Category «Writing»

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?

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 language style This is because any type of writing situation found …

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 …

Why learn phrasal verbs? When do I use them?

(English version below) 每個短語動詞,通常都有一個等效的單字動詞。 例如,“take in” = “receive”(into the mind),如: “He’s teaching so fast, I can’t take everything in!” 外國孩子從他們初學說話時,就開始使用短語動詞,並且經常在他們學習等效的單字動詞之前。 相比之下,英語學習者,在學習等效的短語動詞之前,經常學習單字動詞。 因此,如果一個英語(中級或更低級別)的學習者與母語為英語的孩子說話,很可能不能相互理解,即使他們都可能正確地說英語。 短語動詞聽起來,通常不像它們對應的單詞動詞。 在學術寫作中(例如在雅思寫作試卷task 2)或其他類型的正式寫作中通常首選單詞動詞。 短語動詞通常用和朋友和家人的非正式溝通(書面或口頭)(包括雅思通用模式task 1中寫給朋友的信件)。 English version For every phrasal verb, there is normally an equivalent one-word verb. For example, “take in” = “receive” (into the mind) as in: “He’s teaching so fast, …

Writing Task 1: how to select main features and make comparisons?

For task 1 questions, IELTS candidates must: Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Here is an outline of the general steps you could use to do this for a graph, chart or table, followed by a sample question and answer: Steps: 1. If there is one …

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