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IELTS Academic Writing description




There are two Writing tasks and BOTH must be completed.


60 minutes

No. of

Task types

In Task 1 test takers are asked to describe some visual information

(graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in their own
words. They need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes. In Task 2 test
takers are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. They need
to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.


Answers must be given on the answer sheet and must be written in full.
Notes or bullet points in whole or in part are not acceptable as answers. Test
takers may write on the question paper but this cannot be taken from the
examination room and will not be seen by the examiner.

Task 2
Task type
and format

In Writing Task 2, test takers are given a topic to write about. Answers
should be a discursive consideration of the relevant issues. Test takers
should make sure that they read the task carefully and provide a full and
relevant response. For example, if the topic is a particular aspect of
computers, they should focus on this aspect in their response. They should
not simply write about computers in general.
They should write in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style.
Test takers should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task. They are
asked to write at least 250 words and will be penalised if their answer is too
short. While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 250
words, if they write a very long answer they may not have time for checking
and correcting at the end and some ideas may not be directly relevant to the

question. They may also produce handwriting which is unclear.

Task 2 contributes twice as much to the final Writing band score as Task 1.
Therefore, test takers who fail to attempt to answer this task will greatly
reduce their chance of achieving a good band.
Test takers should also note that they will be penalised for irrelevance if the
response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet
points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.). They will be severely
penalised if their writing is plagiarised (i.e. copied from another source).
Finally, test takers should make sure that they do not copy directly from the
question paper because this will not be assessed.
Test takers must write their answers on the answer booklet.

Task focus

This task assesses the test takers ability to present a clear, relevant, wellorganised argument, giving evidence or examples to support their ideas, and
to use language accurately.

No. of

Marking and assessment

Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in
marking than Task 1.
Writing responses are assessed by certificated IELTS examiners. All IELTS examiners
hold relevant teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centres
and approved by British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia.
Scores are reported in whole and half bands. Detailed performance descriptors have
been developed which describe written performance at the nine IELTS bands. Public
versions of these descriptors are available on the How IELTS is scored page. The
descriptors apply to both the Academic and General Training Modules and are based on
the following criteria.
Task 2 responses are assessed on:

Task Response

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy.

Task 2
Task response
In both Academic and General Training Modules Task 2 requires the test takers
to formulate and develop a position in relation to a given prompt in the form of a
question or statement. Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples
may be drawn from the test takers own experience. Responses must be at least
250 words in length. Scripts under the required minimum word limit will be
Coherence and cohesion
This criterion is concerned with the overall clarity and fluency of the message:
how the response organises and links information, ideas and language.
Coherence refers to the linking of ideas through logical sequencing. Cohesion
refers to the varied and appropriate use of cohesive devices (for example, logical
connectors, pronouns and conjunctions) to assist in making the conceptual and
referential relationships between and within sentences clear.
Lexical resource
This criterion refers to the range of vocabulary the test takers have used and the
accuracy and appropriacy of that use in terms of the specific task.
Grammatical range and accuracy
This criterion refers to the range and accurate use of the test takers' grammatical
resource as manifested in their test takerss writing at the sentence level.

7 Types of Task 2 questions

1. Agree or Disagree
Ex. Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is
the only way we can guarantee new products will be safe for human use.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
2. Advantages/Benefits outweigh Disadvantages/Drawbacks
Ex. In some countries, governments are encouraging industries and businesses to
move to regional areas outside the big cities.
Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?
3. Discuss two views plus your opinion
Ex. Some people say that children no longer need to develop handwriting skills. Others
believe that handwriting is still important.
Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

4. Discuss two views only (no opinion)

Ex. Many people believe that an effective public transport system is a key component
of a modern city.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public transport.
5. Causes/Problem and Solution
Ex. Crime rates tend to be higher in cities than in smaller towns.
Explain some possible reasons for this problem and suggest some solutions.
6. Two questions/ two-part questions
Ex. To some people studying the past has little value in the modern world.
Why do you think it is important to do so?
What will be the effect if children are not taught history?
7. Opinion
Ex. Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more
influence on our personality and development than other experiences we may have in
life. Which do you consider to be the major influence?

12 top IELTS writing tips.

1. Read the question answer the question
Rule number 1 is to answer the question: read the question carefully and underline
all the information you need to include. This works differently in the essay and the
In the essay, often you will find background information and the question itself. Make
sure you answer the question
(eg Do you agree?) and do not write generally about the topic. If you copy another
essay you have written on the same topic, you will lose a lot of marks.
In task 1, all the information you need to include is in the chart/graph: make sure you
identify the key points before you start writing.
2. Dont start writing too soon think and plan!
It is important to finish both pieces of writing, but the way to do this is not necessarily
starting to write immediately. If you do that, you may get half way through the writing and

realise you cannot finish it. Only start writing when you know how you are going to
In the essay this can mean up to 10 minutes and in the task 1 report it can mean up
to 5 minutes. The more you think, the better and more quickly you will write. 2/3
minutes is almost certainly not enough. For more detail on this, try looking at Planning
an IELTS essay the 10 minute solution.
3. Write enough words
250 means AT LEAST 250 and 150 means AT LEAST 150.
4. Dont write too many words
more words you write, you more mistakes you are likely to make. The more words you
write, the less efficient you become and the quality will fall. The ideal is to aim for
between 260 280 words in the essay and 160-180 words in the report.
5. Dont copy whole sections of the question
If you copy whole sections of the question, the examiner will not include those words in
your word count: 260 words can become 230 words if you are not careful.
6. Time is your enemy have a plan and a watch
Timing can be a problem. It is important to keep moving and stick to your timing. Dont
be tempted to spend more than 40 minutes on your essay you need 20 minutes to
answer task 1 properly.
7. Task 1 and task 2 which do you answer first?
The essay is worth twice the marks of the report. One idea is to do task 2 (the essay)
before task 1(the report), just to ensure you finish the essay. You do need to spend at
least 20 minutes on part 1 though. Do not try to answer it in 15 minutes.
8. Check your writing
It is important to check your writing for grammatical errors. You need to have a checklist
before you enter the exam of what mistakes you typically make. For a little more detail
on this, try checking this post about how to check your writing
9. Think about range of vocabulary
You should also check your writing for unnecessary word repetition you are graded on
the variety of your language. You should note that this does not mean you need to use
long, complex words, rather it means you should use precise words.

10. Think about the examiner use paragraphs well

The examiner will not spend very long grading your paper. You need to create an
immediate good impression and the best way to do this is to present a well-structured
piece of writing with clearly laid out paragraphs. This way the examiner is going to be on
your side. If, however, it looks disorganised, the examiner is not going to be impressed.
11. Avoid all informal ways of writing
There are some rules of writing you should follow. For example: no abbreviations,
no 1st and 2nd pronoun or possessive (I, you, me, my, your), except in conclusion
where you have to state your opinion.

12. Each body paragraph has to include

The topic sentence, supporting sentences (2-3 sentences), development
sentences (evidence: example, experience, data). In many languages (English
included), there are many ways to develop a body paragraph, which results in a
situation where that topic sentence is not the first sentence. But you are advised to
put the topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph. Dont be creative
in this case.

How to write an effective introduction for

writing task 2
This will help you write better introductions in your Task 2 IELTS essays and show the specific
The introduction is the first part of the essay the examiner will read and it will give them a good
first impression of what to expect in the rest of the essay.

Just like in person, first impressions last.

Common Problems
Talking too generally about the topic.
Most of these essays start off with Nowadays or In modern life. followed by general
information about the topic. This is the worst start you can possibly make. Remember that you
are supposed to answer the question not write generally about the topic.
1. Not including a thesis statement

This is the most important sentence in the essay. Not including one will lose you marks
in several different ways.
2. Not outlining what you are going to do
If you dont include a sentence outlining what your essay will say, the examiner doesnt really
know what you are going to write about in the rest of your essay. This will also lose you marks
3. Trying to write a hook or be entertaining
Remember this is an IELTS exam, not a university essay. There are no extra points for being

interesting, in fact being boring will probably help you. This will help you avoid flowery
4. Using an informal style
You are expected to write in an academic style.

Good and Bad Examples

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing
to global warming and having other undesirable effects on peoples health and
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Good Introduction
Rising global temperatures and human health and fitness issues are often viewed as
being caused by the expanding use of automobiles. This essay agrees that increasing
use of motor vehicles is contributing to rising global temperatures and certain health
issues. Firstly, this essay will discuss the production of greenhouse gases by vehicles
and secondly, it will discuss other toxic chemicals released by internal combustion

Bad Introduction
Nowadays, cars are a very popular way of getting around. Day by day many more
people drive cars around but others feel that they cause global warming. Global
warming is one of the most serious issues in modern life. They also affect peoples
health and well-being which is also a serious issue.
As you can see the bad example talks about the topic very generally, copies
words and phrases from the question and doesnt include a thesis statement or
outline statement.

Structure of a Good Introduction

If you use this structure you will not only score higher marks but you will also save time in the
exam. If you practice enough, introductions will become easy and you will do them in just a few
minutes. This will leave you lots of time to focus on the main body paragraphs where you can
pick up lots of mark.
An IELTS writing task 2 opinion essay should have three sentences and these three
sentences should be:

Paraphrase question

Thesis statement

Outline statement

Thats it. Simple! Lets look at each sentence in more detail.

1. Paraphrase Question
Paraphrasing means stating the question again, but with different words so that it has the
same meaning. We do this by using synonyms and flipping the order of the sentences

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing to
global warming and having other undesirable effects on peoples health and well-being.
Paraphrase: Rising global temperatures and human health and fitness issues are often viewed
as being caused by the expanding use of automobiles.
The synonyms that are used :
Increasing- expanding
Car use- use of automobiles
Global warming- rising global temperatures
Peoples health and well-being- human health and fitness
(As you can see, then switched the order of the sentence around.
Therefore you demonstrate to the examiner that you can paraphrase and have a wide range of
vocabulary. These are two of the things that the examiner is specifically looking for and you will
gain marks for including them.)

2. Thesis Statement
This is the most important sentence in your essay. This is your main idea and it should be often
described to students as how you feel about the whole issue in one sentence. It tells the
examiner that you have understood the question and will lead to a clear and coherent essay.
Lets look at the thesis sentence from the previous example:

Thesis statement: This essay agrees that increasing use of motor vehicles is contributing to
rising global temperatures and certain health issues.
It is always just one sentence long so you will have to practice summing up your opinion in one
sentence. It should also address the micro-keywords and not the topic in general. You should
start your thesis statement with:
This essay agrees that.. or this essay disagrees that.. (Opinion essays)

The main cause(s) of this issue is.. (Causes and solutions)

The principal advantage(s) is (xxxxx) and the main disadvantage is (xxxxxx). (Advantage
and disadvantages).
For a discussion (of two points of view) essay you should state both points of view clearly.
Lets look at another example:

Some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
To keep things simple, we have two optionsAgree that some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.
Disagree that some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.
If your essay will argue that celebrity culture does have a bad influence then your thesis
statement will there be:
This essay agrees that the some famous peoples lifestyles have a detrimental effect on the
youth of today.
It will be stated your opinion in one sentence and used synonyms to make sure you dont just
repeat the question.
Thesis statements are very important but only in question that ask you for your opinion. Some
IELTS questions do not ask you for your opinion and in these cases you can leave it out.

3. Outline Statement
Now that you have paraphrased the question and told the examiner what you think in your
thesis sentence, you are now going to tell the examiner what you will discuss in the main body
paragraphs. In other words, you will outline what the examiner will read in the rest of the essay.
This should be one sentence only.

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing to
global warming and having other undesirable effects on peoples health and well-being.
Outline statement: Firstly, this essay will discuss the production of greenhouse gases by
vehicles and secondly, it will discuss other toxic chemicals released by internal combustion
(So what has been done is just look at main body paragraphs and wrote about what they
contain. You should have only one main idea per paragraph. In this essay, we have only two
main body paragraphs, so you only need to say two things in the outline statement.)

Main body paragraph 1- production of greenhouse gases by cars.

Main body paragraph 2- toxic chemical produced by car engines.
Again, your main body paragraphs should have only one main idea so it should be easy to spot
these and then write a sentence about them.
For advantages and disadvantages essays and problem and solution essays you could
write something like this:
Advantages and disadvantages: this essay will first discuss the (main advantage(s)) followed
by an analysis of the (main disadvantage(s)).
Problem and Solution: This essay will analyse the principal problem(s) and offer solutions to
this issue.

Final Example
Question: Learning to manage money is one of the key aspects to adult life.
How in your view can individuals best learn to manage their money?
Good answer: One of the keys to adulthood is appreciating how to budget your finances. It is
clear that the best way someone can learn this, is by managing money during childhood.
Firstly, the essay will discuss the importance of parental involvement during childhood and
secondly, the essay will look at the importance of having a part time job during childhood.

Strong Body Paragraphs

A strong body paragraph explains, proves, and/or supports your papers
argumentative claim or thesis statement. If youre not sure how to craft one,
try using this handy guide!


INSERT A TOPIC SENTENCE: Encapsulates and organizes an

entire paragraph. Although topic sentences may appear anywhere in a paragraph,

in academic essays they often appear at the beginning
When creating a topic sentence, ask yourself what s going on in your paragraph.
Why you chosen to include the information you have? Why is the paragraph
important in the context of your argument or thesis statement? What point are your
trying to make? It should be noted that relating your topic sentences to your thesis
can help strengthen the coherence of your essay.
For example, you might be able to omit a topic sentence in a paragraph that
narrates a series of events, if a paragraph continues developing an idea that you

introduced (with a topic sentence) in the previous paragraph, or if all the sentences
and details in a paragraph clearly referperhaps indirectlyto a main point.

2. EXPLAIN YOUR TOPIC SENTENCE: Does your topic sentence

require further explanation? If so, add another 1-2 sentences explaining your topic
sentence here.

3. INTRODUCE YOUR EVIDENCE: Most academic papers require

students to integrate evidence (often quotes, but it can also include statistics,
figures, common sense examples, etc.) to support the claim(s) made in the
paragraph and/or the paper as a whole. When including evidence, make sure it is
integrated smoothly into the text of the paper. Readers should be able to move from
your words to your evidence without feeling a logical or mechanical jolt. When
introducing quotes, always a) identify the source and b) summarize to
provide context. Many terms may be used to introduce quoted material: asserts,
believes, claims, comments, confirms, declares, defines, describes,
explains, indicates, makes clear, proposes, etc. However, these terms are not
interchangeable. Make your choice based on your meaning.

4. INSERT YOUR EVIDENCE: Insert/drop-in your supporting evidence

(often quotes but again, evidence can also be in the form of personal
examples, facts, statistics, etc.).

5. UNPACK YOUR EVIDENCE: Explain what the quote means and

why its important to your argument. The author should agree with how you sum up
the quotationthis will help you establish credibility, by demonstrating that you do
know what the author is saying even if you don t agree. Often 1-2 sentences tops
(unless you evidence is particularly long or complicated that is).

6. EXPLAIN YOUR EVIDENCE: No matter how good your evidence is,

it won t help your argument much if your reader does n t know why it s important.
Ask yourself: how does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this
paragraph and/or your paper as a whole? Can be opinion based and is often at least
1-3 sentences.


So, to recap 1. Insert a Topic Sentence 2. Explain Your Topic

Sentence 3. Introduce Your Evidence 4. Insert Your Evidence 5.
Unpack Your Evidence 6. Explain Your Evidence 7. Insert a
Concluding Sentence Example #

End your
paragraph with a concluding sentence or sentences that reasserts how your
paragraph contributes to the development of your argument as a whole.

Body Paragraphs
Each body paragraph will have basic structure. Body
paragraphs are the middle paragraphs that lie between the
introduction and conclusion. The key building blocks of essays
are the paragraphs as they represent distinct logical steps
within the whole argument.
The body paragraphs typically have:
Topic Sentence & (possibly) Transition
Supporting Information

Conclusion Sentence & (possibly) Transition

Topic Sentences & (possible) Transitions

Readers like to know why they're reading a particular

passage as soon as possible. That's why topic
sentences are placed at the beginnings of paragraphs. A
topic sentence should contain the main idea of the
paragraph, and should follow the same rules as the
thesis statement. Writers should start by writing down
one of the main ideas, in sentence form; the topic
sentence should frame the paragraph.
Transitions are a crucial part of every body paragraph,
but not all topic sentences require a transition. If
writers are composing their 1st body paragraph, a
transition within that first topic sentence will probably be
useful. But if writers are composing their 2nd or 3rd
body paragraph, a transition may not be necessary
because the previous paragraph might have been
concluded with a transition. Writers will have to decide
where a transitional word or phrase fits best.

Transitions that Introduce New Ideas:

________ is also...
In addition,
Supporting Information & Evidence
Paragraphs should be constructed with some sense of
internal order, so after the topic sentence, writers will
need to deliver their first supporting detail. Supporting
details should be facts, statistics, examples, quotes,
transitions, and other sentences which support the topic
To support the topic sentence, writers should:
explain the first supporting detail, then
give an example of this detail (see example transitions
next writers should unpack this example in a sentence
or two, and then
repeat this three-step process about two more times
Writers should remember to transition between new
supporting details within the paragraph. (See transitions
Good Transitions for Giving Examples:
For instance
In particular
In addition
To illustrate
Conclusions & (possibly) Transition Statements

Some writers may want to include a summary

sentence concluding each paragraph. Conclusions
for each paragraph are not generally needed, however,
because such sentences can have a tendency
to sound stilted, therefore writers are cautioned about
using them. If a conclusion statement is deemed
necessary, writers might consider setting up for the
next body paragraph by means of a transition
statement. But again, writers will have to make a
discretionary decision on whether or not such sentences
are required.
If writing a conclusion statement, writers may also want
to flag that they're concluding the paragraph by
offering aconcluding transition.
Transitions for Concluding Statements:
As a result,
Transitions to set-up the next paragraph:
__________ is not the only...

Sample Body Paragraph

........[Topic Sentence] Perhaps the cheapest and
most efficient security method is a so-called Safe
Traveler Card or national ID card. [Support Info.]A
Safe Traveler Card or national ID card would be about
the size of a credit card, contain a computer chip, and
cost little to produce. In some ways, these cards are like
the EZ Pass devices that enable people to drive on
highways, bridges, and tunnels without having to stop
and pay tolls (590). [Unpack Supporting Info] By
scanning the card, airport security officials would be able
to obtain background information from government
databases for every passenger: flying history, residence,
credit-card spending, travel habits, phone records,
criminal background, and fingerprint and iris patterns
(Safire 587). [Concluding Statement] It is easy to
see how such a card could expedite security checks at
airports one could tell at a glance whether a person
should be searched or let through.

Cause and effect key IELTS vocabulary
The language of cause and effect is critical to IELTS both in writing and speaking. The
reason for this is that it helps answers the question Why? and allows you to give an
extended and coherent answer.

Obviously the word you will use most is because but there are some useful variations.

because , as a result and as a consequence are used with a verb and because
of ,as a result of and as a consequence of with a noun

Some people believe you shouldnt start sentences with because. This is rubbish but

in the exam it may be sensible not to do it


Due to is normally used with negative situations and thanks to with positive


Cause verbs

A useful variation is to use because as a verb. Here are the 3 main variations notes

notes cause something to happen but it results in something happening

Other related verbs

These verbs can also sometimes be used to describe cause and effect

1.Please note the spelling of affect as a verb and do not confuse it with effect the noun. Just
to confuse you, the pronunciation is identical
The essential nouns are of course cause and effect but there are alternatives here;

1.You talk about the cause of something but the reason for it

See the mistake and understand the problem

If you read this highlighted version you should see the problem immediately. There is way too
much repetition. This matters because to get a good score in grammar and vocabulary you need
range or variety.
There are various reasons why more people are suffering from stress today. One reason is
that because of the pace of life nowadays we do not find time to relax. Another reason is the
fact that many people find it hard to achieve a good work-life balance because they are under
so much pressure to produce results in their job. The final reason is the fact that people feel
increased stress because they need to earn money because the world we live in is more and
more commercial.
The problem is just one structure is use Reason because

See a much better example

This paragraph uses exactly the same ideas and most of the same language. It is though much.
much better.
There are various reasons why more people are suffering from stress today. One isthat the
pace of life nowadays means that we do not always find time to relax. Likewise it is
difficult to find a good work-life balance due to the pressure to produce results at
work. Another related cause of stress is the need to earn money to survive in our
more and more commercial world.
You should see that there is a much wider variety of grammar and vocabulary here not just
one repeated structure:

Here are three different linking phrases to avoid using reason. If you look at my notes, they use
slightly different techniques each time.
One reason is One is [just delete the word its surprising how often this works]
Another reason is Likewise [use a connecting word to avoid repeating the word]
The final reason is Another related cause [use another word]

Vocabulary for Academic IELTS Writing Task 2 (part 1)

IELTS academic writing task 2 ( IELTS Essay Writing) requires a candidate to use a
large range of vocabulary. Connective words and phrases are very important to finish
the academic writing task 2 essay in a logical and coherent way. You must use the
transitional or connective words in your task 2 as it is counted as one of the important
factors to achieve a better score in academic IELTS writing 2. The essay writing for
IELTS require you show your logics, reasonings, examples, points and to make your
standing stronger and to show evidences or examples in a coherent and logical way you
have to use these connective words. However do not over use the linking phrases or
connective phrases just to show that you know so many of them. Use those connective
phrases/ words or linking phrases/ words properly.
The general format for writing academic writing task 2/ IELTS Essay is as follows:

Introduction + your opinion/ your thinking/ your point of view/ whether you agree

or disagree/ main advantages or disadvantages +

2nd paragraph with example, explanation, evidence and extra details +

3rd paragraph with example, explanation, evidence and extra details +

4th paragraph with example, explanation, evidence and extra details +


Conclusion + restating the main point of your discussion/ your position on the


Vocabulary for the Introduction Part:

In the introduction part of your IETLS essay you should write sentences relevant to the
topic given and generally accepted ideas about it. Use your best English here as it will
attract or bore your reader about the whole writing. You will make or break your
impression in this paragraph. Be very cautious about the introduction part. Never just
copy the sentence of the question. If you really need to, use synonyms and different
sentence structure.

1) Mobile phone and Internet are two great innovation of science for communication and
had been facilitating people for a long time. These two technologies are widely used in
almost all the countries of the world and had become parts of our daily lives. We can't
deny the usefulness of these technologies as they had made our life easier than it was
ever before. In my opinion the advantages of these two devices far outweigh the
demerits they have.

Vocabulary for the opinion Part:

According to the essay types (Learn what are the IELTS essay types) use one of the
following connective words/ linking phrases to write down your opinion However
remember that if the question does not ask you to give your opinion but to compare
advantages and disadvantages, then you should not strongly express your opinion.
Opinion should only be written for opinion essays.
In my opinion......
I strongly opine that........
I strongly agree with the idea that.......
I strongly disagree with the given topic....
I think.....
My opinion is that.....
In my view.....
I believe.....
Personally speaking.....
According to me.....
From my point of view.....
From my perspective.....
I realize.....

To my way of thinking.....
It seems to me that.....
To me.....
It appears that.....
I feel that.....
I understand.....
I suppose.....

But in my opinion, giving the access of mobile phone & internet to each and every
unemployed person is a matter of great dispute. I believe, this idea can help the
countries who have sufficient funds for the whole fiscal year and already adopted
technologies like internet for a very long period. But this might turn out as a complete
loss for an undeveloped country.

Vocabulary for the 2nd paragraph Part:

It is true that.....
First of all.....

To begin with.....
To start with.....
In the first place.....
Though it is true that.....
Some people believe that.....
Many people think that.....
According to many.....
Some people believe that.....
Many support the view that.....
On the one hand.....

1) It is true that, an unemployed persons having a mobile phone with internet
connection can get more access to the local and foreign job sectors and can use these
technologies to get a job or become self-employed.
2) First of all, the maximum numbers of cars are owned by the rich people and fuel price
would not restrain them from using the cars. The price of fuel in fact increased
significantly over the past 12 years and that has done nothing to reduce the car usages.

3) To begin, houses that are being constructed by those in the lower income groups do
look at the most cost effective option. In the process they invariably explore cheaper
options that include a compromise on material and construction quality.

Vocabulary for the 3rd, 4th ...... paragraph Part:

Third( ly).....
After that.....
In addition.....
Whats more.....

Other people think that.....
Other people believe that.....
On the other hand.....
Apart from that.....

1) Besides, unemployed persons living in urban areas; can easily get the information
related to the job-offering companies with these technologies................ Furthermore,
the use of these technology give them advantages than others.......
2) Besides, people would learn more about the outer space as the experiment and
scientific research is outer space is going on more steadily than ever.
3) Apart from that, computers would become more powerful and they will have superior
artificial intelligence. We will have robots to do the hazardous works like mining and
outer space research. Surprisingly, e-commerce would be in more convenient form and
most of the people will purchase online rather than going to shops in person.

Vocabulary to show comparison:

In the same way.....

Like the previous point.....
Similar to.....
At the same time.....
Just as.....

1) Similarly, all the companies and offices are becoming automated and using
computers, internet and other technologies vastly than any other time in history.......
2) At the same time software could used for many purposes such as learning through
computers, accounting in computers, drawing, storage of information, sending
information from one person to other person etc.
3) Also reading books is like peeking into the minds of the greatest people - A book is
like a conversation with the writer and reading many books gives us an insight into the
thinking process of different writers.

Vocabulary to show contrast:

On the other hand.....
On the contrary.....

Even though.....
In contrast to this.....
Then again.....
On the other hand.....

1) On the contrary, poor countries suffer from the lack of sufficient budgets to ensure
some very basic needs of people like health, education, medicines etc. Then again,
those countries don't have a chance to spend a lot of money to initiate a superficial

2) Unlike a TV, a radio cannot display an image or a video, and the communication is
limited to voice only. Typically, a radio is used for access information such as news and
live traffic updates.........
3) In contrast to this, the consumption of fuels to run the car is contributing to the rise if
global warming and affecting the ozone layer. So, using bicycle in cities would be a
better alternative.........

Vocabulary to show an example:

As an example.....
For instance.....
For example.....
Such as.....
In particular.....
To show an example.....
As an evidence.....
To illustrate.....

To paraphrase.....

