« IELTS Reading: keywords | Main | IELTS Writing Task 1: line graph exercise »

February 01, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

hi simon,
i just want to know what are the differences between can-could, shall-should, will- would? i noticed that you often use would,could instead of will and can on your essays. and another thing how can i use may and can?what are their differences?

Hi Simon, these are some of my ideas, hope it can be helpful:

Pros of TV:
1. Content:
(1).vast amount of useful information(such as Discovery Channels and National Geographic)
(2).up-to-minute news;
2. Form: vividly visual and audio information can make the audiences more empressed;

Cons of TV:
1. excessive time spent on watching TV-cause health problem such as poor eyesight and obesity(couch potato) and impair family bonds;
2. Particularly for children:easy exposure to improper stuff such as sex and violent scenes.

Hi Simon
This may be silly to ask,how many mistakes can i make in reading and listening sections to get 7 in each section.please let me know

It is true that there are several forms of media, nowadays. However, books, radio and television are widely used. In my opinion, television is the most compelling way to disseminate information to general public.

what can you say about my intro Simon?

It is true that there are several forms of media, nowadays. However, books, radio and television are widely used. In my opinion, television is the most compelling way to disseminate information to general public.In this essay I'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the three well-known media and why television is very potent than the two.

Hi Simon,

What do you think of listening to the BBC podcast on the net of downloading them and keep listening to them? If your answer is yes, what kind of topics should I download in order to be useful for me and for my students as well.
I would be grateful f you could possibly give me a link of the page as well.

Thx an ocean!

Hi Dave,

You'd need to look at a grammar book or website to learn the exact differences. The basic difference is that I use 'could/would' to decrease the level of certainty. It's like I'm imagining what I would do IF I were in that situation, rather than what I will DEFINITELY do. I use 'should' when giving suggestions e.g. the government should help...


Thanks Vincent!


Hi mvr,

Look at this link:



Hi Gwapo,

The first intro is fine. You don't really need to add another sentence.


Hi Abbas,

I answered your question in the other place you posted it.

And it s my introductory
While all kinds of mass media play vital role in society to inform people respectively .But i consider three of them are much more important in this way .And also it has its drawbacks and positive sides.
thanks and please say me how is my introductory

hi simon I know you are very busy but I want you to do me a favour. I wrote a motivation letter to apply for a university. would you take a look at it and tell your opinion about my grammer or mistakes?
I really appreciate your help
If your answer is possitive tell me how to send it to you...
thank you dear simon

Hai simon, I recieved your e-book.Its really amazing. I started to learn from it. I am going to write my exam on this 18 th.
Thaking you,

Development of mass media has played a vital role in spreading the knowledge. In this world of happening different platforms are used to disseminate any information for example, television ,radio and books.. Every tool of mass communication has its own pros and cons. While In my point of view, television is one of the most effective medium to publish any information. I am going to disscuss three medias in this essay.
Print media uses books to spread information .This is an effective tool in a society where literacy rate is high and people are interested in book reading .Effective and detailed information on any topic could be publish in this way. People can carry books while travelling or whenever they have some time to spare these books can company them . However books are not an effective medium of information where people are illiterate. Some people have a busy life style and their work schedule do not allow them to spare some time for reading .Also book reading needs time and lots of commitment .Moreover it is not an efficient tool to spread an emergency information.
However ,if it is an urgent and emergency news or information to publicize, radio is an useful platform. Advancement in technology and availability of latest gadgets like mobiles have made information accessible in every corner of the world. Just with the push of a button anyone can update their knowledge. It is easily accessible tool to access any news anywhere. While travelling, for example in cars one can turn on radio to get latest news. Various disscussion programmes provide useful information of of public interest for example health problems ,social issues. Anyone can be benefited from the radio programmes while doing other daily chores. However there are some informations that can not be shared effectively on radio for example latest fashion trends. Also some people are not fond of listening radio .
Keeping the above mentioned facts in mind I believe that television is the most useful and efficient media to spread or publicize any information. There are many news channels to update latest news. There are various documentary channels such as discovery channel that are providing valuable knowledge at the push of a button.W atching television is a part of our daily routine.Breaking news inform us about any latest happening around the world .We can access information about anything and any part of world from television .Updates about latest fashion,fashion shows and many more. However with all these benefits there are some problems with it aswell. People prefer to sit in front of television instead of doing healthy activity .Some people ignore their families while watching their programmes .There are many channels on television which show violent programmes that are not good for children .
However I still believe that television is the most reliable platform to spread and publish any information.

