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June 28, 2012


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Where should I use The firgure for/ figures for.....

I mean plural??

Or use both??

Nowadays, children play less with one another and this has an impact on their development. What are the reasons for this? Does it have a good or a bad effect on children?

HI simon, Could you please help me by giving some ideas for the above question thank you

Hi everyone ! :)
Simon thank you so much for your attention and website, it is really useful and helpful for us.

I need some practice -especially for speaking-
So if there is anyone who wants to speak with me, here is my mail address:

[email protected]

Please add me i need your help..
thanks in advance! :)

Hello Simon, Thank you very much for your lessons!!!

Here is another Simon's tutorial about it:

- Use "the figure for + plural noun" e.g. the figure for visitors to the UK.
- Use it with uncountable nouns e.g. the figure for unemployment.
- Use it with countries e.g. the figure for Canada.
- Use it with percentages e.g. the figure (for...) rose to 10%.


Hi Jay,

Read Jamshid's comment above.

Thanks Jamshid!


Hi Hamish,

I'll try to do that question in a future lesson. For now, try thinking of some ideas in your own language - when you've got enough good ideas, try expressing them in English.

Thnx Jamshid and Simon

One another query is that if single table describes about incidents( travellers visiting in 2002) happened in past in the year i.e.( in 2002)

Than I explain all detail in past tense or in present tense??

'Over a period of ten years' can be written as 'over a ten-year period' as well. The s will be dropped in the structure of compound nouns. We say, for example, a five-year period instead of a five-years period [wrong]. This point warrants attention because, as I know, many students make this mistake.

Thanks very much, Simon!

Hi Jay,

We'll have to use past tense because we refer to accidents that happened in 2002. The year 2002 is a clear time indicator reminding us about the use of past tense.

hello simon, its very useful website and thanks for your help. is my introduction for the following statement right? ; The diagram below shows the average hours of unpaid work per week done by people in different categories. (Unpaid work refers to such activities as childcare in the home, housework and gardening.)
My introduction is:The bar chart compares the average hours of unpaid work per week performed by men and women of different categories. thanks once again

Hi Simon,

I have searched the entire world. However, I have not been able to find a definite solution to this nagging problem that I have regarding the use of 'plurals' and 'articles' in the Academic task 1.

The sentence structures that I have come across so far are: [Note:There are many countries and many changes, and this is the beginning of the first sentence of the first paragraph.]

[With article 'the']
1. The graph shows the changes in population in three countries
2. The graph shows the change in population in three countries
3. The graph shows the changes in populations in three countries
4. The graph shows the change in populations in three countries

[Without the use of 'the']
1. The graph shows changes in population in three countries
2. The graph shows change in population in three countries
3. The graph shows changes in populations in three countries
4. The graph shows change in population in three countries

[Repeat the same issue by replacing the word 'population' with 'percentage']

Many thanks in advance,

Hello, Simon,
thanks a lot for your answers in other postings. in the next task 1 Tutorial, could you pls use cambridge 5, test 2, as an example, because it refers to age groups. I believe that many students have problems describing age groups. thanks a lot.

Hi Jay,

Use the past for '2002'.


Very good point MT. I'll put that into a lesson soon.


I'm afraid I don't offer checking or correction here Musharaf. If I did this, I would be checking people's work all day.


Hi Ash,

The reason it's confusing is because there isn't a "correct" answer. All 8 of them are possible, and different native speakers might choose a different one as their favourite. It doesn't really matter which one you choose.


Hi Jessica,

I'll try to look at that one next week.

I am so delighted to see the post by Simon. Its really a great and useful data.

Thanks for all your efforts. God bless.

Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for the reply and assurance.


Hi simon,

I had a Ielts test today. everything went ok, only in writing I could write only 135 words for task 1. Do you think it will impede to get band 7 if, I am short of 15 words in task 1?

Hi Iqbal,

Writing less than 150 words will have a small effect on your score, but it's still possible to get a 7.

Dear Hamish, I wrote an essay on your given topic. I hope it would be helpful:

These days, children interact less with each other, by play which certainly influences their development. Why has the phenomenon occurred, and is it a good or bad trend?

Firstly, there are so many alternatives for children to perform at home which seem to be much more popular than just playing together. Marketing and its techniques have raised children desires and equipped them with new sources of entertainment like computers and video games. Moreover, no companion is needed to play with that, and consequently children spend long hours alone after school just seating in front of their computer screens. Secondly, they are not going out to play with others, due to safety reasons. Now it is even difficult to cross the road safely with so many cars passing through. Then, with busy schedules, longer distances to reach playgrounds, parents prefer to keep children in guarded homes.

Worryingly, there only seem to be bad effects of neglected children common play, in terms of limited possibility of full child development. Yet, socialising constitutes the milestones in this way. Emotional relationships built by playing together, cooperation, work and entertainment in a team is crucial. If children do not do that, they would not be able to communicate successfully in the future. They would feel isolated or turn into an introvert, selfish person. Another point lies in a restricted intellectual capacity with our brains less developing without encouragement. Finally, fine physical activity games improve and develop children’s body, and it is well known what bad impacts on our health lack of that may have. The risk of getting ill, overweight and even disable increases.

In conclusion, there are some reasons why children have less chance to play together. However, this situation may only bring bad consequences for their physical, emotional and mental development.

Hi Simon,

Just a quick question, Which of the following verbs I can use to replace "Increase" to improve my LR band score:
1, Augment
2, Gain momentum
3, Aplify
4, Enhance
5, Enlarge

Thanks a million!!!

sory Sir, number 3 is "Amplify"

Hi Dung,

I'm afraid I wouldn't use any of them. Just use increase, rise, go up.

Have a look through my essays to see how I do it.

hi simon
is the plural and the articles same for 'the figure for/ figures for' can i use both as 'the graph shows the figure for unemployment in 3 countries' or 'the graph shows figures for unemployment in 3 countries' or 'the graph shows the figures for unemployment in 3 countries' or 'the graph shows figure for unemployment in 3 countries'.
i know that when we use article 'the' it should be 'the figure for' and when we write about plural article'the' is removed and becomes 'figures for'. but the structure mentioned by ASH above confused me with this. is 'the changes' gramatically correct in the stucture used above? i think when we use article 'the' the following noun should be singular. like for example 'the change' can we also write 'the change(s)' if yes then can we also write 'the figure(s) for'.
its really confusing and i have serious article problem and trying to minimise my writing error with articles.

hope to hear from you soon.
cheers josh

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