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September 22, 2011


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hi simon,.... your website is helping me alot..

Hi simon thankyou very much for giving nice comments abt intro. And i would like to ask you one thing as you give me a piece of advice that be careful abt using comma and fullstop thanks alot b/c it is my weakiest point in writing. But in this para kindely can you rectify my mistakes abt comma and stop b/c i cannot identify mysely.

People have different views that student should be grouped according to their ability,while there are some good arguments in favour for grouping abilites.I believe that it is better to educate pupil together with different ability.


No problem Johan.


Hi rr,

Put a full stop before 'while' and a comma before 'I believe'.

Thank you very much simon.


Hi Simon,
when describing line graphs, my teacher said that we should have 1 body paragraph about the subject that has the highest rate and another paragraph about the rest subjects, but i think if we do like this, it means we describe each line separately.

so should we have 2 bodies depending on the time (year) as you said or like the way of my teacher?

The chart gives data about change in average prices of house in New York, madrid, Tokyo,Frankfurt and London between 1990 to 2006 with compared to average house prices in 1989.

According to information provided in the figure, the average house prices fell for three cities for Now York, Tokyo, and London between 1990 to 1995. In case of NY the prices declined by 5%, while for Tokyo, and London,these decreased almost same proportion to about 7%. The average house prices for Madrid and Frankfurt grew up slightly 1.5% to 2% respectively.

On the other hand, house prices increases for all cities except Tokyo, where prices fell to 5% from 1995 to 2002. For NY, the average prices increased to 5% while for Madrid these doubled to 4% compared to prices in 1990 to 1995. London has the greatest increased in house prices which increased dramatically to above 10%.

In summary, there was change in house prices for all cities while London has biggest change.

Dear Simon,

Firstly I very much appreciate your contribution. I would like to buy your book. I live in Vietnam where the people rarely use master card in place of cash. I therefore will pay it through my friend who lives in Europe.

Secondly, if you do not mind, please evaluate the score of the essay below. Do not need to correct it, just give the score.

Many thanks,

The diagram describes the rise and fall in housing costs in New York, Madrid, Tokyo, Frankfurt and London from 1990 to 2002, making the comparison to the housing cost in 1989.

It is noticeable that the average cost dropped overall in the stage of 1990-1995. By contrast, the figure grew on the whole between 1996 and 2002. London prices change the most, from the lowest to the highest.

Comparing with the year 1989, housing price in Frankfurt and Madrid slightly went up about 1% and 2% respectively. The lowest price seen in London as well as Tokyo in 1990-1995 fell by 7%. New York has a smaller decline by 5%.

On the other hand, spending for accommodation in the next stage 1996 -2002 considerably rose in four cities New York, Madrid, Frankfurt and London. Among them, London had a rapid growth in the housing price, from lower by 7% to higher by approximately 12% rather than in 1989. Tokyo’s house cost on the average had a slightly increase by 2% but it remained below than the year 1989.

The bar graph tells the information about the percentage of house prices in five countries, over a 12-year period and separated into two categories.

In 1990 to 1995, two nations tied in house pricing and fell by approximately seven percent and these are Tokyo and London.Whereas New York city dropped by only five percent. For the city of Spain and Frankfurt, the average price of houses are two and three percent respectively.

After five years, house prices in three countries showed increased in sales. The price rose dramatically for Japan, at 12 per cent. Also, both US and Madrid marked improvement in selling houses during 1996 to 2002. The former had five per cent while the latter was just one percent less. By contrast, Germany did not boost its profit which fell by one per cent, but Tokyo remained weak in house prices with 5 percent.

Overall, The London prices illustrated significant changed after half a decade between 1996 to 2002. While over a period of five years in 1990s, Japan and London prices are the same.

It's okay if you don't check my work Simon. I 've just used this box to help me orgarnise my thought. Also, I find it easier to use this comment box to write my essay here.

I really appreciate your kindness in helping people like me.

Simon, does the use of my "whereas in the second paragraph is correct? I'm not sure if this is a fragment or not. That's okay if you don't comment.

Hi Simon,
My teacher said that there are 2 ways for 2 body paragraphs
- the first way = bp1(subject with the highest rate), bp2 (the rest subjects)
- the second one = bp1(subjects with increasing rate), bp2 (subjects with decreasing rate)

So should I do like these two ways or separate 2 body paragraphs depending on time such as 1990-1995 and 1996-2000?


Hi Ngan,

I wouldn't do a paragraph about just ONE thing because the examiner wants to see comparisons.

However, you could do one paragraph about 2 of the cities and another paragraph about the other 3 cities (this is like the second way your teacher recommends: 2 of the cities show an increase, and 3 show a decrease).


Hi L,

I'm afraid I don't even give scores. If I did this, everyone would send me their essays and I would spend all day reading hundreds of them. Sorry!

It's fine to buy the ebook through a friend.


