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June 16, 2011


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Hi Simon,
Your great job! Many thanks to you! I can not write briefly and meaningful like that.

It is a very organized and complete writing but one thing is on my mind you use present and past tense for describing the figures, why is that so? help anyone(especially simon)?

To Shahla,
In writing task 1, the introduction paragraph usually use the present tense (a fact statement), the body use the past or the future tense depending on the given period.

I guess u only use the past tense or the future if the years are mentioned.Otherwise u use the present.Please correct me Simon if I am wrong.Cheers.

For the bar chart described above, it would be fine to use either present simple (because no past date was mentioned in the question) or past simple (because we can assume that people spent money on the 6 items in the past). I chose the past simple, but it doesn't matter which one you use.

Even when writing in the past, I use the present simple in some parts of the essay: in the introduction (to say what the chart shows), and to say things like "...is the lowest figure on the chart" (because this is talking about what the chart shows NOW - similar to the introduction).

As Tom and Moka said, it's usually best to decide on the tense according to the years shown.

Hi Simon
i just appear my IELTS exam and my task 2 was
Government spent more money on the art,some people think that public service more important than art. To what extend do you agree or disagree?

i wrote four paragraphs
1st introduction
2nd positive about art(contain history, culture and benifits for nex generation.)
3rd public facilities more important ( like bus public transport, provide employment, etc.)
4th conclusion with favour on art.

please comment about my ideas and paragraphs.
Thanks kb

Thankyou all and Simon now i got it, will definitely keep this in my mind and use this accordingly. Thanks once again

Hi kb,

Your ideas seem fine. Good luck!


No problem Shahla.

hi Kb can you share your speaking test as well?

Thank you Simon

Hi Simon, I need IELTS just for getting student visa for second time and overall 4 is enough for me. But I want to ask a question. Can I use a sentence like this: "Especially parfume's figure is interesting because France is the most populer country for producing parfume but figures show French people don't spend much money for parfume according to other European countries." Is it so personal opinion?

Hi Gulsah,

You should only write about what you can see - don't write about France's production of perfume because it's not shown on the chart.

Speaking was so easy
as you know formal introduction and two way discussion and then clue card in my clue card ask me about sports events watched by me active or passive. i mean in TV or in play ground.
q1)what was the sport? i said cricket
Q2)when was it ?
Q3)who did you enjoyed?
explain some advantages and disadvantages
than some questions about what you spock about ?

Dear Simon,

Thanks a lot for your support. I have a question:

In the 2nd paragraph, you ended with this sentence:"...Of the six items, consumers spent the most money on photographic film."

And you began the 3rd paragraph by repeating your idea in the 2nd one about photographic film within described the figure:"...People in Britain spent just over £170,000 on photographic film, which is the highest figure shown on the chart."

I found that your writing is definitely perfect but I just wonder if this way is not a repeat. Once again, I really appreciate your help!


This is a very good and complete writing. Your thoughts were well structured and organized. IELTS examinees could make this as a guide in practicing writing. TheIELTSSolution.com

Thank you.

Thanks kb.


Hi Dongqtrung,

Remember, paragraph 2 is a summary of the main/general points. Paragraphs 3 and 4 talk about the same points but in more detail, with specific numbers. It's fine to repeat in that way.

Hope this helps.

Thank you so much Simon. I see it now :)

hi, simon i just want to know that when we writewriting task 1 and 2 should we always start a second and rest of the pessage with a gap of lines one or two or do u think it does not matter.plz let me soon my exam is on 8th of oct.

with regards

Hi Veena,

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you asking about missing a line between each paragraph?

hi, simon yes, that is what i want to know . do u think should we write by missing a line between each paragraph? plz let me know soon.

with regards

Hi Veena,

Yes, miss a line between paragraphs. It's important to show clear paragraph separations.

Thnx Simon...

Simon, I've read you essay about the graph. My question is, is it okay to place while after using however?

Hi Rommel,

Yes, the way I used "However, while..." is perfectly correct.

HI Simon,

Could i describe information about consumer spending in Germany as followed:
"There are the same expenditure figures likely for each of them in Germany, about 150,000 pounds."

Thank you very much for your exercise.

Hi UT,

No, you need to rewrite that. It's awkward to read.

Hi Simon,

I rewrite this sentence as followed:"There are roughly the same expenditure figures for each of them in Germany, about 150,000 pounds"
I write "each of them" because in writing i already mentioned six items. so is it right?
Please have a look at this for me.
Thank you very much.