1) For instance, there is no guaranty that all unemployed person will use the technology
2) As an example, many Government of the first world countries have initiated other
projects like:.........
3) For example, if a public bus gets busted in the middle of a road, the passenger can
easily leave it a look for another one.

Vocabulary to show consequence, effects or result :

As a result.....
As an effect.....
The reason why.....

For this reason.....


1) Therefore, we should avoid using our budget in an uncertain project........
2) As a result, people are struggling much to lead a healthy and secure life.........
3) Consequently, local residents will be able to find more job opportunities in this
factory and have a better socio-economic status.........

Vocabulary to sum up:

To sum up.....
In short.....
In a word.....
To put it simply.....
That is to say.....
1) In a word, I think, the idea can be very useful for the developing countries but for us,
it might be a sinister.........
2) That is to say, we must ensure the safety of our children first.........

3) In short, overall infrastructure of the area will develop.

N.B. The above vocabulary are specifically useful while finishing a paragraph. You can
use these words/ phrases to re-state your topic of the paragraph.

Vocabulary to make a point strong:

Aafter all.....
Even if.....


1) Although, Parents are important teachers in our lives and none can deny their
invaluable role to make us what we are, but they aren't always the best teachers.......
2) Thus air and water pollution caused by this factory will ruin the local environment and
wildlife fundamentally.........
3) Although industrialization is necessary for growth, but it must be regulated. The
proper measures must be in place to reduce the negative impacts of byproducts on

Other transitional words / connective words:

As soon as.....
As much as.....

1) They take care of the children as much as parents do..................
2) As soon as we realize the problem ..................
3) Otherwise, the unemployed graduates' number will keep on increasing..................

Vocabulary for the conclusion part:

In conclusion.....
In summary.....
To conclude.....
To conclude with.....
To sum up.....
In general.....
To summarize.....
In short.....
All in all....
On the whole.....
In a nut Shell.....


1) In general, even though it is preferable to study English in an English-speaking

country, a reasonable level of English can be achieved in one's own country, if a student
is gifted and dedicated to study.
2) To sum up, if the population explosion continues, many more people will die of
starvation in poor countries, and life in the cities, even in affluent nations, will become
increasingly difficult.
3) To conclude, I recommend that the only sensible way to solve this problem is to
educate young people about the dangers of drug use, and to take steps to reduce the
pressure of competition placed upon them.
4) In conclusion, nuclear technology certainly has positive uses but is nonetheless
dangerous. However, it would have been better if it had never been used to create
nuclear weapons. If life on Earth is to continue, all the nuclear nations of the world
should agree to disarm as soon as possible.

N.B. The conclusion part of the IELTS Essay or IELTS Academic writing task 2 usually
begins with a special concluding phrase that links it to the rest of the essay. Notice that
a conditional sentence can be very effective in the conclusion. One reason for this is
that it can refer to what might occur as a result of your suggestions or
recommendations. Of course, you can use conditional sentences elsewhere in your
essay as well. If you do use conditionals, be sure that the construction of your
sentences is grammatically correct.
Also, in a short essay of approximately 250 words the conclusion can be just one or two
sentences long. The conclusion should briefly sum up what you have said in your essay,
and does not usually contribute a new idea, unless it is a minor point. However, it is a
good place to make recommendations or suggestions, or to give advice and offer
solutions, if you are asked to do so.

Connectors: contrast vocabulary

This lesson looks at a way to improve your essay writing skills by using a greater range
of connecting language to express contrasts. As you read, you will see that using this
language will extend the range of grammatical structures you use. This matters because
the examiner does not only look at the range of vocabulary you use, s/he also looks at
the range of grammatical structures.

Variations of Although
What you will find below are some variations of the word although a word that
everyone should be familiar with. As you read the words, make sure you look at the
examples and notes too. It is not just a question of learning a list of words, you also need
to note the grammar too.

Group 1 in spite of /despite/notwithstanding


in spite of and despite have the same meaning and grammar

notwithstanding is used in the same way as despite and in spite of it is really
quite formal though
be careful not to use despite of that is incorrect; also note that in spite of is 3
separate words
note despite and in spite of can be used with nouns and -ing forms as well as
verb forms: doing this makes use more interesting grammar
if you use a verb form with these words, you need the the fact that

Group 2 while/even though/nevertheless


all these words are used with verb forms typically they are used at the beginning
of the sentence
even though has the same grammar as although: it is just a little bit stronger
a variation of even though is even if
nevertheless and nonetheless are pretty much the same: note the spelling of
them as one word
whilecan be used to express contrast as well as time

Group 3 much as/no matter/as


much as is a very strong form of although another variation of it is however


no matter is normally followed by how and an adjective (no matter how

if you want to use as for contrast, you need to an adjective before it (harmful as
it is)

A health warning the risk/reward ratio

You do need to be a little careful here though. While there is a reward in varying your
connecting language, there is also a risk. The problem is many of these have their own
particular grammar and the danger is that you will make more errors in using them. I
strongly suggest you:

do not simply learn a list of words

look at my notes on how they are used
try the practice exercises at the bottom of the page

IELTS WRITING TASK 2 Extremely Useful

Writing IELTS essays of is a challenge to many, especially because of the word limit.
But there are some simple techniques you can easily adopt to improve your essay
writing skills.

Listed below are 7 simple sentence constructions or enrichment tips you can
effectively use to ensure a longer yet grammatically error-free essay.

1.) This essay will analyse this issue using the examples from to demonstrate
points and support arguments.
You will need to supply the examples in accordance with your particular
topic. For instance:

This essay will analyse this issue using the examples from wartime countries and
conflict zones to demonstrate points .
This essay will analyse this issue using the examples from Canada, Australia and
Rwanda to demonstrate points
2.) In injecting an opposing thought, instead of using only However, you can
use However, it should not be forgotten (that) and add the opposing point.

3.) Cite examples from researches or studies made, using the phrase,
For example, a recent study by _________ showed
For instance:
For example, a recent study by the IMF (or U.K. government) showed
then supply the details of the findings.

4.) Cite another example of a research you are referencing, using another
Take for instance a recent study by the _____ that clearly showed
For instance:
Take for instance a recent study by the U.N. (or Canadian government) that
clearly showed

5.) Instead of saying There is proof that you can say, instead:
There is ample evidence to suggest that
For instance:

There is ample evidence to suggest that scientists will promptly discover

There is ample evidence to suggest that local governments will be implementing

6.) Give your findings a supportive introduction using the phrase:

Numerous studies have consistently found that
then provide your conclusion, for instance:
Numerous studies have consistently found that children from economically
advanced countries
Numerous studies have consistently found that students who learn 3 languages
have a reduced chance of contracting Alzheimers.

7.) Instead of generalising, enumerate or cite samples. For instance:

Replace Recent electronic gadgets have with Electronic gadgets such as the
smartphone, the laptop, and the 3D printer have drastically increased worker
Replace Serious diseases are a recurring matter with Serious diseases such
as Malaria, Ebola and Dengue Fever bring about a considerable amount of

These may be little additions of 3-9 words per phrase but many little phrases
go a long way toward a 250 word goal

IELTS Writing Task 2: Useful Language

why its effective to memories phrases, not sentences, for use in the writing

Introducing the topic

Some people argue that

Have you ever considered ?

The question raises the issue of

Stating an opinion (thesis statement)

I believe that

It is my belief that

This essay will argue that

Indicating the scope of the essay

In this essay, I will state

This essay will examine

will be covered in this essay.

Giving reasons

One reason for this is that

This can be explained by

This can be attributed to the fact that

Giving further reasons

Not only that, but

A further reason is

It should also be stated that

Citing general opinions

It has been claimed that

It is widely believed that

There is a widespread belief that

Refuting opinions

I would dispute this, however.

However, this is not necessarily the case.

There are some faults with this reasoning, however.

Hedging strategies

It could be argued that

One explanation might be that

This suggests that

Strengthening an argument

There can be no doubt that

Therefore, we can say beyond any doubt that

These are just some of the reasons why

Concluding and summarising

To sum up, / In summary, / In short,

Overall, / On the whole,

To return to my original idea,

Using Examples in Writing Task 2

present a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant,
fully extended and well supported ideas
This will show you how to fully extend and support your ideas using examples.
Examples, if used properly, not only help you get higher marks for Task Response
but also for Coherence. Examples make your writing easier to understand by
illustrating points more effectively. They are also easy to write because it is much
simpler to use an example than to try and explain a complex issue.

Paragraph Structure
In order to be easy to understand a paragraph should have only one main idea. A common
mistake by IELTS students in Task 2 is thinking that if they include lots of ideas they will get
higher marks. In fact, the opposite is true. You get higher marks for developing your ideas with
explanations and examples. You dont get any extra marks for just listing lots of ideas.
Lets look at an example question:
Today people are traveling more than before. Why is this the case?
Supporting Paragraph A
I think more people are traveling because people are earning more money these days and they
can afford to travel. Additionally, flights are much cheaper than they were in the past. Moreover,
people have very stressful lives these days and need to go on holiday. Furthermore, children
expect to be taken on holiday when they are off school during the summer. Finally, it is good for
the family to spend time with one another.
The person who wrote the above paragraph thinks that the way to get a high score is to list as
many ideas as possible and show the examiner how much they know about the topic. This is
actually one of the worst things you can do because Task 2 is not a test of your knowledge, it is a

test of your academic writing ability. The paragraph above is simply a list, not a coherent,
cohesive paragraph that takes ideas and fully develops them.
Supporting Paragraph B
In the past, air tickets were only for the rich and famous because most salaries could not cover
the price of a flight to a foreign country. This meant that the majority simply stayed at home or
took their holidays domestically; however, this has all changed with the creation of budget
airlines. Low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair in Europe or Tiger Air in Asia, have meant that
anyone can save up and travel to a new country, with prices starting as low as $1.
The paragraph has only one main idea- that air travel is cheap. The author of this paragraph has
stated their main point in the first sentence, then explained what this means and how it relates to
the question and then used a specific example to illustrate their point. This is exactly what the
examiners are looking for and you should try to use the following structure to help you write
your supporting paragraphs:

Topic sentence (state your main point)

Explanation (What does your main point mean? Why have you
included it? How does it answer the question?)

Example (A specific example that illustrates your main point)

The following can be used to give examples:

For example,

For instance,

This is illustrated by.

such as.


You will notice that this is not a very long list. I have intentionally made it short for two reasons.
You are only going to have time to include 2 or 3 examples in Task 2 and you have enough new
vocabulary to learn already without trying to learn ten different ways to say For example,.
Below are some examples to show you how they are used in a sentence:

For example, thousands of Palestinians and Israelis have joined the same online groups that
show support for peace and solidarity, something that would have been impossible 25 years
For instance, Cambridge University found in a recent study that 62% of men and women who
paid for an annual gym membership failed to go entirely after just one month.
This is illustrated by the fact that in the United States you must complete four years of higher
education before you can study law.
Many sports brands, such as Adidas and Nike, pay professional athletes million of dollars to
endorse their products.
There are now a few low cost airlines in the UK, namely Ryanair and Easyjet, that offer very
affordable flights.

How to Think of Examples

One of the biggest complaints I get from students is But teacher, I can never think of an
example!. There is a very quick solution to this problem- make them up, or in other words,
create them. The examiners will never check your examples for authenticity. They do not care if
your example is real or not, just that you know how to write one.
You should obviously never do this in school or university, only the IELTS exam.
It is always better to write about a real example, but if you cant think of one use one of the
examples below:
1. The University Study
Universities do research all the time and you can use this to invent a study that supports your
main point. Lets say your main point is that using iPads and iPhones increases literacy among
young children. You could say:
For example, a recent study by Queens University found that regularly using smart phones or
tablets increased literacy rates by 28%.
2. A Government Opinion Poll

Governments often ask their citizens their opinion on various issues and you can use this to
support your main points. Lets say you get a question on whether it is better to educate children
in mixed or single-sex schools. You could say:
For instance, a recent poll by the UK Government found that 68% of people who attended
single sex schools would have preferred to have gone to a mixed school.
3. A Newspaper Report
It is also very easy to use newspaper stories to support your view. Say your question asked you to
discuss whether you think violent video games are to blame for rising levels of youth crime.
The New York Times reported in March 2015 that violent crimes committed by under 15 year
olds, such as assault, murder and rape, were linked to playing violent video games.
4. Personal Experience
You can also use experience from your own life to illustrate a point. In general you shouldnt use
personal pronouns in Task 2, but it is fine to do it here. Say you are given a question about
solutions to traffic jams. You could say:
In my local city they have installed bike lanes and places where you can safely park your bike
and this has encouraged thousands of people to stop using cars.

Avoiding Generalisations
So now you know how to structure a paragraph and how to give examples, you now need to
avoid one of the most common mistakes students make when using examples- being too general.
If you look at academic journals or books you will notice that the examples they give are as
specific as possible. This gives your points more authority and strengthens your arguments.
Below we will look at a question asking why women should receive equal pay. Our main point is
that women achieve higher grades than men at university.
Lets look at three examples:
1. For example, women achieve more than men at university.

This is a very general statement and does not really support our main point and because it is so
general, it sounds like we are just repeating the main point again.
2. For instance, most women on my university course did better than men.
This is a little better because the author has been a little more specific about which university and
which course, but there are no details so it is still a little vague.
3. For example, at Queens University in 2009 32% of female law graduates achieved First
Class Honours , while only 8% of males achieved the same.
This is a very specific example because it includes a time, place and specific numbers. Think
about it this way, if you were arguing with someone about this point and they gave you one of
the three examples above, which one would you accept? By being as specific as possible we can
add weight to our argument and give a more academic answer.
You can make your example more specific by adding:


place/business/university names

names of people


You can add these type of examples in your eassy

13,40,000 children below 5 die in a year, that is 3671 under 5 child deaths per day.

Nearly half of all child deaths under 5 in India are attributed to under nutrition.

1 in every 11 children in India is working, when they should be at school.

More than half (56%) of the under 5 deaths occur within the first 28 days of life, we work to

prevent these lives.

India accounts for more than 3 out of 10 stunted children in the world.

47% of the women in India are married when they are a child (before the age of 18), and 30%

bear a child when they are a child (adolescent mothers).

17.7 million children and adolescents are out of school in India, this is 14% of world's

population of children out of school.

20% of grade 2 children in India cannot recognize numbers 1-9; 53% of children drop out of
school at elementary level.

49.5% of grade 5 children cannot do subtraction and 55% of grade 8 children cannot solve 3

digits by 1 digit division problem; 51.09% of grade 5 children cannot read grade 2 English
and 25.4% children of grade 8 cannot read grade 2 text.


Moore's Law states that the computer chips will double in processing power
every 18 months. This has been holding true ever since Gordon Moore came
up with his law about three decades ago. Moore is one of the founders of
Intel. Eventually the laws of physics will bring an end to Moore's Law, new
chip manufacturing techniques will postpone this fact until well into the next
century. Who knows what will be invented then to prolong Moore's Law.

Energy Solar power, which relies on nanotechnology, will be cheap

enough and powerful enough to power the entire world within 20 years, says
Neuroscience Projects to reverse-engineer the brain will construct a full,
synthetic model by 2029, says Kurzweil, giving us greater insight into how
the brain thinks.
Genetics Within 10 years we will all have digital copies of our genome,
leading to medical therapies are personalized to our individual genetic

Nanotechnology As robots get smaller and smaller, we will be able

to insert them into our bodies to repair damaged or aging tissue.


Between two-thirds and three-quarters of all offences committed by young people
are committed by members of gangs or groups, which can vary from highly
structured criminal organizations to less structured street gangs. Even those young
people who commit offences alone are likely to be associated with groups.

4. Heart Disease Deaths Drop by 40 Percent in last ten years

How to Write Effective Conclusion

The conclusion is the easiest paragraph to write because in many ways you are just
using ideas you have already mentioned in your introduction and main body
paragraphs. However, this is the last thing the examiner will read and it is therefore
crucial that you finish strongly.
You will probably not have much time remaining when you are writing your conclusion
so it is very important that you practice them and learn how to write them quickly.

IELTS Conclusion Quick Tips

Never write any new ideas in your conclusion. A conclusion should always simply
restate the ideas you have in the rest of the essay. New ideas should be in the main
body and not in the conclusion.

Make sure you answer the question in the conclusion. The conclusion should state
what you think about the question and make it clear how you feel about the issue.

Vary your language. Just because you are restating the ideas you have in the rest of
your essay, doesnt mean you use the same language. Instead you show the examiner
you have a wide vocabulary by paraphrasing.

Dont try to include everything. You are not required to go into detail, you have already
done that in your main body paragraphs. Instead you will just summarise your main

Always write one. It is very difficult to get a good score in task 2 if you havent finished
your essay with a conclusion. Even if you are running out of time, make sure you write

Two sentences are enough.

Linking Phrases
First you should start with a linking phrase, but some are better than others . Here are
some examples:


In a nutshell

In general

In conclusion

To conclude

Dragging my topic towards the atom of climax

To muffle my view point

In snapshot

To crux the matter

Finally isnt really suitable because it indicates that you are making a final point and therefore a
new idea. Finally belongs in the main body of your essay, not the conclusion.
In a nutshell is too informal and we should never use it in IELTS conclusions.
In general tells the reader you are going to talk generally about a topic. This is not what we are
going to do in our conclusion and we should therefore not use it.
(All other linking phrases that are mentioned above you can use to start your conclusion. They
tell the reader exactly what the paragraph is about and they are formal.)

How to Write a Good Conclusion

There are two elements to a good conclusion:

Restating the main points of your essay

Varying your vocabulary by paraphrasing

Luckily we have already stated our main points in the introduction, so all we have to do
is look back at the conclusion and paraphrase this.Lets look at some examples:

It is argued that students should be taught real life skills, like how to look after
money. This essay agrees that they should be part of the curriculum.
The essay will first discuss how everyday competencies benefit people later in
life and then talk about the dangers of not being taught how to manage money at
an early age.
It is an effective introduction by doing three things:

Paraphrasing the question

Stating my opinion

Outlining what I will talk about in the rest of the essay or in other words, the main
points Im using to support my opinion.

In conclusion, this essay supports the idea that teenagers ought to be taught
functional subjects like financial planning because it helps them in adulthood
and a lack of education related to these topics can have serious consequences.
So all opinion is restated in this conclusion and main supporting points are included.
However, simple words are not used and synonyms and paraphrasing are used to
vary the language.
Here are the paraphrases
This essay supports- This essay agrees
should- ought to
students- teenagers

functional subjects- real life skills

look after money- financial planning
later in life- adulthood
dangers- serious consequences

Lets look at another example:

Contemporary advances have a serious effect on the planet. While I appreciate that critics may
hope that people will shun the latest developments, I believe that technology itself can give us
an answer. This essay will first discuss how not using electronics is unfeasible, followed by a
discussion of how science is now coming up with ways to reverse global warming and pollution.
This introduction does three basic things:
Paraphrases the question
States opinion
Outlines what the essay will discuss

In conclusion, this essay acknowledges that technological progress does jeopardise the
planet, but cutting-edge discoveries can actually halt and even heal this destruction.

Adding a Prediction or Recommendation to Our Conclusion

We can also add a prediction (what we think will happen) or a recommendation (what we think
should happen) to our conclusion.
This is totally optional how to write these because it allows them to write something at
the end of the essay if they are worried about not making it to 250 words.
Here are my two previous conclusions with one added sentence:
In conclusion, this essay supports the idea that teenagers ought to be taught functional
subjects like financial planning because it helps them in adulthood and a lack of education
related to these topics can have serious consequences. It is recommended that governments
make this a compulsory part of the education system.
In conclusion, this essay acknowledges that technological progress does jeopardise the planet,
but cutting-edge discoveries can actually halt and even heal this destruction. It
is predicted that climate change will be successfully tackled with such inventions.

Sample answers for 7 main

types of essays
1.Agree/ disagree
Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and
crimes of violence increase. Capital punishment is essential to control violence in
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Model Answer
Nowadays, crime rates is accelerating day-by-day according to many surveys. To rein this
situation, there should be a mechanism in place like jail for lifetime and death penalty based
upon the crime severity. Government should enforce such laws to create a high alert around the
society and endorse a secure ruling to its people.
Many incidents are the best example for imbalanced society values in the recent days. Those
are like killing own mother or planned to murder best friend due to immaturity. If there is no
mechanism to stop such kind of incidents would severely impact the society livelihood. Hence,
capital punishment is mandatory to implicate a fear among the people who create such violence
and which ensures the peaceful life among communities.
In fact, I believe death penalty is the only way to punish the criminals as they commit serious
crimes which directly aid in controlling the violence at least to some extent. For instance,
recently group of five men brutally raped and murdered a woman in the broad daylight. Due to
that, high court had punished death penalty to that group which has created a sensation as the
capital punishment is very rare in my country and social volunteers said crime rate is gradually
decreasing after that incident. Thus, violence is effectively controlled if the capital punishment is
endorsed within a society.
In some society, the crime is so violent and severer that the government and the law enforcing
authority have to handle that strictly. As a result they do not have any alternative other than
imposing capital punishment. Capital punishment gives a message that, you wont be given any
second chance if you commit a serious crime like murdering someone. This message is strongly
needed in some society to control the crime rate. Without capital punishment, you cant ensure
that the same criminal wont commit the crime again. You cant actually control the crime and
severe law breaking with the minor punishment in all of the countries. The theme that someone
who murdered another human will regret someday and after few years would lead a dignified
and free life when the relatives and family members of the victim would remorse forever. What
punishment you have in plan if someone is a psychopathic killer and is out of redemption? Minor
punishment and reformation facility? This does not just make sense.

To summarize, capital punishment is important to bring down the crime ratio and to also provide
the secured life. Otherwise, ambience in the society will disturb which is not recommended for
the common man. Hence, it is advisable to imply such punishment which leads peaceful life with
less violence in these days and also in the future.

2.Advantages and disadvantages

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of three of the following as media for
communicating information. State which three you consider the most effective.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own
knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.

Model Answer
In our daily life, we communicate information through lots of different media like: internet,
television, radio, books, cell phone, film etc. We are living in such a time when information is
one of the most important issues and the information technologies as well as the communication
media greatly influence our lives. The rapid-growing websites and TV channels are many of few
little examples how media are spreading to make information easily accessible. All the media for
information interchange have advantages and disadvantages and not all can attract all types of
audiences. Comics, books, radios, televisions, film and theater are all very powerful media for
communicating information. In my opinion books, televisions and film among those
aforementioned six media are most effective.
Books are the witness of history and the main source from which we gain knowledge. From very
ancient period till now books are working as the light-house for our society. In our early age, we
gather most of our knowledge, skills from books. It opens new horizons in front of us. The writer
writes down their experiences, imaginations, knowledge, explanation etc. about each and every
issue of our lives. Books are the long lasting protocol to make a bridge among writers and
However, all are not happy to read books. They expect something easier and more vivid. Music,
radios, films etc. are more appealing to them. Television is another powerful media. Watching
television is a part of our daily lives. Most of the people who have a TV set, watch programs,
news etc. with apt attention. It is a strong medium for Government and other organizations to
send their messages to the mass population. Program representatives also broad cast the
people's view and opinions about different controversial issues in TV programs. However, this
medium has lots of demerits and bad impacts. Government and politically biased organizations

often send negative and misleading news. Again young people watch different satellite channels
and try to adopt the alien culture which is really harmful for the culture and tradition of a country.
Films are audio-visual representation and can catch the attention of people from different
geographical locations, races and cultures. A good film can shape someone's morality and
doctrine and the film-makers with their huge amount of money, are so careful to make their films
realistic and eye-absorbing. Every film has a direct or potential message or moral. On the
contrary, some films also bring a wrong message to us. For example, protagonists are always
smoking in the films and it seems that smoking is a good and smart habit. It causes many
younger people imitate them smoking.
In conclusion, I would like to some up that books, televisions and films are the most powerful
and effective medias for communicating information

3.Discuss both views plus opinion

Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs
and behaviour. Others disagree and think that the host country should welcome
cultural differences.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Sample Answer
Nowadays the tourism industry is growing at a tremendous speed. Due to the boom in transport
industries and holiday packages, people often travel other countries for holidays and on official
trips. There is a debate ongoing on whether the visitors from other nationality should follow local
customs and behaviors during their stay in host countries. I will discuss this in below
Firstly, when the foreigners visit other countries they carry their culture along with them. But,
during their stay in host countries if they adopt the local customs, it will be helpful for them to get
better communication with the local people. Meanwhile, when they adjust themselves to the
local people's behavior, it will make them easier to socialize with them. Also, this will help local
people to better understand the foreigners.
Secondly, this will help the foreigner to have a good idea about local cultures and rituals. This
understating helps our culture to spread globally, thereby more and more people get attracted
toward the local culture. This in turn attracts number of visitors from different country's to visit.
This will help in increasing the tourism industry and also helps in giving employment opportunity
in the related industries.
On the other hand, when the foreigners share their culture and behavior with the local people it
gives an opportunity to local people for better understanding of their culture and characters. This
will have immense influence on local people's opinion about foreigners and their culture. Also,
this helps them to identify the negative aspects of their culture and gives them an opportunity to
correct it.
To sum up, by considering the above benefits, I personally believe that the balanced exchange
of cultures and behavior of foreigners with local people will benefit both the countries to come

together and calm down if there are any frictions between the countries. Also, this will have a
positive impact on the economy of both countries.

4.Discuss two views only/Without opinion

Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we really do not
need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our
Which viewpoint do you agree with?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own
knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer
I agree with the viewpoint that advertising anchorages us to buy things that we really do not
need. Another word for advertisement is a tool of marketing strategy. To introduce their
product or services or to promote their product or services this advertisement will highly useful.
If we have never seen an advertisement of a product and first time see that product in the
market, we never want to buy. That is, we do not like to just try. If we have already seen that
product in the advertisement, we may want to buy it and see how it works. That is by seeing an
advertisement over and over again, we indirectly become familiar with that product before we
buy and use it. To make us familiar with the products, the product owners make sure we watch
their advertisements again and again.
In the advertisement, they show only the advantages of the product. That is an advantage for
the marketers, but a disadvantage for the customers. While the marketing people encourage us
to buy the things, we need to identify its disadvantages only after experiencing the product or
Some products are really essential for our life while some are not at all essential. Sometimes we
purchase products that are optional for us. We may experience a new detergent powder since it
was telecasted several times. This is the insisting part of advertisements on customers mind.
Each customer is different. All are not same. Same product will not convince all the public.
Some products target children, kinder joy, chocolates, toys, cartoon products and etc. Even
though parents know that a product is not good for their children, but they are insisted in buying
the product by the children. Children get attracted to a product after they see the advertisement
on television. Finally, I would conclude, that advertising encourages us to buy things that we
really do not need.

