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November 30, 2017


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The BBC article seems to "recount detail mechanically with no clear overview" ??

It also seems to state percentages quite baldly: for instance -

"for Northern Ireland the figure is 4.2%, while for Scotland and Wales the percentages are 3.2% and 3.1% respectively."

instead of :
"for Northern Ireland the figure is 4.2%, while for Scotland and Wales the percentages are significantly lower at 3.2% and 3.1% respectively."

Hi, Simon,

•The study also says that the numbers of people aged 85 and over will have doubled from 1.6m in 2016 to 3.2m in 2041.

In this sentence, the numbers of ... , here the numbers should be used as number?




"number of people" is much commoner though.

Wiktionary suggests that "numbers" is not simply the plural of "number" but also has a second distinct meaning: "many individuals as a group."


Yes, "number of" is best in this context. Well noticed.

It looks to me like the article was written quickly and not checked by an editor!


I agree that the article could be written and organised in a better way. I can only assume that it's aim was only to communicate some quick facts. We can do a better job in terms of structure when we write our task 1 reports!

However, I still think it's useful to see a 'real life' example of the typical vocabulary and the types of sentences that I often use and recommend.

Hi simon,

Thank you very much for the immense support you provide for the ielts students from this wesite.

Can I know is it appropriate to use below three phrases for ielts writing task 1.

1. ”At the first glance it can be seen that” instead of “Overall”
2.” the opposite was true in the case of other” instead of “as opposed”
3. “carefully analysis of the graph “ instead of “In detail”

@Dumidu Presad

1) Simon:
"Although the meaning of "glance" is to look quickly, this word isn't appropriate in this context. Just use: "It is clear that" or "it is noticeable that"."


2) "as opposed to" continues the same sentence:


"The opposite was true in the case of other ..." begins a new sentence:


3) “carefully analysis of the graph “

Again, this phrase would start a new sentence, whereas "in detail" is simply an adverbial or adjectival phrase.


The overall problem that I'm highlighting in this lesson is that so many students think that "difficult" linking phrases are the key to a high score. They are not!

Remember: the examiner wants to read your description of the information shown on the chart. Use short, simple linking phrases, and spend more time describing the information in detail. This is the key to a high score. Look through my task 1 lessons to see how I focus on the information rather than the linking."

According to Simon, "The most striking feature is ... " is okay.


It’s unfortunate that we can’t access any bbc links in Vietnam:((

Hi Simon,

I just have a quick question on the last bullet point. Should it have been 'will have doubled from 1.6m to 3.2m by 2041' ?

Many thanks,

Both versions are good; except that in your version the start year is not specified; and that "by 2041" means that it might double before 2041 (by=on or before).

hi simon ,

my exam is on 20th january .can yougive me some advise please.

hi simon,
do you have a whatsup group which is mainly for ielts candidates

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