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion.

Example: “I enjoy doing the washing up. On the other hand, I’m not at all keen on doing the ironing.”

18. Having said that: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”.

Example: “It’s expensiveHaving said that, I must admit that it is very well made.”

19. By contrast/in comparison:  Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence.

Example: “I’m always late but you, by contrast, are always on time.”

20. Then again: It is used to cast doubt on an assertion.

Example: “I think I’ll go to the party tonight. Then again, I might not.”

21. That said: This is used in the same way as “then again”.

Example: “The economy is struggling. That saidhouse prices rose slightly last month.”

22. Yet: It is used when you want to introduce a contrasting idea.

Example: “Her advice seems strange, yet I believe she’s right.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

23. Despite/in spite of : Use “despite” or “in spite of” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence.

Example: “I still enjoy the weekend despite the bad weather.”

24. With this in mind: It is used when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else.

Example: “With this in mind, it is necessary to insist on a simple ans enlightening value.”

  1. Provided that: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing.

Example: “He’s welcome to come along, provided that he behaves himself.”

  1. In view of/in light of: it means because of a particularthing, or considering a particular fact.

Example: “In view of what you’ve said, I think we shoud reconsider our proposed course of action.”

27. Nonetheless:  “This is similar to “despite this”.

Example: “There are serious problems in our country. Nonetheless, we feel this is a good time to return.”

28. Nevertheless: This is the same as “nonetheless”.

Example: “She didn’t like the price. Nevertheless, she bought it.”

29. Notwithstanding: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”.

Example: “It rained all day; notwithstanding, Rachel went out without coat.”


Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it gets boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are  other ways of saying the same thing.

30. For instance

Example: “I can play quite a few musical instruments, for instance, the flute, the guitar, and the piano.”

31. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

  1. Such as

Example:Car companies such as Toyota and Ford manufacture their automobiles in many different countries around the world.”

Signifying importance

33. Significantly: It is used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent.

Example: “Our prison population has significantly increased in the last ten years.he same period.”

34. Notably: This can be used to mean “significantly.”

Example: “Old established friends are notably absent, so it’s a good opportunity to make new contacts.”

  1. Importantly: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”.

Example: “You must wear your seat belt because it’s the law, but most importantly because it could save your life.”


  1. In conclusion: It is normally used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview.

Example: “In conclusion, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed myself today.”

37. Above all:  It is used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay.

Example: “Above all, fishing requires great patience.”

38. Persuasive: This is used when summarising which argument you find most convincing.

Example: “It seems to me to be the most persuasive argument …”

39. Compelling: It is used in the same way as “persuasive” above.

Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by …”

40. All things considered: This means “taking everything into account.”

Example: “All things considered, I think you have behaved marvellously in coming here.”


Examples taken from:






Brook-Hart, G (2014), Complete first. Madrid: Cambridge University Press.