5.Problematic essay /causes and

The world is
experiencing a dramatic increase in population, This is causing
problems not only for poor, undeveloped countries, but also for
industrialised and developing nations.
Describe some of the problems that overpopulation causes, and
suggestat least one possible solution.
You should write at least 250 words.
Model Answer

For the past few decades, planet earth is observing a significant rise in world
population which is very alarming. Substantial increase in population is also causing
problems in growing countries. This essay will explain some of the problems caused
by over population and will recommend few possible remedies to overcome this
The very first problem caused by over population is in providing basic necessities of
life to inhabitants. Governments finds it very hard to provide adequate food and
water to residents, provide quality educational services and faces problems in
facilitating proper health services both in urban and rural areas. For instance, in
India more than 70% people lives below the poverty line. Moreover, overpopulation
destroys the ecosystem of the society.
Another cause due to increase in population is that governments and administrators
of the emergent countries fails to arrange proper public services. This includes
logistics, mass transit system, power generation and arranging housing for people
in overcrowded cities. For instance, people in Pakistan are facing crisis in energy
sector and public transport system due to overpopulation. This also gives rise to
unemployment which results in increased crime rate.
There are few remedies to over this acute problem. One of them is through having
awareness programs for families to control birth rate. For instance, family health
workers in Sindh created a huge impact in rural areas by educating families about
the issues caused by overpopulation. Government should also put in place strong
policies and high tax rate on families having more than two children
To conclude, overpopulation causes problem in health, academic and other public
services domain and place huge burden on the government. If the problem
continues to grow without having proper control of it, many more people will die due
to starvation in poor countries and life in growing countries will become increasingly

6.Two questions/two part questions

There are many different types of music in the world today.

Why do we need music?

Is the traditional music of a country more important than the International music
that is heard everywhere nowadays?
You should write at least 250 words.
Model Answer
Globalization and information technologies made wonderful changes in music. Most of the
music are internationally famous even if it in a particular language. There are strong reasons
behind the importance of traditional music and modern music. However I believe that country
music is more important for everyone than the world music because it shows culture and dignity
of each country.
Firstly, music has a vital role in everyones life. Some people hear the music for their happiness
but for others in their sorrows because some kinds of songs have psychological impact and it
can change their mood. Secondly in many vocations like marriage, festivals and cultural
programs music have an inevitable part. For example: in some regions of India having a culture
of using songs for their funeral. Not only that, new researches have shown that music have a
curing effect for some kind of physical and mental illness.
When thinking about the values of traditional and international music, country music is used for
most of the cultural activities and festivals but international music used only in some occasions
like club functions and parties. Traditional music shows the cultures, meaning and value a
society or country. In the same way it shows the history of the people. Most of the music is
meaningful. For instances, some festivals in India, like Onam, Deepavali, having its own
songs .People use this songs only in this occasions.
In view of international music, it can use only for happiness. Most of the songs are fast track
music. It is using in birthday parties and disco clubs. People are not even think about its words
or meaning. They dance according to the beats of songs.
To conclude, music has its own value. Songs are measured according to its importance. Even
people are living in abroad they will not forget their own traditional music because it shows their
culture and believes. So in my opinion traditional music is more important than global music.

Children should never be educated at home by their parents. What is your opinion?
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Model Answer
In most countries children attend school and only in rare cases are educated by their parents in
a home schooling situation. While I accept that this might work well for some families, I
believe that a school can generally provide children with a better education.
In my view, the most important point is to ensure the overall quality of education for all students.

Not only is it impractical for working parents to find sufficient time to teach their children, but
they are not pedagogical and subject experts like teachers are. Additionally, in a school a given
curriculum and regular tests ensure children learn all the required skills. Parents might be more
biased when judging their own childrens skills.
Furthermore, a school can provide equal opportunities to all children in getting a solid education
and a balanced view of the world. Some parents might be excellent at teaching, while others are
less ambitious or unfairly disadvantage some children. Similarly, children with special
education needs, like being dyslexic, may need the help of an expert more easily available at a
school. Finally, some parents have extreme or political views and leaving education to them
would deprive children of the chance to explore different views. Children must be given the
chance to form their own opinion.
Another important consideration is that attending a school is a social learning experience. When
being home schooled, children miss out on having to find their place in a group of peers, an
important learning experience for their future. Despite the fact that parents are important role
models for their children, teachers can play a crucial role in helping children explore their talents
and interests.
In conclusion, while I think parents play a major role in their childrens education, schools have
overall proven themselves to provide the better and more balanced education.





Item of publicity to promote a product or service in newspapers,

magazines, on TV, etc.


Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - the aim of all advertising.

Signboard for advertising posters.
organised course or plan of action.
Average number of copies of newspapers or magazines sold over a period
of time.
Small advertisements in newspapers or magazines, divided into
Advertisement on radio or television.
Something that particularly attracts one's attention.
Advertising for a whole sector, such as tourism, rather than a specific
Excessive or intensive publicity; exaggerated claims made in advertising.
Catchy tune, with a short simple rhyme, used to promote a product.
To start an action in order to introduce something (e.g. a new product).
The main means of mass communication (newspapers, TV and radio).

classified ads
generic advertising
mass media

Sound bite
blue collar

call it a day


easy come,
easy go

go the extra mile

hands are tied

Use advertising and publicity to try to increase sales of a product.

Phrase used to advertise a product, or to identify a company or
Short extract from a recorded interview or speech.
Newspaper printed in small format, usually with a lot of photographs.
Unique Selling Proposition; a declaration of what makes a product
"ASAP" is an acronym for "as soon
as possible."
A "blue collar worker" is someone
who works with his hands
(manufacturing, construction,
maintenance, etc.). The opposite is a
"white collar worker." A white collar
worker is someone who works in an
office (customer service,
management, sales, etc.). "Blue
collar" (and "white collar") can also
be used to describe a job, position,
or a place.
To "call it a day" means to decide to
stop working for the day.
"Cut-throat" is used to describe
something that is very intense,
aggressive, and merciless.
"Easy come, easy go," is an
expression used to communicate
that something gained easily is also
lost easily. We often use this
expression after something has been
To "go the extra mile" means to do
more than what people expect.

Someone's "hands are tied" if they

do not have control over a situation.

I need to finish these reports. My

boss needs them ASAP.
It's a blue collar town with a lot of
farmers and factory workers.

Well, John, it's 7:00 and I'm getting

hungry. How about we call it a
In business school, the
competition was cut-throat.
A lot of people who inherit money
waste it on stupid things. I guess
it's easy come, easy go.

We go the extra mile for our

customers. If someone is
dissatisfied with a purchase, we
refund their money and offer them
a discount on their next purchase.
I would love to get you a job at my
company, but my hands are tied.
Management isn't hiring any


situation (or nowin situation)

pink slip
put all one's
eggs in one
red tape


uphill battle

white collar

A legal "loophole" occurs if a law is

unclear or omits information. This
lack of legal clarity allows people or
corporations to pay less in taxes or
gain some other advantage.
A "lose-lose situation" is when there
will be a negative outcome
regardless of what decision is made.

Someone who gets the "pink slip,"

has been fired by their employer.
To "put all one's eggs in one basket,"
means to rely on only one thing to
bring success.
"Red tape" refers to excessive rules,
procedures, and regulations that
make it difficult to accomplish
something. We usually use "red
tape" to talk about government
requirements that create difficult,
time-consuming barriers for people
and businesses.
"Round the clock" means 24 hours a
Something that is difficult to achieve
because of obstacles and difficulties
is an "uphill battle."
A "white collar worker" is someone
who works in an office (customer
service, management, sales, etc.).
The opposite of a white collar worker
is a "blue collar worker." A blue collar
worker is someone who works with
his hands (manufacturing,
construction, maintenance, etc.).
"White collar" (and "blue collar") can
also be used to describe a job,

additional employees this year.

Some people complain that
millionaires avoid paying taxes by
finding loopholes in tax laws.

It's a lose-lose situation. If they lay

off more workers, they'll get bad
press. If they don't lay off more
workers, they won't be able to
They gave him the pink slip. He
wasn't performing very well.
It's not good to only invest in the
stock market. You don't want to put
all your eggs in one basket.
The new law is going to create a
lot of red tape, and we're going to
have to pay our lawyers a lot more

We have round-the-clock
production at all our manufacturing
Winning the election is going to be
an uphill battle. He doesn't have
much support at the moment.
There are mostly manufacturing
positions here. There aren't many
white-collar jobs.

win-win situation

position, or place.
A "win-win situation" is a situation
where everyone involved gains

We were happy to get the contract,

and they were happy to get such a
good price. It was a win-win

Model Answer:
Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we really do
not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may
improve our lives.
Which viewpoint do you agree with?
I agree with the viewpoint that advertising anchorages us to buy things that we really do not
need. Another word for advertisement is a tool of marketing strategy. To introduce their
product or services or to promote their product or services this advertisement will highly useful.
If we have never seen an advertisement of a product and first time see that product in the
market, we never want to buy. That is, we do not like to just try. If we have already seen that
product in the advertisement, we may want to buy it and see how it works. That is by seeing an
advertisement over and over again, we indirectly become familiar with that product before we
buy and use it. To make us familiar with the products, the product owners make sure we watch
their advertisements again and again.
In the advertisement, they show only the advantages of the product. That is an advantage for
the marketers, but a disadvantage for the customers. While the marketing people encourage us
to buy the things, we need to identify its disadvantages only after experiencing the product or
Some products are really essential for our life while some are not at all essential. Sometimes we
purchase products that are optional for us. We may experience a new detergent powder since it
was telecasted several times. This is the insisting part of advertisements on customers mind.
Each customer is different. All are not same. Same product will not convince all the public.
Some products target children, kinder joy, chocolates, toys, cartoon products and etc. Even
though parents know that a product is not good for their children, but they are insisted in buying
the product by the children. Children get attracted to a product after they see the advertisement
on television. Finally, I would conclude, that advertising encourages us to buy things that we
really do not need.



dine in: dine at home. We're dining in tonight.

dine out: dine at a restaurant. We're dining out tonight.

fussy eater: someone who is very picky about the food and doesn't eat
everything. My husband is a fussy eater, and he's never pleased with my

home-cooked food: food cooked at home, usually implies that food is

healthy. Preparing home-cooked food is a good way to make a balanced

Italian cuisine: traditional Italian food. You can also say French cuisine,
Russian cuisine, Chinese cuisine and so on. I adore pasta, pizza and Italian
cuisine in general.

mouth-watering: delicious, appetizing.

my mouth is watering: that is to say you find something very appetizing.

People use this expression when they see/smell food that looks very
delicious. My mouth is watering every time I think about my grandmother's
apple pie.

nutritious products: products rich in calories. A nutritious breakfast is a

great way to start the day, as it gives your body the nutrients and you get
enough energy.

processed food: food that has been modified in an undesirable or unhealthy

way to achieve its current state. Try to avoid processed foods like flavored
nuts and cereal bars. It is much healthier to eat organic food.

ready meal: a meal that you buy already cooked, which only requires
reheating to be eaten. I had no desire to cook, so I bought a ready meal in a
nearby supermarket.

restrain one's hunger: to avoid eating when you really want to. Usually
practiced during diets. John couldn't restrain his hunger anymore and went
to the nearest fast-food restaurant.

slap-up meal: a quick and fatty meal. To slap up means to cook something
very quickly. I feel like making a slap-up meal tonight.

starving hungry: to be extremely hungry. I woke up starving hungry

yesterday and ate the whole roast chicken.

take-away: a meal prepared in a caf/restaurant and eaten at home. I'm

going to ring the Japanese restaurant and order a takeaway.

to be dying of hunger: an exaggerated way of saying you are really

hungry. I haven't eaten all day. I'm dying of hunger!

to be ravenous (to have ravenous appetite): to be really hungry,

starving, voracious. After working all day, I had a ravenous appetite.

to eat a balanced diet: to eat correctly and in time.

to follow a recipe: to cook a meal using instructions. Although she had

never cooked a jugged hare before, she followed a recipe and made a
fantastic meal.

to grab a bite to eat: to eat something quickly. I won't eat the whole cake,
just let me grab a bite to eat.

to have a sweet tooth: to enjoy eating sweet food. Dave eats candy all the
time. He must have a sweet tooth.

to spoil your appetite: to do something that would hinder your desire to

eat. Stop talking about the snails, you're spoiling my appetite!

to tuck into: to eat something greedily and with pleasure. After not eating
the whole day, he tucked into the ham like a savage.

to wine and dine: to banquet, to "entertain with good food". If you wine
and dine someone, you usually take him out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
The company wined and dined us, hoping to convince us we should accept
the job.

Food Idioms:

Apple of his eye - A favorite

As busy as popcorn on a skillet - Very active

As easy as apple pie - Something simple
As flat as a pancake - Very flat
As hungry as a bear - Very hungry
As nutty as a fruitcake - Crazy
As slow as molasses in January - Very slow
As sour as vinegar - Disagreeable
As sweet as honey - Very sweet
As thick as pea soup - Very thick
As warm as toast - Very warm
Bad apple - Bad person
Bear fruit - Get results
Big cheese - Important person
Big enchilada - Important thing or person
Bite off more than you can chew - Try to do more than you
can handle

Bite the hand that feeds you - Act badly to someone who
helps you

Sample answer
Recent research shows that the consumption of junk food is a major factor in poor
diet and this is detrimental to health. Some people believe that better health
education is the answer to this problem but others disagree. What is your opinion?
A serious concern nowadays is how our eating habits can affect our health. In particular, it has
been demonstrated that eating too much junk food can lead to health issues later in life. One
sensible suggestion for dealing this is to improve the level of health education so that we eat
better and live longer. My belief though is this would not completely solve the problem.
One reason why focusing on health education is an appropriate measure is that it addresses
one underlying cause of the problem. It is clear that there is a connection between what people
know about nutrition and their eating habits. For example, children who have learned in school
about the need to have a varied diet with plenty of vitamins tend to eat more healthily. In
contrast, people who have not had this education still eat too much junk food and as a result
suffer from diabetes and other diseases.
Better health education, however, is not a complete answer as it ignores the wider social factors
that cause people to eat unhealthily. For instance, many people eat fast food because they have
a lifestyle that means they do not have time to sit down to a proper meal. Again, other people
might eat burgers and pizzas because they are seen to be cool and they want to impress their
There would not appear to be any simple way to deal with these social factors. A difficulty is that
it is very hard for governments to make a difference to the individual choices people make. It
might help, however, to ban advertisements for unhealthy foods on television and to require
companies to provide proper meal facilities for their employees.
My conclusion is that the government certainly ought to introduce measures to improve the level
of health education. However, this probably would not be a perfect solution as it would also be
necessary to deal with the other social factors that cause unhealthy




Drug abuse = drug addiction, misuse, habit

Drugs = heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, narcotics, hallucinogens, marijuana, cannabis,

ecstasy, prescription drugs, hard drugs, recreational drugs, soft drugs, illegal substances
Drug user = addict = victims of drug abuse = users
Drugs = illegal substances
Smuggling = trafficking
Dealing = selling, pushing,
Dealer = pusher, trafficker
Common = widespread, rife, prevalent, ubiquitous
Solution = solve
Society = country, nation, communities, modern world
Problem = concern, worry, fear, cause of anxiety
Becoming = developing, happening, occurring, prevalent, widespread, increasing, growing,
affecting us all

Relating to using illegal drugs

noun a strong need that someone feels to regularly take an illegal or harmful drug
noun informal an occasion when the police go into a place to search it
for illegal goods or activities, especially those relating to drugs
cold turkey
noun informal the unpleasant physical effects that someone feels when they suddenly stop
taking a drug that they are addicted to
noun an unpleasant physical and mental feeling that someone gets when
an illegal drug stops affecting them
crack den
noun a place where people go to buy and use the illegal drug crack
drug abuse
noun the use of illegal or dangerous drugs
drug czar
noun an official employed by a national government to try to stop the trade in illegal drugs
drug squad
noun british the part of the police force whose job is to try to stop the trade in illegal drugs
noun too much of a drug that someone takes at one time
verb to help someone to give up drugs or alcohol, so that they can return to
a healthy, independent, and useful life
solvent abuse
noun the dangerous habit of breathing in the gas from substances like glue in order to feel good
withdrawal symptoms
noun the unpleasant physical and mental effects suffered by someone who stops taking a
substance that they are addicted to, especially a drug

Drugs Idioms
"a bitter pill to swallow"
an unpleasant fact, disappointment, or humiliation that is difficult to endure

"to fall off the wagon"

to begin drinking alcohol after a period of abstinence
"to hit the bottle
to start drinking alcohol heavily and for an extended period of time, usually but not always,
as a compensation for misfortune in life
" to be on the wagon"
to be in the process of not drinking alcohol usually due to an addiction problem
"to smoke like a chimney"
to smoke very many cigarettes (or other tobacco products)
"to be up to snuff"
to be as good as something or someone needs to be;
to meet a minimum standard or level of quality

Model Answer
People in all modern societies use drugs, but todays youth are experimenting with both legal
and illegal drugs, and at an early age. Some sociologists claim that parents and other members
of society often set a bad example. Discuss the cause and effects of widespread drug abuse by
young people. Make any recommendations you feel are necessary to help fight youth drug
It is a fact that most people in this modern era consume drugs either because doctors prescribe
them or they take the medicines themselves. But it is noticed that the young people are
consuming both legal and illegal drugs from an early age and this is indeed a concerning issue
in today's society. Some experts believe that it is the fault of the parents and others members of
communities that shows an inappropriate example. Easy access of drugs is another problem
that accelerates the depth of this concerning issue. The following essay will discuss about the
causes, effects and solutions that can be considered to resolve the issue.
For a number of reasons, many young generations are using legal and illegal drugs nowadays.
Firstly, many teenagers are taking drugs due to the fact that they want relieved from the family
problems. One of the examples is that their parents' marriage might not be working out well and
could be in a divorce stage. These teens are stressed out with bad family condition and the way
to release it for them is to consume drugs. Secondly, many young people are using drugs
because they live in an unsafe neighborhood. They live in a society where as most of the adults
are consuming drugs and drug dealers are moving around in the area. They could be friends
with drug users and dealers, and in the end they will also consume the drugs. Curiosity and lack
of proper guideline are the two other reasons many young decline towards drug use. Most
interestingly in many modern societies abusing drugs has become a fashion trend and many
young simply follow this trend and as a consequence get trapped. Easy access to drugs in
many countries and lack of monitoring by the authority lead to drug abuse by many young.
Many young people are abusing drugs and this results in serious problems. One of the effects is
that these drugs are affecting their brain and mental conditions. Without consuming the drugs,
they cannot think clearly and they would act like a paranoid without proper care. Another serious
effect is that some of these young people might not have enough money to purchase the drug,
but as they are addicted to it, they would do anything to get it. They might steal things, become
a thief or even rob a store. The overall impact of this in a society is quite dangerous and the

young who are meant to lead the society in the future are simply destroying their potential.
There are several things that people and government could do to resolve the issue. The
government could make a campaign about how to raise young people and how to maintain
marriage. These campaigns must be socialized to all family, and shows the impact of a bad
marriage to young people. And then the government should also give more attention to high
crime areas. Drug dealers must be arrested and drug users must be punished and sentenced to
jail. By implementing these solutions, it is hoped that it will reduce the number of young people
who consume drugs.


Child Labor - The employment of children below a certain age, this employment is considered to be illegal
the nation the age may change but the concept is still the same, abuse and manipulation of children for che
Industrial Revolution - when a non modernized nation begins to export a great deal of goods, this causes
country to industries such as textiles and steel in cities. This brings economic growth to the nation but also
creates the need for child labor in many industries.

Domestic Labor - Menial tasks completed by low paid temporary workers who do chores around the emplo
complete domestic labor and are treated much like servants or slaves by their employer.

Servitude - When one's life is pre determined, their actions are regulated and experience little to none free

Child Labor Law - A federal law that regulates the age at which a child is able to begin working or earn a jo
to nation, it also protects children from working under harmful conditions.

Third World Country - A nation whose society has a large gap between rich and poor, the middle class is a
world nations face child labor issues because of the lower class' desperate need for work and capital, this fo
children in dangerous conditions in order to survive.

Off-shoring - The movement aspects of a business to foreign nations due to lower wages. A business will
nations with common child labor in order to exploit the low wages and increase profits. This action is one o

Sweatshop - An unhealthy factory where employees work under inhumane hours and conditions. Most chi
sweatshops due to their low expense, these factories can cause health problems later on in life.

Supply and Demand - An economic term referring to the global markets reaction to the consumers desires
product, that company must supply it if they wish to make a profit. Many businesses make more profits by p
products with cheap child labor, the less that it costs to make the product the less the cost will be and the m

Bootblack a person who shines or cleans shoes

Cannery - a factory for the canning of foods

Coal Breakers - a machine or person for breaking mined coal into smaller
pieces. Also, the place where coal is broken
Cotton mill - a building or collection of buildings with machinery for
manufacturing cotton into products or the raw materials to make
Indus tries - a department or branch of a craft, art, business, or
manufacture; especially: one that employs a large personnel and capital
especially in manufacturing
Manufacturer - an employer of workers who make products
Mill - a building or collection of buildings with machinery for manufacturing
cotton products
Newsstand a street shop where newspapers are sold
Prohibit to forbid by authority; to prevent from doing something
Regulate - to bring under the control of law Seam of
Survival - continuation of life or existence
Vendor a person who sells things or services

Labour of love: A labour of love is a project or task undertaking for the interest or
pleasure in doing it rather than the reward, financial or otherwise.
Lap of the gods: If something is in the lap of the gods, it is beyond our control
and fate will decide the outcome.
Laugh a minute: Someone who is a laugh a minute is very funny.
Lay down the law: If someone lays down the law, they tell people what to do and
are authoritarian.
Learn the ropes: If you are learning the ropes, you are learning how to do
Left in the dark: If you are left in the dark about something, you aren't given the
information that you should have.
Lend an ear: If you lend an ear, you listen to what someone has to say. ('Lend
your ear' is an alternative form.)
Leopard can't change its spots: This idiom means that people cannot change
basic aspects of their character, especially negative ones. ("A leopard doesn't
change its spots" is also used.)
Luck of the draw: To have the 'Luck of the draw' is to win something in a
competition where the winner is chosen purely by chance.

Sample Answer

In many countries children are engaged in some kind of paid work. Some
people regard this as completely wrong, while others consider it as
valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibility.
What are your opinions in this issue?
In the last few years life has become really tough for many people and because of the ever
increasing living expenses some people send their children to earn to lessen the load. In some
cases, children of fatherless families have no other choice but to start working for living and
supporting the family.
In fact, children's going to work has become a very common issue that has been discussed by
many human rights organizations. In my opinion, the young children must be brought up on to
be responsible and be able to face the difficulties of life and hence they should start working
from the early ages.
I strongly recommend the tradition of working of children who are not intending to participate in
academic institutions, those who want to work in trade and business, carpentry, blacksmithing or
any other craft related jobs. It's very useful to be engaged in paid work from the early age as it
would increase the skill and experience they need to run a successful business. Imagine that a
young child whose parents want him to the run the family business as a blacksmith and send
him to school to have good education, and cant support the expense, would actually do more
harm than good to the children. Eventually he would become more frustrated and wont be able
to run the business the way he should have been.
So why go to school and university if your parents cant afford it? In my belief, it's less expensive
and more effective to learn this craft works from the young age by going to learn and work
practically, and that of course will give him valuable experience. On the other hand, working
from the early age teaches people to become more responsible and practical. We might go
against the idea of child labour in first world country but the scenarios in a third world country is
completely different. In those countries there are thousands of families where children are the
primary earner. The country cant ensure the education and living of these families and hence
they do not have the right to abolish the early childhood working trends.
However, I am not with the idea of children's work in all the circumstances, but in certain
situations as I have illustrated. If the child is looking forward to having a good profession in a
large organization, I don't think that going to early work is a good idea.


blow the competition away: win easily the competition.

After training for seven years, he blew the baseball competition away.
*fitness program: a timetable of activities to keep you in a good shape.
keep-fit exercises: exercises that help you to keep your body in a good

sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sport. I chose

this gym because it offers a wide range of sports facilities.

strength-training strategy: set of exercises to build muscles. My dad

advised me a wonderful strength-training strategy.

strenuous exercise: exercise that needs a lot of physical effort.It is

recommended to drink a lot of water after strenuous exercises.

to be keen to do smth (to be keen on doing smth): to be very

interested in doing something. I'm keen on cycling.

to be out of condition (to be out of shape): to be in bad physical

condition, to lose strength. Lily hasn't been training for years, she is out of
condition now.

to get into shape: to become fit. Paul started training in gym because he
wanted to get into shape.

to keep fit: to stay in a good shape. I practise dancing to keep fit.

to take up doing smth: to start doing something new (usually sport).I took
up dancing last week.

to warm up: to perform light exercises to prepare for a hard workout. A

good warm-up readies your body for a hard training.

to work out: to exercise in gym.

trial-and-error method: a method of reaching a solution by trying various

means until you succeed. I learned swimming by trial-and-error method,
trying different moves until I figured out how to float on water.

workout : session of exercises in gym. You can do a workout for chest, for
legs, for losing weight etc. My trainer suggested me a workout for abdominal

1. Totake up exercise: to start doing exercise
say Im going to take up exercise all the time, but I always find an excuse to delay.
2. To train hard: to train with a lot of effort
An athletic has to train hard to achieve their goal.
3. A big/huge/massive fan of: supporter or admirer who really like something
I am a huge fan of football, and my favorite club is Real Marid.

