July 2017

IELTS Writing: Key Expressions for Boosting Score in IELTS Writing Task 2

Key Expressions for Boosting Score in IELTS Writing Task 2

By learning to use common phrases and set expressions, you can add variety and interest to your writing. You will also be able to write more quickly and effectively during exams, when time is limited.

Useful Phrase 1 – best for introductions

“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 and support arguments.” and “This essay will analyse this issue using the examples from Canada, Australia and Rwanda to demonstrate points and support arguments.” It is undeniable that ___(insert problem from question)___ is one of the most challenging issues in the western world.

Useful Phrase 2 – best for body paragraphs (opinions)

2.) When injecting an opposing thought, instead of using only “However,” you can use: “However, it should not be forgotten (that)…” and add the opposing point.

Useful Phrase 3 – best for body paragraphs (examples)

Cite examples from research or studies made, using the phrase, “For example, a recent study by _________ showed…” There are also studies being performed on a global level to discover the source of these important problems. One solution proposed by the _(insert global organisation)___ is to_________. For instance: For example, a recent study by the WTO (or U.K. government) showed…” then supply the details of the findings.

Useful Phrase 4 – best for body paragraphs

It is fairly easy to comprehend the arguments as to why this proposal has been made. There would be at least two facets to this proposal. There is also, however, a strong argument not to implement this proposal. The issue of __X__ in western / African countries has grown in importance over the past few decades. The issue of __X__ in most continents has fallen in importance over the past few years.

Useful Phrase 5 – best for supporting sentences

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…” and “There is ample evidence to suggest that local governments will be implementing …”

Useful Phrase 6 – best for supporting sentences

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 advancedcountries…” and “Numerous studies have consistently found that students who learn 3 languages have areduced chance of contracting Alzheimer’s.”

Useful Phrase 7 – best for strengthening an argument by being specific

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 productivity.” Replace “Serious diseases are a recurring matter…” with “Serious diseases such as Malaria,Ebola and Dengue Fever bring about a considerable amount of expenses.”

Useful Phrase 8 – to change the person

However, in my view this solution is rather controversial and other solutions need to be found. However, from a general viewpoint this solution is rather impractical and other solutions need to be found. These may be little additions of 3-9 words per phrase but many little phrases go a long way toward a 250 word goal.

Warning! When using these useful phrases for IELTS writing task two..

  • Make sure you have adapted them to your specific essay topic
  • To improve your grammatical range and accuracy experiment with these same structures but using different verbs and nouns.
  • You can find more structures by reading academic material and copying phrases you think you could adapt in your essays.
Now you need to take notes and exercise using the phrases in your own sentences for better retention. Note that these phrases need not necessarily be copied.  Merely copying can cause you trouble.  You must make sure that the way you use the phrases that fit your essay perfectly to maintain coherence in thought and correct grammatical structures. As I’ve always said, “The important thing is to take action, do something every day, and little by little, you will get there.”

An example of an essay map

To show you what I mean, take a look at this outline of an essay. It contains 125 words: that is half of all the words you need for an IELTS essay.
One of the most controversial issues today relates to . ……………. In this essay, I am going to examine this question from both points of view On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the benefits of considerably outweigh its disadvantages. The main reason for believing this is that …………………. It is also possible to say that …….One good illustration of this is …………. On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that in fact ……….. People often have this opinion because …………… A second point is that ………..A particularly good example here is………….. As we have seen, there are no easy answers to this question. On balance, however, I tend to believe that …

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

23. Yet

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…” How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below!

E Mail Writing in English

E Mail Writing in English: Email is the most common form of business communication; so it’s important to get it right. Although emails usually aren’t as formal as letters, they still need to be professional to present a good image of you and your company.

How to write a formal email

Follow these five simple steps to make sure your English emails are perfectly professional.
  1. Begin with a greeting
  2. Thank the recipient
  3. State your purpose
  4. Add your closing remarks
  5. End with a closing
E Mail Writing in English

Begin with a greeting

Always open your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Lillian”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. “Dear Mrs. Price”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Kelly”. If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. Subject Line
  1. Always have a subject line that summarises briefly and clearly the contents of the message (example: Re:                      Summary of Our Meeting with ABC Suppliers). There are many variations of greetings that you can start your email with, but the most standard ones are:            Dear Firstname Lastname            Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname            Dear Mr./Ms. Firstname Lastname            Dear Dr. Lastname            To whom it may concern
         It is always important to have a contact name, unless a recipient is unknown ( in “to whom it may concern” case). If needed, don’t be shy to call and ask for the person’s name. Some people use informal salutations, such as “Good morning” or “Hi“. It totally depends on how formal your relationships are.  
  1. Think of who your reader is going to be

    Is it a colleague, a client or your boss? Should the email be informal or formal? Most business emails these days have a neutral tone. Note the difference between Informal and Formal: Informal – Thanks for emailing me on 15th February Formal – Thank you for your email dated 15th February Informal – Sorry, I can’t make it. Formal – I am afraid I will not be able to attend Informal – Can you…? Formal – I was wondering if you could….?
  1. Some emails to colleagues can be informal if you have a long working relationship and know them well. This is the style that is closest to speech, so there are often everyday words and conversational expressions that can be used. For instance, ‘Don’t forget’‘Catch you later’‘Cheers’. The reader may also accept or overlook minor grammatical errors in informal emails. However, if the email is going to a client or senior colleague, bad grammar and an over-friendly writing style will most probably not be acceptable. If you are replying to a client’s inquiry, you should begin with a line of thanks. For example, if someone has a question about your company, you can say, “Thank you for contacting ABC Company”. If someone has replied to one of your emails, be sure to say, “Thank you for your prompt reply” or “Thanks for getting back to me”. Thanking the reader puts him or her at ease, and it will make you appear more polite.
  2. Think about how direct or indirect you want to be

    In some cultures, it is common practice to be very direct in email correspondence. However, this can cause a problem if you’re writing to someone in another country and in a language that is not your mother tongue. They might find your directness rude and possibly offensive. Consider these: Direct – I need this in half an hour. Indirect and polite – Would it be possible to have this in half an hour? Direct – There will be a delay Indirect – I’m afraid there may be a slight delay. Direct – It’s a bad idea Indirect – To be honest, I’m not sure if that would be a good idea. By adjusting your tone, you are more likely to get a positive response from your reader.

    State your purpose

    If you are starting the email communication, it may be impossible to include a line of thanks. Instead, begin by stating your purpose. For example, “I am writing to enquire about …” or “I am writing in reference to …”. Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You’ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation so that you present a professional image of yourself and your company.
  3. Add your closing remarks

    Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader one more time and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.
  1. End with a closing

    The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”“Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader. Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it’s truly perfect!


