IELTS vocabulary: Challenge, Try, Cheap, Low

ielts word countVocabulary lesson:  Challenge, Try, Cheap, Low.

Here is another grammar point I have heard some students make when speaking. The differences between challenge and try and cheap and low. Remember that vocabulary makes up 25% of your marks in speaking and writing. So focus on accuracy and then when you feel more confident you can work on your range of vocabulary.

Challenge / Try

Your friend asks:  “Do you think you could beat John at chess?”

Wrong reply:  “I will challenge.”
Right reply:   “I will try. “

You try something or try to do something but you challenge someone.

Wrong:  “I tried James to a game of chess last night but he won.”
Right:   “I challenged James to a game of chess last night but he won.”


Cheap / Low

Wrong:  “My salary is cheap.”
Right:   “My salary is low.”

Wrong:  ‘The rent on my house is cheap.’
Right:  ‘The rent on my house is low.’

Wrong: ‘The price is cheap.’
Right:  ‘The price is low.’

We only use ‘cheap’ for things we buy. Salaries, prices and rent are money but they are not bought. Same with expensive / high

Wrong: ‘His salary is expensive.’
Right:  ‘His salary is high.’

Strange:  ‘The price is expensive.’
Right:  ‘It is expensive.’
Right:  ‘The price is high.’

 

Are these sentences below right or wrong? check your answers below.

1. I tried the IELTS exam and I got Band 7.
2. I challenged IELTS but got a low Band score
3. I tried to get a ticket to Hawaii, but the flight was fully booked.
4. John challenged Bob to see who could run the fastest.
5. Paul wants to challenge and pass his driving test.
6. I bought a new computer but it was so expensive
7. Jim has a good job and an expensive salary.
8. The price of apartments in Edinburgh are cheaper than in London.
9. The boss reduced my salary! , so it’s now much cheaper.
10. Mike paid $500 for that car, it was so cheap.

1. I tried the IELTS exam and I got Band 7. (correct)
2. I challenged tried IELTS but got a low Band score
3. I tried to get a ticket to Hawaii but the flight was fully booked. (correct)
4. John challenged Bob to see who could run the fastest. (correct)
5. Paul wants to challenge try and pass his driving test.
6. I bought a new computer but it was so expensive. (correct)
7. Jim has a good job and an expensive a high salary.
8. The price of apartments in Edinburgh are cheaper than in London. (correct)
9. The boss reduced my salary! , so it’s now much cheaper lower.
10. Mike paid $500 for that car, it was so cheap. (correct)

 


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