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February 09, 2014


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Thank you for sharing General Writing Lessons.

Is there absolutely no difference between G and A in task 2 ?


Yes there is no difference in the way they are marked.

Here is my letter based on the sample:

Dear John,

I hope you’ve recovered from the trip, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I am just writing to ask whether you could send me a copy of the photo you took for me on the top of the mountain we went to on the second day of the trip. I think you took some pictures along the way we climbed up, but there should be one picture that shows me standing on the top.

I am writing an article about this trip and trying to use photos as the key elements. The reason I’m after that particular photo is that I think it is one of the most important attractions in this trip and I do hope to tell my friends that I’d been there. It can also show the spectacular view of the whole area.

I did copy all the fantastic pictures on your camera, but somehow I managed to delete this one on my laptop. It would be great if you could email a copy to me if you have it.

Talk to you soon,

very impressive Leo

Thanks Simon for sharing this sample for G testing.

Can someone please help me with the meaning of "managed to delete" here in the last paragraph?

Hello dears!
Would anybody to rate me letter regarding this task? It is my first letter and I think it would be great to know about structure and others mistakes in it.
Dear John!
I hope you are well!
I am writing to you regarding our last vacations this year.I was very glad to share with you such incredible trip to Africa!
Would you send me the one particular photo from our trip? It is the photo where we were staying among the pride of the lions with aborigines. Additionally there are some cliffs that reflecting wonderful sunset on the background. I think it would be better if you would use an e-mail.
The reason is that next month we will be have an international photo contest. Everybody can to take part in it. Surely I decide to be the one of the participants. I think this photo can amazed both the jury and invited guests.
Unfortunately my copy was deleted by my grandmother. It was mistake as she was in a hurry. Thus I don’t want to give up and ask for your help.
Hope for you soonest reply!
Best Regards, Andrew

Hi Simon,
I think there is no difference between WT2 for general and academic but generally topics are different i mean mostly questions related to work field.


Hi Alex,

Well noticed - yes, it's an ironic use of the phrase "I managed to". You might hear people saying things like "I managed to lose my wallet", meaning "somehow I lost my wallet". So in the letter above, I'm saying "somehow I deleted the photo".


Hi Cecilia and Ajay,

Yes, task 2 is basically the same in terms of the question types (opinion, discussion etc.) and the way they are marked. The topics are also very similar, but you might find that 'general' questions seem a bit easier.

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your detailed explanation.

I know that we can express something in an ironic way by using different intonation in speaking English. For example, a girl says "I hate you" softly, which means "I love you." instead. But this is the first time that I learn an ironic use of "managed to" in writing.

It would be great if you can give us more examples of phrases that can be used in an ironic way like "I managed to" here.

BTW: I really love your Ebook.

Best Regards,

Hi Simon,
is it possible to use


in this task?

Hi Simon,

Is it possible to use "wanna" instead of want to or "gonna" instead of going to, in informal letters?

Dear friends,
Can any one help me to grade my Task 1 letter below?

You have recently bought a toy over the internet. When it was delivered you have found some problems with it. Write a letter to the toy company manager and say
- Give details of the purchase.
- Describe the problem.
- What do you expect the company to do about it?

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to bring to your attention some problems with a toy I bought recently on your online shop, www.toytoy.com.
Last Friday, 12th of September, I made an order of a toy car (model number 1212) from your website. Your delivery was quick and it arrived just 2 days later on Sunday. I tried to play with it right after I got it. It worked just fine and I planned to surprise my son after he back from school. However, just a few hours later when I was trying to show it to my son, the remote stopped working! The red led lights on the remote and car were on, but the car did not move at all. I tried to change the batteries, but it still did not work.
Since I have lost my confidence about this model of toy car, rather than any replacement, I would like to return it and hope you will be able to refund me and pay the extra courier fare.
I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours faithfully,
Allen Zhang

Simon, I memorized all your band 9 letters and most of your band 9 essays.

do you think there will any problem if I use them in the real exam?

below is an example about how I use them:

Write a letter to a friend in a foreign country who has invited you to their wedding and say:
- Why can’t you attend the wedding?
- Tell them about the gift you are sending.
- Suggest how you can meet after the wedding.
Dear David,
I am happy that you are getting married next Saturday. Thanks for your invitation and congratulations!