Present Continuous Tense in Portuguese

Present Continuous Tense in Portuguese

The Present Progressive or Continual Present tense is very useful and easy to form in Portuguese. This tense represent ongoing action in the present; its counterpart in English is the construction [subject] is [verb] – ing for example: I am running
To form this tense in Portuguese, all you need to do is employ the verb estar and the gerund of the verb you wish to use. One forms the gerund in Portuguese by dropping the ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and adding -ando, -endo, -indo respectively. Some examples: Estou falandoI am speaking Ele está indoHe is going O presidente está mandando;The president is ordering A familia está despedindo;The family is saying goodbye Ela está treinando;She is training Você está fazendo;You are doing This form is one where the continental (European) form is different from the Brazilian. In Portugal, the presente contínuo is comprised of the verb estar plus a and the infinitive. An example would be: Você está a escreverAre you writing. This difference is one of the first things to jump out at a student of Brazilian Portuguese when hearing continental Portuguese for the first time. Present Progressive (Present Continuous) – refers to an action that is happening or “going on” right now. Example:
  • I am studying now – Eu estou estudando agora.
Observe that in English to compose that structure, was used the person Iverb to be conjugated according to the person – “I am” and the action that is happening with the suffix “ing” added to the verb. Forming this kind of structure in Portuguese is easy and very similar to English. You just need the person, conjugate in the present tense verb estar according to the person that you want to refer, and finally use theaction that is going on right now. There are 3 equivalents for “ing” in Portuguese. Each equivalent depends on the termination of the verb in its infinitive form.
Type of verbs Equivalent to “ing” in Portuguese
Verbs ending in ar ANDO
Verbs ending in er ENDO
Verbs ending in ir INDO
In the chart below, observe how to add the suffix to the verb. You must drop the termination of the verb and add the suffixes “ando”, “endo” and “indo”
Infinitive for Adding the right suffix
Falar (to speak) falANDO (speaking)
Comer (to eat) comENDO (eating)
Dormir (to sleep) dormINDO (sleeping)
Now observe how to form the Present Progressive in Portuguese:
Structure  Person  Verb estar (to be) conjugated Action that is happening right now with the appropriate  suffix
English She is eating
Portuguese Ela está comendo
Present Progressive (Present Continuous) – refers to an action that is happening or “going on” right now. Example:
  • I am studying now – Eu estou estudando agora.
Observe that in English to compose that structure, was used the person Iverb to be conjugated according to the person – “I am” and the action that is happening with the suffix “ing” added to the verb. Forming this kind of structure in Portuguese is easy and very similar to English. You just need the person, conjugate in the present tense verb estar according to the person that you want to refer, and finally use theaction that is going on right now.  
Structure  Person  Verb estar (to be) conjugated Action that is happening right now with the appropriate  suffix
English She is eating
Portuguese Ela está comendo
  • Eu estou comendo. – I’m eating.
  • Ela está comendo. – She is eating.
  • Ele está comendo. – He is eating.
  • Você está comendo. – You are eating
  • A gente está comendo. – We are eating.
  • Nós estamos comendo. – We are eating.
  • Elas estão comendo. – They are eating.
This form is one where the continental (European) form is different from the Brazilian. In Portugal, the presente contínuo is comprised of the verb estar plus a and the infinitive. An example would be: Você está a escreverAre you writing.
This difference is one of the first things to jump out at a student of Brazilian Portuguese when hearing continental Portuguese for the first time.
Present Continuous of the regular verb trabalhar (to work) in European Portuguese
estou a trabalhar estamos a trablahar
estás a trabalhar estais a trabalhar
está a trabalhar estão a trabalhar
Because the present continuous uses ‘estar’ + ‘a’ + the infinitive, the conjugations are the same for all verbs (regular and irregular). Brazilians use the present participle instead of ‘a’ + infinitive. More on participles later.
Present Continuous of the regular verb trabalhar (to work) in Brazilian Portuguese
estou trabalhando estamos trabalhando
estás trabalhando estais trabalhando
está trabalhando estão trabalhando

Present Progressive Conjugation

In English the present progressive is formed adding –ing to the verb. In Portuguese you do this:
  1. Drop the final R of the infinitive form of the verb
  2. Add: ndo
You do this for every single verb in Portuguese. There are no irregular verbs in the present progressive. Examples:
Infinitive Present Progressive
Falar (to speak, to talk) Falando
Aprender (to learn) Aprendendo
Comer (to eat) Comendo
Fazer (to do, to make) Fazendo
Ver (to see) Vendo
Ir (to go) Indo
In other words, you have the following terminations in the present progressive:
  • Verbs that end in AR: ando
  • Verbs that end in ER: endo
  • Verbs that end in IR: indo
Easy, right?

2. Present Progressive Structure

The present progressive structure is very similar in English and in Portuguese. What you need to know is that you use the verb Estar as auxiliary verb in Portuguese. Thus you need to conjugate the verb Estar in the present tense.
Verb Estar – Present Tense Indicative
Eu estou
Você/Ele/Ela está
A gente está
Nós estamos
Vocês/Eles/Elas estão
For example, the questions in the lesson introduction are:
  • Estou saindo agora. Chego em 20 minutos. = I’m leaving now. I will be there in 20 minutes.
  • O que está acontecendo? = What is happening?
You will see several other examples along the lesson.

3. How to Sound Brazilian

In spoken Brazilian Portuguese we very rarely say the verb Estar as it is. We shorten it by dropping the first syllable (es). You will also see this short form in informal writing such as text messages and Facebook posts. So in spoken Brazilian Portuguese, the questions above would be spoken like this:
  • Tô saindo agora. = I’m leaving now.
  • O que  acontecendo? = What is happening?
I will show you both the regular form and the colloquial, spoken form for the examples that I give you along the lesson. [Tweet “Learn this tip on how to speak like a Brazilian”]

4. When to Use the Present Progressive: Learn from Examples

In the examples below, I will use the verb Estar in its regular form and give you in parentheses how we would say it in spoken Brazilian Portuguese. You do not use both together, but one or another. We use the present progressive to:

Express actions that are in progress at the moment of speaking

  • O que você está (tá) comendo? = What are you eating?
  • Eles estão (tão) conversando sobre o novo negócio. = They are talking about the new business.
  • Está (tá) rindo de quê? = What are you laughing at?
  • Está (tá) chovendo. = It’s raining.
Talking about What Is Happening in Portuguese: Present Progressive

Eles estão conversando sobre o novo negócio.

Talk about longer actions that are in progress even though you may not be doing them right now

  • Joana está (tá) estudando para o vestibular.= Joana is studying for the vestibular exam.
  • A gente está (tá) juntando dinheiro para ir ao Brasil. = We are saving money to go to Brazil.
  • Estou (tô) lendo o livro “A Graça da Coisa”, da Martha Medeiros. Estou (tô) adorando! = I am reading Martha Medeiro’s book “A Graça da Coisa”. I am loving it.

Express that something happens repeatedly

  • Bia está (tá) sempre reclamando de tudo. = Bia is always complaining about everything.
  • Ana é muito simpática. Ela está (tá) sempre sorrindo. = Ana is very friendly. She is always smiling.
  • Felipe está (tá) sempre perdendo o telefone. = Felipe is always losing his phone.
In these sentences we use adverbs of frequency such as: sempre, constantemente, o tempo todo. We usually place these words between the verb Estar and the verb that is in the present progressive.