Sport Phrasal verbs

to warm up

To do movements/stretching to get your muscles/body ready for exercise

To cool down

To do movements/stretching after your main exercise to get it back to normal

To join in

To take part in a sporting event or match

To give up

To surrender/quit

To drop out

To leave a competition or race

To knock someone To beat someone in competition so they are no longer in it /To hit someone in a boxing match so
that they become unconscious
To bulk up

To gain weight and muscle

To work out

To do exercise routines/sessions

Sport idioms
Fresh as a daisy
Someone who is lively and attractive, in a clean, fresh way.
My sister has been travelling for almost 24 hours, and shes still as fresh as a daisy.
Couch potato
Spending too much time on the internet or watching TV.
My uncle is such a couch potato! He often spends his Saturdays watching America football on
Full of beans
A person who is lively, active and healthy.
My 6 year old nephew is full of beans! He has more energy than three adults.
A bad egg
Someone who is untrustworthy.
Hey, Sue, I think your neighbour is a bad egg. He has these scary looking guys in black leather
hanging around his place all the time.
Down to earth
Someone who is practical and realistic.
My aunt Karen is so down to earth. She can figure out any difficult situation, and offer a good
Eager beaver
A person who is hardworking and enthusiastic

My colleague drives me crazy! She is such an eager beaver that she always volunteers for
Get a head start
Start before all others.
Lets get up early tomorrow to get a head start on our drive to Toronto.
Give it my best shot
Try your hardest.
This test question is really tough! Ill give it my best shot, and Ill get some marks for doing my

Model Answer
Successful sports professionals can earn a great de1al more money than
people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully
justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give
your own opinion.
Star athletes like LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and Manny Pacquiao
receive multi-million dollar contracts which are exponentially more
than what other important professionals are paid. This has led to
controversy over whether this is justified and fair. Although I can
understand why some people feel this is unfair,1 I feel professional
athletes are justified in receiving this pay.
No one can deny that there are many people who provide much
more meaningful services that directly help or impact individuals
and communities. People such as teachers, caregivers and
healthcare workers affect so many people by making their lives
better and comfortable. Despite their hard work and valuable
service, they unfortunately arent paid the same exorbitant wages
as sport professionals, which seems unfair.
On the other hand, salary unfortunately does not always reflect the
importance, need or value of a job. In fact, salary more often
reflects how much money the employer or the business can pay.
Professional athletes are part of the billion-dollar sports and
entertainment industry that plays a large part in the economy. A lot
of consumers choose to pay money for pro sports and related
products, so the team owners have the money to pay these players
huge sums. Therefore, its justified that these players get their
share of the profits. To put this in perspective, elderly adults who
need caregivers do not have a lot of money to pay their caregivers,
and so caregivers earn little.

n short, the large sums of money that sports professionals receive

is justified because they are earning that money from their
employers by doing their jobs of entertaining and raising profits for
their employers.
(273 words)

Vocabulary/expressions to take note of:

to put this in perspective
no one can deny

others words used for a lot of money: huge sums, exorbitant

wages, large sums of money, multi-million dollar contracts, profits

Animals Life

Algae - simple green water plant which often covers rocks, sticks and other
plants with a slimy coating or strands
Altricial - animals born with their eyes closed, weak, naked, and helpless
Annual - a plant that lives only one year
Aquatic - living in water
Arboreal - living in tree
BSasal rosette - a circular ground level ring of leaves on a plant
Brood - group of young hatched at the same time, or the act of sitting on
eggs in order to hatch them
Cavity nester - animal that uses or builds a nest in a hollow area of a tree
or earthen bank
Cold-blooded - animal whose body temperature is the same as, or nearly
the same as, the animal's surroundings
Diurnal - active during the daytime
Diversity - wide variety of plants and/or animals occurring in one place
Evergreen - a plant that keeps its leaves all year long
Forage - search for food
Graminivore - seed or grain eating animal
Habitat - place where an animal or plant naturally lives or grows
tInsectivore - insect eating animal
Layering - masses of vegetation consisting of distinctly different levels, i.e.
grasses, shrubs and trees

Migratory - seasonal movement sometimes covering great distances

Nectar - sugary fluid produced by a plant to attract pollinators
Nocturnal - active at night
Omnivore - animal that eats both plants and other animals
Pollinator - an animal that carries pollen from one flower to another
Precocial - animals that are born with their eyes open, covered with down
or fur, active, and able to seek their own food
Predator - organism that feeds on other animals
Shrubs - medium sized long lived bushes
Specialist - organisms that have very specific requirements for food, water
sources or living spaces. They often utilize a very specialized food source or
living space and are very successful as long as the food or space is available.
Endangered species are often specialists that have lost their unique food or
Waterfowl - a water bird such as a duck or goose
Xerophyte - plant that can grow under dry conditions

Animal Adaptations Vocabulary

counter shading


any body part, behavior, or

physiological capability that increases
an animal's ability to survive in its
ration that blends in with the
surrounding environment.
dark and light colors are a form of
a unit of plants, animals, and
nonliving components of an
environment that interact.
no longer existing on the Earth.
the place where an animal lives
an animal that eats only plants
an animal that eats only animals
an animal that eats both plants and
an animal that hunts other animals
v: to hunt and eat other animals. n:
an animal eaten by another animal


an animal with no backbone

an animal with a backbone

Endangered Species Vocabulary



effort noun

measures to protect and restore the natural world

ecosystem noun

the ongoing relationship between living things and

their environment

species noun

animals or plants that are likely to go extinct


a person who cares about the natural world and

makes an effort to protect it or raise awareness for its

extinction noun

the loss of a species in this world

food chain noun

a group of organisms that feed off each other

global warmingnoun

the gradual increase in temperature on earth


the planting and growth of new trees


likely to face injury or danger

wildlife noun

plants and animals living in a natural environment


bet on the wrong horse

misread the future
He is betting on the wrong horse if he keeps supporting the other city in their bid for the games.
a short sleep taken during the day
I had a cat nap during the afternoon so I would feel refreshed in the evening.
someone who copies another persons work etc.
He is a copycat according to the other students in the class.
curiosity killed thecat
being too nosy may lead a person into trouble
You shouldnt worry about what he is doing. Remember curiosity killed the cat.
eager beaver
a person who is always eager to work or do something extra
She is a real eager beaver and I am sure she will do very well in this company.
every dog has his day
everyone will have his chance or turn; everyone will get what he deserves
Dont worry about him. Every dog has his day and he will eventually suffer for all the bad things
that he is doing.
go whole hog
do something completely or thoroughly
They went whole hog in their effort to make sure that the convention was a success.
hit the bulls-eye
reach the main point
I think that he really hit the bulls-eye when he talked about the problems with the regular staff.
lead a dogs life
work hard and be treated unkindly
He is leading a dogs life since he married the woman who everyone told him not to.
make a mountain out of a molehill
make something that is unimportant seem important
You are making a mountain out of a molehill with your going on and on about his mistake.
monkey business
unethical or bad activity, mischief
He should stop that monkey business and try to do the job the correct way.
rain cats and dogs
rain very hard
It has been raining cats and dogs all day.
rat race
rushing around, confusing way of living that does not seem to have a purpose
he is tired of living in the rat race every day and plans to quit his job soon and do something
sacred cow
a person or thing that is never criticized or changed even if it should be
The school lunch program is a sacred cow which they will never change.

wolf in sheeps clothing

a person who pretends to be good but really is bad
Be careful of that man. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

Wild animals have no use in the 21st century and trying to preserve
animals now is just wastage of money.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.
Since the explosion of population, humans have taken a large amount of space and resource on
earth. Some social scientists are convinced that it is pointless to spend money on preserving
wild animals, as it might not have sufficient places for them to survive in the 21st century.
Personally, I am inclined to the view that we should give priority to protecting wild animals over
any other things.
First and foremost, it is absurd to argue that it is not necessary to protect the wild animals. They
play an essential role on earth and we get together to share the world. If they were extinct in the
world, it would break the balance of ecosystem. For instance, it is common to see that if we over
hunted sparrows, pests would cause severe disasters in agriculture field. As a result, without
preserving animals, the living environment of mankind would suffer more challenges.
In addition, I strongly believe that there are still a plenty of room for wild animals to live in the
world. More specifically, there are many environments are not suitable for people to live, while
those places are animals ideal paradise. Moreover, if humans protected animals
habitatsthey can create better environment for us. For example, rainforest could produce
oxygen, absorb the carbon dioxide and make climate stability.
On the other hand, the opponents may argue that it is not necessary to prevent the wild
animals. However, this view does not seem justifiable because it fails to take into account the
validity of the two reasons noted above.
In conclusion, after all the above factors considered, it could be argue that protecting the
ecosystem and the letting us having more comfortable environment are the main reasons of the
wild animals' conservation. It is better to live side by side with wild animals and make our life
peaceful and stability.



when an editor or reporter expresses a personal point of view in a

news article or in a series of articles


believable; worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy


the head of a news organization; person who chooses the articles

that will be printed each day


article written by the editor giving his opinion on a problem or



pertaining to or dealing with morals; pertaining to right and wrong

in conduct


a person who sees an occurrence with his own eyes and is able to
give a firsthand account of it


soundness or moral character; honesty


a person who writes articles for a news organization


all the means of mass communication (newspapers, TV, radio,

websites, magazines)


news companies that have their own reporters. They sell their
articles to the media. The Associated Press (AP) is the top news
service used in the U.S. United Press International (UPI), Reuters
and Agence France-Presse (AFP) are also used by the media.


a neutral individual employed by a news organization to receive,

investigate, report on and (in some instances) resolve reader or
viewer complaints against a news organization


to put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of another


all the media and agencies that print, broadcast, or gather and
transmit news

Vocabulary - Mass Media

This is a list of vocabulary items related to mass media
advertising is a form of communication that typically attempts to persuade potential
customers to purchase or to consume more of a particular brand of product or service.
Many advertisements are designed to generate increased consumption of those products and
services through the creation and reinforcement of "brand image" and "brand loyalty".
A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an
individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such
as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog"
can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more
personal online diaries.
Blogosphere is a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections. It is the
perception that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of
connected communities) or as a social network.
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an
audience. The audience may be the general public or a relatively large sub-audience, such as
children or young adults.
Television and radio programs are distributed through radio broadcasting or cable , often
both simultaneously
High-tech politics
The current American political system in which the behavior of citizens and policy makers, as
well as the political agenda itself, is increasingly shaped by technology.
Journalism is the craft of conveying news, descriptive material and comment via a widening
spectrum of media. These include newspapers, magazines, radio and television, the Internet
and, more recently, the cellphone. Journalistsbe they writers, editors or photographers;
broadcast presenters or producersserve as the chief purveyors of information and opinion in
contemporary mass society. "News is what the consensus of journalists determines it to be."

A journalist (also called a newspaperman) is a person who practices journalism, the
gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues, and people
while striving for non-bias viewpoint.
Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or
publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary
film, and the Internet. Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can be either
spoken or written, and they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased
way to serve the public good. A columnist is a journalist who writes pieces that appear
regularly in newspapers or magazines.
Mass media
Mass Media includes all the "tools" we have for communicating with large numbers of people
television, radio, film, on-line services, magazines and newspapers. All carry messages that
reach masses of people in contrast to letters, telephone calls and one-to-one conversations
known as interpersonal media.
Media bias
Media bias is a term used to describe a real or perceived bias of journalists and news
producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events will be reported and how
they are covered. The term "media bias" usually refers to a pervasive or widespread bias
contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual
journalist or article.The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely
disputed, although its causes are both practical and theoretical.
Press - "the press"
The media that includes television, radio, newspapers, magazines, wire services, and on-line
services, among others.
Print media
That portion of the mass media which include newspapers and magazines.
Propaganda is the dissemination of information aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors
of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in
its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often
presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives
loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the
information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject
in the target audience to further a political agenda.
Trial balloons
Information leaked for the purpose of determining what the political reaction will be.

A tabloid is a newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form, usually with
illustrated, often sensational material
Yellow journalism
The term used to describe sensational news reporting.
noun :used about the amount of attention that television, radio, and newspapers give to
something, or the way in which something is reported
the limelight
noun :a situation in which you are getting a lot of interest and attention from
the newspapers, television, etc.
noun :a situation in which someone or something appears so much in newspapers,
on television, on the radio, etc. that people lose interest
noun:information in newspapers and
on television and radio intended to make people interested in someone or something
saturation coverage
noun :a situation in which every newspaper, television company, etc. is reporting an event
the glare of publicity/the media etc.
noun:attention from newspapers and television, especially when you do not want it

Idioms and Phrases

A birds eye view- a view from a very high place which allows you to see a large
A bone of contention- something that people argue for a long time
A cock and a bull story- a story or an explanation which is obviously not true.
A dead letter- an argument or law not followed by anyone.
At the drop of the hat- u do something easily and without any
An early bird- someone who gets early in the morning
At the eleventh hour- be too late.
A queer fish- a strange
A wakeup call- an event done to warn someone
A witch hunt- an attempt to find and punish those who have options that are
believed to be dangerous
At the heels of- to follow someone
A dish fit for Gods- something of very high quality
A game of two equal halves- a sudden change in circumstances
Afraid of ones own shadow- to become easily frightened

Against the clock- to be in a hurry to do something before a particular time

An arm and a leg- a large amount of money
Apple of someones eye- someone loved very much.
Ask for the moon- to ask for too
At sixes and sevens- to be lost and bewildered
At someones beck and call- to be always ready to serve
At the bottom of the ladder- at the lowest level
At an arms length- to keep at a distance
At sixes and sevens- in disorder
A boon in disguise- a benefit in loss
A bull in a China shop- an awkward person
A red letter day- an important day
A nine days wonder- pleasure for a short time

Sample answer
Whoever controls the media also controls opinions
and attitudes of the people and there is little can be done
to rectify this.
To what extend do you agree or disagree?
You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with
examples and relevant evidence.
Write at least 250 words.
n some countries the media is controlled exclusively by large companies; in other it is the
government that has this control. Often, in war situation, one of the first casualties is the media,
which is seized by one group or another. This gives some support to the idea that the media is a
source of power and control.
Whoever controls the media also has ultimate control over what is published or broadcasted
and what is omitted. They can also add a certain prejudice or bias to their coverage of certain
news stories depending on their own feelings about the matter. This is not a new problem,
although the issue is perhaps more pressing now that the Internet and play-TV have enabled
these messages to be disseminated even further.
However, we should remember that readers have their own ideas and opinions. You can control
what is printed but you cannot control the opinions of your readers. I think the only positive here
is that, nowadays, people seem to be much more cynical about what they read in the press or
hear on the television. In particular, when it comes to the tabloid press, people know that they
have to take what they read with a grain of salt. In other words, they read knowing they may be
being lied to. Perhaps it is even greater concern that we have become so accepting of this form
of censorship.
The only thing that can be done to alter this situation is for the government to regulate the
industry so that there is no longer a monopoly on media ownership. This also means that they

have to allow and support a totally free press, even if this means the government may be
criticised or ridiculed within its pages.
(295 words)

Fitness, Diet and Health




70% of the population is now overweight according to official figures.

Extrememly fat or overweight.


Obesity is now a real problem for teenagers.

Teenagers who are obese are often bullied at school.

Eating Disorder
A mental illness in which people eat far too little or far too much food and are
unhappy with their bodies.

Bulimia and anorexia are types of eating

disorder. Both are becoming more


Any substance which plants or animals need in order to live and grow.

A healthy diet should consist of all the essentialnutrients.
This meal is very nutritious.

The food and drink usually eaten or drunk by a person or group.

When someone eats less food, or only particular types of food, because they want to
become thinner or for medical reasons.


It is important to have a healthy diet. People must eat plenty of fruit and
I've been on a diet now for four weeks, and I've lost about one kilo.

Eating more than your body needs.

There is evidence that overeating is one of the main causes of obesity..

A food that is used with other foods in the preparation of a particular dish.

The ingredients of the dish include nuts, raisins, and parsley.

A condition that makes a person become ill or develop skin or breathing problems
because they have eaten certain foods or been near certain substances.


Allergies are becoming more common, and this could be connected to diet.
If I eat nuts, I have an allergic reaction. I cannot breath properly.

A substance which is added to food in order to improve its taste or appearance or to

preserve it.


This food is full of additives so I'm not going to eat it.

To stop something from happening.

Lots of exercise will prevent a heart attack.

The prevention of health problems should be encouraged by the government.
For example, they could ban the advertising of fast food to children.

Often changing and being different.

When preparing meals, you need to think aboutvariety and taste as well as
nutritional value.

When you want to eat food.

All that exercise has given me an appetite.

A substance in foods such as fruit, vegetables and brown bread, which travels through
the body as waste and helps the contents of the bowels to pass through the body


A diet that is high in fibre is important in order to maintain a healthy body.

Happening or doing something often.


Regular physical exercise is important for good health.

Any of a group of natural substances which are necessary in small amounts for
the growth and good health of the body.

Many people take vitamin supplements these days in order to keep their body

A disease in which the body cannot control the level of sugar in the blood.


Diabetes is becoming much more prevalent ( = common or widespread)

amongst children.


The condition of the body and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being

Fruit has several health


Elderly people can have many health

The health


care in the country is deteriorating ( =getting worse).

There may be health

risks from eating too much red meat.

Health education is very important if we are to prevent illness and reduce medical
Sweden has one of the best health

systems in the world.

The population of the country is in good
Lack of exercise can lead to poor



He has a very healthy
I have a healthy



Advanced vocabulary
Some useful nouns

the condition of not being unable to stop doing something. Especially
something harmful like drinking alcohol or playing video games.


a strong reaction to something. For instance, an allergy to a certain





an opinion of a patient's health condition or illness.


1. everything that we eat.

2. a plan to eat carefully to reduce weight.


inability or difficulty to get to sleep.


the different foods that go into a recipe.


being extremely overweight.


the health value of food.


another word for doctor.


a way of curing an illness or medical condition.

in bad shape

A person who is in bad shape is in poor physical condition.

I really am in bad shape. I must do more exercise.

bag of bones

To say that someone is a bag of bones means that they are

extremely thin.
When he came home from the war he was a bag of

full of beans

A person who is full of beans is lively, active and healthy.

He may be getting old but he's still full of beans.

blue around the

(also: green or pale)

If a person looks blue around gills, they look unwell or sick.

You should sit down. You look a bit blue around the

feel blue

To feel blue means to have feelings of deep sadness or

I'm going to see my grandmother. She's feeling a bit
blue at the moment.

kick the bucket

To kick the bucket is a lighthearted way of talking about death.

He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket.

cast iron stomach

If you can eat all sorts of food and drink what you like, without
any indigestion, discomfort or bad effects, it is said that you
have acast-iron stomach.
I don't know how you can eat that spicy food. You
must have a cast-iron stomach.

clean bill of health

If a person has a clean bill of health, they have a report or

certificate declaring that their health is satisfactory.
All candidates for the position must produce a clean bill
of health.

off colour

If you are off colour, you look or feel ill.

What's the matter with Tom? He looks a bit off colour

dead as a doornail

This expression is used to stress that a person is very definitely


At the end of the winter they found the old man as

dead as a doornail.

Sample answer Recent research shows that the consumption of junk food is a major factor in poor
diet and this is detrimental to health. Some people believe that better health
education is the answer to this problem but others disagree. What is your opinion?

A serious concern nowadays is how our eating habits can affect our health. In particular, it has
been demonstrated that eating too much junk food can lead to health issues later in life. One
sensible suggestion for dealing this is to improve the level of health education so that we eat
better and live longer. My belief though is this would not completely solve the problem.
One reason why focussing on health education is an appropriate measure is that it addresses one
underlying cause of the problem. It is clear that there is a connection between what people know
about nutrition and their eating habits. For example, children who have learned in school about
the need to have a varied diet with plenty of vitamins tend to eat more healthily. In contrast,
people who have not had this education still eat too much junk food and as a result suffer from
diabetes and other diseases.
Better health education, however, is not a complete answer as it ignores the wider social factors
that cause people to eat unhealthily. For instance, many people eat fast food because they have a
lifestyle that means they do not have time to sit down to a proper meal. Again, other people
might eat burgers and pizzas because they are seen to be cool and they want to impress their
There would not appear to be any simple way to deal with these social factors. A difficulty is that
it is very hard for governments to make a difference to the individual choices people make. It
might help, however, to ban advertisements for unhealthy foods on television and to require
companies to provide proper meal facilities for their employees.
My conclusion is that the government certainly ought to introduce measures to improve the
level of health education. However, this probably would not be a perfect solution as it would
also be necessary to deal with the other social factors that cause unhealthy eating.

The Environment
Acid rain: acidic precipitation (rainfall) that causes harm to the environment. It is formed in the
atmosphere when industrial waste gases combine with water.
Animal rights: the natural rights of animals to live free of human dangers and exploitation.

Aqueduct: an artificial channel for transporting water, often in the form of a bridge.
Biodegradable: generally referring to packaging, it means something than can be decomposed
by bacteria or other organisms.
Breeding in captivity: the reproduction of animals in confinement, not in their natural habitats.
CFC gases: (Chlorofluorocarbon) gases that are harmful to the ozone layer in the Earth's
Condensation: water that has been transformed from a gas to a liquid and appears on a cold
Conservation: the protection and preservation of the natura environment.
Conservation program: a formalized action plan for protecting or restoring a natural area.
Contaminated: polluted, usually by toxic waste
Decay: to rot or decompose; also, to decline in quality, energy, etc
Drought: the continuous absence of rain, thus causing the land to dry up
Ecosystem: the natural organisms and flora and fauna that constitute and sustain a particular
Emissions: toxic gases from factories and machinery that are then leaked into the atmosphere.
Endangered species: a species of plant or animal that are in danger of becoming extinct.
Erosion: the process of the wearing away of land due to there being little to no vegetation.
Erupt: when a volcano becomes active and begins to eject lava.
Evaporation: the process of a liquid heating up and turning into a gas or vapor.
Extinct: when a plant or animal species ceases to exist entirely.
Fossil fuels: fuel formed naturally over many years from the remains of animals, such as coal,
oil, and natural gas.
Genetically modified: normally related to food, it's when an object's genetic makeup has been
Global warming: an increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, which is due to the
greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect: the trapping of the sun's heat in the atmosphere caused by greenhouse
Greenhouse gases: any gas, especially carbon dioxide, which contributes to the greenhouse
Landslide: when a large amount of land slides down from a mountain or cliff.
Natural resources: materials found in nature which are often exploited for economic gains.
Organic: without chemicals (such as sprays) or other man-made additives.

Organic farming: producing crops without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides.
Ozone layer: the lower part of the atmosphere which contains a high level of ozone that
absorbs the majority of the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Poaching: the illegal hunting of animals.
Pollute: to contaminate a natural area
Pollution: contamination or toxic bi-products from factories
Preserve: to not develop something so as to be maintained in its existing state.
Species: a group of living organisms that are of the same type and can breed with each other.
Sustainability: maintaining an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural
Tidal energy: using the energy produced by the changes in ocean tides to generate electrical
Toxic waste: poisonous byproducts of industrial manufacturing.
Underground aquifers: layers of rock or soil that can absorb and retain water.
Wildlife: untamed animals (in their natural habitat).
Wipe out: to completely remove something from a place.

Common Idioms


I hate my job so much I cant bare going to work, but if I Having two very bad choices.
quit I dont think I can get another job. Im really stuck /
(note: stuck/caught can be omitted)
caught between a rock and a hard place.
I have to bite my tongue so I dont say what I really
think of him!

Wanting to say something but stopping


Come on, cut to the chase. We havent got all day!

Leave out all the unnecessary details and

just get to the point

Are you putting all of your savings into that company?

Putting all of ones resources into one

Dont put all your eggs in one basket.


Try not to worry about it. Every cloud has a silver


Believing that every bad situation has a

positive side / eventually leads to something

My parents are very fixed in their ways. They wont

start using the internet.

Not wanting to change from the normal

ways of doing things

My mother will always go the extra mile to help people. Doing much more than is required when
doing something

Some people think that environmental problems are too big for individuals to be
solved, while others think that individuals cannot solve these environmental
problems unless governments make some action.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own
knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
Environmental problems have dramatically increased over the last few years. Rapid increase in
population and other problems such as pollution, deforestation, global warming etc. have further
exacerbate the situation. Some people argue that these problems are too large to be addressed by
individual being. I believe that it is a mutual responsibility of both individuals and countries to take
pragmatic measures for its solution.
Over population is one of the pivotal reasons that have detrimental effects on the environment. Increase
in population demand more food resources, living space and others basic amenities of life. For instance,
for the sake of accommodation many natural parks and forests have been wiped out to fulfill the need of
living space. This has lead to severe consequences that could damage both for the people and
Individual efforts can contribute a lot to address the pressing environmental problems. Steps taken in
individual level can be an effective solution for the world. For instance, if the government of a country
takes initiatives to reduce the rubbish produced daily, cant do much. However, if the citizens take effort
from their personal level, the rubbish production could be controlled tremendously. Similarly, if
administration of a country starts planting trees, the effort would not go further without the collaboration of
the individuals.
Pollution is also a great menace to environment. It is not only the reason of environmental problems but
also have dire effects on people. Factories operating within cities emit dangerous smoke and others
harmful toxic, which are enormously affecting people health and making them more susceptible to
diseases. Furthermore, pollution also contributes in global warming. There has been a drastic increase in
temperature around the globe. Which is result is the reason of melting glaciers across the world. These

are no longer national issues and all the governments of the world should work together to address this
pressing problems. That is why prudent decisions are required from the government level and the
ordinary citizens should be encouraged and participate in every way possible to make the world a better
place to live in.
To sum up, I would like to say that environmental problems should be addressed on large scale. Everyone
have to contribute in order to mitigate its vulnerable effects on the world. Even a little effort by an
individual can make a huge difference.


an anxiety

a worry, a nervous fear about what will

happen in the future (NOUN) "I have anxiety
when I fly in an airplane."

be irritable

be easily bothered by things (ADJ.) "That

child is so irritable in the morning when he
gets up."

to cope

to face difficulties and try to overcome them

(VERB) "He copes with his broken leg right
now by playing cards with his friends."

a confrontation

an act of facing something difficult or

dangerous (NOUN) "I must have a
confrontation with my neighbor about his
throwing garbage onto my lawn."

a psychiatrist

a doctor who treats mental problems

(NOUN) "My brother got help from a
psychiatrist when his fear of separating from
his mother became too strong."

be overwhelming

be too much for you to deal with

(ADJECTIVE) "Too many homework
assignments can be overwhelming."


