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Some suggested corrections and improvements from IELTS speaking test practice

Here is a collection of mistakes with suggested corrections/improvements (below) from a practice IELTS speaking test with one of my students:

Grammar (answers below)

Check you can correct the grammar mistakes in these sentences.

  1. I don’t know what is it
  2. Maybe people don’t really enjoy to buy
  3. The market sell
  4. That are the stuff men like.
  5. [Local people generally save money on food,] so they went to the wet market.
  6. Price is
  7. It sell different kind of stuff.
  8. [If the market closed down,) it will be a pity but I will go to another one.
  9. One time, I go to Victoria Peak.
  10. Now, when I grow up,
  11. I went overseas to study. When I return, …
  12. [I like to read about some famous person and] how they become
  13. If I have free time, then I will like to …
  14. with other peoples
  15. Even I don’t buy anything,
  16. more happier
  17. … with a lot of different peoples.

Pronunciation (answers below)

These are what I heard. Check you can say them correctly.

  1. Doze books are about …
  2. My mudder told me to learn it.
  3. At the market, there are a lot of tranny products.
  4. Take spots for example.
  5. Wunning Man
  6. Spot games
  7. Bought games

Phraseology (answers below)

These may or may not be grammatically correct, but can you say them in a more elegant way?

.     1a.  Now, when I grow up,
.     1b.  I keep my hobby.
.     2.    From my impression,
.     3.    That’s the stuff that men like to buy.
.     4.    What is your question, again?
.     5.     Take sports first.
.     6.    … maintain a good body.

Collocations (answers below)

Try to correct or improve the following word combinations:

  1. near to the MTR station.
  2. People like doing some indoor games.
  3. [By playing sports, you can get] healthy immediately.
  4. social circle will be broader

Other suggestions (answers below)

Which of the following would you say?

  1. more healthy vs healthier
  2. more happy vs happier

ANSWERS

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Grammar

  1. I don’t know what it is
  2. Maybe people don’t really enjoy buying
  3. The market sells
  4. That’s the stuff men like.
  5. [Local people generally save money on food,] so they go to the wet market.
  6. Prices are
  7. It sells different kinds of stuff.
  8. [If the market closed down,) it would be a pity but I would go to another one.
  9. One time, I went to Victoria Peak.
  10. Now, having grown up,
  11. I went overseas to study. When I returned (to HK), …
  12. [I like to read about some famous person and] how they became / had become
  13. If When I have free time, then I will like to …
  14. with other peoples
  15. Even though / Even if I don’t buy anything, (depending on meaning)
  16. more happier
  17. … with a lot of different peoples.

Pronunciation

These are the correct words and how to say them properly:

  1. Those books are about … (tongue not touching behind top teeth, but touching below them)
  2. My mother told me to learn it. (see #1)
  3. At the market, there are a lot of trendy products (be sure not to lose the ‘d’ consonant sound)
  4. Take sports for example. (‘or’: tongue is pulled back, lips are not so open, longer duration that ‘o’)
  5. Running Man (‘r’ sound is mostly made using tongue, not lips)
  6. Sport games (see #4)
  7. Board games (the final ‘d’ consonant makes the vowel sound longer than a final ‘t’ would)

Phraseology

      1a.  Now, when I grow up, => Having grown up / (Even now,) as an adult / as a grownup
      1b.  I keep my hobby. => I’ve kept my hobby / It’s still one of my hobbies / It’s still a hobby of mine
      2.    From my impression, => My impression is that
      3.    That’s the stuff that men like to buy. => Those are the kinds of things men like to buy
      4.    What is your question, again? => (Sorry,) could you repeat the question, please?
      5.     Take sports first. => (Firstly,) take sports for example.
      6.     … maintain a good body. => keep in good physical shape / condition (depending on meaning)

Collocations

  1. near to the MTR station. => near the MTR or close to the MTR
  2. People like doing some indoor games. => playinggames
  3. [By playing sports, you can get] healthy immediately. => immediate health benefits
  4. social circle will be broader: the stronger collocation for circle, and therefore safer option, is wider

Some commonly used phrases: “widen your social circle”, “expand your social circle”, “a wider circle of friends”, “widen your circle of friends”

Other suggestions

  1. more healthy vs healthier: Healthier follows the grammar rule and is therefore safer for IELTS candidates
  2. more happy vs happier: same #1

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