Jun 24

Synonyms for the government

How to refer to 'the government' in IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing

Often in your IELTS Writing or Speaking you need to refer to the government.

There are many questions about the government's role in education, health, defence, transport, the environment, crime, cities, science and technology, the media and society in general.
In IELTS it is important not to repeat the same word too often. You can avoid repeating the word government in several ways:

  • The authorities need to introduce polices to ensure that even the poorest in society have access to appropriate medical services.
  • The powers-that-be ought to take steps to help reduce inner-city crime.
  • I am angry that those in power seem so complacent and unwilling to tackle the issue of climate change.
  • Those elected to lead and govern us ought to remember that the electorate has the power to remove them from office.
  • Political leaders are often accused of being corrupt and accepting bribes.
  • Most politicians actually try to make the world a better place.
  • Policy-makers need to understand that younger voters are angry because they cannot find work and face a bleak and seemingly hopeless future.


There are no big differences between these words.

Those in power, political leaders, politicians, those elected to lead and govern us and policy-makers are words which refer more to individuals in power than to the whole government.

Policy-makers may be bureaucrats rather than politicians.

Bureaucrats = people whose job is to run the country; people who do administrative/office work for the government

The electorate/voters = people who have the right to vote in an election

Governments can introduce legislation/policies or bring in new laws to change the situation.

Be careful with spelling of government and environment. Many IELTS candidates forget about the ‘nm’ in the middle!
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