To reach your limits to reach a point where you cannot cope with anything more
To be up to your neck in something to be overwhelmed by something (usually

Snowed under to have so much work that it is difficult to manage

To have too much on your plate to be overburdened with work
To be burnt out to be exhausted from doing too much

"A bitter

Source Definition/Translation

A situation or information


must be accepted.

"Ace in

A hidden or secret



A metaphor for a fatal


weakness in spite of
overall strength.


People's intentions can


be judged better by what


they do than by what


they say.


To further a loss with


strength, or unrevealed

' heel"

insult to

that is unpleasant but


mockery or indignity; to
worsen an unfavorable


Source Definition/Translation

"An arm

Very expensive or costly.

and a

A large amount of money.



"At the
drop of
a hat"


Anything causing trouble,

discord, or jealousy.

Without any hesitation;


To treat a topic, but omit


its main points, often


intentionally or to delay


or avoid talking about


something difficult or

"Bed of

A rich person. A very rich



Model Answer:
Some people say that computers have made life easier and more convenient.
Other people say that computers have made life more complex and stressful.
What is your opinion?

With the advent of technology and computers, our lives have totally changed. Today, we see
computers being used in every sphere of life; be it, at offices to store massive data; be it, at
colleges to help researches or by housewives to learn new recipes. Though admittedly, use of
computers can also be done in negative ways, but I think there are more pros than cons, and
computers have certainly made lives easier of everyone.
With computers, access to information has become very easy. It is immensely helping financial
institutions, police department and big businesses to store and use data for constructive
purposes. In earlier days, all the business transactional data was in form of files and managing
these files and searching for information was a cumbersome task. Computers have also helped
students in great way. Now, instead of going to teachers, they can browse for information online.
They can find multiple research papers and discussion forum online. For instance, when I was
studying for MBA, I finished my secondary research on internet and read about 100 online
books to complete my thesis. I could study at my own pace and in comfortable home
Another area where computers have helped us is in communication field. It enables us to keep
in touch with our loved once by means of internet chats, video calls like skype, VOIP, social
networking sites and various applications. Though, I agree, we can contact each other by phone
also, but phone calls are quiet expensive especially international calls, but now we can contact
out family and friends; and often see them without spending extra penny. Emails have
revolutionized the business communication world and aptly made them formal mode of
communication and documentation.
But, in my views, the most significant use of computers have been applied in field of scientific
researches like building satellites, thermal power plants and in defence operation. We can now
predict weather and natural calamities and hence take precautionary steps to save human
lives. Computers have successfully forecasted cyclones like Katrina, Praline, Tsunami etc. and
timely evacuation were made to save thousands of human lives. Similarly, computers also play
vital roles in the military operations; where most of the weapons are controlled by computers
and hence helps in safe guarding the country.
In a nutshell, computers have become crucial part of our lives. It is rightly said that the world is
constantly shrinking and everyone is getting close to each other by use of computers .

Progress words

When you write and speak about computers and technology, very often you will be asked to say
how technology has changed or progressed.

Progress is an uncountable word, while advance is countable. So you say that digital
technology is an advance but you cannot say that digital technology is a progress

Impact words
Another common topic is to talk about what effect computer technology has had on our


Be careful with the difference between affect (generally a verb) and effect
(generally a noun). Just to confuse you, in English they sound exactly the same.
impact and influence are often used with the preposition on
Technology and computer words
It is very easy to keep on repeating the same word without knowing it. One way not to do
this is to change the form of the word or to use it in a different phrase.

Be careful with the spelling of technology.
A technophile loves technology and a technophobe hates it. In speaking,
you could use the less formal word geek for technophile, but It would avoid it
writing.There is no great difference between ICT and IT.


It is normal to use hyphens (-) in adjective phrases such as state-of-the-art when
they are used before nouns (state-of-the-art technology), but you do not always
need them when they are used without a noun (this technology is state of the
obsolete is similar in meaning to outdated, but is a stronger word to show that
the technology is so old that it cannot be used any longer.
It is normal to write high tech rather than high technology.

Device words
This is a rather confusing set of words to describe different kinds of objects.


A device is often something fairly small that allows you to complete a task. There is a
strong collocation (very common phrase): labour-saving device.
Equipment is an uncountable word so you need to say a piece of equipment. It is a
very general use word that can be used to describe almost anything mechanical.
Gadget is a word often used to describe objects that are either small or have a less
serious purpose.
Appliance is typically used in the phrase electrical appliances (eg irons and kettles)
that are less advanced technology.
Other useful words
This is a selection of other words that may come in useful when discussing technology


1. Well-oiled machine - is used to describe something that works very well and effectively.
2. Light years ahead - is used to describe someone who is much more ahead others in career,
in personal development, etc.
3. On the same wavelength - is used to describe people who share the same views and
4. Bells and whistles - are exciting extras for electronic devices, however usually they are
useless .
5. Driven by a motor - is used to describe people who are too hyperactive and too proactive.

6. Push the panic button - is used to describe someone who reacts to the situation by being
7. Don't push my buttons - is a phrase which is usually said to someone who starts to annoy.
8. Rocket science - is used to describe something which is complicated. Usually used in a
negative meaning.
9. Hit the airwaves - is used to describe situation where person is showed in media and on TV
in order to tell about something or give interview.
10. Hold the wire - is used to tell person not to end the call and wait for the person.
11. Silver surfer - is an elderly person who uses the Internet.
Some examples:
My computer works like a well-oiled machine.
I have no idea why boss promoted her, because I believe you are light years ahead of her.
Many companies promote computer education to elders to increase silver surfers amount in
the country.
All you need to read are only few chapters, to pass the exam is not a rocket science!
I suppose I have never been on the same wavelength with others, all always had other views
than I had.
After eating the chocolate my sister acts like she is driven by a motor.


Modern technology is changing our world. This has advantages

such as bringing people closer together through
communication. It also has disadvantages such as destroying
the differences between cultures. To what extent do you agree
or disagree with this statement?
Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or
Write at least 250 words.

Modern technology with its advantages and disadvantages has changed todays world
enormously. Communication allows people all over the world to stay in contact with each other.
For instance, I can easily exchange e-mails with a good friend of mine who recently had to
move back to her mother country, Malaysia. Furthermore, if I have to make a really important
decision or something is bothering me, I simply have to press the buttons on my mobile phone
in order to ask my parents or a good friend for advice.
Additionally, technology remarkably contributes towards making everyday procedures more
convenient as well as helping to transmit messages rapidly. For example, an appointment that
cannot be met due to an unexpected incident can quickly be cancelled by writing a text
message or, in terms of business, employees can send an e-mail cancelling or postponing a
meeting which will be received within seconds by their business partners.
While improvements in technology are, to a large extent, helpful, they do have a
disadvantageous side to them. The most significant disadvantage is the westernisation
of traditional cultures, which we can see in the growing number of fast food outlets for example.
We can also see this in the way that foreign words are being incorporated into local languages.
On the whole, I agree to a great extent that technology is bringing people closer together and
this can only be a good thing, but the disadvantage is that people may take ideas from other
cultures and forget their own traditions.
(254 words)


Garments another word for items of clothes, apparels.
Accessories things (bags, belts or jewellery) that can be added to your outfit to make it more
attractive and stylish.
Lingerie womens underwear, undergarments.
Fashion victim a person who wears popular trends and looks really ridiculous because he/she
ends up looking like a store mannequin.
Catwalk or runway a narrow flat platform, used by models to present designer clothes.
Fashion icon someone or something who is very well known as an example of style and high
Must-haves highly essential clothes that you must have in your wardrobe this season.
Clothing must-haves also comprise the essentials of your wardrobe.
Apparel another word for clothes, clothing and garments
I don't think you're wearing the right apparel for a funeral.
High-stepper casually used to describe someone who is very aware or conscious of fashion
and how he/ she looks.
Emma and claire are the top two high-steppers in school!

To have a sense of style to know what looks good on you and have your own style and taste.
To be old-fashioned to wear clothes or do something that is no longer in style.
Strike a pose to take a particular posture in order to impress. You can strike a pose for the
To be dressed to kill wear something with an intention to stand out/impress people and be
To have an eye for fashion to have a good taste and know what is in fashion and what is
To strike a pose-to take on a certain position or posture
sebastian struck a pose in front of the mirror as soon as he stepped into the gym.
To strut your stuff-to look good (can also be used to refer to someone who shows what he/she can do or
his/ her talents)
look at how she struts her stuff! No wonder she's so popular.

1. Au Courant
The term au courant refers to something that is up-to-date and/or reflects
the latest styles and trends.
Example: Fashion magazines are full of glamorous pictures of au courant
clothing and accessories.
2. Avant-Garde
When something is avant-garde, it is very modern and revolutionary.
Example: What one person might describe as avant-garde, another might
find over-the-top and silly.
3. Blast From The Past
The English idiom a blast from the past refers to something that makes you
think of the past.
Example: These polyester jumpsuits are a real blast from the past. My
mother wore similar ones in the 1970s.
4. To Blaze A Trail /To Be A Trailblazer
Someone who blazes a trail, i.e. a trailblazer, is a leader or revolutionary in a
certain field .
Example: Is Lady Gaga a fashion trailblazer?
5. Clothes make the man.
This English idiom implies that people will judge you by your clothes, i.e.
good clothes will make people respect you more.
Example: Why did Sam go to the job interview looking like that? Doesnt he
know that clothes make the man?
6. Fashion Faux Pas
A fashion faux pas is a fashion mistake.
Example: Wearing green and yellow tennis shoes to the wedding was a
fashion faux pas that Bernice will never forget.
7. To Be A Cut Above
Something that is a cut above is superior or better than something else.

Example: The workmanship of this dress is a cut above.

8. To Be A Slave To Fashion
Someone who is a slave to fashion is someone who wears clothes and
accessories solely because they are in style.
Example: Too many people are slaves to fashion. Forget about trends - wear
what looks good on you!
9. To Catch Someones Eye / To Be Eye-Catching
If something catches your eye or is eye-catching, it is exceptionally
attractive or noticeable.
Example: This years bright colors are very eye-catching.
10 . To Fit Like A Glove
When something fits very well or fits perfectly, it fits like a glove.
Example: Her wedding dress fit like a glove 3 months before the wedding,
but it needed to be let out just before the ceremony.

Model answer
Nowadays in many countries people are following the latest fashion, hairstyles
and so on. Why are they so influenced by fashion? Is it a positive or a negative
Today fashion has taken a dignified place in youth's consideration. According to their nature,
personality and reckoning occasions, such youngsters implement fashion or hairstyles.
However, a person with beauty in his behavior and knowledge can make a greater impact than
such external decoration.
Nowadays, due to plethora of media, people obtain information about their favourite celebrities'
life style and fashion and simultaneously follow that trend. Some channels
always endeavor in presenting them so eloquently that many people get susceptible to that
way of living. Moreover, for many media this has been their bread and butter and hence very
frequently they post articles about latest scenario of fashion by taking interviews or arranging
fashion shows. Thus, fashion has become a parallel economy.
Furthermore, some youngsters get attention through unique fashion e.g., going under knife
surgeries or body painting like making tattoos or tanning their bodies as well as
do piercing in special parts of the body or with unique hair styling. However, adopting new
fashion has always been used to serve a purpose of getting stand out from the herd of people.
Nevertheless, many legends of society, e.g., business tycoons,
scientists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists earn attention in public or in media because of
their knowledge and versatile salient features of virtues of discipline, and hard working etc.
rather than fashion that hung on them or hairstyle with they appear.
Thus, fashion and hair style and many other grooming skills give merely a momentary
pleasure, as real appreciation or attention can better be achieved through quality of knowledge
and work. E.g., a person in tuxedo can look majestic however his thoughts and ideas indeed
make the iconic person.

IELTS Collocation
What is collocation?
This refers to words (often two or three) that are commonly placed together.
There may be grammatical reasons for this, but there may not be. It may be that through longterm usage, it just sounds correct.
Here is an example of some common verb-noun combinations to illustrate:
To make the bed / money / a noise
To catch a cold / a bus / a fish
To come late / on time / to a decision
To do homework / the shopping / nothing
You can't say 'do the bed' as these words do not collocate together.

Why are they important for IELTS?

The examiner will be judging you on this. For example, here is what the IELTS public band
descriptors say for an IELTS band 7 for lexis (vocabulary):
"uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation"
So to achieve a band 7 in this criteria, not only do you need to be using some less common
words, you also need to show to some extent that you know what other words these less
common words are usually used with.
However, this is important for any band - if you have a bad grasp of them, this will have a
negative impact on your writing and your speaking.

How do I learn them?

They are not something you can really sit down and say, "Ok, I'm going to learn collocations
The important thing is that when you learn a new word, you learnwhat words are commonly
used in combination with it. .
To take a simple example, let's say you are fairly new to English and you are learning the word
'to have'.
have lunch
have a bath
have a rest
have a meeting
have a haircut
have a drink
have a good time
have a relationship
have a holiday
have sympathy
have a problem
So you are not just learning the word 'have', you are learning chunks of language. You are also
learning words that are usually used with the word 'have'.
Learning words this way is much more effective than learning words in isolation.

20 collocations to increase your


1-To play/have a(n) important/key/vital/crucial role in (doing) sth: to play an

important part in sth

2-To make significant/substantial/valuable/ great/outstanding contribution to sth

3-To solve the problem

4-To be key factors influencing something

University education plays a crucial role in improving the quality of human workforce.
The medical advances have made outstanding contributions to the publics health care.
whoever created this problem should solve it.
The number of the vehicles used is the key factors influencing pollution.

5-To reap the benefits (of sth) gain benefit from something/ make the most of

6- To be a contributing factor: to be one of the main causes of sth

The customers reap the benefits of globalization.

The vaccination program has been a contributing factor in the improvement of health

7-To contribute to sth

8-To gain/derive benefit (from sth)

9-To have a right to do sth = to be entitled to do sth

Everyone should have the right to freedom of expression.

Full-time employees are entitled to receive health insurance.

10-To benefit greatly/enormously/considerably from sth

11-To have/enjoy/achieve a huge/great success in doing sth

12- To launch a full-scale investigation into sth

13- To meet the need of/demand

Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths a year in the US.

Many students derived enormous benefit from the course.

Many thousands have benefited considerably from the new treatment.

We want all our students to achieve a huge success in the exam
The authorities are planning to launch a full-scale investigation into the crash.
The charity exists to meet the needs of elderly people.


15-To fulfil a requirement/condition/obligation



Visiting Disneyland has fulfilled a boyhood dream.

Britain was accused of failing to fulfill its obligation under the EU Treaty.


16-To fulfil a promise/pledge = to keep a promise

17-To satisfy sbs needs/demands/desires/requirements

18-To have/gain knowledge/understanding of sth

19- To have/make common cause (with/against)

Id like to see him fulfill his promise to reorganize the army.

The program is designed to satisfy the needs of adult learners.
The need to gain knowledge about birth control.

S officials expect other Western governments to make common cause with them over the
20- To cause somebody to do something

What caused you to change your mind ?


Example Sentences

adjective +

He has a vested interestin the future of
deep interest
the business.
great interest
historical interest
long-term interest
musical interest I have varied musical interests - I like
vested interest
jazz, pop, classical and reggae.
financial interest
business interest

adverb +

greatly interested
deeply interested He is deeply interested in religion.
really interested
very interested I'm very interested in studying abroad.
quite interested

noun +

interest rate
There are political interest
interest payment groups in my country that want
interest charge
to change the constitution.
interest group

preposition + out of interest

for interest

of interest

interest +

interest among
interest from
interest in

verb +

take an interest
have an interest
show an interest
lose interest
attract interest
generate interest
spark interest
be of interest
maintain interest
share an interest
pay interest

I had never heard of the film

before but I went to see it out of
His speech generatedinterest
from many people.

I started learning to play the guitar but

I lost interest very quickly.

My friends and
I sharemany interests so we get along
very well.

So as you can see, there are many words that are commonly used with 'interest' in different
contexts. If you start to use the wrong words with it, this will be very noticeable.
If you say this, for example, it will be very obvious to the examiner that it is wrong:
I'm completely interested on modern art.
'completely' does not collocate with 'interest' in this sentence, and nor does 'on'. It could
instead be said like this:
I'm particularly interested in modern art.
Someone using sentences like this (consistently of course) would achieve a high band score for
their lexis because they are demonstrating a good understanding of which words should go
Another way to improve your knowledge of what words collocate is reading. The more you read,
the more you will notice which words commonly go together.

Phrasal Verbs
What is a phrasal verb?
Phrasal verbs are verbs plus a preposition or an adverb (or followed by two).
When these two words are put together, they have a different meaning to what each word
means on its own.
Here is an example.
I cant put up with you anymore".
(You probably know that the word put means to place something somewhere, such as I put
the book on the table, and the word up means to in or towards a higher position.)
However, when these words are put together, the meaning completely changes.
To put up with" = to accept someone or something unpleasant in a patient way

It is not this straight forward though. Some phrasal verbs must take an object, and some can be
put either side of the object.
For example, look at this illustration with the phrasal verb let down (= disappointed):
"I felt let down by my friend".
"My friend really let me down".
Another difficulty is that they are verbs, which obviously means they take a tense and will
change according to whether it is past, present or future.
Look at this example with 'break up' (= to end a relationship):
I broke up with my girlfriend last week (= past)
I hope my girlfriend does not break up with me (= present)
I've broken up with my girlfriend (= present perfect)
I think I'm going to break up with my girlfriend (= future)
And also some have more than one meaning:
I've fallen out with my friend= Argue and be on bad terms with someone
I eat a lot of sweets. I hope my teeth don't fall out= Become loose and unattached (usually
hair or teeth)
Phrasal Verb
hang out

spend time relaxing (informal)

catch up with Meet someone after a period of time and

find out what they have been doing

cut down/back
Quit / stop doing it
(something) up
cut out

Stop eating something (permanently or

for a long time)

find out


get along/on Like each other

fall out
clean up

Argue and be on bad terms with

Tidy / Clean

come across Find something unexpectedly

IELTS - English Phrasal Verbs in Use

What do you normally do at the weekends?
I usually just hang out with my friends. Well go to the cinema or something. Unfortunately I
dont get the chance to catch up with them often as we are all so busy with work.
Do you have a healthy lifestyle?
I dont think I really do. Something I definitely need to do is cut down on the amount I smoke,
or even give it up completely. I would also like to cut out red meat from my diet. Ive read that
both of those are unhealthy. I found out recently that my father has cancer, and he smoked a
lot when he was younger.
Do you like the place where you live?
Yes, I live with some college friends. There are several of us in the house so it is crowded, but
we get along well so we have not had any serious problems. I fell out with one guy who lived
there because he played his music too loud, but he has moved out now.
Do you like to collect things?
Not anymore, but the other day I was cleaning up my room when I came across an old album
of football stickers. I used to collect them when I was younger.

Sport Phrasal verbs

to warm up
To cool down

To do movements/stretching to get your muscles/body ready for exercise

To do movements/stretching after your main exercise to get it back to normal

To join in
To give up
To drop out
To knock someone
To bulk up
To work out

To take part in a sporting event or match

To surrender/quit
To leave a competition or race
To beat someone in competition so they are no longer in it /To hit someone in a boxing match so
that they become unconscious
To gain weight and muscle
To do exercise routines/sessions

An Extensive List of Phrasal

Phrasal Verb



abide by

To respect or obey a decision, a

law or a rule

If you want to keep your job here, you

mustabide by our rules.

account for

To explain, give a reason

I hope you can account for the time you were


add up

To make sense, seem reasonable

The facts in the case just dont add up.

advise against

To recommend not doing


I advise against walking alone in this


agree with

To have the same opinion as

someone else.

I agree with you. I think you should go as well.

allow for

To take into consideration

We need to allow for unexpected charges along

the way.

appeal to

To plead or make a request

To be attractive or

apply for
back away
back down

To make a formal request for

something (job, permit, loan
To move backwards, in fear or
To withdraw, concede defeat

back up

To give support or


To make a copy of (file,

He applied for a scholarship for next semester.

When he saw the bear, he backed away in
Local authorities backed down on their threats
to build on that part of the beach.

black out

To base your hopes on

something / someone
To faint, lose consciousness

block off

To separate using a barrier.

blow up
boil down to
boot up
break away

You should back up all your computer files

in a secure location.

Im banking on you to help with the charity

Jenna fell in the parking lot and blacked out.
The police blocked off the street after the

To explode

Tommy blew up the red balloon.

To get angry

Dont blow up at me. Its not my fault.

To be summarized as
To start a computer by loading
an operating system or program
To separate from a crowd

break down

Im going to be very strict with him. I hope

youll back me up on this?

program, etc.)
bank on

A vacation of sunbathing doesntappeal

to me.


He appealed to the court to change its

To go out of order, cease to


To lose control of ones


It all boils down to who has more power.

You need to boot up your computer before you
begin to work.
One of the wolves broke away from his pack.

The washing machine broke downso we

had to call in the repair technician.

John broke down when he heard the news.

break into

To enter by force

break out

To start suddenly

break out of

To escape from a place by force

To come to an end (marriage,
To raise (a child)
To improve, refresh ones
knowledge of something
To meet by chance or

Burglars broke into my car last night.

Rioting broke out after the government raised
the fuel prices again.
Several prisoners broke out of jail.
She broke up with Daniel after dating him for
five years.
Sara is bringing up her children by herself.
I must brush up on my French before going to
Paris next month.
I bumped into Adam at the bank. He says

break up
bring up
brush up on
bump into
burn out

stop (something) working

The light bulb burnt out. Please change it.

become exhausted from

call back

To return a phone call

call off

To cancel

calm down

To become more relaxed, less

angry or upset

carry on

To continue

carry out

She needs to work fewer hours. Otherwise

she will burn out.

Could please call back in ten minutes?

The game was called off because of bad
It took Kylie several hours to calm downafter
she saw the accident.
The soldiers carried on walking in order to get
to their post before dark.

To do something as
specified (a plan, an order, a

His orders were carried out to the letter.


That company does not carry outtests on

To perform or conduct (test,


check in

To register at a hotel or airport

To pay ones bill and leave

To investigate

clam up

To refuse to speak

clamp down on

To act strictly to prevent


To find by chance

To appear, seem, make an


come forward

To present oneself

count on

To rely or depend on (for help)

cut down on

To reduce in number or size

cut out

deal with
die down
do without

To remove using scissors

To stop doing something

To handle, take care of (problem,

To calm down, become less
To manage without

Donna checked out of the hotel this


(a hotel)

check out

come across

They said I must check in at least three hours

before my flight.

I dont know if this price is correct.

Illcheck it out online.

When the police started asking questions, the

suspect clammed up.
The local authorities have decided to clamp
down on illegal parking in handicapped parking

I was cleaning up and came acrosssome old

photos of you.

The politician came across as a complete

fool during the TV interview.

Has the owner of the winning lotto ticketcome

You can count on me to keep your secret.
Ive decided to cut down on the amount of
sweets I eat.

She cut out a coupon from the newspaper.

You need to cut out all red meat from your


Catherine is not good at dealing with stress.

After the storm died down, we went outside to
see the damage it had caused.
She didnt get a salary this month, so shell have

drag on

To last longer than expected

draw up

To write (contract, agreement,


dress up

wear elegant clothes

drop in

To visit, usually on the way



drop off

drop out
ease off
end in

To deliver someone or

To fall asleep

To leave school without

To reduce, become less severe or
slow down (pain, traffic, work)
To finish in a certain way; result
To finally reach a state, place or

to do without extra treats.

The suspects trial dragged on longer than we
had expected!
They drew up a contract and had me sign it.
Their wedding gave us a chance to dress upand
get out of the house.
Why dont you drop in to see us on your way

Ill drop off the papers later today.

I often drop off in front of the TV.

Zack dropped out of college and joined the

Traffic usually eases off about 7pm
Her marriage ended in divorce.

focus on

To concentrate on something

get along (with)

To be on good terms; work well


get at

To imply

get away

To escape

get by

To manage to cope or to survive

get in
get into (+noun)

To enter
To enter

If you dont improve your work habits,

youllend up being fired.
His plans to trek through South America fell
through when he got sick.
Hes trying to figure out how to earn enough
money to go on the trip to Spain.
Please fill out the enclosed form and return it as
soon as possible.
Im going to to find out whos responsible for
the power cut.
Tom had difficultty focusing on work the day
before his holiday started.
Its important to get along with your team
What are you getting at? Do you think Im to
I think we should get away for the weekend.
Students without jobs have a hard timegetting
When did you get in last night?
How did you get into your car without the keys?

To leave (bus, train, plane)

You should get off the train in Kings Heath.

To remove

I cant get the ink stain off my shirt.

end up
fall through

To fail; doesnt happen

figure out

To understand, find the answer

fill out
find out

get off

To complete (a form/an
To discover or obtain

get on
get on with
get on (well) with

To board (bus, train, plane)

To continue to do; make

get out

To leave

To have a good relationship with

Im trying to get on the flight to Brussels.

After they split up, she had a hard timegetting
on with her life.
He doesnt get on very well with the other
members of the committee.
He had a hard time getting out of Newark
because of the snow?

get out of

To avoid doing something

get rid of

To recover from (illness,

To recover from (illness,
To eliminate

get together

To meet each other

get up

To rise, leave bed

get over
get over

give in

To cease opposition; yield

To To hand in; submit

give up

To stop doing something

go through

To experience

hand in

To spend ones childhood;

develop; become an adult
To submit (report, homework)

hand out

To distribute

hang out

To spend time in a particular

place or with a group of friends

hang up

To end a phone conversation

grow up

Ednas trying to get out of working the night

Has she gotten over the flu?
Mary had the chickenpox last week but shegot
over it.
Please get rid of that old t-shirt. Its so ragged.
Lets get together for your birthday on
Will you please get up? Youve got a class in 20


To wait

To grip tightly

Ill give in my paper tomorrow.

Morris gave up drinking 10 years ago.

Andy went through a lot of pain after his
mother died.
Hes like Peter Pan. He never really grew upat
Please hand in your papers before Friday.
Susan volunteered at the shelter where
shehanded out warm clothes.
Which pub does the team hang out at after the
If you hang up now, Ill never speak to you

hold on

We will never give in to the terrorists

Please hold on and a representative will

answer your call.