here is my ideas:

BOOKS: -Advantages: reliable sources of science and research, easy to carry, are common as education not hobby, reading books as a source of entertainment is healthy and expand knowledge, -Disadvantages: could not inform news and important events, some libraries are not easy access for public, people nowadays do not have time for reading, reading the whole book is time consuming while it could be simply found on internet.

RADIO: -Advantages: broadcast news and advertisements, people can be informed wherever they are, weather and congestion information while driving, music as entertainment for audiences, listen to radio while doing chores, -Disadvantages: drivers' distraction, audio news or ads are not very effective.

TELEVISION: -Advantages: visual news are more effective, information about events happening worldwide, advertisements on TV attracts more customer, a source of entertainment by showing various shows films and series, efficient educational programmes, -Disadvantages: people spend too much time on watching TV, they spend less time with family, lead to obesity, sensational and violent images traumatize children, watching TV is a waste of time.

very well answered simon. tnx a lot

Hi Simon

Thanx a lot. Got to know about your site recently. It helped me a lot in boosting my performance.your ideas for task 2 in writing are really amazing.

Hi Aytaj,

You need to look at how to use 'while' correctly. It is used in the same way as 'whereas'. Have a look at this lesson:


Also, I wouldn't start sentences with 'but' or 'and' in an academic essay.


Hi Sevda,

I'm really sorry, but I can't help with things like that. If I helped one person, everyone would ask me for that kind of favour. Try to find someone who can help you face-to-face.


No problem Tincy. Good luck on the 18th!


Thanks for sharing your ideas Jawairia and Fahime.


NBo problem Dave and mvr.

Hi Simon,
Please advise me the vocabulary i could take in your ebook for this essay:
Too much emphasis is placed on testing these days. The need to prepare for tests and examinations is a restriction on teachers and also exerts unnecassary pressure on young learners.
To what extend do you agree or this agree?
Give reasons for your or experience.
answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge.
I am wondering if i can take ideas from " benefit from education" and some in " higher education"?
I am stucked with introduction as following:
Most schools' system are required to assess students' skills and knowledge by taking the tests. There are good arguments supporting both views, those for and those against that requirement and i believe that it depend on.....(???) I dont get the ideas to carry on. Please help me . Thank you, Kim

Hi Kim,

In the past, I suffered from vocabulary. I want to share my expeirence.
First, teacher give me writing topic, I search on the google. I found many articles. I read. Then, I determine important vocabulary.Thanks to this, i improve my writing skills. This is my opinion.

I found article your topic. I am sharing


Thank you very much for your information. I am studying with this link.
Have a nice weekend!

Hi Kim,

YSS has given you great advice. Unfortunately I couldn't cover every possible topic in the ebook, so you might need to do some extra research for some questions. If you follow YSS's advice, you'll be fine.

Hi simon,
I practiced your topics for only 2 weeks and I was able to get 7.5 in the writing part. Just want to thank you. God bless you

It is true that there are several forms of media, nowadays. However, books, radio and television are widely used by the people. In my opinion, television is the most compelling way to disseminate information to general public.

Firstly, there are pros and cons of using books. One advantage is that it never runs out of battery. It would be difficult for the reader to continue what he is reading when he is outside like on a beach or in a park if the battery drained suddenly. Secondly, books can be borrowed by a lot of people or in other words it is not only limited to one owner. Because of its flexibility and durability, everybody enjoys reading books.However, there are drawbacks. It can be argued that a reader is limited to carry a few books due to their weight. It is really impractical to take several books when going on a holiday. It would occupy so much weight in the baggage. Thus, limit the amount of clothes a traveler can bring.