Talk about trends

  • Hoje as pessoas estão usando principalmente o telefone para fazer compras pela internet. = Today people are mainly using their phones to shop online.
  • As pessoas estão cada vez mais se interessando por aprender línguas. = People are getting more and more interested in learning languages.
In these sentences, it is common to use expressions such as “more and more” and “less and less”.
  • How to Say More and More and Less and Less in Portugueset’s Different in Portugal
In European Portuguese you form the present progressive in a different way:
  • Verb Estar in the present tense + a + infinitive of main verb
For ex:
Brazil Portugal
Estou estudando. Estou a estudar.
Estamos conversando. Estamos a conversar.

6. Useful bonus phrase

Say you are watching TV. Your roommate calls from the kitchen asking for help. You answer, as you get up:
  • Estou (tô) indo.
See the difference? In English we’d say: “I’m coming.” In Portuguese we say: I’m going.]]>

Present Tense in Portuguese

Present tense / Verbos – Presente do Indicativo

In Portuguese there are 3 different classes of verbs: verbs ending in “ar”, verbs ending in “er”, verbs ending in “ir”. Each class of regular verbs has its own pattern of termination when conjugated. When conjugating regular verbs in Portuguese you just have to preserve the root of the verb and substitute“ar”, “er” or “ir” for the following bold terminations:
Person Amar(to love) Comer(to eat)  Abrir(to open)
Singular  Eu  amo  como abro
 Ele / Ela / Você A gente  ama  come abre
Plural  Nós amamos  comemos  abrimos
 Eles/ Elas/ Vocês amam  comem abrem
  • Eu amo. (I love.)
  • Ela ama. (She loves)
  • Ele ama. (He loves)
  • Você ama. (You love)
  • A gente ama. (We love)
  • Nós amamos. (We love)
  • Eles amam. (They love)
  • Vocês amam. (You love)
Verbs ending in “ir” having the vowel “e” at the second-to-the-last syllable have the root changed when they are conjugated in the Present tense. The vowel “e” is changed for “i” just for the first person“eu”. The other conjugations follow the same pattern that is presented above.
Person  Vestir(to wear)  Mentir(to lie)
Singular Eu  visto minto
 Ele / Ela / Você /   A gente  veste mente
Plural Nós vestimos mentimos
 Eles/ Elas/ Vocês vestem mentem
  • Eu minto. (I lie)
  • Ela mente. (She lies)
  • Ele mente. (He lies)
  • Você mente. (You lie)
  • A gente mente. (We lie)
  • Nós mentimos. (We lie)
  • Eles mentem. (They lie)
  • Vocês mentem. (You lie)
Verbs ending in “ir” having the vowel “o” at the second-to-the-last syllable have the root changed when they are conjugated in the Present tense. The vowel “o” is changed for “u” just for the first person “eu”.
 Person  Dormir(to sleep) Descobrir(to discover)
Singular  Eu durmo  descubro
Ele / Ela / Você /    A gente  dorme descobre
Plural  Nós dormimos  descobrimos
Eles/ Elas/ Vocês  dormem  descobrem
  • Eu durmo cedo. (I sleep early)
  • Ela dorme cedo. (She sleeps early)
  • Ele dorme cedo.(He sleeps early)
  • Você dorme cedo.(You sleep early)
  • A gente dorme cedo.(We sleep early)
  • Nós dormimos cedo.. (We sleep early)
  • Eles dormem cedo.. (They sleep early)
  • Vocês dormem cedo.. (You  sleep early)
Portuguese:Regular verbs Regular verbs have a invariable radical (falar – to speak) and are easy to memorize. Each conjugation follows a different, but regular pattern.

-ar present tense regular verbs

All regular verbs ending in -ar are conjugated the same way. The conjugation is dependent on the subject that the verb is in reference to. Here is an example conjugation for the verb falar:
I speak Eu fal o
You (s,inf) speak Tu fal as
He speaks (also ela, você) Ele fal a
We speak Nós fal amos
You (p) speak Vós fal ais
They speak (also elas, vocês) Eles fal am

-er present tense regular verbs

I eat Eu com o
You (s,inf) eat Tu com es
He eats (also ela, você) Ele com e
We eat Nós com emos
You (p) eat Vós com eis
They eat (also elas, vocês) Eles com em

-ir present tense regular verbs

Regular tense verbs ending in -ir are handled very similarly to -er verbs. The only difference is the conjugation for nós and vós. Here is an example conjugation for the verb partir (to leave):
I leave Eu part o
You (s,inf) leave Tu part es
He leave (also ela, você) Ele part e
We leave Nós part imos
You (p) leave Vós part is
They leave (also elas, vocês) Eles part em
Verbs in Portuguese end in -ar, -er or -ir.  Before a verb is conjugated, it is called the infinitive.  Removing the last two letters gives you the stem of the verb (cantar is to sing, cant– is the stem.)  To conjugate regular verbs in the present tense, add these endings to the stems:  
-ar verbs -er verbs -ir verbs
-o -amos -o -emos -o -imos
-as -ais -es -eis -es -es
-a -am -e -em -e -em

Regular verbs:

-ar verbs -er verbs -ir verbs
dançar to dance aprender to learn partir to leave
desejar to desire comer to eat imprimir to print
escutar to listen correr to run
estudar to study ler to read
falar to speak vender to sell
praticar to practice beber to drink
tomar to take compreender to understand
viajar to travel
To make sentences negative, simply put não in front of the verb.]]>

IELTS Training: General Writing Task 1

IELTS General Sample Letters (IELTS Writing Task 1)

The purpose of this section is to help you with the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS General test. In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Depending on the task suggested, candidates are assessed on their ability to:
  • engage in personal correspondence
  • elicit and provide general factual information
  • express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • express opinions (views, complaints etc.)

 IELTS Writing Sample Letters

In Task 1 of the IELTS General Writingsection, you must write a letter about a given situation. This letter will be one of the following types:

Style Characteristics Opening Ending
Formal To someone you have not met, whose name you don’t know Dear Sir / Madam Yours faithfully
Semi-formal To someone you may or may not have met, whose last name you know & use Dear Mr Brown, Dear Ms Stone Yours sincerely
Informal To someone you know well, whose first name you know and use Dear John Dear Anita Best regards Warm wishes
Each kind of letter requires a different style of writing, a specific beginning and ending salutation, formal or informal expressions and varying types of grammatical forms. As you read through the sample IELTS letters below, take note of how they vary depending on the level of familiarity with the person being written to. Practice writing your own letters from sample letter topics, until you can produce all three kinds of letters easily and quickly. Then, you will be able to complete this task effectively and easily on the day of your IELTS exam. Also, every General IELTS Writing Task 1 includes three bulleted points which you need to mention in your letter. Make sure you include these three points or else you will not get high marks, no matter how well you write. You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Complaining to a Hotel