She was so scared on the rollercoaster ride

that she held onfor dear life.

hurry up

To be quick, act speedily

iron out

To resolve by discussion,
eliminate differences

join in

To participate

keep up with
kick off

To meet and unite with

To continue doing something

To stay at the same level as
someone or something
To begin, start

There was a war on, so some kids were only

sixteen when they joined up.

member of

join up

keep on

To engage in, become a

Hurry up and finish your lunch or well miss

the train.
The two countries met at the conference toiron
out their differences.
Yes David, you can join in the discussion any
time you like.

Lets separate now and join up later at the


If you keep on making that noise I will get

I read the paper every day to keep up withthe
The rugby match kicked off at 3 oclock.

leave out

To omit, not mention

let down

To disappoint

look after

To take care of

look down on

To consider as inferior

look on

To be a spectator at an event

look for

To try to find something

look forward to

To await or anticipate with


look up to

To admire

make fun of

To laugh at/ make jokes about

make up

To invent (excuse, story)

mix up
move in
move out

To mistake one thing or person

for another
To arrive in a new home or
To leave your home/office for
another one.

nod off

To fall asleep

own up

To admit or confess something

pass away

To die

pass out

To faint

pay back

To reimburse

put off

To postpone, arrange a later date

put on

To turn on, switch on

put out

To extinguish

put up

To accommodate, give
somebody a bed

pick up

To collect somebody

rely on

To indicate/direct attention to
To count on, depend on, trust

rule out

To eliminate

point out

run away
run into

To escape from a place or

suddenly leave
To meet by accident or

Please check your form again and make sure

nothing is left out.
I feel so let down because they promised me a
puppy but all I got was a doll.
Andy can you look after your sister until I get
Shes such a snob. She always looks down
on anyone who is poor.
If you dont want to take part in the game you
can look on for now.
Harry went to the shop to look for a new
Im looking forward to my birthday. Its in two
days time.
I always looked up to my father. He was a great
Its not nice to make fun of people in
Thats a good excuse. Did you make up it up
She had so many cats that she kept mixing
up their names.
Did you hear? Our new neighbors aremoving
in this afternoon.
When are you moving out? We need your office
for the new guy.
You were so tired after the game that
younodded off on the couch.
Come on. Own up. We know you did it!
Your grandfather passed away peacefully in his
sleep last night.
He didnt drink enough water so he passed
out at the end of the race.
Ill pay you back as soon as I get the loan.
Dont put off until tomorrow, what you can do
Its very dark in here. Please put on the light on.
The fire fighters were able to put out fire in ten
I can put you up until the weekend but then Im
going away.
Ill pick you up at around 7:00 to take you to
the airport.
As I already pointed out, there was a mistake in
your calculation.
You can rely on me. I always arrive on time.
Since he had a sound alibi, the
police ruledhim out as a suspect.
He ran away from home and joined the circus.
Im so glad I ran into you. I need to ask you

unexpectedly (also: bump into)

run out of

To have no more of something.

set off

To start a journey;

set up

To start a business

shop around

To compare prices

show off

To brag or want to be admired

show up

To appear/arrive

shut up
sit down

To be silent, stop talking

Shut up, youre spoiling the movie!

To take a seat

I think you should sit down. Its bad news.

The whole stadium stood up for the national
My big brother always stuck up for me when I
got into a fight.

stand up

To rise from a sitting position

stick up for

To defend

take care of
take off

To resemble, in appearance or
To look after
To leave the ground

take on

To hire or engage staff

take out

To remove; extract

tell off

To reprimand/criticize severely

think over

To consider

take after

try on
turn down
use up
watch out
wear out

work out

To wear something to see if it

suits or fits
To refuse
To finish a product (so that
theres none left)
To be careful

To become unusable

To become very tired

To do physical exercise

To find a solution or
calculate something

wipe off

Weve run out of milk. Ill just pop next door to
borrow some.
Lets set off early to miss the rush hour traffic.
They set up their own company when they were
still in high school.
Dont buy that. Lets shop around and see if we
can find something cheaper.
Hes such a show off. He has to tell everybody
about his new computer.
I dont think shell show up tonight. Her
daughter is sick.

To clean (board, table).

Angie really takes after her grandmother.

Please take care of my cat when Im away.
The plane will take off as soon as the fog lifts.
I hear theyre taking on extra staff for this
Please take out your mobile phones and turn
them off.
The coach told her off for not trying hard
Take your time and think it over before you
Go ahead, try it on and see if it fits?
I asked her out but she turned me down flat.
Your parents used up all the coffee!
Watch out! Theres a dog in the road.

Julie wore out her shoes running the


Julie was worn out after all that running.

You should work out twice a week at the


Can you work this out? Im no good at


Ill wash up if you wipe off the table.

Common Idioms List

Set 1
Common Idioms


It cost me an arm and a leg to take my trip to


Very expensive

I was over the moon when he asked me to marry Extremely pleased or happy

You are taking your IELTS test next week?? Arent Doing or starting something too early
you jumping the gun. Youve only just started

He comes round to see me once in a blue moon. Happening very rarely

Hes got a chip on his shoulder.

Feeling inferior or having a grievance

about something

I reckon getting a band 7 in IELTS will be a piece

of cake! Im very good at English.

Very easy

The money sent by comic relief to help poverty in

Africa is just a drop in the ocean. They need far
more than this.

A very small part of something much


Getting a low score the first time I took IELTS

Something positive that isnt recognized

was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to study until later

extremely hard so I got a much better score the
next time.

We have to actually do something about global

warming. Actions speak louder than words.

Its better to actually do something

rather than just talking about it

I bumped into Jenny in town the other day. It's a

small world.

Meeting someone you would not have

expected to

Set 2
Common Idioms


Oh well, I got 5.5 in IELTS again.Back to the

drawing board!

When an attempt to do something fails

and it's time to start all over again using
different methods

I hate my job so much I cant bare going to work, Having two very bad choices.
but if I quit I dont think I can get another job. Im
really stuck / caught between a rock and a hard (note: stuck/caught can be omitted)

I have to bite my tongue so I dont say what I

really think of him!

Wanting to say something but stopping


Come on, cut to the chase. We havent got all


Leave out all the unnecessary details

and just get to the point

Are you putting all of your savings into that

Putting all of ones resources into one
company? Dont put all your eggs in one basket. possibility

Try not to worry about it. Every cloud has a silver Believing that every bad situation has a
positive side / eventually leads to
something good

It was difficult when I moved to another country but To become comfortable in what you are
I eventuallyfound my feet.

My parents are very fixed in their ways. They

wont start using the internet.

Not wanting to change from the normal

ways of doing things

I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed

this morning. He is in a terrible mood.

To refer to someone who is having a

bad day

My mother will always go the extra mile to help


Doing much more than is required when

doing something

Set 3
Common Idioms


I think youve hit the nail on the head. Thats the Say exactly the right thing
reason he didnt get the job.

Todays going so badly. If its not one thing, its

the other.

When everything seems to be going


I just said it in the heat of the moment. I was

angry. I know I shouldnt have.

Saying or doing something suddenly

without thinking about it

Keep an eye on him. I think he may cheat in the


Watch someone or something carefully

Have you heard? John down the road has kicked Died
the bucket.

I dont want to argue with him again. Its better

to let sleeping dogs lie.

Avoid a conflict

I told him what gift you have bought him for his
birthday. Sorry, I didnt mean to let the cat out of
the bag.

Tell someone something that you were

not supposed to

Dont tell her what you really think of her if shes

Hurt or upset someone who is helping
helping you with your English! Dont bite the hand you
that feeds you.

Im not sure which party he is going to vote for.

Hes sitting on the fence.

Not making a firm decision between

different choices

Everything she does is very over the top. She

cant just have a few drinks se has to get really


View these 10 idioms in use and practice them

Set 4
Common Idioms


Lets keep studying for IELTS.Practice makes


Continuously doing something to


Dont get upset about what he said. Hes

just pulling your leg.

Joking around

Sorry but I think Ill take a rain checkon that.

To decline an offer that you will take up


As a rule of thumb, I dont study at weekends. I

spend the time with my family.

Principal that is strictly adhered / kept to

I can smell a rat. He said he has a PhD but he

cant even remember which university he studied

To sense that something is not right

Shes the spitting image of her mother.

To look exactly like someone else

The ball's in your court now. What are you going Telling someone it's now their turn to
to do?
make a decision

Unfortunately I think hell be studying for

For a very long time
IELTS until the cows come home. His English is
very poor.

It was all tongue-in-cheek. He didnt really mean

what he said.

Something said in humour rather than


Shes feeling under the weathertoday so she

wont be going to work.


Set 5
Common Idioms


We've had some big disagreements over the years, but Things from the past that are not
its all water under the bridge now. We get on fine.
important anymore

You are what you eat so its better to have a healthy


If you eat bad food, youll be

unhealthy, if you eat good food, youll
be healthy

You cant judge a book by its cover. I need to get to

know him before I decide what he is like.

The belief that outside appearances

do not reveal what someone or
something is really like

We're really working against the clock now. We must Not having enough time to do

Why are we bothering? We'reflogging a dead horse. Attempting to continue with something
Our online business is making no money, so we should that is finished / over
move on and do something else.

Doing all you can to help someone

Good luck

To put forward a side in an argument that may not be

your own in order to show the counter-argument /
ensure all sides are discussed

Telling someone who is getting ahead of themselves to

wait / be patient
Annoying or irritating somebody

IELTS Grammar
These pages are here to help you with your IELTS grammar, mainly for writing.
However, it can obviously help with your speaking and also with your reading as it is easy to
misunderstand what you have read if you are confused by different sentence structures.
All grammar for IELTS is important, but there are some specific things that are directly related to
The explanations and exercises will highlight these so you can see how they are relevant.

Why is grammar important?

There is no actual grammar test section in the IELTS test, but you are still graded on this by the
examiner in the speaking test and writing test.
These are specifically what you are graded on in each test:

Task Achievement / Response
Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource
Grammatical Range and Accuracy Speaking:
Fluency and coherence
Lexical Resource
Grammatical Range and Accuracy

So as you can see, grammar makes up 25% of each test.

However, it is also important for the 'lexical resource' part. This is your use of such things as
your vocabulary, idiomatic vocabulary, and collocations.
You will be marked down on this if you are making mistakes with such things as word forms
(e.g. using a noun form instead of a verb form) so this is also grammar related.
This is not to suggest that you should focus only on grammar as the other elements such as
fluency in your speaking and your ability to answer the question and organise your response in
the writing are a major part of the marking.
But it is clearly important to work on improving your IELTS grammar, and this is often the part
candidates have the most problems with and the thing that brings their score down.

How is the grammar for IELTS writing marked exactly?

In order to work on improving your IELTS grammar, it is useful to understand how it is marked.
For each of the parts of the exam highlighed above, you are given a band score (so you get four
scores) and these are then averaged to get your overall score for your writing.
For example:
Task Achievement / Response - band 6
Coherence and Cohesion - band 6
Lexical Resource - band 6
Grammatical Range and Accuracy - band 5
Overall score = 5.5

The table below shows the two sections on lexis and grammar. These are adapted from the
public band descriptors and show you what the examiner is looking for.
The column on 'grammatical range and accuracy' is exactly as from the public band descriptors,
but the 'lexical resource' column just picks out the parts related to grammar.

Writing Band Descriptors for Grammar


Lexical Resource
Sophisticated control of lexical
features; rare minor 'slips' occur

Produces rare errors in spelling

and / or word formation

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Uses a wide range of

structures with full flexibility and
accuracy; rare minor errors occur
only as slips.

Uses a wide range of

The majority of sentences are
Makes only very occasional
errors or in appropriacies

Occasional errors in word choice,

spelling, and / or word formation

Some errors in spelling and / or

word formation, but they do not
impede communication

Noticeable errors in spelling and /

or word formation that may cause

some difficulty for the reader

Limited control of word formation

and / or spelling; errors may

cause strain for the reader

Errors may severely distort the


Essentially no controlof word

formation and / or spelling

Can only use a few isolated words

Uses a variety of complex

Produces frequent error-free
Has good control of grammar
and punctuation but may make a
few errors
Uses a mix of simple and
complex sentence forms
Makes some errors in
grammar and punctuation but they
rarely reduce communication
Uses only a limited range of
Attempts complex sentences
but these tend to be less accurate
than simple sentences
May make frequent
grammatical errors and
punctuation may be faulty; errors
can cause some difficulty for the
Uses only a very limited
range of structures with only rare
use of subordinate clauses
Some structures are accurate
but errors predominate, and
punctuation is often faulty

Attempts sentence forms but

errors in grammar and
punctuation predominate and
distort the meaning

Cannot use sentence forms

except in memorised phrases
Cannot use sentence forms at

Understanding the descriptors

If you study the table you will notice phrases near the top such as 'rare', 'occasional' and 'few' in
reference to word form and grammatical errors.
Near the band 6 range are phrases such as 'some', and then 'noticeable' and 'causing difficulty'
as you go down lower.
You can also see that it is important to be:

Getting your word forms right

Understanding how to write complex sentences

Expanding your range of grammatical structures you can use

Using grammar accurately (i.e minimising your error density).

So the pages you'll find here link to explanations and exercises on IELTS grammar to help you
improve your score and your grammar.
This is a new section so there are only two IELTS grammar lessons so far.
Start with this one on sentence clauses.
When you understand these, move on to learn more about sentence structure, specifically
simple, compound and complex sentences.
This lesson then explains in more detail about complex sentences, which are essential to be
able to write correctly for a higher band score.
One type of complex sentence you can learn about here is adverbial clauses.

Sentence Clauses
As you will see from the IELTS writing band descriptors, you need to be able to
write complex sentences in order to score higher for your grammatical range - and write
them correctly so you don't get marked down on your accuracy!
The building blocks of sentences are 'clauses' though, so the first step is understanding these.
For example, a band 4 makes only "rare use of subordinate clauses" according to the public
band descriptors.
This implies you must be making good use of subordinating clauses to get a higher score, so
you need to know first what sentence clauses are.
What is a clause in a sentence?
A clause is a group of words with a (s) subject and a (v) verb.
For example:

(s) Computers (v) are important.

= 1 sentence with 1 clause.

We can have two clauses though i.e. two groups of words with a
subject and a verb
Computers are important, but they are dangerous too.
= 1 sentence with 2 clauses.

How about three sentence clauses?

Computers are important, but they can be dangerous too, so we must

be careful.
= 1 sentence with 3 clauses.

Now let's add a fourth!

Computers are important, but they can be dangerous too, so we must

be careful when we use them.
= 1 sentence with 4 clauses.

You'll have noticed then that a sentence is not the same thing as a clause.
A sentence is the group of words that comes between two full-stops and it must be a complete
thought that makes sense.

So sentence clauses are what build a sentence, and one sentence can have a number of
What if there is no subject and verb?
If there is no subject or verb in part of the sentence, then this may be a phrase(p)
For example:

(p) In many countries around the world, flooding (S)is becoming (V)more

A phrase is a group of words without a subject and verb (a phrase on its own obviously cannot
be a sentence because every sentence has a subject and a verb!).

Sentence Structure
This page about sentence structure will focus on the differences between simple
sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences and compound-complex
You must know how to correctly write these sentence types for IELTS as the examiner
will be looking for them when they grade you for your 'grammatical range'.
Clauses are the buliding blocks of sentences.
So, before you go any further, make sure you understand what clauses are by looking at
the previous lesson.

Sentence Types
There are four types of sentence:








1. Simple Sentences
A simple sentence is one clause with a subject and verb.
Computers are important in the modern world.
Formula = SV
However, it can have more than one subject and verb
2 subjects:
Computers and other technological devices are important in the modern world.
Formula = SSV
2 Verbs:
I search for information and play games on my computer.
Formula = SVV
2 subject and 2 verbs:
I and my brother search for information and play games on our computers.
Formula = SSVV

2. Compound Sentences
A compound sentence consists of 2 or 3 clauses. It is when simple sentences are
joined together.

In this sentence structure, the clauses are joined with the following coordinating
F = for
A = and
N = nor
B = but
O = or
Y = yet
S = so
The word 'fanboys' is an easy way to remember the different conjunctions that make
up compound sentences. Obviously the most common are 'and', 'but', 'or' and 'so'.
Here are some examples of compound sentence structure:
Computers are important, but they can be dangerous too.
Formula = SV but SV
Computers are important, but they can be dangerous too, so we must be careful.
Formula = SV but SV so SV.
Avoid writing too many clauses as the sentence may get difficult to follow, and you
cannot use each one more than once in a sentence to join clauses.
This is wrong:
Computers are used widely in most countries now, and they are a sign of progress, and
we must ensure every ones has access to them.
Incorrect formula = SV and SV and SV. X

Computers are used widely in most countries now, and they are a sign of progress. We
must ensure every ones has access to them.

Computers are used widely in most countries now, and they are a sign of progress, so
must ensure every ones has access to them.
Formula = SV and SV so SV.

Using semicolons
There is an instance when you can have a compound sentence structure without a
coordinating conjuntion, and this is when you join two clauses with a semicolon. It
is used when two ideas are related.
For example:
Computers are used widely in most countires; they are a sign of progress.

3. Complex Sentences
Complex sentences are more complicated (which is maybe why they are called 'complex'!).
This type of sentence structure is important for IELTS because to get awarded a band 6 or higher for your
'grammatical range and accuracy', you need to demonstrate that you are able to use them.

The more varied and the more accurate your complex sentences are, the higher the band
score for this.
There are different types of complex sentences and these will be looked at in more detail later, so here
you are just provided with the basics.

Complex sentences are two (or more) clauses joined together, but they are not
joined by 'fanboys' (coordinating conjuntions). They are joined by
subordinating conjunctions .

These are subordinating conjunctions:

as if
as long as

as though
even if
even though

in order to
in case
so that


as much as
as soon as




For example:
People take natural health supplements even though they may not have been tested.
Our children may not be properly educated if we don't spend more on schools.
I went to bed as soon as he left because I was tired.
These are all adverbial clauses. In these types of complex sentence, the second clause can be used

to start the sentence.

In this case, a comma is needed in the middle.

Even though they may not have been tested, people take natural health supplements.
If we don't spend more on schools, our children may not be properly educated.
As soon as he left, I went to bed because I was tired.

Noun clauses and relative clauses are also a type of complex sentence structure.

4. Compound-Complex Sentences
Compound-complex sentences are the same as complex sentences but they also
have a simple (or compound) sentence before or after the 'complex' part.
For example:
I ate a lot when I got home, but I was still hungry.
The part that is underlined is the complex sentence. As you can see, it also has a
simple sentences connected to it. It can also have a full compound sentence
attached to it:
I ate a lot when I got home, but I was still hungry, so I went shopping to buy some
more food.

These are a compound-complex sentences.

Adverbial Clauses
In this lesson we will look in more detail at adverbial clauses.
In the table below you can see the most common types of adverbs used to make adverbial
You can also see what they are used for and some example sentences.

Types of Adverbial Clause

Time Clauses
In reference to a period of time or another event

He arrived before I did.

After I have finished studying, I intend to work abroad.
As the climate gets hotter, sea levels will rise.
I will keep learning English for as long as it is necessary.
While I am studying, I usually listen to the radio.
Rates of obesity increase when too much junk food is eaten.
Since I started going to fitness, I have lost 5 kilos.
I will keep learning English until I am upper intermediate.

Conditional Clauses
Expressing a hypothesis or condition, real or imagined

If we clone humans, it may have terrible consequences.

What would you buy if you won the lottery?
Our food will not be safe unless GM crops are banned.

Reason Clauses
To explain why

My English is not improving because I am not studying enough.

Since the govenment cut spending, poverty has increased.
Pollution is increasing as there are too many cars.

Purpose Clauses
To show the purpose of doing something

I am studying IELTS in order to attend university abroad.

He went to the gym so that he could lose weight.

Concession Clauses
To show contrast between two statements, or surprise.

Although e-readers are popular, most people still prefer books.

The Minister wants to incease taxes though his party disagrees.
Even though I studied every day, I didn't get the score I needed

Internet usage increased, while phone usage decreased.*
Whereas you have a lot of time to study, I do not.*

To talk about location of position

Wherever he goes, I will go.

I am not sure where I put my pen.

Rules for Adverbial Clauses

Remember that adverbial clauses are made up of two clauses an independent clause and a
dependent clause

1) Switching the Clauses

The first thing to note is that the independent and dependent clauses can be switched
After I have finished studying, I intend to work abroad.
(Dependent Clause + Independent Clause)
I intend to work abroad after I have finished studying.
(Independent Clause + Dependent Clause)
In all of the sentences in the table above, the clauses can be switched around.

2) Commas

Note though that if you switch them around and put the dependent clause first, a comma must
come at the end of the dependent clause:
After I have finished studying

I intend to work abroad.

I intend to work abroad after I have finished studying.
(No Comma)
This might seem like a minor point but it is quite important in your writing. Complex sentences
can sometimes get confusing if commas are missing as it can become unclear where one
clause ends and the other begins.
If any of your sentences are confusing, this will definitely reduce your score.
*'While' and 'Whereas' are exceptions to this rule because they do have commas even when
they appear in the middle of the sentence.

3) Meanings
Even though certain adverbs have been grouped together in the adverbial clauses table, this
does not mean that they are all synonyms for each other.
Some you can interchange with each other without changing the meaning. For instance, 'since',
'as' and 'because' all have the same meaning and you can choose which one you want to use.
But some you cannot.
For example, look at these conditional adverbs:
I will go if you go.
I will go unless you go.
The word 'unless' does not work in the second sentence. It has to be changed:
I won't go unless you go.
Now it has the same meaning.
Similarly, 'although', 'even though', and 'though' are all synonyms of each other and can be
interchanged, but 'while' and 'whereas' cannot always be swapped with them.

A Common Mistake
A common mistake with adverbial clauses (and other complex sentences) is to write
A fragment is an incomplete sentence:

My English is not improving. Because I am not studying enough.

A dependent clause (the second one in this case) cannot be a sentence on its own. By
placing a full-stop after "improving", this has turned the second clause into a sentence
A dependent clause must have an independent clause attached to it:
My English is not improving because I am not studying enough.
When you check your work, you should check your complex sentences and check that
you have not written any fragments.

Examples in Context
Look at this sample essay. The adverbial clauses are bold, with the independent clauses in
bold(and italics) and the dependent clauses bold(and underlined). The adverbs are bold and big
Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs.
Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals
and society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
These days, more and more people are making the choice to go to university. While some
people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job
prospects, others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways.
It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job. The majority
of people want to improve their future career prospects and attending university is one of the
best ways to do this as it increases a persons marketable skills and attractiveness to potential
employers. In addition, further education is very expensive, so most people would not consider
it if it would not provide them with a more secure future and a higher standard of living. Thus job
prospects are very important.
However, there are other benefits for individuals and society. Firstly,the independence of
living away from home is a benefit because it helps the students develop better social
skills and improve as a person. A case in point is that many students will have to leave their
families, live in halls of residence and meet new friends. As a result, their maturity and
confidence will grow enabling them to live more fulfilling lives. Secondly, society will gain from

the contribution that the graduates can make to the economy. We are living in a very
competitive world, so countries need educated people in

order to compete and prosper.

Therefore, I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job,
there are clearly further benefits

. If we continue to promote and encourage university

attendance, it will lead to a better future for individuals and society

Relative Clauses
Relative clauses are a type of complex sentence.
Here are some examples from task 2 essays:
CO2, which damages the ozone layer, comes from several sources, but the most problematic
are those coming from the burning of fossil fuels from power plants.
Email and social networking sites such as Facebook and MSN have created online communities
that are global in scale.
Relative clauses can refer to:
People = who / that
Things = which / that
Places = where
Below are some essential rules about these types of clauses that you must know.
The rules refer to independent and dependent clauses, so make sure you understand these

Use relative clauses better

This lesson follows the lesson on how to get the grammar of relative clauses right. The
aim this time is to show you some of the ways you can use relative clauses to improve the
quality of your writing. The key points are:
Good use of relatives can help grammar, vocabulary and cohesion
There are two types of relative clause
The types of relative clauses are used in two different ways to be precise and to add

Relative clauses can improve your writing in 3 ways


first step is to see that relative clauses help link your writing together this will be excellent for
your coherence and cohesion score as well as your grammar. They help you if you normally write
with a number of short sentences.

Look at these two examples:

Example A
All the grammar and vocabulary here is correct. The sentences do link together but there
are some very short sentences and there is little variety in grammatical structure. Not bad.
Could do better.
A lot of people believe that cities should have more parks. Citizens should be able enjoy the
natural environment better. Currently, many city dwellers have no opportunity to see trees,
plants and birds and have no space to exercise. It is important because they would improve
the quality of their life. For example, both old people and children would benefit from a place
to exercise safely and breathe clean air at the same time.
Example B

This is still not perfect. It is though a good deal better. You should see that the relative
clauses (in blue and red) do three things:

they link some sentences together improving cohesion and coherence


they improve the range of grammar (it is not all and and because now)


they allow me to add more detail thats good for vocabulary

A lot of people believe that cities should have more parks which would allow citizens to
enjoy the natural environment better. Currently, many city dwellers have no opportunity to
see trees, plants and birds and have no space to exercise, which is another benefit of open
spaces in urban areas. Both of these are important because they would improve the quality
of life for people who often suffer from not having a pleasant environment. For example,
both old people and children would benefit from a place to exercise safely and breathe clean
air at the same time.

To use relative clauses better, understand what they do

If you want to use relative clauses well, you need to see that there are different types of
relative clause and they do different jobs

Defining relatives clauses

These say exactly what you are writing about. This is good for academic writing, where a
key a skill is to be precise and accurate. Look at the two examples below . In the first one
the which explains precisely why cities should have more parks. I have simply joined my
first and second sentences together.
E.g. A lot of people believe that cities should have more parks which would allow citizens to
enjoy the natural environment better.
Both of these are important because they would improve the quality of life for people who
often suffer from not having a pleasant environment.
Learn the skill
Look at shorter sentences and ask yourself if you can join them together.
Look at ideas and words and ask whether you can define what you mean more precisely.