Hi Gwapo,

Look at this lesson about using 'whereas':


Housing Market - Task 1
The chart illustrates and compares the average housing values in five selected metropolis over a period of 12 years compared to average house prices in 1989. In general the prices dropped over the first five years ending in 2002 but increased largely thereafter in all cities with Frankfurt being the exception.

From 1990 to 1995, housing prices generally slumped in comparison to 1989. Three of the cities (Tokyo, New York and London) saw a minimum minus 5 percent decrease in the mean value of properties. The other two cities (Madrid and Frankfurt) experienced a contrary movement with 2% and 3%.

In the second period, there was a considerable increase in the average house prices apart from in Frankfurt which saw a marginal decrease of 1%. The other cities increased in value ranged between 2 and 20%, London seeing the largest rise. Despite, the increase Tokyo still remained below the average house prices in 1989.

Simon, I'd like to ask when are going to make an essay for the bar graph above? I just want to see if my work is similar to yours. :)

Hi Gwapo,

It will be on the site tomorrow (Thursday 29th Sept).

okay tnx

Hi Simon
Can you please tell me which one is correct?

1.The only two countries observing a slight increase were Madrid and Frankfurt, by 2% and 3% respectively.
2. The only two countries observing slight increases were Madrid and Frankfurt, by 2% and 3% respectively.

Hi Shams,

Both ways are fine. I'd probably use the first.

hello Simon!

I'm just curious why you use "saw" after a subject? Can i use instead the words "composed, comprised or got"?

Hi Lamp,

I suppose it's just a way of expressing things that we use in English. I can't explain it in terms of grammar or rules. We often say "The UK saw/experienced a rise in house prices" - in this case, you can't use "composed, comprised or got".

Thanks simon, your site really helps me doing the writing tasks review, my test is 4 days to go. At least now i am enjoying reading the graphs, before right away im disgusted. Thanks to you...more power. What you are doing helps those who are like me cannot afford the formal review.

No problem Lamp. Good luck in your test!

As per the bar chart depicts, we can see the trend of percentage change in average house prices in five major cities from 1990 to 2002 compared with 1889.Though some countries show some decrease, it can apparently be observed that the overall price is going much higher.

During the first 6 years, price seems to be decreasing. London and Tokyo shared the highest decrease of about 7.5% each.New York(USA) also observed fall by 5% than in 1989. The other two cities, Madrid and Frankfurt enjoyed the increase by about 2% and 5% respectively.So the overall price decreased in first 5 years

In the succeeding 7 years, London got the highest increase of about 19.5% than the previous 5 years and peaked 12% drastically from decreasing trend.New York also accounted an increase of about 10% while the Madrid and Tokyo got increase by about 2.5% and Frankfurt bore price decrease by just 0.5% in regard with 1889.

Overall, the price of house has gone much higher till 2002 compared with 1889.The highest increase was in London and highest decrease was in Tokyo on an average.

I have my test tomorrow .So please comment my task ASAP. Thanks for helping students like me whose country don't have good tutors to assist students and just take money for the sake of taking such a informal and disastrous classes. I studied on my Own. Downloaded e-books and Bought and collected several books and practice materials by myself. looking forward to get 7+ band. Will you help me further Simon?

Hi Simon,
Could you please check and score my answer.
Thanks in advance

The chart illustrates information about changes in average house prices in five different cities over 12 years period, include New York, Madrid, Tokyo, Frankfurt and London. As can be seen, the popular pattern of percentage change was fall between 1990 and 1995, but the opposite were true from 1996 to 2002.
It can be seen that the first period witnessed a downward trend in the average house price. To specify, New York, Tokyo and London saw a wide drop in the proportion change, with the former declining 5%, the latter and the last around 7%. However, there were a slight increase in that in Madrid and Frankfurt, with 2% and 2.5% respectively.
In contrast, the increase pattern could be seen in the last period. For example, the percentage change in average house prices rose in New York, Madrid, Frankfurt and London. Interestingly, London prices change the most and only Tokyo was opposing with falling 5% in prices from 1996 to 2002.

Hi Suren and huy-nguyen,

I'm afraid I don't offer essay correction or scoring. If I did this, everyone would send me their essays.

One quick tip each:

Suren: don't begin like this: "As per the bar chart depicts" - this sounds strange/wrong in English. Just write: "The bar chart shows/compares/illustrates".

huy-nguyen: Try to write a separate 'summary' paragraph with 2 sentences describing main/general points.

Thanks Simon. I did't mean that. I just wanted a rough advice as you did to others.Anyway thanks for your kind cooperation

Hi Suren,

I hope it went ok!

Hi Simon
Over the 5 years after 1989 means from the year 1990 to 1994?? The graph shows the year between 1990 and 1995. I'm just confused.. Thank you..

