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October 13, 2012


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Hello Simon,

You are not advertising,but you are giving right direction.
Cambridge books are really good.You can download for free.
Todays comment will be helpful to someone who has started IELTS preparation and not sure which books to follow.


I have already attended the IELTS test for two times, and the writing section could always be the burden. How do you think about the book TEN-DAY BREAKING THE IELTS WRITING?




Do you agree or disagree?
I will send task one to your email.
Many thanks

Hello Simon,
Having followed your website for 2 months, it's my first time to write sth here.I took the exam yesterday and felt quite frustrated after the Speaking part.2 questions, I will feel so much better if you could kindly help answer them.
1. I captalized all the words and letters only in Listening part,like CHILDREN,DAILY,etc., but didn't in other parts.Will that be OK?
2. Speaking Part 2:Q was about describing a meal. I tried to tell a story behind it.I intended to tell the family was poor and how much difficulties we confronted to prepare for the meal, but even before I reached the word of "meal",TIME WAS UP!OH,lord~ THe examiner still asked the sequential Q,"Is that meal popular with other people too?"
I had to say "at least to our family,it's popular and special".
Will this heavily cut my scores??

Finally, no matter how many scores come out,I do want to say THANK YOU for the two months' teaching and "accompany". Really appreciate it.

hi Helenask-1 and t.
Would you please share task-1 and task-2 please

Hi there, Id,
Sure, I'd like to share with u.
task-1 was two line graphs showing the average temperatures in Tokyo and Sydney for one year.
task-2 was "In many countries now, ethnic groups are more mixed than before.What is the reason? And more advantages or disadvantages?"

Hello Mr Simon,

I have some doubts about the following.1, parallelism in Ielts writing will be penalised? In that case, 'I want to know that you are fine,and you can call me anytime'. This sentence has two independent clauses and the 1st one has 'want to know (infinite verb phrase) and the 2nd one has modal verb (can call).So, isn't it a parallelism? Some says YES.

2,Some native teachers (supposedly) it is wrong to use two different verbs in a sentence ( back shift) such as I am writing this letter and will post it later ( So, 'am writing'- present progressive and 'will'- future tense).

3, Royal order of adverbs.
Dad takes a brisk walk before breakfast every day of his life.(verb,manner,place,frequency,time and purpose).

However, it is applied everywhere such as setting off a sentence with "in order to".

For example, In order to be a king, you must be first in line to the throne. The above statement does not agree with the royal order of adverbs is it? However, 'in order to' is an adverbial clause of purpose. This statement set off with 'in order to' which is a purpose, however , it doesn't comply the rules of royal order of adverbs,does it?

I do not know if you can comment,but I really appreciate if you can. I asked it to some native tutors ;but,they seldom explained it.



I'm afraid I no longer have time to answer everyone's questions individually. However, I do still read them all, and I try to answer some questions in a lesson once a week (usually Saturdays).

Hi Shoby,

Quick answers:

1. Parallelism is good, but I don't think your example sentence is a good one. See the page below for examples:


2. 'Backshifting' is usually used in reported speech (see examples on page linked below). It's fine to use different verbs and tenses in a sentence e.g. 'The directors are in a meeting, and will make a decision before the end of the day'.


3. 'Rules' are almost always broken in languages. You could say that 'in order to' creates its own rule.

Thank you Mr Simon. I meant the example what I gave is for Faulty parallelism.I should have added 'Faulty' in front of ' parallelism'. I still do not know if examiners mark off because of faulty parallelism or not.

Thank you Mr Simon,

Hi simon,
I took the exam earlier today.
For writing task 2,the question goes this way.
"Today,It is affordable and easy to visit other countries.
Is this a positive or a negative development?"
My approach:
1.General statement + opinion(I agree)
2.Discussion 1 (agree)
3.further discussion 1(agree)

Is this an opinion type of essay?
I did not considered this as a discussion + opinion type question
I mainly focused how travelling abroad easily can benefit someone,not why it is really benefitial as being affordable to travel but somehow I mentioned it.I divided my ideas in personal,economical and cultural perspectives.

Do you think I did it the right way?or I should have focused more on how the affordability of travelling abroad as a positive progress?like, spare money for other activities or it can encourage more tourists.If this is the case then isn't it a cause and effect essay in a way?

Kind regards,

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