Extra information relative clauses

These are used differently and have slightly different grammar. The idea with these is that
you are just adding more detail in. This is good for your vocabulary score and makes your
writing more interesting to read. See the example below. I dont need to say this bit, but I
think it makes it more interesting. It also gives me the chance to use words like benefit and
open spaces and that is great for my vocabulary score.
E.g. Currently, many city dwellers have no opportunity to see trees, plants and birds and
have no space to exercise, which is another benefit of open spaces in urban areas.
Learn the skill
Think about detail decide if there is anything else you can add
Often these type of relatives can replace and. If you write and a lot, decide if you can use
which/who instead

Warning dont overuse relative clauses

You can have too much of a good thing. Do not use loads of relatives. They make your
writing more complex, but also harder to read. Here are two general guidelines:
Only one relative clause per sentence
Dont use relative clauses in every sentence
The perfect paragraph should combine the simple with the complex. In IELTS writing
you are aiming for a range of grammar, not the same bit of grammar all the time even
if it is useful as relative clauses.
This lesson follows the lesson on how to get the grammar of relative clauses right. The
aim this time is to show you some of the ways you can use relative clauses to improve
the quality of your writing. The key points are:
Good use of relatives can help grammar, vocabulary and cohesion
There are two types of relative clause
The types of relative clauses are used in two different ways to be precise and to add

Getting relative clauses right

Relative clauses are an essential piece of English grammar. They are though tricky to get
right. This lesson guides you through some of the problems teaching you a little bit a time
and then testing what you have learnt.

Types of relative clauses

We use relative clauses to combine two bits of information. In that way, they are similar to
words like and or but. They are different though because we use them in two special ways:
1. to define/explain what we are talking about
e.g. I run a website which is designed to help learners of English
here I am explaining what type of website I run this the sentence changes meaning
2. to give more/extra information about something
e.g. My website, which Ive run for 7 years now, is called ABC
here I am just telling you something else I dont need to tell that the website is 7 years old
its extra information

The most basic rule is that we use who for people and that/which for things. That though is
a little too simple as there are differences between the types of relative clause and the type
of pronoun!

Subject pronouns
In extra information relative clauses we have two choices: who for people and which for

In defining relative clauses we can also use that for people (although some dont like this)

and things:

Object pronouns
These are just like subject pronouns that you can use whom instead of who when it
follows a preposition. You dont need whom when there is no preposition and
increasingly we only use it directly after a preposition. You should also note that we can
put the preposition at the end of sentence.

Again, this is similar to subject pronouns

Possessive relative pronouns

Theres more. We also use possessive pronouns with relative clauses too. In this case we
use whose for both people and things. You should note though that we try and avoid using
whose for things. In the example below, for instance, you could say I prefer computers
which have larger screens or I prefer computers with larger screens.

Relative adverbs
These are some of the most useful relatives there are. You should note in particular the
reason why

Punctuation problems
You dont want a comma when you use a defining relative clause.
The city where I live is Cambridge.
You do want commas in extra information relative clauses
Cambridge, where I currently live, is famous for its university.
These commas work like brackets ( ) and the idea is that you can take the relative clause
out and the sentence is complete
Cambridge ( ) is famous for its university.

Sometimes you have a choice whether to put the commas in or not. The same sentence
can be defining something or simply giving more information:
My brother, who lives in London, is an accountant (here Im just saying a little bit more
about my brother)
My brother who lives inn London is an accountant (here Im saying it is my brother who
lives in London that is the accountant, not my brother who lives in New York!)
Avoid a common mistake
One of the more common mistakes with relative clauses is that sometimes people forget
to take out the subject pronoun:
Peter, who I went to school with him, now runs his own business.
We dont want him because we already have whoQuick summary

can use that instead of who/which as a subject
dont need an object pronoun
no comma
Extra Information
cannot use that instead of who/which as a subject
do need an object pronoun
do need comma(s)

8 things you must know about relative clauses:

1) Relative clauses modify nouns, and they must come after the noun they are modifying:

relative clause

The car, which is my fathers, is in the garage.


relative clause

The car is in the garage, which is locked.

In the first sentence, the relative clause is referring to "the car", so it comes after that noun.
In the second sentence it is referring to "the garage".
2) There must be an independent and dependent clause:
Ind Clause

Dep Clause

Ind Clause

The car, / which is my fathers, / is in the garage.

3) As there are two clauses, there must be a

subject and verb in each:

The car, / which is my fathers, / is in the garage.

This is because a relative clause is two simple sentences joined together. In other words:

The car is in the garage.


The car is my fathers.

4) If you miss part of one of the clauses out, or one of the subjects or verbs, you will
create a fragment (an incomplete sentence):

The car / which is my fathers.

This is incorrect as there must be a full dependent and independent clause.
5) The verb in the relative clause must agree (i.e. singular subject takes singular verb)
with the noun it is modifying:
Subj (sing)

verb (sing)

The car, / which is my fathers, / is in the garage.

6) If the information is extra information, there are commas:
The car, which is my fathers, is in the garage.
The relative clause is not identifying the noun, it is just extra information about who
owns it.
7) If the information is essential, there are no commas:
The car which is in front of the house is mine.
This is identifying which car, so it is essential. There are probably other cars, so without the
relative clause we will not know which car is being talked about.
In other words, if you said "the car is mine", this would not help us. Which car?
8) With essential relative clauses, that can replace who or which:

The car that is in front of the house is mine.

The police have not found the person that stole my car.

Noun Clause
A Noun clause is another type of complex sentence that you are likely to use when you
do any form of writing or speaking, so you need to be aware of them for IELTS.
:What is a Noun Clause?
.A group of words (which do what a noun does) with a subject and a verb that can

be a subject, an object, or an object of a preposition.

Here are 4 common types of noun clauses (NC):
1. Subject Nc
2. Direct Object Nc
3. Object Of Preposition Nc
4. Subject As Complement Nc

It is a dependent clause which means it must also have an independent clause, but we
will look at this further when we analyze each type.
Before we look at these in turn, let's look at how this type of clause begins.

Starting the Clause

They start with a relative or adverb pronoun. These are the words that commonly
commence such a clause:











how (adj)

- ever words

whenever whatever

whicheve whoever

however however


Types of Clauses
Now we'll look at the different types. Before we do this, take a look at these noun clause examples (the
whole clause is in bold and the relative or adverb pronoun is in red). Each different type is shown:
How governments are fighting global warming is being scrutinized by the media.
(Subject NC)
Most people believe that obesity cannot be reduced just by reducing calorie intake.
(Direct Object NC)
He talked with whichever person arrived first.
(Object of Preposition NC)
It is important that the individuals do everything they can to help educate their children.
(Subject as complement NC)

1. Subject Noun Clauses

For these explanations, the subjects will be written as (S), the verbs (V), and the objects
In this type of sentence the NC (underlined) is the subject of the sentence

What causes so many difficulties in the IELTS test (S) is(V) the
writing section(O).

So looking at the whole sentence above, we have a subject, a verband an object.

But remember that a NC is a 'clause', so it too must have a subject and a verb (and
possibly an object):

What (S)causes (V)so many difficulties in the IELTS test(O) is

the writing section.

In the above example, the adverb pronoun ("what") is the subject. It does not have to be
as in this example, where "I" is the subject:

Whether I (S)go(V) or not is up to me.

Important: Note that the verb "is" is singular. A NC is counted as a singular subject, so
it takes a singular verb.
You can learn more about subject verb agreement here.

2. Direct Object Noun Clauses

When the clause is the direct object, then it comes after the verb in the independent

This history book (S)describes(V) how England became the

first industrialised nation(O).

Again, remember that the NC has a subject and a verb (and possibly an object):

This history book describes how England (S)became(V) the

first industrialised nation(O).

A common NC you will know from IELTS is the "that" clause, following verbs such as
"think", "believe" and "feel", for example as in this Task 2 essay question:

A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by

people(O) and that they should have the same rights as humans(O), while
others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various
needs(O), including uses for food and research.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.

And you may then give your opinion:

Personally, I do not believe that it is necessary to exploit animals for our

own satisfaction(O)

Note that if you are speaking it is fine to leave "that" out of the sentence (this is then a
reduced noun clause).
I believe students should not have to wear a uniform.
But for formal writing such as you do in IELTS you should keep the "that" in the
I believe that students should not have to wear a uniform.

3. Object of the Preposition Noun Clauses

In this case, the NC comes after a preposition:

My Aunt is very chatty. She speaks to whoever will listen!(O)

And here it is with the subject and verb of the NC highlighted:

My Aunt is very chatty. She speaks to whoever(S) will listen!(V)

: 4.

Subject as Complement Noun Clauses

These type of sentences have the following structure:

It + be + adjective + (NOUN CLAUSE: that + S + V)
It is important that the government tackles obesity.
It is essential that children have enough leisure time.

Subject Verb Agreement

It is important to understand subject verb agreement for IELTS.
If you are making errors with this in your writing or speaking, it will be very noticable as
it is a very basic error.
For example, take a look at this paragraph which has errors with subject verb
Some people argue that leaving people in prison for a long time mean that they will
mix with other criminals and so their character will not improve. The alternative are
community service. This gives an offender the opportunity to give something positive
back to society, and so it may improves their character. Also, the government could
focus its resources on the causes of crime, which would leads to less crime in the

The Basic Rules

These are the basic rules of subject verb agreement:
1) For a singular third person (he / she / it) in the present tense, the verb must have
an -s ending


I take

We take

You take

You take

He / She / It takes

They take

Singular: He takes the bus to work every morning.

Plural: His family take the train.
2) Different formations are used for the irregular verb 'to be', but an -s is still used for
the third person singular


I am

We are

You are

You are

He / She / It is

They are



I was

We were

You were

You were

He / She / It was

They were

Singular: He was on the bus by 9am
Plural: His children were on the train by 9.30am.

However, these are just the basic rules.

There are other things that are important to understand in order to ensure you are using
subject verb agreement correctly in all contexts and some things that are confusing.
We'll look at some of these now.

There is and There are

When you use there is and there are, 'there' is never the subject. The subject is the word that
comes after the verb.
Therefore, you need to look at that word to decide if the verb is singular or plural.
There are several reasons why we must tackle the problem of global warming.
There is one main reason we must tackle global warming.
What sometimes confuses people is when there are several nouns after the verb. It is common
to make the mistake of using a plural verb. In fact, the verb should agree with only the first noun.
Take a look at this simple example:
There is a pen, some pencils, and a rubber on the table.
There are pens, one pencil and some rubbers on the table.
In each of these examples, you just need to look at the first noun to decide if the subject is
singular or plural - you can ignore the ones after this.

Separated Subjects
Another common mistake is when the subject is separated from the verb by a prepositional phrase,
relative clause, or reduced relative clause.
A mistake is to make the verb agree with the last noun in the phrase or clause rather than the subject of
the sentence:
Incorrect: Improving the situation of people in cities are very important.
Correct: Improving the situation (of people in cities) is very important.
It should not agree with 'cities' as this is part of the prepositional phrase.

Here are some more examples of correct subject verb agreement (the phrase or clause that should be
ignored for purposes of agreement is in brackets):
Obesity (in children) is a growing concern.
The decision (made by the country's leaders after numerous meetings) was definitely the right one.
The new roads (which the government has built) have not reduced congestion.

Expressions of Quantity
Another difficult area with subject verb agreement is dealing with quantities.
When a quantity word is followed by a prepositional phrase, it can follow the rules above i.e. the
verb agrees with the subject (the quantity):
One of the new teachers is from India.
None of the candidates is likely to get my vote. (in spoken English the plural form is commonly
used - 'are likely')
Five of my friends are coming with me on holiday.
However, for some quantity phrases you do need to refer to the noun in the prepositional phrase
to decide if the verb is singular or plural:


A lot of...

A lot of the meat is A lot of the vegetables

are organic

All of the...

All of the meat

is fresh.

All of the vegetables are organic

Some of the...

Some of the meat

is fresh.

Some of the vegetables

are organic

(third etc)

One-half of
One-third of the cars on the
the room is empty road use unleaded fuel.


Neither and Either

With these phrases, the verb must agree with the noun that is closest to the verb:
Neither the child nor her parents are at the school.
Neither the parents nor their child is at the school.
Either my brother or my sisters usually help me.
Either my sisters or my brother usually helps me.

Indefinite Pronouns as subjects

A common mistake is made in subject verb agreement with indefinite pronouns as
people often assume they must take a plural verb because they refer to more than one
Here are some common examples of indefinite pronouns:







no one









Everyone seems to be nervous about the exam.

Something needs to be done about the increasing rate of crime.
According to the news, Nobody is directly responsible for the problems.

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are always followed by the bare infinitive, so in this case the third person singular
no longer takes a singular verb:

Incorrect: He will takes the bus to work.

Correct: He will take the bus to work.
Incorrect: It would seems that she is unwell.
Correct: It would seem that she is unwell._______________________

Gerunds (verbs that function as nouns by adding -ing) always take a singular
subject. Remember to look at the gerund, not the noun that may come between the
gerund and the verb:
Feeding the poor in developing countries is what most aid is used for.
Running my businesses takes up most of my time.
Typing is a skill that I have not yet mastered.

Gerunds are an important grammar form to understand and to be able to use effectively
in the IELTS test and in your English more generally.
They are nouns and they are formed by adding -ing onto a verb.
Take a look at this paragraph - the gerunds are bold.
Learning vocabulary is very important for the IELTS test. Though it is important not to
neglect the other skills of speaking, reading, writing and listening, knowing a broad
range of words will help you with all the other parts of the test. Unfortunately, many
students dislike spending the time that is needed to fully understand each word, but
not taking vocabulary seriously could be a big mistake.
Here are examples of the words before and after they are changed:



















How are they used?

As a subject

Walking(GERUND) is(V) a good form of exercise

Notice that a gerund takes a singular verb ('is' in this case). You must use
the singular verb, even if there are multiple objects:
Eating (GERUND)bananas
(O), apples(O) and oranges(O) everyday is(V) good for you.
However, if there is more than one, then the plural verb is used:
Walking(GERUND) and swimming(GERUND) are(V) both good forms of
To make the sentence negative, 'not' is placed before the gerund.
Not exercising(GERUND) regularly is dangerous for your health.

As a direct object

Some people like swimming (G)to keep fit.

As subject complements after the verb "to be"

A good way to improve your English is watching(G) American TV series.

This sentence is also commonly written this way:
Watching(G) American TV series is a good way to improve your English.

Objects of prepositions

In this usage, it is after the preposition:

Another method of learning(V) English is to read lots of fiction books.


Common Verbs before gerunds

If you wish to put two verbs together, then the second verb will need to be a gerund
and / or infinitive.
For example, you can't say this:
We always finish eat very late.
We always finish to eat very late.
If "finish" is followed by another verb, it needs to be a gerund.
We always finish eating very late.
There is no grammatical reason for this as such, so you just need to learn the verbs and
practice writing some sentences with those verbs.
Remember, certain verbs should be followed by an infinitive, not a gerund, and some
verbs can be followed by either. For example:
I like to swim (verb + infinitive)
I like swimming (verb + gerund)
Go to the infinitives grammar lesson to learn more and the gerund and infinitive lesson
to learn about verbs that take both.
Here is a list of verbs that are very commonly followed by a gerund (not an infinitive):

I appreciate you taking(G) the time out to see me.


You should avoid drinking (G)sugary drinks.


The government considered banning(G) fox



I delayed paying(G) the fine for speeding.


He denied committing(G) the crime.


We discussed sending(G) the children to another



Most people dislike getting(G) up early.


I enjoy having(G) a day off.


We always finish eating (G) very late.


My job involves moving(G) around the country a

I miss seeing (G)my family everyday.
We postponed marrying (G)until we had the
He practiced hitting(G) the ball against the wall.
I will quit smoking(G) next month.


I can't ever recall shouting(G) at my children.


This book recommends studying(G) for IELTS



I resent my manager firing(G) me from my job.


I wouldn't risk taking(G) IELTS before you are



If you stop worrying(G), you will perform better.


She suggested studying(G) in Australia.


A Verb After a Preposition

If you place a verb after a preposition, the gerund form is used.
Here are some examples:
I am interested in learning a new language.
There are many advantages of taking a sabbatical from work.
I passed my exams without trying too hard.
I'm worried about sitting for the IELTS test.
I got a band 7 by studying very hard.
I was shocked upon hearing the news.
I'm sorry for talking so loud.
The best way to learn these is to understand collocations - words that commonly go together.
For example, we always talk about being "interested in" something, or the "advantages of"

Talking about an activity

We also use them to talk about an activity with the word 'go'.
For example:
I wanted to go jogging but my friend said he'd prefer to go swimming instead.

With reduced adverb clauses

They are also used to make reduced adverbial clauses. Below are some examples.
However, there are various rules for reducing adverbial clauses so you should make
sure you understand these rules before attempting them..
While I study, I listen to music.
Reduced: While studying, I listen to music
Before I went out, I turned the lights off.
Reduced: Before going out, I turned the lights off
I locked the doors after I got home.
Reduced: I locked the doors after gettinghome.
Because I was tired, I could not study any longer.

Reduced: Being tired, I could not study any longer

Infinitives are created by to + verb.

It is important that you can use them correctly in your IELTS speaking and writing or when you
use English more generally.
We have already looked at gerunds, which are verbs ending in ing(which makes them
Take a look at this paragraph. The infinitives are in bold.
To improve my IELTS score, I joined a writing class in a college in my home town. I wanted to
make sure that my grammar was as good as it could be. The teachers helped me to
understand some complex grammatical points. It is impossible to know everything in a short
time, but I improved lot, and I would really like to thank them for what they did. To help me like
this was very kind.

All these are being used in different ways. In this lesson we'll examine them further.

The Grammar
The infinitive form of the verb means that it does not take a tense. It is the bare form of the
verb, but with 'to' before it.
Here are some examples
to go
to see
to wait
to manipulate
to consider
to amend
A common mistake in writing is to think of it like a finite verb (a verb that has a subject and
takes a tense). It does not change its form.
Here is an example of a common mistake with the infinitive:
It took me five hours to reached the destination.
The person has made the infinitive verb, reach, in the past tense. Only the main verb (take
in this case) can be given a tense.
This is how it should be written:
It took me five hours to reach the destination.

How are they used?

The table below explains some of their common uses. This is followed by some tables
with examples.
As direct objects

When an infinitive is used as a direct object, it is placed after the verb:

I wanted to make sure that my grammar was as good as it could be.
I decided to study abroad, but my parents are refusing to pay.

To show purpose

They are sometimes used as a reduction of the phrase 'in order to'.
In order to improve my IELTS score, I joined a writing class in a college in
my home town.
To improve my IELTS score, I joined a writing class in a college in my home
I joined the exercise class in order to lose weight.
I joined the exercise class to lose weight.

As a subject

To help me like this was very kind.

To get involved in charity work is a very noble cause.
However, note that the use of the gerund in these structures is much more
Helping me like this was very kind.
Getting involved in charity work is a very noble cause.
If you do see an infinitive at the beginning of a sentence, it is much more likely
to be showing purpose i.e replacing in order to.

With phrases beginning with 'it' (it + be + infinitive)

It is impossible to be perfect in a short time.

(Adjective + Infinitive)

It could be a mistake to leave my job.

(Noun + Infinitive)

With the verb 'take' (it + take + noun + infinitive)

It took me five hours to reach the destination.

It takes a lot of concentration to read this book.

After certain adjectives

My brother was surprised to see me.

I was careful not to speak too loudly.

Common Verbs before infinitives

If you wish to put two verbs together, then the second verb will need to be an infinitive and /
or gerund.
For example, you can't say this:
He hoped see me again.
He hoped seeing me again.
If "hope" is followed by another verb, it needs to be an infinitive:
He hoped to see me again.
Remember, certain verbs should be followed by an infinitive, not a gerund, and some verbs
can be followed by either. For example:
I like to swim (verb + infinitive)
I like swimming (verb + gerund)
Follow this link to see the lesson on gerunds or learn when you can use the gerund and
Here is a list of verbs that are very commonly followed by an infinitive (not a gerund):



I can't afford to (v) pay (i) for IELTS lessons.


He agreed to (v) postpone (i) his test.


Obesity appears to (v) be (i) getting worse.

He asked me to go with him.
She claimed to have the answer to the question.
My partner and I decided to move house next year.


I demand to see the manager!


I didn't deserve to get a 7.5 as I studied very little.


She expected to get a band 5 but she got a 6.

Her son failed to win the race, but he came second.
I forgot to take the rubbish out last night.
She wouldn't hesitate to help a friend in need.


I hope to leave by 7pm.

The government intends to hold an election in June.
I've learnt to take each day as it comes.
She managed to change her doctors appointment.


Sorry, I didn't mean to arrive so late.


I need to get a band 7 to get into Australia.


I offered to drive her to the airport.


I plan to emigrate to the UK this year.


He's prepared to risk everything by investing in



The boy pretended to fall over.


The army general promised not to stage a coup.


He is refusing to take the medicine.


She seemed to be ok yesterday, but now she is



I tend to find that warmer weather makes me feel



The country threatened to invade its neighbor.


I can't wait to go on holiday.


The teacher wanted the students to pass.


Common adjectives preceded by it + be and followed by


It is bad (a) to gossip (i) about your friends.
It is dangerous (a) to drive (i)too fast.


It was difficult (a) to do (i)well in the IELTS reading



It is very easy (a) to forget (i)important grammar

points in a test.


It isn't always fun (a) to learn (i) English.

It is always hard to remain focused on your goals
in life.


It is important to believe in your abilities.


It will be impossible (a) for the charity to help

(i) everyone.

interesting It is interesting to find out about another country.


It is sometimes necessary to change your plans.

It is relaxing to lie in the sun.

Common nouns preceeded by it + be and followed by



a good idea It isn't a good idea to study late at night.

a bad idea

It is a bad idea to spend too long on IELTS Task 1.

a mistake

It is a mistake to say very little in the IELTS

speaking test.

a pity

It was a pity to leave so early.

a shame

It was a shame to break up.

a waste

It will be a waste to throw the food away.


Common adjectives followed by infinitives


I'm ashamed to admit that I stole the bike.


He is bound (certain) to arrive late - he always



He was careful not to wake the baby.


I'm excited to join the local football team.


I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.


The developer was happy to reduce the price of the



I'm lucky to have so many friends.


The nurse was pleased to know he was well again.

She was proud to be seen with her father.


The police were relieved to arrest the criminal at



I'm reluctant to take the IELTS test again.


He was sad to see his brother leave.

I was shocked to find out he had been fired.
We'll all be sorry to see you go.
They were surprised to hear he is 50 years old.
He's sure to win first prize.
I'm willing to bet you can get a high IELTS score

Parallel Structure
Parallel structure is when you balance the grammatical structures of words, clauses,
sentences, or phrases in your writing.
They are important for any kind of writing and speaking in order to maintain coherency.
In this particular lesson we'll look at parallel words and phrases.
We make words or phrases parallel when we are writing things in a list or series, and each
word must have. the same grammatical form
For words, nouns are balanced with nouns, adjectives with adjectives, verbs with verbs,
gerunds with gerunds, and so on.
For phrases, prepositional phrases are balanced with prepositional phrases, infinitive
phrases with infinitive phrases, and gerund phrases with gerund phrases.
The coordinating conjunction and is usually used to connect the parallel items, but other
coordinating conjunctions such as or and nor may be used.
Correlative conjunctions such as 'both/and', 'neither/nor' and 'whether/or' are also used as

Examples of Parallel Structure

Infinitives / Gerunds
She wants to go to England and studying at the London School of
Economics. (WRONG)
She wants to go to England and study at the London School of
Economics. (CORRECT)
The first sentence is wrong because the first item in the list, to go, is an
infinitive, but the second item, studying, is a gerund. In order to correct
it, studying has been changed to an infinitive.

John ensured that he gave his two minute talk
confidently, effectively and persuasive. (WRONG)
John ensured that he gave his two minute talk
confidently, effectively and persuasively. (CORRECT)
The first sentence is incorrect as the last item in the series ,persuasive,
is an adjective, whereas the first two items are adverbs. The second
sentence has been corrected by changing persuasive to the
adverb, persuasively.

The room was comfortable, airy, and it was not dirty.(WRONG)
The room was comfortable, airy, and clean. (CORRECT)
The first sentence is incorrect, since the first two items in the series,
comfortable and airy, are adjectives, whereas the last item, it was not
dirty, contains a verb. The second sentence has been corrected by
changing it was not dirty to the adjective clean.

Infinitive Phrases
I can't decide whether to take a bus or riding my bicyle to
work. (WRONG)

I can't decide whether to take a bus or (to) ride my bicyle to

work. (CORRECT)
The first sentence is wrong because an infinitive and gerund phrase
have been mixed together. The second is correct because they are
both infinitive phrases.

Prepositional Phrases
He climbed the rock, up the wall, and onto the roof.(WRONG)
He climbed over the rock, up the wall, and onto the roof.
The first sentence is not parallel since the first word, the rock, does not
have a preposition, but the next two words in the list have. It can be
corrected by placing the correct preposition, over, before climbed.

Top 10 IELTS Grammar Mistakes

25% of your marks in the writing and speaking tests come from using appropriate grammar
structures that are error free. Unfortunately, when learning a new language people often make
frequent grammar mistakes. In fact, if more than 50% of your sentences have any errors in
them, you will not get more than band 6 for grammatical range and accuracy. In other words, to
score 7 or higher, you should try to make more than half of your sentences completely error

Below are the top 10 mistakes and some advice on how to avoid them.

Use of the word the

We use the:

when there is only one of something in a particular area: the government, the police, the
bridge, the river, the hospital

when there is only one in the entire world: the internet, the environment, the ozone layer,
the atmosphere

with cardinal numbers: the first, the second, the third

with superlatives: the worst, the shortest, the lowest, the most beautiful, the least

with places where the name refers to a group of islands or states: the USA, the UK, the
Maldives, the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates

before nouns which describe general things: exercise is good for the body, the
motorbike is the most common form of transport in Asia, the role of the teacher has
changed in recent years

before abstract nouns used to describe a situation, process, quality or a change: over
the years the development of the town accelerated, the frequency of violent crime
decreased over the period, the improvement in living standards

We dont use the:

to talk generally we drop the word the and use the plural: dogs dont like cats, people
with dyslexia have reading problems, Japanese cars are very reliable, German products
are very high quality.
with a single place or country: Ireland, China, Vietnam, Europe, South America

2. Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Some nouns in English are uncountable and will therefore always be in the singular form and
never plural. Some common nouns that students often get wrong in the IELTS test are:
















If a noun is uncountable you cannot use:

a plural verb: There were many traffic in the city.

a number: three advice, four food

a few, a couple, many, a number of: a number of literature, a few research

a/an: a happiness, an entertainment

3. Noun Verb Agreement

The verb must agree with the noun. If you use a plural noun, you must use a plural verb and
vice versa.
There is some dogs outside.
There is some food in the kitchen.

