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September 13, 2010


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hey simon!
i got a question about a introduction of a writing i did recently: the question was:

Today, the high sales of popular customer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. Do you aggree or disaggree with the statement?

i wrote this in my own words:

Nowadays, many people believe the society buys more and more products which became popular through advertising, instead of focusing on essential goods. In this essay I will discuss both sites of negative and positive effects of advertising.

can i write that? should i include the last sentence???

thanx for your help

Hi Simon,

I have read some of your lessons on this site and began to follow your advice to practise. Today, I saw Kati's comments and found the topic are not familar to me too, so I wrote an introduction. I would be very glad, if you have some time to have a look and give me some advice. If not, it also is ok in that I have practised this topic.


The introduction I wrote is following:

In comtemporary society, advertising have been widespread to almost every aspects of our life. Some people argue that the high sales of popular goods are not the reflection of the real needs of our society, but the impact of advertisements. Howevery, I believe that the flourishing sales of costomer goods reflect our real needs although they is affected by advertising.

Hi ,Simon
In the following sentence. Is the structure" on the ideas that...and that..." grammartically correct?
They base their argument on the ideas that people should get something tangible in return for paying taxes and that health care is too expensive to be paid for by individuals.

Hi Kati,

Your first sentence is fine. However, your second sentence is not answering the question. It is not asking you to discuss the positives and negatives; it is asking you to give an opinion: Do you agree that advertising persuades us to buy things that we don't really need?

Look at the last sentence in Jean's introduction (see Jean's comment above):

"However, I believe that the flourishing sales of consumer goods reflect our real needs, although they are affected by advertising." (I've corrected some small mistakes in the sentence)

This sentence answers the question, so we know what Jean's opinion is.



I've made some comments about your introduction in my answer to Kati above. You've got the right idea.



Hi Adverb,

Yes, your sentence is good. Native speakers tend to use "idea" (singular) in the phrase "base ... on the idea that ... and that", but the plural is fine too.

Hi Simon,

I have realized my mistakes. This kind of mistakes is not only in my introduction but also in my comments.

Thank you very much!

No problem Jean.

Hi Simon.

Woould you say this question using "portray" is correct ?

Even when you have got along very well with someone. it is not until a difficult moment when they portray you if they deserve to be your friend.

Hi Ernesto,

No, "portray" is not the right word here. I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean "betray"?

Ohh yeah!!! I confused those two words !

Sorry !!

Ok, but I wouldn't use 'betray' in the original sentence. If someone betrays you, they do something bad that breaks the trust you have.

See you in lessons this week.

hi..semon could u please help me that how can i improve my reading skills,,,for ielts exam,,,thnx

Hi Sania,

Start with the advice in the link below. Then just keep practising!


Hi Simon,

Thank you eve so much for introducing to this passage, I found it bit challenging, I would be really grateful if you could advice how to resolve this kind of paragraph in 20 minutes time. Can we more example of similar difficulties?

Many Thanks,

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