Below is a sample letter response to Task 1 of the General IELTS Writing Section. It is a formal letter, which can be identified in several ways:
  • the tone, which is official, business-like and serious
  • the use of Dear Sir / Madam
  • the absence of contractions
  • the use of formal expressions (I am writing in connection with…)
  • the closing salutation ( “Yours faithfully” instead of the more informal “Yours sincerely” or “Best regards”)
Sample Letter 1 You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. You recently stayed in a hotel in a large city. The weather was very unusual for the time of year and the heating / cooling system in the hotel was quite inadequate. Write a letter to the manager of the hotel. In your letter:
  • give details of what went wrong
  • explain what you had to do to overcome the problem at the time
  • say what action you would like the manager to take
You should write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear __________   Dear Sir / Madam I am writing in connection with my recent stay at the Four Seasons in London, England. Unfortunately, due to a malfunctioning heater in my room, I spent three miserable nights at your hotel from April 26 � 29, 2010. When I arrived in London, there was an unexpected snowstorm. I understand it does not usually snow inApril; however, when I got to my room, there was no heat. After complaining, a technician was sent up, who informed me they had to install a new heating unit. When I asked to be moved to another room, I was told the hotel was completely booked. Unfortunately, each night after work I returned to discover the problem had not been rectified. Eventually, I spent three horribly uncomfortable nights, wearing my coat to bed, wearing socks around the room and ending up with a bad cold from the unheated room. I had no time to complain as I had to catch a flight home right after my conference. I am shocked by this terrible service. This is not what anyone expects for $400 a night! To compensate me for this tremendous inconvenience, I ask that you refund my money right away and offer me a free, more comfortable stay in one of your finer suites in the future. If not, I am prepared to take my complaint to a higher authority. I look forward to hearing from you at the earliest, Yours faithfully, Mr John McFee (236 words) Sample Letter 2 You live in a room in college which you share with another student. You find it very difficult to work there because he or she always has friends visiting. They have parties in the room and sometimes borrow your things without asking you. Write a letter to the Accommodation Officer at the college and ask for a new room next term. You would prefer a single room. Explain your reasons. You should write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir/Madam,

Model answer 1

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with my room-mate. As your know we share one room, I can not study in the room at all any more if I still stay there. She always has friend visiting and has parties in the room. They make lots of noise and switch on the radio very loudly, for me this environment is very difficult to study and I need a quiet room. Even borrows my things without asking, it is very impolite. I request you can give me a new room next term because I have been asked her has parties in other place many times they still have parties in the room. I really can not stay in the same room with her. I would be grateful if you could change me a single room.
Band 5 “The answer is below the word limit and there is some repetition of the task rubric. (Length is a common problem in General Training scripts). Answers that are short lose marks because there is insufficient material in the answer for the examiner to give credit for accuracy and coherence. Despite these problems, the introduction to the letter is appropriate and the purpose of the writer is clear. The points are not always linked together well and punctuation is sometimes faulty. The sentences are kept quite simple and mistakes occur as soon as more complex structures are attempted.”

Model answer 2

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing you to express my dissatisfaction with my roommate and request for another accommodation next term. My main problem is that I cannot study in my room because my roommate always has friends visiting. He also has parties which usually end early in the morning, several times a week. Furthermore, he often borrows my things without asking me. I cannot accept this situation any longer. Especially because I have very important exams next term and I really must study hard. This is why I would be very grateful if I could have another room next term. It would be most convenient for me not having to share my room with someone else. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Your faithfully, Ivan Sidorov
Band 7 “The answer is also short. Although ideas are often provided in the task rubric, candidates are at liberty to include some of their own ideas in their answers. In this case, the candidate has attempted to incorporate some original material. The answer reads quite fluently, is well organised and there is good use of conjunctions to link points. There are some grammatical errors but these do not affect the reader greatly and there is evidence of some more complex sentence structures.”
General Training Writing Task 1 Sample 1

You would like to participate in a work-related seminar in another country.

Write a letter to the person in charge of the seminar and ask for detailed information regarding the dates, program, accommodation and cost.
Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any address. Model Answer 1: Dear Sir / Madam, My name is Rona Lyn Olivar. I am currently working as an ICU Nurse (Intensive Care Unit) in a tertiary level and private hospital called the Urdaneta City Sacred Heart Hospital which is situated in the province of Pangasinan here in the Philippines. I have learned in our ICU Department that your expert team will be conducted an EKG (Electrocardiogram) thorough training in Singapore. I am writing to you today because I would also like to attend and ask about specific information regarding the seminar schedules, about the program, accommodation and the cost. Firstly, with regards to dates and time, I would like to ask when will be the seminar held. How many days will it take and how many hours in a day will we have to engage. What time would the training be started and ended? Secondly, I would also want to know what would be the topic outline of the program, the things we are required to bring something in and what would be the benefits for us Registered nurses who will be attending the seminar. And finally, I would also like to know about the accommodation and the cost. Since I am living here in the Philippines, and Singapore is about 3 1/2 hours from my country and I have no any relatives or friends in that country. Will you be helping us to settle our staying place or do we need to have a booking in a hotel? And also because it is my first time to travel abroad, I do not know how much will I be needing to spend with it. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon regarding my concerns. Yours faithfully, R.Olivar Model Answer 2: Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to request information regarding the conference that is being arranged by your organisation in the next month, advertised in the local newspaper. I was wondering if I could acquire detailed information about the program beforehand then it would be worthwhile to plan the trip appropriately. Mainly, I’d like to receive details about below points: • I heard the symposium is three days long but exact dates are expected to sanction the leaves from work. • Expected a basic level of course knowledge before actually attending the conclave. • Venue details with navigational maps, if possible. • Sitting arrangements available, auditorium or a hotel boutique, for instance, with sitting capacity. • If a laptop and other stationary items are required or not. • Accommodation type half board or full board. • The total price of the entire program with early bird discount if bookings are done well in advance for three persons. I’m hoping to receive this information for above points no later than one week before the scheduled starting date of the seminar. You could send the information via Fax or can send an email on……… Your help and time will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely yours, Dev. Model Answer 3: Dear Sir / Madam, I am writing to ask you some questions about the seminar which will be held in London about new techniques of production management. I am working as a production manager in the biggest home appliances company in Iran for five years and I think this seminar would be suitable for me as it can help me to learn some new approaches of managing workers and manufactured line. I always have tried to update my profession knowledge and participating in this seminar would be essential for me to find that which management manners and styles are more efficient in home appliances manufactured industry. As I didn’t obtain some information over your advertisement, I would appreciate your help if you let me know in which date the seminar would be held. Also, I need to know what kind of accommodation you would prepare for participations. And as the last question, how much is the cost of registering for this seminar and is there any website which I can pay the cost online? I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Yours faithfully Milad Rahimi Model Answer 4: Dear Sir / Madam, I am keen to receive information about the Enterprise Architecture Seminar scheduled to happen next month. This is Raj Muthuraman, working as a Senior Architect in BT Financial Group, presenting a paper on ‘Failure more and recovery of technical orchestration’ in the seminar. I am excited to present my research paper at the seminar. The invitation I received for the event did not confirm the dates as they were still being finalised. Can you confirm the dates of the event and provide an agenda for the event so that I can plan ahead. Also, can you suggest some good hotels in the area with an indicative cost that will help me in planning my travel, accommodation and financial aspects of the trip? It would be great if you can send me the requested details at the earliest date preferably by the end of this week by fax or mail. Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours Faithfully, Raj Muthuraman [ Written by – Rajaganapathy ]