Here are some homework for you.

There are some eggs in the kitchen.

4. ing or to + infinitive
We use to + infinitive verb after the following verbs: learn how, would like, want, seem, refuse,
promise, prepare, offer, learn, hope, help, deserve, decide, afford, and ask.
It is important to learn how to speak English
Most people cannot afford to go on holiday every year.
I would like to study overseas.
Note: like can be followed by ing or to + infinitive.
We use verbing after the following verbs: suggest, recommend, practice, mind, keep, involve,
imagine, give up, finish, enjoy, deny, consider, carry on, and avoid.
I would recommend checking your writing for mistakes.
You should avoid drinking coffee after 6pm.
Ive finished writing my essay.

5. Use Of Articles Before Noun Phrases

You should include a/an before adjective singular noun combinations: a massive improvement,
a steady increase, an overall majority, a very small percentage, a really strong argument.
Some exceptions include the word of after the noun phrase: a wide range of, an equal number
of, a large/small number of, a small/large/equal proportion of.
Exceptions: quite a few people, to a certain extent/degree

6. Use of Commas
In the IELTS writing test we often use phrases called discourse markers or liking phrases to
link our ideas together, such as on the one hand, on the other hand, however, for example,
nevertheless, firstly, secondly, in conclusion, in summary.
We normally use a comma after a discourse marker that introduces a sentence:

Firstly, the main cause of pollution is motor vehicles.

On the one hand, motor vehicles are said to be the main cause.

However, pollution from industry may also be to blame.

To sum up, the causes of pollution are mostly man-made.

We also use commas on either side of discourse markers in the middle of sentences:

Fossil fuels are mostly to blame for global warming, however, some people believe this
is a natural process.
Fossil fuels are mostly to blame for global warming, for example, from cars and factories.

7. Verb Tenses
Always consider which of the following tense you should use:

Present simple:

things that are always true (the sky is blue)

general statements of fact (I was born in 1982)

habits (I go to sleep every night at 11pm)

Present continuous:

an action at the moment of speaking

something in progress this week, month or year

to talk about a future planned event

Present Perfect:

an action that took place at an indefinite time in the past

an action that was repeated before now

an action that began in the past and continues until now

Present Perfect Continuous:

a general activity in progress recently

Past Simple

to show the duration of something that happened in the past and continues until

action that began in the past and finished in the past

Past Continuous

talk about an action that was happening in the past when another occurred

an action that was in progress at a specific time in the past

Past Perfect

Past Perfect Continuous

talk about something that was completed before another activity or another time
in the past

talk about duration of activity that was in progress before another event in the
an activity in progress that is recent to another time or activity in the past

Future Simple

to predict or plan for the future

to express a willingness to do something

10 Future Continuous

an action that will be in progress at a time in the future

11 Future Perfect

an action that will be completed before another time or event in the future

12 Future Perfect Continuous

the duration of an action that will be in progress before another time or event in
the future

8. Prepositions After Adjectives and Nouns

Students often get confused about which prepositions to use after adjectives and nouns. Here
are some common expressions:

Bad at (something)

Good at (something)

Surprised at (something)

About or with:

Pleased about (something)

Pleased with (someone)

Angry about (something)

Angry with (someone)

Disappointed about (something)

Disappointed with (someone)

Worried about (something or someone)


rise in

decrease in

increase in

fall in

drop in


difference between


advantage/disadvantage of

example of

number of

percentage of

use of

9. Apostrophes
We use apostrophes to shorten words or make contractions:


Do not- Dont

I will- Ill

Contractions are normally used in spoken English and should therefore not be used in the
academic writing tasks.
We can also use apostrophes to show possession:

Johns book

Marys brother

We dont use apostrophes with possessive pronouns such as:

The dog has broken its

The book is not theirs its ours.

10. Common Spelling Mistakes

Some common spelling mistakes:

to or too

there or their

though or through














Articles in IELTS a two step method to
making fewer mistakes
Why articles in IELTS matter
The is the most common word in English, a is the fifth most common, and
statistically this means these are the words that you are most likely to make mistakes
with: simply because they are the words you use most. Indeed in my experience in
IELTS, and elsewhere, it is not the big words that cause the most problems, but the little

Are you Indian? Do you speak Spanish, Mandarin, German,

Russian, Arabic?
It doesnt really matter what language you speak, as the other major problem is that
different languages use articles in different ways. For instance, certain Asian languages
do not use articles and Indian language speakers, for example, often do not use articles
at all in English. Again, certain European languages use articles differently: the word for
information in French is linformation and French speakers will use articles in
English when they shouldnt.

A two step solution

My personal solution is to show you the general principles of how articles work in
English. It isnt going to be a complete solution. Rather, this is a solution designed to
enable you to get articles right 7/8 times out of 10 and it is practical in that you can use
it for yourself in the exam without a reference book beside you. The idea is that you ask
yourself two questions:

step 1 ask if is it general or particular

step 2 ask if is it a countable or uncountable noun

Some basic concepts first

Before I show you the solution, I first need to check some basic concepts .

Concept 1 general and particular

To see this idea, ask yourself what the difference is between pollution and the
pollution? Pollution is general, while the pollution is much more specific an a
particular instance of something. Look at these two examples:
Pollution is one of the major issues facing mankind in the 21st century.
Here Pollution is general
Perhaps the first step is to combat the air pollution in the cities caused by factories.
Here by contrast The pollution is particular and refers to an instance of pollution.

Concept 2 countable and uncountable

To understand the second idea you first need to see that some words in English are
countable and others uncountable. And, just to confuse you,there are a surprising
number that are both!
Countable nouns are words we can put in the plural or use with a. Often they are
thing type words such as newspaper e.g.

newspapers and a newspaper

Uncountable nouns are those words we cannot put in the plural or use a with. Often
they are idea/abstract/concept words such as information e.g.
Information is wrong, so is an information, we need to say information or the

Flexible nouns are words which are sometimes countable and sometimes uncountable.
These are often the ones that may catch you out. You really want to decide if you are
talking about the thing or the idea. Look at the word university e.g.
He is going to university next year


He wants to go to a university close to his family.

(countable )

Putting it into practice the rules

I think the best way to show you my solution is to look at this table. It really does show
you the key ideas you need to correct your most of your mistakes. I like it because it is so
simple. It is something you can carry inside your head.


Countable nouns must have an article or something like an article such as some, many

etc, or be put into the plural.


The only time you cant have an article with a noun is when it is an uncountable noun

used in the general meaning.


We always need the when we are talking about something in particular.


Dont forget that some words like university are flexible and can sometimes be

countable and sometimes uncountable

Is this enough?
No. It isnt the whole story. There is more to articles than this, but as I said above it is
surprising how far it can take you. I have cheated slightly where I say that a chair is an
example of general meaning. But I find that in practice this explanation does work for most
Id add that some words have their own grammar and you may need to learn them one by
one. Geographical terms are a problem where there is little logic. So these you just have to

Another unusual case is where we sometimes use the when we are talking generally
about a category of things. So we can say:
The bicycle is a very common form of transport in Cambridge

If conditionals
Using conditionals to improve your
In order to get to band 6 your writing needs to contain a mix of both simple and more
complex structures. In plain English this means using some more advanced grammatical
structures. I suggest looking at conditionals thats if clauses. I have 2 reasons for this:
1. They are relatively straightforward and typically are familiar to most candidates its an
achievable goal
2. They have a real purpose in the IELTS essay theyre not just going to help your
grammar, they can actually make the writing process easier for you by improving your
coherence and extending the range of your vocabulary.

This is the main point: when you are looking at grammar, you should concentrate on its use,
not just its form.
Examples a key way to produce coherent paragraphs
What do I mean by this? Well, one of the keys to a good essay is to ensure that your
paragraphs are coherent. A coherent paragraph takes one idea in the topic sentence
then explains it a little and then gives an example. These examples are critical for
coherence- especially in an exam context .
Once you have understood that, the next step is to understand how to introduce examples.
One piece of language to do that is of course for example, then there is for instance or
an illustration of this is. But my point here is that if is an excellent alternative for
introducing examples, not least because it typically leads into a more extended example
with a greater range of topic vocabulary.
Some examples
These are examples from my sample IELTS essays. See how the if clause is used to
extend, explain and illustrate the main idea and also helps you use more topic language:
this is a good thing.
The second point to make is that there are many much more urgent projects on Earth that
require investment. If governments spent less money on space research, then they would
be able to help solve some of these problems such as population control, elimination of
diseases like cholera, global warming and food shortages. It seems to me that all of these
issues are more important because they affect the lives of millions of ordinary people. An
illustration of this is that the US government could provide food for all the starving people in
the world if they did not spend so much on NASA.
Those who argue that museums should be free typically make one of two arguments. The
first argument is that institutions like museums are a public service and therefore there
should be free access to the man in the street. If for example there was a charge only the
wealthy could afford to enjoy works of art. The second, and related, argument is that if they
did levy a charge fewer people would go to museums. This would be serious as they are
educational institutions and standards would fall.

There is of course another side to this argument and there are possible reasons why
emigration from developing countries is not a complete solution. One such reason is that
people who have suffered from natural disasters will want to return to their homes as quickly
as possible and be with their families and relatives. This will be difficult if they have moved
to another country. Another reason is that it is often more effective to help the victims in their
own country as it can cause them more stress if they have to move to another country with a
different language and strange customs. For example, it could be difficult for someone from
Iraq to adapt to the English way of life and weather.

M0dal verbs
How modal verbs of possibility and probability can help
you speak and write better
This is a quick lesson on using better grammar in IELTS writing and speaking when you are
talking about probability and possibility by using modal verbs. The idea is not just to remind
you of some important words/structures, but to show you how that you can make life easier
for yourself in the exam by using them. Grammar in use!

What are modal verbs?

What are modal verbs? They are verbs like may ,might, could and will that you use
with other verbs. The great thing about using them is that their grammar tends to be nice
and easy.
When do you need modal verbs?
Lets start by thinking about when you might want to use modal verbs. Its language you can
use in both speaking and writing and is useful whenever you are talking about events in the
future, the present or the past. The basic idea is that you use these modals when are
uncertain about something. Theyre an alternative to is, will and was. They are useful
for discussing probability and possibility.
Future possibilities
Look at these questions:
Do you think e-books will replace traditional books in the future? (speaking part 3)
Some people predict that credit cards will replace cash transactions. What is your opinion?
(writing task 2)
In both cases you should see that you can use possibility/probability words such as may
and might and you do not have to use the will in the question.
Present Possibilities
Look at these questions:
Do you think that people are reading less nowadays? (speaking part 3)
Some people believe that human activities are responsible for climate change. To what
extent do you agree or disagree this view? (writing task 2)
Again, you should see that you can say that people might be reading less or that human
activities might be responsible for climate change.

Possibilities in the past

You are also likely to be asked about events in the past. If you are uncertain, then you can
use this language there too. Look at these questions:
What do you think was the most significant invention of the 20th century (speaking part 3)
Most experts now believe that human activity is responsible for climate change. What do
you think caused this and what solutions can you suggest to reverse this change? ( writing
task 2)
Why should you use modal verbs of possibility and probability? It gives you
something else to say
The next step is to show you how you can help yourself by using this language. The general
idea is that if you use may, then you automatically have something else to say may not!
Thats a good thing, as extending your ideas is important both in writing and speaking. You
dont understand? See this example, if you start:
Id say that it is possible that e-books may replace books one day.
then you automatically have a way of continuing by saying
but the opposite is also true and its also possible that traditional might survive
This way you have twice as much to write or say than if you just used will. You can talk
about two things and not just one.
Avoid some common mistakes
Here are some ways to not make mistakes using modal verbs of possibility and probability:
Dont put an s on in the third person singular
Wrong: it may disappears
Right: it may disappear
Use not to make them negative

It may not disappear

Dont use the to form of the verb
Wrong: Books might to become less popular
Right: Books might become less popular
Only add be if the verb is to be

Wrong: Books may be become more popular

Right: Books may become more popular
Right: It may be the case that books become more popular (note here may be is
two words)
Dont add will to a modal to make it future

Wrong: Books will may become more popular

Right: Books may become more popular
What modal verbs can use for probability and possibility in the present?
The basic model is modal + verb for simple tenses
Here are the basic variations:

What modal verbs can you use for probability and possibility in the future?

The basic model is modal + verb for simple tenses

Here are the basic variations:

note on should
It is also to use should in this way too sometimes.
People should use the internet much more in the future
This one is slightly different: with should you are making a suggestion of what you think
might be true in the future and also suggesting that you have a reason for believing that. It is
more like an opinion.

note on will (yes this is a modal too)

You may be surprised to see will in this list. It is in fact a modal which is one reason why
you shouldnt say will can or will must. We dont use modal verbs together.
What about modals of probability in the past?
The basic form here is modal + have + the past participle for simple tenses.

Here are the basic variations.

What happens if you are certain?
Sometimes you are certain about something. Then it doesnt make sense to use
modals such as may and might. Here the words you want are must and cant.

Using modals in the continuous form

It is also possible to use these verbs in the continuous form. The models here are slightly
more complex
modal + be + verb ING in the present and future
modal + has/have been + verb ING in the past

Modal Verbs for IELTS

This IELTS lesson is about modal verbs and how they can be used to improve your writing You
are likely to use these a lot in your academic writing for task 2, particularly if you are writing an
essay which needs to give solutions to a problem.
They are also important to help in clarifying the certainty with which you are making a point,
which is important for your writing.
The examiner will expect you to be competent in using these to award you a higher band score.
What are they?
Modal Verbs are used commonly in English to add further information to the main verb.
They are auxiliary or 'helping' verbs, which means they cannot be used on their own but must
be used with the main verb.

Modal Verbs


Main Verb
(Bare Infinitive)

Sentence Examples


She can swim

Can she swim?
She can not swim

Semi Modal Verbs


Sentence Examples


to go

She has to go
Does she have to go?
She doesnt have to go

How are they used?

These verbs are used with a main verb and are followed by the bare infinitive
(bare means no to).
The exceptions are ought, need and have which are followed by the infinitive
(with to).

Common Use in IELTS Task 2

Three important functions of modal verbs when you are writing or speaking for IELTS
1..discussing degrees of certainty
2. Making suggestions
3. Hypothetical situations

1) Degrees of Certainty
Will, may, might and could are common to make logical deductions about a situation or the future,
which you often need to do in task 2:
Children with no father as a role model will become criminals. (100%)
Children with no father as a role model may become criminals. (Possible)
Children with no father as a role model could become criminals. (Possible)

Which of these sentences do you think is incorrect?

Hopefully you worked out that the first one is wrong. This is a common mistake to see in IELTS essays.

The grammar is ok, but it is not possible to conclude that all children with no father as a role model will
become criminals!
Be careful when you are making assessments in this way.
Will is 100% going to happen, so avoid using it to make generalizations about everybody/everything
unless you know it is 100% true. (There are other ways to make it less certain e.g. will possibly).
When you are writing IELTS essays, it's unusual that you will have evidence with you or that you can
use to show 100% what you are saying is true.

So the second two are better in this situation.


2) Suggestions
Must, should, ought to, have to and could are often used to make suggestions for
solving a problem. It is common in task 2 to get a question asking you to discuss a
problem and suggest solutions.
Governments must/have to/need to take action to tackle global warming. (strong
Parents should/ought to stop their children watching too much television. (Strong
Individuals could recycle more (possibility).

3) Hypothetical Situations
It is common to use would and could to discuss hypothetical situations.
If something is hypothetical, this means in effect it has not happened. You are
discussing an unreal situation in the future or imagining something.
For example:
If the government spent more money on hospitals, people would be healthier.
It is something that has not happened and you don't know if it will.

Different ways to talk about the future

One very good way to prepare for your IELTS speaking is to practice different ways to talk
about the future. This is because the examiner listens for the way you vary your grammar,
not just if you make mistakes.
This is a skill you need mostly in part 1 and 3 parts of the speaking test.

Step one recognize the future question

The first step is to listen the question and realize what language you need to use. See these
What are your plans for the future
How do you think reading habits will change
If you hear a question like this, you want to think FUTURE. You also want to think of using
different futures.

Step two use some basic variations dont will will will
English has many different ways to talk about the future. These are the most basic ones you
must be able to use will going to and the present continuous form:
Ill go to university next perhaps you havent thought about it much
Im going to university next year this is fixed you already have your place
Im going to go university next year this is what you plan to do

Step three use more words

In fact, there are loads of more ways of talking about the future. Its not all about verbs and
tenses, see these examples:

My ambition is to go university next year
I intend to go to university next year/ My intention is to go university
My plan is to go university next year/I plan to go university next year
Id like to go to university next year

Here you may use will or going to. Typically, we use going to when we have more evidence
that something will happen. You can also at the same time add in other future words:
I expect more and more people will only read on the internet.
Its quite likely/The likelihood is that old-fashioned books will disappear
The internet is bound to change reading habits.
My prediction is that fewer people will read books

This is a connected idea. Here you should ask yourself the question whether something will
happen or whether it only may happen. Id also suggest that if you use may, might or
could , you will find that you have more to talk about i.e. may not or might not.

People may only read on the internet

Its possible/Theres a possibility that old-fashioned books will disappear
The internet will probably change reading habits/ Its quite probable that .

Passive Voice
In this grammar lesson we will look at the passive voice.
You may wonder why this is important for IELTS. Well firstly of course any grammar is important
for IELTS.
What are the Active and Passive?
When we use the active voice, the subject is doing the action of the verb:
When we use the passive voice, the person or thing receiving the action becomes the

: What



The dog bit the boy

The boy was bitten by the


are the Passive Voice Rules?

To make a sentence passive, we do three things:

Move the object of the sentence, and make it the subject. The object thus
becomes the subject (often we exclude the object because it is not important to
the sentence)


Add in "by" before the new object (if you are including it in the new sentence)

Add the verb "to be" to the front of the verb, and change the verb to the past participle.
You then have a passive voice verb. Remember to keep the tense the same.


dog (subject) bit (verb) th
e boy (object)

The boy (new subject) was bitten(new verb

form) by the dog (new object).
The boy (subject) was bitten (verb).

In this case the verb "bit" is in the past simple, so when it is made passive, the verb "to be"
must be the past simple - "was".

Passive Voice Examples

These are examples of how we form it with different tenses (without the object in the




I eat the food

The food is eaten


I am eating the food

The food is being eaten

Present Perfect I have eaten the food

The food has been eaten


The food was eaten

I ate the food

Past Continuous I was eating the food

The food was being eaten

Past Perfect

I had eaten the food

The food had been eaten


I will eat the food

The food will be eaten

Future Perfect

Present Modal

I will have eaten the


The food will have been


I can eat the food

The food can be eaten

I should eat the food

The food should be eaten

I may eat the food

The food may be eaten

I could have eaten the The food could have been

Past Modals

: Gerunds

I should have eaten

the food

The food should have

been eaten

I may have eaten the


The food may have been


and Infinitives

We can also use the passive voice for infinitive and gerund structures:


Simple to + be + Past Participle

She wanted to be taken care of

to + have been + Past

Perfect Participle
She was happy to have been


Being + Past Participle

Being taken care of was

having been + Past Participle

She celebrated having been

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

However, you cannot use the passive with intransitive verbs.
Transitive verbs have to take an object. For example, you cannot say "He discovered". This is
a transitive verb so it needs an object: " He discovered a cure".
So this can be made passive: "A cure was discovered".
Intransitive verbs are not followed by an object. For example, you can say "He died". Or it
could be followed by an adverb: "He died yesterday".
But we cannot say: "He was died" or "Yesterday was died he".

When do we use it?

It is much more common to use the active than the passive, so you should only use it if there is
a specific reason. Below are the reasons that we use it.
Remember that this is usually a matter of choice for you, depending on the context in which you
are writing.

1. When you think the receiver of the action is more important than
the doer of the action
Interested in the doer

Interested in the action

The farmer harvested the corn in


The corn was harvested in


2. When you think it is obvious who the doer is so it does not need to

be mentioned
An obvious subject

Omitting the doer

The police arrested the burglar

The burglar was arrested

3. When the doer of the action is unknown or we don't want the doer

to be known
A known doer

An unknown doer

Jonathan stole Peter's phone

Peter's phone was stolen

4. When you think the doer is irrelevant

You feel it is relevant

You feel it is irrelevant

The manager will close the shop

at 3pm

The shop will be closed at 5pm

5. When you are writing for certain genres, such as science reports or

for academic journals

Referring to the researcher

Anonym sing the researcher

I can draw several conclusions

from the results

Several conclusions can be drawn

from the results

Useful Grammar Structures to Get an IELTS Band 7.0+ for IELTS Writing

1. So + adjective + to be + Subject + that Clause

So + adv + auxiliary verb + S + main verb + O + that clause
Ex: So terrible was the storm that a lot of houses were swept away.
So beautifully did he play the guitar that all the audience appreciated him
2. Then comes/come + Subject, as + Clause
Ex: Then came a divorce, as they had a routine.
3. May + Subject + verb..
Ex: May I appologize at once for the misspelling of your surname in the letter from my assistant,
Miss Dowdy
May you all have happiness and luck
4. It is no + Comparative Adjective + than + V-ing

Ex: For me it is no more difficult than saying I love you.

5. Subject + Verb + far more +.than + N
Ex: The material world greatly influences far more young people than old people.
6. Subject + love/like/wish + nothing more than to be + adj/past participle
Ex: We wish nothing more than to be equally respected
7. Subject 1 + is/are just like + Subject 2 +was/were..
8. Subject 1 + is/are + the same + as + Subject 2 + was/were
Ex: My daughter is just like her mother was 35 yares ago when she was my classmate at Harvard
She is the same as she was
9. It is (not always) thought + adj + Noun phrase
Ex: It is not always thought essential that Miss world must have the great appearance
10. As + Verb Participle /can be seen, Subject + Verb
Ex: As spoken above, we are short of capital
As can be seen, a new school is going to be built on this site.
11. S + point(s)/ pointed out (to sb) + that Clause
Ex: She point out that he was wrong
12. It is/was evident to someone + that Clause
Ex: It was evident to them that someone gave him a hand to finish it.
13. What + Subject + Verb + is/was + (that) + Subject + Verb +.
Ex: What was said was (that) she had to leave
What I want you to do is that you take more care of yourself
14. Noun + Is + what + sth + is all about
Ex: Entertainment is what football is all about
15. Subject + tobe (just) + what Subject + Verb
Ex: It was just what I wanted
You are what God brings into my life
16. Verb-ing +sth + tobe + Adjective if not impossible
Ex: Travelling alone into a jungle is adventurous if not impossible
17. There + tobe + no + Noun + nor + Noun
Ex: There is no food nor water

18. There isnt/wasnt time to Verb / tobe + Adjective

Ex: there wasnt time to identify what is was
19. Subject + may + put on a + Adjective + front but inside + Subject + Adjective
Ex: You may put on a brave front but inside you are fearful and anxious
20. Subject + see oneself + V-ing
Ex: You can see yourself riding a cable-car in San Francisco

10 common spelling mistakes

Spelling is a big problem for many IELTS candidates especially those who have a different
alphabet in their own language. In this lesson, I give you quick test to see how good your
spelling is with 25 common spelling mistakes. Then I explain why spelling problems happen
and give you a few handy hints on learning to spell better.

Entry test how well can you spell?

You really do need 100% here. Just one mistake in IELTS listening could mean that you
dont emigrate to Australia. One mistake can change your band score. Can you avoid these
common spelling mistakes?
Spelling test
The problems of English and spelling
This is not a complete list at all sadly. But if you understand the problems, then you have
better chance of finding an answer. Try looking at these common spelling mistakes and
examples to see what I mean.
1. Double letters
English is not very logical in the way we double letters: we write reference but referred!
accommodation the problem here is two m s and two c s.
2. Lost sounds
What I call lost sounds are letters we write, but swallow when we speak. We write
separate but we say separate
Difference this word has two syllables when we speak, but three when we write!
3. Homophones two words that sound the same
How do you spell to? How do you spell two? How do you spell too? It just depends
on what you want to say!

accept and except these are two words that sound exactly the same, are spelled very
differently and mean almost exactly the opposite!
4. Funny sounds
Some English words you just have to see before you can spell them. They sound quite
different to the way they are spelled.
Furniture here t is really tsh. odd.
5. Silent letters
Some letters in English are silent. Often these are at the beginning of words: knee and
knowledge for example.
Design this sounds the same as line!
6. Stressed and unstressed sounds
English has a nasty habit of changing the sound of the word according to its form. We say
advertise (eyes) but advertisement (iss). This makes spelling much harder. You cant just
listen to the word and decide how to spell it.
Resign and resignation resign sounds the same as line, but the dig in resignation
sounds the same as dig
7. Spelling rules dont work
Have you ever been told about i before e after c? This is a nonsense rule Im afraid.
There are more words in English that go ei than ie with or without c!
Receive and weight both these words go ei, one has a c the other doesnt. So-called
spelling rules are dangerous friends.

8. Problem suffixes
A sensible way to learn to spell is to learn patterns of words. For instance, its good to see
that the suffix -ation is spelled that way in most words. But, as I say, there are very few
Capable and responsible: Horrid. In one case we add able and the other ible.
9. The schwa sound
Whats this? This is what some/most teachers call that ugh sound in English. The
problem is that it can be almost any combination of letters, as its the normal way we make
an unstressed vowel sound. Again, spelling and listening are quite different things.
doctor, computer, thorough, data, obvious etc etc etc
10. Your own language
The final problem (for now) is your own language. English has a habit of borrowing words
from other languages and changing the spelling.
Environnement and environment: if youre French the first spelling is perfect just not
in English!