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CAE Writing Phrases

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I stumbled across this amazing and exhaustive list of phrases for advanced writing. I don’t know who made it but a big thank you to whoever it was! It’s gold dust!

You can download it here:



1)  FORMAL WRITING (Reports and proposals)

Making recommendations and concluding

– Do not use contractions.

-Use passive forms whenever possible.

-Use relative clauses to join ideas: The period during which he lived was full of uncertainty.

-Use these formal words:  like à such as   /   kids à children

a lot (of) à many / a large number of  + countable noun

a lot (of) à much / a great amount of / a great deal of + uncountable

a lot (intensity)à very much / significantly / dramatically

– Avoid using the word things / something,  etc. Use a more specific word ( problems, situation, solutions,

  subjects , and so on).


Adressing  the reader

-Have you ever wondered (what the college would be like if)…? If the answer is (yes)…, you…

–If you want a different kind of experience,… / As you know,…

-Doesn’t it just make everyone feel (positive about…)?

-If you have a few hours to spare,…is worth seeing.

-Never omit the subject pronoun: Many people

believe IT is important to…    I believe IT is a good  idea


– Do not use unnecessary subject pronouns: This is a problem which  it  is essential to solve.

-Make sure the subject and the verb agree: Attracting tourists involves improving local facilities.

  (SINGULAR SUBJECTà attracting tourists + SINGULAR VERBà involves)

Attitude clauses and phrases

Generally speaking,…

Annoyingly,…  Naturally,…  Strangely,… Surprisingly,… Evidently,…

Indeed,… In fact,… Admittedly,… Presumably,…

.  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  . .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .


-A great number of people share the view that tourism will have a negative impact on the island.

-Today there is general / widespread agreement that pollution from cars and planes is threatening the

future of our planet.

-I t is now widely accepted that the universe began with the so-called ‘big bang’.


– Opinions differ about the proper relationship between the mass media and society.

– There is considerable disagreement among experts about the usefulness of these tests.

– There has been a great deal of controversy over abortion in the US.

Advantages and disadvantages

-Regular exercise has many benefits , including reducing the risk of heart disease.

-Despite a few problems with the design, the car’s advantages clearly outweigh its disadvantages.

– The major drawback of this method is that it can be very time-consuming.

– The downside of running your own business is that you are responsible if anything goes wrong.

– lead to : The research could lead to a cure for many serious illnesses.

– result in : The fire resulted in damage to their property.

– be responsible for : He was responsible for the accident.

– bring about :The war brought about enormous social change.

– give rise to: Poor performance in exams can give rise to depression and even thoughts of suicide.

– trigger :to make something suddenly start to happen, especially a bad situation such as a crisis or a war, or

a medical condition: Certain foods can trigger allergies.

– contribute to : Passive smoking could contribute to the development of respiratory diseases among


– factor : Cost is often the deciding factor when choosing any product.

– impact on : His work has had an enormous impact on the study of genetics.

– influence on:   In his book, he examines the influence of the media on our society.

– affect : (v) The disease affects women more than men.

– influence : (v) She has influenced him a lot.

– implications :  The results of the study could have important implications for future educational policy.


-I would like to stress that the research is still at an early stage.

– It should be noted that there are a number of alternative methods available.

– It is worth bearing in mind that 90% of the scientists researching herbicides in the US are employed by

  chemical companies.

-Factors such as temperature and acidity play a crucial role in determining how well the process works.

-These insects play a vital part in the food chain.

– It is essential that the work is carried out as soon as possible.

-The climate is much colder, especially in the far north.

– issue : Issue is used especially about problems that affect a lot of people in society:  International terrorism

  is the biggest issue (=the most important issue) facing the world today. Previous governments failed to

  address (=try to deal with) social issues such as unemployment and homelessness.

– challenge: something difficult that you must do or deal with, which needs a lot of skill, effort, and

  determination: She said she was looking forward to the challenge of starting up a new business on her

– difficulty :  The company has managed to overcome (=deal with) its recent financial difficulties.

  Many people experience difficulty in sleeping at some time in their lives.

– trouble:   a problem or several problems that make something difficult, spoil your plans etc:  Students of

  English often have trouble with phrasal verbs.  The company ran into trouble (=started to have problems)

  when it tried to expand too quickly.

– setback:   something that happens which stops you making progress or which makes things worse than

  they were before:  Despite some early setbacks, his campaign for the presidency was successful.

– obstacle:   Criminal gangs are the biggest obstacle to democratic reform.

– dilemma :  The doctors were faced with a moral dilemma.

– vicious circle :  Some developing countries get caught in a vicious circle. They cannot afford to pay their

  debt repayments, and so the debts get even bigger.

– complication

– increase by (percent) :  Last year, the number of burglaries increased by 15 percent.

– go up : Last month unemployment went up from 1.6 million to just over 1.7 million.