Model Answer 5:

Dear Sir, With due respect, I would like to participate in the seminar which is going to be organised by your well-reputed company. I came to know about the seminar while I was surfing the web in search of such a seminar that will help me to understand and work better in my current job. As I am residing in Bangladesh which is in another continent, I would like to know detailed information regarding the dates and program schedule so that I can prepare myself according to the schedule because there are various facts connected to the schedule like arranging visa and buying ticket according to the schedule for travelling to your country. In addition to that, I would also request you to provide details about accommodation during the program whether the arrangement to be made by the host or I need to arrange of my own. I would also like to know about the total cost of attending the seminar and other expenditure like accommodation, meals, fares etc. Therefore, I request you to provide the details as I stated above so that I can complete the arrangement well ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary situation. Yours faithfully, Safayet Ullah [ Written by – Safayet Ullah ] Model Answer 6: Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing this letter in connection with the upcoming seminar on “Automation testing – Tips for beginners” to be held in Toronto, Canada in June 2016. I am currently employed as a Software manual tester and I have been performing this role for the last 5 years. I have always had a keen interest in learning testing automation tools and use automated testing in addition to manual testing to increase my scope of testing. By getting myself acquainted to automation testing, I can accomplish my daily tasks comparatively faster. I learnt about the Automation testing workshop while it was broadcasted on local radio station. As the advertisement was being announced, I was driving and was unable to catch most of the information like the date and venue details as well as the accommodation and cost. I will be highly obliged if you can write back to me the program schedule of the symposium along with the dates and venue details. Also, I would like to be informed about how the visa and accommodation arrangements will be done. Awaiting your quick response. Thanking you in anticipation. Larissa. [ Written by – Larissa ]

Model Answer 7:

Dear Sir/ Madam, I am very excited about the upcoming seminar on “Risk management in Financial Industry” that will be organised by you. However, I am a bit worried because the information I received does not have the dates, program, accommodation plan and the cost. I currently work in a financial institution and have spent over 5 years in the Risk Management sector, thus the seminar will be of immense benefit to me in facing current risk management issues. Firstly, please provide me with the actual date the seminar will commence and the duration of it. Also, I will want to know the schedule of the seminar and the exact timing of it on each day. Secondly, please provide me with the program structure, whether it will take the form of a paper presentation or not. Also, inform me the type of materials I will need to participate in it. Lastly, in the area of accommodation, will you handle the booking for International participants and what will the cost be. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully, Cyril Chinkata  



Sample 1
In Academic Task 1 of the Writing module, you are expected to write a short descriptive report based on visual information or data. This visual information is most commonly presented as line and bar graphs, pie charts or tables. You might be asked to describe two graphs or charts. If this is the case, you need to compare and contrast the information and make connections between the two. You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.   The diagram below shows the number of landline telephones per 1000 people in different countries over a five-year period. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below. Write at least 150 words. Ielts Writing Task 1

model answer:

The graph shows the number of telephones owned per thousand of the population in different countries over a five-year period. Overall, the number of phone owners per thousand of the population varied considerably. However, numbers tended to fall in countries with the highest level of phone ownership, whereas numbers generally rose in countries which had fewer phone owners in 2000. By far the highest level of phone ownership was in Singapore, where just under 430 people per thousand were owners in 2004. This figure is slightly lower than the 2000 figure of around 460 per thousand. In Brunei Darussalam the second highest levels of phone ownership were recorded, and the numbers fluctuated around the 250 per thousand level across the five years. Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam had much lower levels of phone ownership and these increased up to 2004, rather than decreasing. In the remaining countries, the number of landline phone owners remained below the 100 per thousand level between 2000 and 2004. (164 words)


Sample 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The bar chart shows the number of overseas students enrolled in a third year Computer Science course at a Canadian college.

Summarise the information by selecting and report in the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words

Ielts Writing Task 1

model answer:

According to the bar chart, students from four Asian countries (China, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka) and one European country (France) are taking Computer Science at the collage. Some students are enrolled in the Database core option; the others are taking Networking.

Overall, the China has the largest number of enrolled students (17) and France has the smallest (5). Singapore and Sri Lanka both have 12 students; Malaysia has 11. It is noticeable that Singapore and Sri Lanka have similar profiles.

Students from all five countries are enrolled in Database, but more males are taking this option than females (21 and 9 respectively). For each nationality, the males taking Database outnumber the females, except in the case of French students with 3 females to only 1 male. The China has the most students studying Database (9); Sri Lanka is next with 7, while Singapore has 6. Malaysia and France have 4 Database students each.

As for Networking option, more females than males are enrolled from every country except France. In fact, no female French students are taking Networking. Only 1 male from each country is enrolled in Networking, except for 2 males from Sri Lanka.


Sample 3

The bar chart below shows the percentage participation of men in senior development in three companies between 1980 and the year 2010.

Summarise the information by selecting and report in the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words

Ielts Writing Task 1

model answer:

The bar chart shows the percentage of men in senior development position in three companies from 1980 to 2010.

While more men were in senior positions at Apple than other two companies in 1980 at 15%, the trend was fairly erratic with a 2% drop to 13% in 1985, followed by a rise of 1% five years later. In 1995, men held 7% more top development jobs than in 1990. After a slight drop back to 19% in 2000, by 2010 25% of top posts were filled by men.

By contrast, at IBM men fared much better. In 1980, 2% of senior posts were occupied by men with no change five years on. By 1990, the figure had increased to 13%, doubling to 26 per cent in 1995. Five years afterwards, there was a 6% increase in male senior development jobs with a near twofold jump in 2010 to stand at 63%, the highest for the three companies.

The situation was less remarkable at Microsoft than the other two firms except for the year 2010. In 1980, the percentage of senior posts held by men was 8% climbing at the rate of 2% in each subsequent period until 2000, after which it leapt to 45%. From the data, it is clear that men dominated senior posts at IBM by 2010.


Sample 4

The graph below presents the employment patterns in the USA between 1930 and 2010.

Summarise the information by selecting and report in the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words

Ielts Writing Task 1

model answer:

In 1930, 75% of the labour force in the USA was employed in farming, fishing and foresting while only 10% worked in sales and office and trade. At the same time both the Industrial sector and the technical sector constituted just 2% of the workforce each. This situation changed only very gradually over the next 20 years, except for the technical workforce, which increased more than threefold.

However by 1980 there had been a significant change in the pattern of employment. While the farming, fishing and foresting employees had declined in number to 40% of the workforce, Industrial employees as well as technical had increased their share to 13% and 10% respectively.

Similarly the sales and office sectors did not increase until 1980. The most dramatic change could be seen by 2000, when the proportion of farming, fishing and foresting works reduced to just 10% while the three other major sectors had all increased to over 20% of the workforce.

(160 words)

Test tip1:  spend time studying the information first. The title given may help you with your first sentence, but try to use different words and don’t just copy words from the question paper. Try to identify key areas in the data. Do not miss out any important details in your description and make sure you stick to the time limit so that you leave enough time to answer task 2. Test tip2: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams, Similarity can be shown by using:
similarly likewise equally
in the same way the same in a similar way I fashion
both…. and…. as well as not only… but also
also too like x, y….
as…. as…. just as x, y… just as x, so y….