Hi UT,

That's better. Write "AT about £150,000".

Thank you very much for your comment.

simon, why did you use spent instead of spend? there is no past year indicated..tnx

Hi Dave,

I assumed that the money has already been spent. It would be fine to use 'spend', but that would suggest that they spend those amounts of money regularly (e.g. every year)

when I see the chart Iam always confuse between using compartive with upward trend,flucation trend,downward trend. and I dont know when to use it

hi simon, can we write hydroelectric power remained static throughout the decade having/accompanying 5% of the total resource?? Moreover can we write back to home they spend most of their times on....And a additional question, can we write the changes in main sources of energy were very nominal except for hydroelectric power which increased by double fold

Hi Mira,

I'm afraid I don't correct students' sentences. If I did this, I would receive requests for correction from hundreds of people. Try to find a teacher who can help you face-to-face.

Dear Simon
I have just studied IELTS. So i have alittle knowledge on this exam. I have been touch that to write the task 1 with bar chart, I should choose 2 features to describle. First is lowest, highest or average. Second is similar, clearly differrent. After that,i should choose only one axis to descible X or Y base on the feature which is more particular. For example, in your essay above, the highest is Britain's photographic film, the similar is Ytaly and Frace on Toy. So could you tell me the way to write bar chart above is right or wrong? And you can give me some tips to describle the bar chart? Thank you so much!

dear Simon
you provided the great instruction. and I prepare to phraphrase the topic. but I found some error or not in your instruction. In my opinion, the Instruction has to be 'The bar charts compare ~'
Is it right?

thanks Simon

Hi simon,is"britishes = people in britain" or "british = people in britain", which one is right?


hi Simon,

The bar chart compares four countries, namely Germany, Italy, France and the UK, in terms of the expenditure spent on consumer products.

Overall, it is clear that consumers in each country spent the largest amount of money on photography film. While the expenditure on all six products of British people was the highest compared to the consumers from other countries, German people fell into the category that spent the least. (two main features)

People in Britain spent around £170,000 on photographic film, which is the highest figure shown. By contrast, spending paid out by Germans was the lowest, with about £150,000 for each of the six products. (Britain VS German)

According to the bar chart, people in Italy and France spent the same amount of money on toys, nearly £160,000, while French people spent more than Italians on CDs and photographic film. However, they paid less on personal stereos, perfumes and tennis racquets compared to Italian people. The total expenditure on tennis racquets French consumers paid was a little more than £140,000, which is the lowest figure shown. (Italian VS French)

Hi simon
The graph illustrates the proportaion of spending amount on six different consumer good in four european countries whereas Great Britain has higher spendors as well as Germany has lower than among all.
(Can we write this way in introduction)

Help me check my exercise. Thanks u so much.
The bar chart gives information about amount spent on consumer of four countries : Germany, Italy, France, and Britain in six products : Photographic film, Toys, CDs, Perfumes, Tennis racquets, Personal stereos.
It is clear from the chart that: in all of the products. Britain is the country where spent the most money in the products and the photographic film is interested in by all of the countries than every the products
Britain people spent the most money for the photographic film around nearly 175 thousand pounds. Meanwhile. The people of Germany only spent over 140 thousand pounds. Germany is the country spent the least money to buy almost the products in four countries
Italian interested in the Perfumes, the Tennis racquets, and the Personal stereos than French people. But Italy does not enjoy as the CDs as France. Interestingly. Both people in Italy and France spent money the same to buy the Toys, at nearly 160 thousand pounds.
(154 words)

The bar chart illustrates the amount of spending on six goods in Germany, Italy, France and Britain measure by pounds sterling.
Overall, Britain spends the highest amount of money on all consumer goods. The least spending was by France (personal stereos, tennis racquets and perfumes) and Germany (the remaining goods). Germany expenditure is almost equal for all goods.
The largest amount of money is spent on photographic films by all the 4 countries, reaching as high as £ 170 thousands in Britain, followed by France then Italy, with Germany spending is third of that by Britain. Italy and France spend similar amount of money on toys, approximately £ 160000. The 4 countries’ pattern of spending on CDs is similar to that on photographic films with narrower differences (almost £ 152000 to 162000).
France spend the least money on tennis racquets (≈ £ 144 thousands), and it is the lowest money spent by the countries. Germany expenditure for all the goods is similar, around £ 146 thousands. Germany, Italy and France has approximately equal spending on personal stereos (£145 thousands)

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