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Category «Writing»

常見誤解
 Common mistake – On the other hand

On the other hand

另一方面 (Cantonese: ling6 jat1 fong1 min6; Mandarin: Lìng yī fāngmiàn) directly translates to “On the other hand”. But be careful when saying “On the other hand” in English because the meaning is very different! In Chinese, 另一方面 means “Additionally” or “Not only that, (but) …”. You use it to add another point to support your earlier comment(s) or …

Writing task 2 tip – don’t use signposting!

Get to the point; avoid unnecessary signposting in IELTS essays

Read the following essay question for writing task 2, and then read the sample essay introduction and see if you can find the unnecessary signposting in it… ESSAY QUESTION: As most people spend a major part of their life at work, job satisfaction is an important element of individual well-being. What factors contribute to job …

How to start your letter (Task 1 general training)?

In IELTS (GT), when writing to someone you don’t know (such as when writing to a company), the question tells you to start your letter with: Dear Sir or Madam, Otherwise, when writing to a specific imaginary person (such as your neighbour, your boss, your colleague etc), the question tells you to start with: Dear …

英文串字 混淆 奇怪 How can we learn spelling?

In English, pronunciation alone does not always let you know how to spell a word. For example: two, too, to bye, buy, by Even worse, spelling alone may not always tell you how to pronounce a word: read (as present simple, sounds like “reed” — a long vowel sound) read (as past simple, sounds like “red” — …

Task 1 General Training or Academic – which is harder?

Click here to jump to the conclusion below for the answer. General Training Writing Task 1 (letter writing) can either be the easiest or the most difficult writing task for IELTS candidates depending on the question given and depending on the candidate’s background. Here’s why… General Training Task 1 requires an unpredictable message structure, content and …

Common mistake – “There have a 7-11”

Very often, I hear HK Chinese IELTS candidates say “There have”.  For example: “There have a supermarket below my place”. The correct way is “There is a supermarket below my place”. In spoken English, this often shortened to “There’s a supermarket below my place”. I guess the reason for the error is that in Chinese, …

寫作貼士 Should I avoid phrasal verbs in academic writing?

I previously wrote that for IELTS essays, one-word verbs are preferred over their phrasal verb equivalents because phrasal verbs normally sound informal. As with many things about language, there is no hard rule for this. In fact, it often depends phrasal verb. The ones to avoid would be those marked as INF in dictionaries (INF …

Do you apply the job or apply for the job?

Correct expression: Apply for the job The word ‘apply’ has the following two main meanings: “apply” + object = put on / use  …E.g. Apply sunscreen (to your skin) “apply for/to” + object = request  …E.g. Apply for job Note: “Apply sunscreen” sounds a little too formal for casual spoken situations.  It is more common to say “put …