Featured Word:
Substitute’ can be either a verb or a noun.
As a verb it means to change one thing for another or to put one thing in place of another. (The recipe calls for spinach; I think I’ll substitute silverbeet.)
As a noun it refers to thing that has been exchanged. (Silverbeet is a good substitute for spinach in many recipes.)


  • Our usual teacher was absent on Wednesday, so we had a substitute teacher.
  • If the product is out of stock, the company will provide you with a substitute of equal value.
  • A lot of mathematics involves substituting one value for another.

Collocations: When you learn new vocab, make sure that you note collocations too. For this group of words some collocations are:
style icon, with style, latest style,
serve as a substitute, substitute for, substitute for, provide a susbtitute
sustained effort, hard to sustain, sustain by

symbolic of, symbolise by, symbolise with, symbolic of
target of, targeted by, targeted with

Check the meanings of the words if you don’t already know them. Check the meanings of the various forms as sometimes they are different. You can check them at Time4english by clicking the words (

Academic word list 59

Vocabulary for IELTS – Academic Word List 59

Complete the sentences below with the correct word and the correct form of the word. (eg. you may need to change a word from a noun to an adjective or from a singular to a plural.)

  1. Teaching takes a lot of effort. It is hard to   _______________ the energy sometimes. (sustain, substitute)
  2. When considering your workload, it is very useful to set annual, monthly and weekly  _______________. (style, target)
  3. Many businesses have some kind of icon or _______________ that is immediately recognised by members of the public . (target, symbol)
  4. I don’t following recipes exactly when I cook. I usually end up  _______________ ingredients. (substitute, sustain)
  5. I visited a friend’s house the other day and was surprised to find that it was built in the same  _______________ as my own house. (symbol, style)

Answers (in the wrong order)
5. style   1. sustain  2.targets   3. symbol    4. substituting

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