Sample 5

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting description of the correlation of the table that follow.

Write at least 150 words.

Alcohol-Related Deaths 2005 beers consumption per capita, 2002 (litres)
Total Male Female
Lithuania 125,000 112,000 13,000 91
Ireland 582,000 413,000 169,000 104
Czech Republic 1,369,000 900,000 469,000 132
Canada 580,000 505,000 75,000 86
Estonia 383,000 332,000 51,000 98
Germany 1,185,000 986,000 200,000 107
Austria 913,000 783,000 130,000 106

model answer:

There is a clear correlation between the litres of beer consumed per capita and number of alcohol related deaths. The table shows that the greatest beer consumption in 2002 was to be found in Czech Republic, Germany and Austria, and that each of these regions also had by far the largest litres of alcohol related deaths in 2005. Czech Republic, with the greatest beer consumption per litre, namely over hundred and thirty for 2002, also experienced well over one million litres alcohol-related deaths by 2005. The region with the second highest beer consumption was Germany, with nearly 107 litres, and it also recorded the second highest number of alcohol-related deaths, namely 1.185 million.

In all regions except Canada it can be seen that the higher beer consumption, the higher the alcohol-related mortality rate. It is interesting that in Canada, with the lowest level of beer consumption, at 86 per capita, the mortality rate was the high as in Ireland, namely 0.58 million, although in the latter the consumption level was high. Clearly other health or economic factors must be involved. It is also interesting to note that in each case the number of female death was significantly lower than that of males, which seems to be a reflection of the fact that in general far fewer women than men drink.

(220 words)

Test tip: There is no special vocabulary to be used for describing correlated graphs and tables. There are two grammatical forms which are more likely to occur in this context: the superlatives of quantity such as the greatest number, the lowest incidence/occurrence etc. and the comparative form: the greater the… the greater the…,etc.

IELTS Writing Test Band 9.0 Sample Essays

IELTS Writing Test Band 9.0 Sample Essays Parents often give children everything they ask for and do what they like. Is it good for children? What are the consequences when they grow up? Sample 1 : 9 Band Indulging children has been a common parenting problem in many modern families. From my perspective, this practice exerts some immediate adverse impacts on children and also results in long-term consequences for them. In the short term, it is possible that over-indulgence causes some delay to the process in which children learn important life skills. This can be seen in a variety of age groups, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. For example, many over-caring parents spoon-feed their children until they are five or six, the developmental stage in which they should have already been able to eat independently. There is also a common practice that parents assist their pre-adolescent children in taking a bath or a shower. As a result, children may fail to acquire basic personal hygiene skills at the right time. In the long run, the consequences are even direr as over-indulged children grow up. If parents unconditionally satisfy all the needs of their children, they may have inadvertently made their children become over-dependent on other people. When these children enter adulthood, the inability to live independently can cause some difficulties for them to maintain their overall well-being, for instance, they may be unaware of what to do when they catch a fever. Furthermore, it is a norm that over-indulgent parents are lenient and do not require children to face the consequences of their misbehaviour. In general, this deprives children ofthe opportunities to learn from mistakes, which may cause their problem solving skills to be severely lacking in the future. From the issues outlined above, one can conclude that over-indulgence may produce a number of unfavourable effects on children, including the delay in gaining crucial life skills such as self-feeding and the long-term consequence of lacking the ability to cope withproblems as adults in the future.

Useful Vocabulary, Collocations & Expressions for IELTS Writing

Parenting (adj) the raising of a child by its parents Exert negative/adverse impact/influence on (phrase) have a bad effect on Result in (verb) lead to In the short term (phrase) during the period of time that is not very far into the future Over-indulgence (n) to allow someone to do or have whatever they want Life skills (n) skills that are needed to deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life, at school, at work and in personal relationships Spoon-feed (phrase)  Development stages (phrase)  theoretical milestones of child development In the long run (phrase) during the period of time that is far into the future Inadvertently (adv) not deliberately, and without realizing what you are doing Lenient (adj) permissive, merciful, or tolerant Deprive of (verb) if you deprive someone of something, you take it away from them or preventthem from having it

Band 9.0 Sample 2

Today, there is a growing trend among parents towards trying to accommodate their children’s every demand and giving them more personal freedom. In this essay, I am going to demonstrate how this child-rearing practice is detrimental to children before arguing that its repercussions may reverberate in their adulthood. Parents may wean their kids on an over-reliant lifestyle by fulfilling all of their wishes.Kids who are granted every request typically develop a habit of pestering and relying on their parents for everything. This dependence may deprive them of the motivation to strive in life, which may take a heavy toll on their school performance, for example. As these children become grown-ups, the inability to lead an independent lifestyle will cause them to struggle in many facets of life. For instance, people who are given generous allowances when they are small are unlikely to be able to budget and manage their personal finances. This is an example of the adverse impacts that parents’ over-indulgence may have on small kids. In addition to spoiling children, entitling them to too much personal freedom may also result in dire consequences. People’s personality is shaped at an early age, and without parents’ close supervision, children may be vulnerable to negative influences and adopt harmful habits. For example, many children use profanities from as early as primary school because their parents allow them to play video games at Internet shops where cussing is the norm. This type of behaviors, which often incites disobedience and recklessness, may be the precursor to an adulthood of crime. In fact, it has been shown that many criminals began rebelling and committing illegal acts from a young age as a result of their parents’ negligence. This is a testament to how an unsupervised childhood may cause small kids to suffer serious consequences as they become adults. In conclusion, granting children all of their wishes may do serious harm to their personal development, and thus this practice should be rejected to ensure a healthy lifestyle for their kids.

Useful Vocabulary, Collocations & Expressions for IELTS Writing

A growing trend towards (phrase) to move gradually toward something Accommodate one’s demand  (phrase) making an adjustment to suit a particular demand Child-rearing (adj) parenting Repercussion (n) a bad effect that something has, usually lasting for a long time Reverberate (verb)  to have an effect that spreads over a wide area or lasts for a long time Wean someone on something to make someone get used to something when they are young Have/develop a habit of (doing) something Pester (verb) to keep annoying someone, especially by asking them for something or asking them to do something Take a heavy toll on (phrase) have an adverse effect on something Vulnerable to something (adj)  able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally  influenced Profanity (noun) a word or language that is offensive because it is rude Recklessness (noun) not thinking about the possible bad effects of your actions Precursor (noun) something that exists before something else, and is related to it or influences its development Testament (noun) something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact ]]>

