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January 10, 2018


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Hi Mister Simon

I want to ask that can i use "over a period of (3) decades" or "over a period of (2) centuries" in Writing Task 1 introduction?

Thank you very much!





Seems perfectly normal.

Mr Simon

I have written an alternative version of your paragraph in the "band 9 linking" lesson, and tried to make the cohesion as unobtrusive as possible:

"City life has several drawbacks. It is marred by a higher overall cost of living and in particular higher prices for housing, transport, and even food. It is often spoilt by a higher incidence of social problems (such as higher crime and poverty rates), blighted by poor air quality caused by pollution from traffic, and degraded by overcrowding on streets and public transport systems. As a result, city life can be unhealthy and stressful; whereas living in a small town or village tends to be more peaceful, cheaper, and frequently offers a better quality of life overall."

Any comments appreciated !


They are normal, but in IELTS you would always include the number, and a general rule is that we would write numbers under ten as a word: over a period of three decades.


This linking is fine. If I was to be very picky, I would insert an 'addition' linker into your third sentence because you are introducing a new issue (social problems) and not continuing your first issue (prices), so you could say 'It is also often spoilt', or you could use something like 'additionally' at the beginning of the sentence. I'm also not a fan of the semicolon, as the majority of natives don't use them anymore. There is no need to put one before 'whereas' and most people wouldn't. Finally, I'm not sure why you have put your examples in brackets. Brackets tend to make something a bit less important, and I don't think that's your meaning here.

Thank you for your comments, Mr sjm. Most helpful!

MR Sjm,thank you for your respond.

Hi Simon,

I have started to read your website every day from last week.I am waiting for answers of some daily tasks, but I do not know whether they are posted or not. I was wondering if you can tell me what to do.


Click on about IELTS-Simon in the left-hand menu!

Can you give me some outline sentences for task 2




If you're looking for the answers to questions in one of my lessons, just click on the "comments" link below the lesson, and look for the comment that says "correct answers from Simon".

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