Hi Bessie,

I wrote it to mean 1990 to 1995 - for me that's a 5-year period. I guess you are saying that it's 6 individual years. Either way, it doesn't really matter - the reader will understand what you mean.

Hi Simon,
I wrote it this way...

The chart illustrates the average change of housing prices percentage compared with 1989 from 1990 to 2002 in five cities namely New York, Madrid,Tokyo, Frankfurt and London. Overall, New York and London shifted from negative quadrant in 1990-1995 to positive quadrant in 1996-2002 but Tokyo remained in the negative sector. Although Madrid and Frankfurt remained on the positive plot over the 10 year period, housing prices rose in Madrid over that period of time while Frankfurt showed a slight drop.

In the first half of the decade, Tokyo and London showed a decrease in housing prices approximately 7.5%. Madrid and Frankfurt on the other hand, showed positive increase of 2% and 2.5% respectively compared to 1989.

In the second half of the decade, London house prices sky-rocketed above 10%. New York and Madrid presented with an increase about 5%. Tokyo remained at the negative plot at -5%.

It should be noted that New York balanced the house pricing market from -5% in 1990-1995 to +5% in 1995-2002.

The bar chart compares the cost of an average house in five major cities over a period of 13 years from 1989.

We can see that house prices fell overall between 1990 and 1995, but most of the cities saw rising prices between 1996 and 2002. London experienced by far the greatest changes in house prices over the 13-year period.

Over the 5 years after 1989, the cost of average homes in Tokyo and London dropped by around 7%, while New York house prices went down by 5%. By contrast, prices rose by approximately 2% in both Madrid and Frankfurt.

Between 1996 and 2002, London house prices jumped to around 12% above the 1989 average. Homebuyers in New York also had to pay significantly more, with prices rising to 5% above the 1989 average, but homes in Tokyo remained cheaper than they were in 1989. The cost of an average home in Madrid rose by a further 2%, while prices in Frankfurt remained stable.

Hw can i improve my writing skill

dear simon sir,
please comment in this task.

The bar charts depicts that the average house prices in five different cities between 1990 and 2002, a period of 12 years.
Overall , it can be seen that , the average house prices of London was shown both positive and negative side throughout the year.
In details, the percentage of New York in between the year 1990 -1995 was accounted just 5 percent in negetive direction . however, the same number of percentage of Nework was in positive side between 1996-2002. Similarly, the average house prices of London and Tokyo(Japan) was presented in similar percentage approximately 7 percent in negative in 1990-1995 where the percentage of London peaks at highest position at 13 percent in 1996-2002 and Tokyo city house price was still observed in negative side at 5 percent .
The percentage change in average house price of Madrid(Spain) was only 1 percent in previous 6 years but it dramatically increased 4 times in next following year. In 1990-1995 the average house price of Frankfurt(Germany) was only 2 percent but it was intresting that it declines and reached same percentage as Madrid(Spain) at 1 percent.

The given graph chart gives an information about changes in average house price in five different cities (New York, Frankfurt, Madrid, Tokyo and London) during 12 years compared with 1989.
Overall, the average prices had dramatically drop especially in the USA, Japan, and the UK among five years compared with that in 1989 while in most cities the index recorded a growth trend in the last 6 years.
It is it clear that during five years average prices were evidently lower especially in New York, Tokyo and London -5%, -7.5%, -7.5% respectively whereas compared in 1989 the prices were a little high in Madrid and Frankfurt approximately just under 2.5%.
Unlike house prices that were lower, prices in house slightly increased since 1996 in different countries. Demand on houses caused dramatically increased especially in New York, Madrid, London correspondingly about 5%, 4% and 12%. On the other hand, nevertheless, the prices in house in Germany were just under 2.5% between 1990 and 1995, the index sharply moved upward just above 3% among 1996 to 2002

Simon, I have a question about the use of "average" here.

Does the word “average" not refer to prices? Why does it seem like you use it to refer to the general qualities of houses such as size?

Hi, could you please score my answer?
The chart compares average house prices in five different cities between 1990 and 1995 and between 1996 and 2002 to the average in 1989.

Generally, the average prices slipped back from 1990 to 1995 and rose from 1996 to 2002. London was the country that saw the most dramatic increase in the house price while Frankfurt slightly dropped from 1989 at the end of the given period.

In the earlier of two given periods, the average house prices for New York, Tokyo and London were lower than 1989 by 5%, 7.5% and 7.5%, respectively. They all had increased after 12 years, by 10%, 2.5% and just below 20%, respectively. Yet, Tokyo still remained 5% below 1989 while London had boosted its average house price to about 12%

On the other hand, Madrid and Frankfurt had their house prices higher than in 1989 at the beginning of the given period. To begin with, the house price in Madrid was nearly 2% and it grew up to just below 5% in 2002. On the contrary, Frankfurt experienced a marginal decline in the average house price from roughly 2.5% to below 2% over the preceding 12 years.

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