– grow:   The volume of traffic on our roads continues to grow.

– expand :  After two years of no growth, the economy started to expand again in 2003.

– double/triple/quadruple : Since 1950, the number of people dying from cancer has almost doubled.

-growth: (n) There has been a huge growth in sales of big 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

– decrease by (percent) :  The average rainfall has decreased by around 30 percent.

– go down : The percentage of fat in our diets has gone down.

– fall: The number of tigers in the wild has fallen to just over 10,000.

– drop:   At night, the temperature drops to minus 20 degrees.

– decline: decline is used about numbers or amounts, and also about the level or standard of something:

In rural areas, the standard of living continued to decline.

– respect / look up to

look up to : The children need someone they can look up to.

– think highly of:  Most of the students and staff think very highly of Dr. Smith.

– think highly of

have a high opinion of

– highly regarded/respected

highly regarded/respected : a highly respected surgeon

be an admirer of

– sophisticated / high-tech (equipment) / state-of-the-art (technology)

SURPRISING  (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– amazing / unbelievable / incredible / astonishing / staggering

– come as a surprise / come as a shock / amaze / astonish

SURPRISED  (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– amazed / astonished / speechless / be taken aback (He was taken aback by the news)

EXCITING  (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– thrilling / gripping / exhilarating / action-packed

– dull / tedious / monotonous / uninspiring

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE     (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– attractive / good-looking / gorgeous / striking / stunning

BEAUTIFUL PLACES     (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– breathtaking / stunning / awe-inspiring / striking / spectacular

– spotless : very clean

UGLY PLACES / PEOPLE      (Avoid using “colourful” vocabulary in formal writing!)

– unattractive / unpleasant / unsightly / hideous (=extremely ugly)

– filthy : very dirty


-i n bad condition / dilapidated / run-down

– latest / brand-new / innovative (idea or system)

– old-fashioned / outdated / obsolete

– absolutely  / extremely / highly / incredibly / remarkably


– excellent / outstanding / impressive / exceptional


– suitable / right / proper / appropriate / be suited to


– incorrect / inaccurate / misleading


– unjustified / unreasonable / without good reason

– unwind / wind down : Set in spectacular countryside, the Shiga Hotel is the perfect place to unwind.

– make someone feel at ease

– relaxed / feel at ease / laid-back (not easily worried or annoyed) /

– tense / uneasy / anxious / be under stress


– facilities : The facilities at the hotel were excellent — tennis courts, swimming pool, several bars and a good


– amenities : things such as shops, parks, or restaurants that make living or working in a place more pleasant

I prefer this part of the city because there are plenty of good amenities.


– a great deal / far / much + comparative (cheaper / more economical than)

– a bit / slightly / barely + comparative (cheaper / more economical than)

– by far / easily the + superlative (This is easily the best solution we can think of)


– dramatically / significantly / slightly

– As well (as) / in addition to :   Over 600 people will lose their jobs, in addition to the 400 people who left

the company last year.

– In addition : A fifth of the world’s population lives on less than $1 a day. In addition, over 100 million

children are living on the streets.

– Furthermore / Moreover :  used at the beginning of a sentence when adding an important fact that is

connected with what you have just said:  The drug has strong side effects. Furthermore, it can be

– as long as / on condition that / provided that

– alternatively : You can go up into the mountains. Alternatively, you can stroll around one of Switzerland’s

delightful cities where the old mixes with the new.

– on THE one hand … on the other (hand)

– As  / since :  As it was a hot day, they decided to leave all the windows open.  Since it is difficult to predict

how the climate will change, it is not possible to say which countries will suffer the most.

– thanks to

– due to/owing to + NOUN   

The delay was due to a problem with the ship’s engines.

– due to/owing to + THE FACT THAT + subject + verb

The men did most of the work in the fields. This was partly due to the fact that the men were stronger.


– While / whereas / by contrast

– However:   However is usually used in the middle of a sentence, separated from the rest of the sentence by

commas: Jack and his family managed to escape before the soldiers arrived. Other families in the village,

however, were less lucky. Or it comes at the beginning of a sentence: He began his academic career as a

mathematician. However, his main achievements were in the field of nuclear physics.

– Nevertheless : Nevertheless is usually used at the beginning of a sentence, or at the end.

– in spite of/despite + NOUN   

Despite his lack of formal education, he became one of the world’s leading mathematicians.

– in spite of/despite + verb + ING  

This was a dinosaur that weighed only 10 tons, in spite of being some 28 metres long.

– in spite of/despite + THE FACT THAT + subject + verb

Many people are worried that cellphones may be dangerous to health, despite the fact that most of the

research suggests that there is little risk.

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Author: Tim Warre

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director. View All Posts

6 thoughts on “ CAE Writing Phrases ”

I am blown away. This is one of the best and full documented list of phrases. Indispensable tool for people that are about to take the exam.

