Word Formation Errors: Find and Correct The Mistakes

Many words in English need to change their form depending on whether they are being used as verbs, nouns, adjectives or adverbs. e.g. verbs change their form depending on their tense, and nouns change their form depending on whether they are singular or plural.

When IELTS Examiners assess your essay for Lexical Resource, they look for word formation errors. So it’s important to reduce these errors. If you make more than occasional vocabulary errors, you cannot get Band 7 for Lexical Resource.

Here are 2 activities to help you develop word formation skills. In the first activity you need to identify the word formation errors. In the second activity, you need to correct these word formation errors.

(The 2 activities use the same sentences, so don’t look at Activity 2 until you have finished Activity 1!)

Good luck!


Activity 1: Find the errors

Each sentence has one word formation error. For example, a noun has been used instead of an adjective, or a verb has been used instead of a noun. Read each sentence carefully and click (or tap) on the error in each sentence.



When you have finished Activity 1, try Activity 2 below.


Activity 2: Correct the errors

Here are the same sentences again. This time you need to type the correct form of each word.

To help you, I’ve underlined the errors. Decide what the correct form of the word should be in each sentence, and type your answers in the box to the right of each sentence.



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There are lots more activities on this site to help you develop your IELTS skills. Click the button below for more activities.

Posted in IELTS Practice Activities.

Charles Cornelius is a PGCE and CELTA-qualified teacher and former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 70,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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