Academic IELTS Writing Task 2 & Band 8.5 Discursive Essay

Academic IELTS Writing Task 2 & Band 8.5 Discursive Essay Many developing countries require aid from international organisations to develop. Many people think that this aid should be financial, while others think that practical aid and advice are more useful. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. Sample Band 8.5 People have different views about the kind of support that wealthy nations should provide for poorer ones. Although some say that non-financial support is beneficial for poor countries, my own view is that international aid should be in the form of financial assistance. There are several reasons to believe that practical assistance and advice are what developing countries need. Firstly, an effective education system is a key factor in the growth of a country, so advice on how to build such a system should be given to less wealthy countries. For example, since the [your country name] school curriculum focuses heavily on theories, students cannot apply what they learn into practice and come up with creative ideas, which is why the country fails to make technological and economic progress. Advice and instructions from developed countries are therefore expected to help [your country name] improve their education system. Secondly, foreign assistance can also be given in terms of providing human resources. By having an additional number of well-educated and knowledgeable individuals work in their nations, hopefully less developed countries can escape from poverty.  However, I believe that financial support would be more useful for poorer nations. One argument is that even valuable ideas for education reform may be irrelevant if a country is financially disadvantaged. In the aforementioned example about [your country name], while it seems beneficial to re-organise the education system, this cannot happen in the short runbecause there are a variety of costs associated with education reform, such as purchasing learning tools and training teachers. Furthermore, financial resources provided by rich countries may help poorer ones invest in medical and scientific research. If a sufficient amount of money is spent on these areas, technological advances are significantly more likely to be made, and such innovations can help improve the economic growth of a nation. In conclusion, while some people argue that foreign aid given to poor countries should be non-financial, it seems to me that it is financial support that helps these nations escape from poverty. ]]>

IELTS Training: Using Collocations to Boost Your IELTS Score

Collocations to increase world power for IELTS writing test.

It is noticed that IELTS learners often face difficulties when it comes to collocations which can be defined as the natural combination of words or the correct arrangement of words in a sentence. With regard to the IELTS Writing Task 2, IELTS test takers should make the most of collocations to ace the IELTS Writing test. This means IELTS learners shouldn’t learn individual words by themselves and should focus on what other words they are used with.  The very first article about collocations on this website will equip you with 20 useful collocations to build up your vocabulary & maximize your IELTS score. It is widely acknowledged that collocations play an important role in second language learning, particularly at the intermediate and advanced levels. Collocations enhance improvement of learners’ oral communication, listening comprehension, and reading speed, and that teaching collocation enables learners to be aware of language chunks used by native speakers in speech and writing. Here are 20 collocations that you can use to improve your essay in IELTS Writing Task 2 1-To play/have a(n) important/key/vital/crucial role in (doing) sth:  to play an important part in sth
  • University education plays a crucial role in improving the quality of human workforce.
2-To make significant/substantial/valuable/ great/outstanding contribution to sth
  • The medical advances have made outstanding contributions to the public’s health care.
3-To solve the problem
  • Whoever created this problem should solve it.
4-To be key factors influencing something
  • 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 something
  • The customers reap the benefits of globalization.
6- To be a contributing factor:  to be one of the main causes of sth
  • The vaccination program has been a contributing factor in the improvement of health standards.
7-To contribute to sth
  • Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths a year in the US.
8-To gain/derive benefit (from sth)
  • Many students derived enormous benefit from the course.
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
  • Many thousands have benefited considerably from the new treatment.
11-To have/enjoy/achieve a huge/great success in doing sth
  • We want all our students to achieve a huge success in the exam
12- To launch a full-scale investigation into sth
  • The authorities are planning to launch a full-scale investigation into the crash.
13- To meet the need of/demand
  • The charity exists to meet the needs of elderly people.
14-To fulfil a role/duty/function/ an aim/a goal/an objective/dream/ambition/hope
  • Visiting Disneyland has fulfilled a boyhood dream.
15-To fulfil a requirement/condition/obligation
  • Britain was accused of failing to fulfill its obligation under the EU Treaty.
16-To fulfil a promise/pledge = to keep a promise
  • I’d like to see him fulfill his promise to reorganize the army.
17-To satisfy sb’s needs/demands/desires/requirements
  • The program is designed to satisfy the needs of adult learners.
18-To have/gain knowledge/understanding of sth
  • The need to gain knowledge about birth control.
19- To have/make common cause (with/against)
  • S officials expect other Western governments to make common cause with them over the arrests.
20- To cause somebody to do something
  • What caused you to change your mind ?

Using Collocations to Boost Your IELTS Score

The correct use of collocations is an essential part of improving your English level and boosting your IELTS score. Using collocations correctly allows you to write and speak more like a native speaker and they are also one of the things that examiners look out for when marking your tests. Learning new words as part of a collocation is a much more effective way of improving our vocabulary than simply learning single words by themselves. Collocations are two or more words that naturally go together. They sound ‘correct’ to a native speaker. Using other combinations that do not form natural collocations might sound ‘incorrect’.


We could describe a night out as ‘great fun’, but we would not describe it as ‘big fun’. Similarly, we could describe the rain as being ‘heavy’, but we would not say that it is ‘weighty’ or ‘big’ rain. There are many different types of collocations that you should be aware of. Below are the main ones and some examples. Please note that this is not a list of collocations that you should use in your test, just some examples to help you understand what collocations are.

Adverb + Adjective

It’s vitally important to learn collocations.

Using Collocations to Boost Your IELTS Score

The correct use of collocations is an essential part of improving your English level and boosting your IELTS score. Using collocations correctly allows you to write and speak more like a native speaker and they are also one of the things that examiners look out for when marking your tests. Learning new words as part of a collocation is a much more effective way of improving our vocabulary than simply learning single words by themselves. Collocations are two or more words that naturally go together. They sound ‘correct’ to a native speaker. Using other combinations that do not form natural collocations might sound ‘incorrect’.


We could describe a night out as ‘great fun’, but we would not describe it as ‘big fun’. Similarly, we could describe the rain as being ‘heavy’, but we would not say that it is ‘weighty’ or ‘big’ rain. There are many different types of collocations that you should be aware of. Below are the main ones and some examples. Please note that this is not a list of collocations that you should use in your test, just some examples to help you understand what collocations are.

Adverb + Adjective

It’s vitally important to learn collocations. I’m terribly sorry to bother you. The baby was fast asleep. It would be utterly stupid not to learn collocations. I’m completely satisfied with his explanation. Note that the adverb can often be replaced with the simpler words ‘very’ or ‘really’. Try to avoid these and use a more advanced collocation, like the ones above.

Adjective + Noun

There’s been heavy rain all day in Ireland. There’s  a strong chance I’ll get a high score. I’m under severe pressure to get the job finished this week. It’s been a hard day at the office. The patient was in excruciating pain when they arrived.

Noun + Noun

I experience a surge of anger when I saw what he’d done. We gave her a round of applause after the speech. I normally just drink a pint of beer when I go out.

Noun + Verb

A lion roars, they do not shout. The children played as the snow began to fall. The price of heating oil falls as temperatures rise.

Verb + Noun

Will someone please answer the phone? Click on the link below to send me an email. You can arrange an appointment with the doctor online.

How Can Collocations Improve My IELTS Score?

IELTS examiners will be listening out for effective use of collocations when you are doing your speaking test. They will also look for good use of them in your writing test. In short, appropriate and accurate use of them will help boost your score. Does that mean that you should learn a long list of them? NO! Instead, you should make collocations part of your vocabulary building process. When you learn a new word, you should find out which words it collocates with. A quick Google search will help you find all the main collocations easily. You can then write down example sentences containing the collocations. This will help you remember the word more effectively, so you will be broadening your vocabulary and this will help you in all parts of the test.