I am sorry that I won't be able to attend your wedding. Currently, my company is on the verge of signing a contract with an important client in Beijing and I am part of the team that is being sent to Beijing to negotiate terms and conditions. So, I will be on my trip to Beijing for the coming two weeks and cannot go to your wedding.

Although I cannot attend your wedding, I already have my gift ready for you. It is a set of decorations which I bought from Japan last week. I hope you will like it.

After I am back from Beijing I will arrange a family travel to USA, I will visit you then and give you my gift!

Speak soon,

In the second paragraph, I copied Simon's idea in one of Simon's sample letters. do you think this can help me to get 7?

Another Example I "steal" Simon's words:

You are living near a public park and the condition of this park is getting worse than before. Write a letter to the park management and say
- Why are you interested in this park?
- What are the problems you are facing?
- What are your suggestions for improvement?
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to bring to your attention a serious issue about the Center Park.

I moved to our city 5 years ago and I live in Riverside community near the Center Park since then. The park is so beautiful and it has become my first option to spend some quality time with my family. I spent hours there every weekend flying kite with my son and I go there for jogging every morning.

However, the increasing amount of litter in the park is raising much concern among park users like me. Litter is not only an eyesore to visitors but also a potential threat to birds and other wildlife. I think it is time for us to take actions to restore it to its former state.

I would like to suggest a “cleanup day” every month, on which people can come together and pick up litter. I believe this will reduce litter effectively. Also, some extra bins around the parks could also be a good idea.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours faithfully,
Allen Zhang

It's fine to 'steal' my ideas Allen. If they are relevant, you can use them without fear of being marked down.

Hi Simon,

I am a native English speaker. I have taken the IELTS once already and achieved a score of 9 in listening, reading and speaking, but 7.5 in writing. I am confused as to how or why I didn't gain an 8. Any tips? I have read over model answers and I don't believe my answer was too dissimilar.


Hi, Simon,

I noticed there's only Task 1 (letter) instruction in your IELTS General Writing lesson. Do you mean that we can learn to write General Task 2 in the same way as in your IELTS Writing Task 2 (I suppose it's for Academic)? As I'm a newcomer to your web, please forgive my repeat if anyone has asked the same question before.

Another thing which is depressing me is that I've tested 3 times IELTS(G), but the writing and speaking didn't have much improvement. Especially for writing, the same band for all the three tests. I think I've done better in structure, grammar, and developping the points. Is this because my word counts is less? (my word counts may be truely not enough) My scores are:
2009/09/05 L6.5 R6.5 W5.5 S5
2009/11/21 L7 R7.5 W5.5 S5.5
2014/02/15 L6 R6.5 W5.5 S5.5

Could you please give me some advice? And I plan to take another test in two months. Do you think it's possible to get a four 7? How?

Thank you very much and look forward your response!

Dear Yang Bushi,

Keep following Simon Website! its great platform to improve your IELTS skills.

About writing its seems you may not have have developed efficient paragraphs, write complete sentences competently or linked sentences well. Or you may have not developed paragraphs in good order or not punctuated information well.

There could also be possibility of lacking in reference or repetition of words or ideas.

A good suggestion could be given once your essay or letter is checked.

Hi Simon,
Is it ok if we exceed the word limit for task 1 and Task 2 general ielts .??? Will writing about 200 words for task and around 300-320 for task 2 will negatively affect our overall band score ..???

Dear sam,
Hope this letter finds you well. Do you remember the tour we went to water theme park (Veega Land) last year? It was really an entertainment for us especially the time we spend on the wave pool of Veega Land. Also, I have nostalgic feeling when we watch those photos. I am writing this letter to send all photos of that trip because I need it.
Well, I am preparing a documentary about the benefits of friendship and the entertainment in natural geography channel. After all, it demands evidence based materials to convenience people. So, send all the photos to my mail as soon as possible.
Do you know what happened? I lost all the photos of that journey when I was deleting the unnecessary items from my laptop and unfortunately I delete that folder unknowingly. What is more, the photos would bring a clear message to the society.
Hope to see you soon!
Yours faithfully
Rinu Rajan

my English assignment:
you were recently out walking when you found a very interesting item(anything)
you decide to write a letter to your friend, explaining what happened.
in your letter you should:
1-say where you were when you found the item
2-describe the item you found
3-explain what you did next.
(150-200 words)

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