« IELTS Speaking Part 1: negative answers | Main | IELTS Advice: don't give up! »

September 12, 2015


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

thx for sharing

Simon, Ive got a question here, one of my friends who teaches ielts writing told me today that I should never write my esaays in a strong opinion as that would lead to a incompletion in my task response. she said a one-side strong opinion is likely to make my esaay adress the task only partially which is the description for iels writing score band5.

It seems that what she said makes sense to me to some degree since a strong opinion essay does only contain one side of the aspects of the writing task. Could u possibly share ur opinion towards this? Thank you.

It is a wonderful website. you can read the definitions of words , extra sentences , synonyms , and quotes which is definitely make the understanding of meaning easily and increase our knowledge of language . Thank you Phil and Simon . Really , I appreciate your effort

Lexi. Lu

That advice is untrue. Maybe she is thinking of 'discuss both views' which requires you to examine both sides of an issue. In that question, if you fail to address one side then yes, you would only 'partially' address the question.

If the question asks if you 'agree or disagree' there is no reason why you can't have a strong opinion. There is nothing in the marking criteria that says that you have to examine both sides of an 'agree/disagree' essay.

Thank you very much, sjm.

Your explanation really helped me, and I see what you mean here. I think I will also share this with my friend.

i dont know how to improve my reading :(
some time i feel that i might have some learning disorder .. or like any stress dismanagement... because when i practice reading at home i do well .. but in exam i cannot concentrate on my reading and listening . :(

Thanks sjm. That's exactly what I would have said.

Hi Simon,

I read a comment in the 'Vocabulary/Grammar' section by someone who asked,

"I noted that in others lesson, u stil worte like that: "The Los Angeles network is THE newest" or "the Washington DC underground is THE most extensive" althought we put the noun before??? It confused me a lot."

You promised to do a lesson around the question that weekend, but I can't find your explanation then. I really want to know the answer. Sorry if it's rude to mention that.

Hi! I've been a constant reader of your page then I decided to apply different strategies I've read here in my writing tasks. And fortunately improved my writing score from band 6 to band 7. Thank you for your help! Your posts have been very useful! More power! :)

One more useful website: http://fraze.it/ You can see how it works here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=110&v=oPDPbZwz2n0

James Z

I'm not sure what your question is exactly, but that's just a simple superlative structure but the second noun is removed because it is not necessary to repeat it. When we say:

'The Los Angeles network is the most extensive'

we mean

'The Los Angeles network is the most extensive (network)'

Because 'network' is contained in the noun, we don't need to repeat it again.

Hi sjm,

Thank you again for the explanation. While I fully understand what you mean, I'm a bit confused about the use of articles in superlative structures. Here's the link to Simon's lesson:


Please take a look at comment posted by "dung".

Kind regards

The answer to this is quite complex. It depends on a few factors.


One way of looking at it is that it depends on whether you are comparing one thing to other things:

James is the tallest (boy) in the class. (I am comparing James to other boys)

Here we would use 'the'. However if we compare something to itself in different times and situations, we don't use 'the'.

James is tallest in the morning. (I am comparing James to himself).

Thanks a million, sjm! It's clear to me now.

Best wishes!

The comments to this entry are closed.