In case you are willing to check model answers of CAE essays you can click on http://examwriting.blogspot.com

Thank you very much. This list is very helpful for my studies.

pisha, que bueno e este sitio, felicitacione

Love this blog! Children need someone to look up to, a role model.

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Useful Language For Writing CAE Essays

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List of 200 Idioms and Phrases (pdf/xls) | C1 Advanced (CAE)

cae article useful phrases

Fixed expressions and idioms are a huge part of the Cambridge Advanced exam, coming into play far more frequently than in lower levels. The difficulty with CAE fixed expressions is that learners will often recognise them and understand them when seen in context. However, making them part of their active vocabulary is a much greater challenge. For the CAE it is essential that your students know various fixed expressions and idioms.


Practice, write & improve, (cae) a-d idioms & phrases, more than practice tests, (cae) e-h idioms & phrases, (cae) i-l idioms & phrases, (cae) m-p idioms & phrases, (cae) r-t idioms & phrases, cae useful idioms & phrases: download pdf.

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CAE Useful Idioms & Phrases: Download XLS

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Les gens recherchent une pharmacie en ligne fiable, et pas n’importe laquelle, mais une pharmacie dans laquelle ils peuvent se sentir en sécurité et avoir confiance dans l’exactitude des informations sur les médicaments. C’est d’autant plus important lorsqu’il s’agit d’ordonnances destinées à des personnes souffrant de maladies potentiellement mortelles comme le cancer ou le VIH. Si vous connaissez quelqu’un dans cette situation, veuillez lui recommander notre pharmacie en ligne, car il existe une aide pour l’achat de médicaments en ligne.

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Useful Language for Writing CAE Essays

Useful Language for Writing CAE Essays

ESSAY WRITING Useful language Introduction Phrases             It is often said that ... ….is a hotly-debat

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Citation preview

ESSAY WRITING Useful language Introduction Phrases             It is often said that ... ….is a hotly-debated topic that often divides opinion. ….is a topic that is often discussed but rarely solved. Many people feel that ... We live in an age when many of us are… More and more families/people are choosing to … The trend nowadays is towards +ing Over the past/last ten years or so, … Recent research indicates that the number of …is increasing. Statistics indicate that--Hardly a week goes by without another report of .. appearing in the media. This raises the issue of whether …………….. Although most people would generally agree that …………… few Language for topic sentences Language for supporting ideas  For example,  For instance,  An obvious example of this is…  A clear example of this is…  This is illustrated by…  As a case in point… Language for conclusions  In light of the above,  Taking all this into consideration/account,…  As far as I am concerned, / in my opinion, / as I see it, etc. … is the most effective way to… due to the fact that… Despite the fact that… undoubtedly plays a role in… I firmly believe that… is more effective due to the fact that… its advantages outnumber/ outweigh those   First Paragraph  …. clearly/undoubtedly has an impact on…  It is common knowledge that… plays a crucial role in…  It is undoubtedly the case that…  There is little doubt that…  … is widely believed to contribute to…  It is generally considered that…  Recent research suggests that…  Studies have shown that… has an impact/influence on…  ADVANCED GRAMMAR  Inversions: Not only is/do…..but also… Rarely/seldom do people….  Conditionals: Were these recommendations to be implemented/ Had they known about/ if they happen to…/ If he should have any…  Double comparatives: The cheaper the…., the more popular…  Participle clauses: Being a keen shopper myself,… Having bought many products online,….  Subjunctive: It is vital that should be / I recommend that  should be done…/ would rather/ sooner  Advanced linkers: Despite the fact that…., ….. due to the fact that, with a view to/ in the light of …./ given….  Relative clauses: reason for which…./ students whose work ought to be assessed/ ,which would be paramount to…. Few people would contest/dispute the fact that… Second Paragraph  Another factor to consider is…  On the other hand/In contrast…  It is often claimed that…  All the evidence suggests that… FORMAL VOCABULARY  Longer words with origins in Latin  eg: is because (+ informal) VS is attributable to (+ formal) / ask for(+ informal) VS enquire about (+ formal) VS choose(+ informal) VS opt for (+ formal) Bear in mind (+ informal) / be taken into consideration (+ formal) Abstract nouns rather than verbs Make a reservation (instead of book) Offer assistance (instead of help) Make a complaint (instead of complain) Express your dissatisfaction (instead of be unhappy)  No idiomatic expressions or phrasal verbs go up (informal) VS increase ( + formal) take part in (+ informal) VS participate in (+ formal)  Replace emotive language Adore/ be elated be satisfied with Be great be satisfactory Feel overwhelmed appear unable to cope/ Handle/ manage/ Fantastic valuable/ profitable/ positive/ beneficial

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Lesson Share: Writing: Article writing for CAE / CPE

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A comprehensive set of notes and exercises for students on how to write articles for advanced exams.

Writing: Article writing for CAE / CPE: Lesson plan

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