Radio is one of the greatest tools to convey valuable news.

Congratulations Ricki! I'm glad my lessons helped.


Thanks for sharing Gwapo.

Hi Simon
I have a question regarding the IELTS task 2, in which I did not know the meaning of a word in the question, but I could understand what is required. I answered to the question but due to my misunderstanding, I used the word several times in a wrong way in my essay. I would like to inquire what will happen to my score?
Thank you in advance for your help.

Hi Simon;
I'm busy studying your book and I have a question:
You have used some words such as 'can', 'would', 'could', 'may' and 'might'. I think these words make sentences uncertain. Is it true? Should we make our ideas uncertain?
Thanks a lot dear Simon;

Hi Mohammad,

It's impossible for me to give you a good answer without seeing your essay, but I wouldn't worry too much - it's only one word.


Hi Shayan,

Yes, well noticed! We like doing that in English academic writing - it shows the reader that you are giving opinions rather than facts.

hi simon,
I got 5.5 in writing for 3 times, I didnt get to know why, then last week I went to assess my essay,he only told it, you've some grammer problem here & there, I suppose to get 7 in all section but writing is big problem for me. please help me. from subi.

Hi Simon
Appreciate for your great website
May I know, are you going to provide a sample writing for this topic.
As I searched, I just found some samples from visitors, but not yours.
Kind Regards

Hi Subi,

It's difficult for me to help you because I don't know what your individual problems are. It would be a good idea to take a few lessons with a private teacher who can analyse what you are doing wrong.


Hi Armin,

Have a look at today's lesson (8th Feb 2012).

Hi Simon,

I came accross this question when I was practising;

"In many parts of the world and throughout history, governments have moved their capitals. Why would they do this? What are the potential problems and benefits? Would you vote for moving your capital?"

From what I understand, the issue here is "government moving the capital city of a country", but I'm not sure and I'm starting to wonder if capital here actually means resources/ money (like how you need a capital to set up your own business). My questions are;
1. What does the question actually mean, and would you mind giving us some insights on the points you'd write for this essay? I couldnt think of enough points (I cant even come out with any for the "problems")
2. In these kind of questions, how would you write your "4 paragraph essay" - is it okay to write about 1) why and the benefits (since they can be linked) in the first paragraph and then 2) problems in the second paragraph?? or would it be better to write 1) why (reasons) in first paragraph and 2) some problems, some benefits in the second paragraph?
3. is "4 paragraph essay" correct, or is it "4 paragraphs essay"/ "4-paragraph-essay". I always get confused with these words!

Thank you so much, your blog has been a GRREEEATT HELP!!


Hi Simon,

I couldnt find any section to post testimonials/ comments like this but I'd just want to thank you so much for what you're doing - you have no idea how much of a help your blog has been to many of us, ielts takers. I love how your lessons are easy to understand (with examples), simple and get to the points (to the vital, important tips). I have been mainly using your blog as my studying resource, following each of your tips for and guess what, I improved from band 6.5 to 8.5 in writing in 3 weeks! thats 2 band score up! Once again a huge thank you!

Unfortunately though I only got 7 for my speaking so I'll have to sit for another one :( but I'll keep practising and work harder to improve my speaking


Hi Sel,

I'm almost certain that the question you asked about would never be used as a real exam question - it's a very strange topic, and it's also strange that there are 3 questions within it.

If I were you, I'd ignore that question and spend my time preparing more common topics.

Thanks for your positive comments about my lessons! I'm sure you'll soon get the scores you need.

Hi Simon,I think it would be beneficial if you can at least answer the questions for the students who attend your lessons at Manchester otherwise they may have many questions unsolved/unclear.

HI simon
i am expecting your answer

my ielts exam (academic) 6th of July.plc help me

Hi simon
I have question regarding writing task 1.
Is it wrong to use present tenses or first form of the verb in task 1?

I find difficulty with getting ideas on a topic. What to do

Hi Simon sir,
How can i get its sample answer for 9 bands?
Please share link with me.
Thank you.

Is there a full essay or lesson for this topic?

The comments to this entry are closed.