Italian: Present Perfect

Present Perfect Sentences in Italian Now, this article deals with the usage of ‘Passato Prossimo’, i.e., the present perfect tense which will help you in strengthening your grammar even further so that you come to more fully enjoy the beauty of the language.

The present perfect tense is used in the following situations:

  • an action which took place a short time ago.
  • an action which took place some time ago and the results of the action can still be felt in the present
  • an experience in your life
  • an action which has finished but the time period (e.g. this year , this week, today) hasn’t finished yet

The present perfect is formed in the following way:

il presente indicativo dei verbi essere o avere

Auxiliary to have/ to be in the present form

il participio passato del verbo in questione Past participle


  1. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 1
    Present perfect tense or passato prossimo refers to that action which has already taken place in the past but has still has its effect in the present. For example: I have eaten.
  2. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 2
    Now, in Italian the passato prossimo is formed with the present indicative of essere or avere + the past participle of the main verb.
    • For example: Io ho mangiato (I have eaten)
  3. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 3
    Many verbs have a regular form of the past participle.
    • ARE – cantare (to sing) – cantato
    • ERE – credere (to believe) – creduto
    • IRE – dormire (to sleep) – dormito
  4. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 4
    Some of the common irregular past participle are :
    • aprire (to open) – aperto
    • bere (to drink) – bevuto
    • chiedere (to ask) – chiesto
    • chiudere (to close) – chiuso
    • dire (to say/tell) – detto
    • fare (to do/make) – fatto
    • prendere (to take) – preso
    • scrivere (to write) – scritto
    • tradurre (to translate) – tradotto
    • vivere (to live) – vissuto
    • vedere (to see) – visto (veduto)
  5. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 5
    Also, there are certain rules that must be kept in mind. These can be called ‘Past participle agreement’.
    • I.e., when ‘essere’ (to be) is used the past participle agrees with the subject, both in number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine or feminine).
    • For example: Gloria è andata in discoteca sabato sera. (Gloria went to the disco Saturday evening)
    • In the above example since Gloria is female, the past participle ‘andare’ becomes ‘andata’. If it had been a male then it would have been ‘andato’.
    • Another example: Siamo tornati dalle vacanze da poco e ora non abbiamo voglia di lavorare. (We returned from vacation recently and now we don’t want to work)
    • In the above example since the past participle ‘tornare’ is in the plural form.
    • When ‘avere’ is used there is usually no need for past participle agreement.
    • For example: Cinzia ha ordinato una birra gelata. (Cinzia has ordered a really cold beer)
    • When past participle follows a direct object pronoun the agreement is optional.
    • For example: Vi hanno sentito/ti cantare giovedi sera a teatro. (They heard you sing at the theatre on Thursday evening)
  6. Image titled Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian Step 6
    But there is an exception. When the pronouns lo, la, l’, li, and le, are used with ‘avere’, then the agreement is necessary.


ieri yesterday
ieri pomeriggio yesterday afternoon
ieri sera last night
il mese scorso last month
l’altro giorno the other day
stamattina this morning
tre giorni fa three days ago

Conjugating regular Italian verbs in the Passato Prossimo

The Passato Prossimo is most often used like what we would call the “Simple Past” or “Present Perfect”. It is formed by using either the verb essere or avere in the present tense followed by the past participle of the verb you want to use. For Example if you wanted to say “I ate” you would first conjugate avere in the present tense and then follow it with mangiato, the past participle for mangiare. With the subject pronoun included it would look like this; Io ho mangiato (I ate or I have eaten)  Regular past participles are easy to form. You simple remove the infinitive ending and apply the past participle ending as shown below; Verbs ending in ARE use ATO, for example; mangiare – are = mangi + ato = mangiato Verbs ending in ERE use UTO, for example; credere – ere = cred + uto = creduto Verbs ending in IRE use ITO, for example; finire – ire = fin + ito = finito There are many verbs that use an irregular past participle. These you will need to commit to memory.
Verbs ending in ARE ato Verbs ending in ERE uto Verbs ending in IRE ito
To conjugate the regular ARE verbs in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example; Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Parlare (To Speak) – are = Parl + ato (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Parlato (We spoke or we have spoken)  Parlare conjugated in the passato prossimo
Io Tu Lui/Lei Noi Voi Loro Ho parlato Hai parlato Ha parlato Abbiamo parlato Avete parlato Hanno parlato I spoke or have spoken You spoke or have spoken He/She/It spoke or has spoken We spoke or have spoken Y’all spoke or have spoken They spoke or have spoken
To conjugate the regular ERE verbs in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example; Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Credere (To Believe) – ere = Cred + uto (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Creduto (We believed or we have believed)  Credere conjugated in the passato prossimo
Io Tu Lui/Lei Noi Voi Loro Ho creduto Hai creduto Ha creduto Abbiamo creduto Avete creduto Hanno creduto I believed or have believed You believed or have believed He/She/It believed or has believed We believed or have believed Y’all believed or have believed They believed or have believed
To conjugate the regular IRE verbs in thepassato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example; Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Sentire (To Hear) – ire = Sent + ito (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Sentito (We heard or we have heard)  Credere conjugated in the passato prossimo
Io Tu Lui/Lei Noi Voi Loro Ho sentito Hai sentito Ha sentito Abbiamo sentito Avete sentito Hanno sentito I heard or have heard You heard or have heard He/She/It heard or has heard We heard or have heard Y’all heard or have heard They heard or have hear

Choosing the correct auxiliary verb when using Passato Prossimo

The book “English Grammar for Students of Italian” says regarding auxiliary verb selection for the Passato Prossimo: “1. All transitive verbs (the verbs which can take a direct object…) use the auxiliary avere. 2. All reflexive verbs use the auxiliary essere … 3. Intrasitive verbs … can use avere or essere …”  Due to the third point, some memory work is required to determine which verbs use essere. You can find a list of common verbs conjugated with Essere in the Passato Prossimo on page 53 of the book Verb Drills by Paola Nanni-Tate It is important to note here than when you use a verb in the Passato Prossimo with the verb essere, the past participle must agree with the subject in gender and number. For example the verb andare or “to go” Lui è andato (he went) or Lei è andata (she went) Gli uomini sono andanti (the men went) or Le donne sono andate (the women went) As is always the case with gender when the plural subject is a mix of masculine and feminine you use the masculine. Now lets look at the verb Andare in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending that agrees in gender and number) = conjugated verb. Example; siamo (to be for we) + [Andare (To go) – are = And + ati (past pariciple ending for masculine plural)] = Siamo Andati (We went or we have gone)  Andare conjugated in the passato prossimo
Io Tu Lui/Lei Noi Voi Loro Sono andato or andata Sei andato or andata È andato or andata Siamo andati or andate Siete andati or andate Sono andati or andate I went or have gone You went or have gone He/She/It went or has gone We went or have gone Y’all went or have gone They went or have gone

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