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August 21, 2019


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one-person households - single parent household.
When do we use singular and plural of 'household'?

this essay is high-quality

Hi dang khoa, I also read the line below the title.




The most common way to generalize is to use the plural without an article. This is of course only available where the noun is countable.

The second commonest is to use 'a' with a singular, where the indefinite article ('a/an') is used in the sense of 'any', to single out an individual as the representative of a class.

The least common way is to use 'the' with a singular, where the item is treated as a representative of a species. This is common in biology and botany, and carried over to other areas, but still carries with it the 'species' connotation, so may be less suitable in some cases.

For example:

Note that when using an adjective as a noun (eg: the jobless, the rich) it is considered plural. For instance: the poor are always with us.




wow, the positive aspect is totally not mentioned, which is different from previous essays.

Hi Jasmine. It is not necessary to discuss both opinions if you are told to give your own opinion.

Dear Simon,

I have a question about writing task 2.

If the same task 2 essay evaluated in Academic and General test, does it get the same band?

Thank you

Dear Simon,
First of all, I would like to thanks for your continuous support towards IELTS candidates.
Concerning your essay, I would like to have clarification over the following two points:
1- the result sentence in the first body paragraph is quite similar to the topic sentence of the second body paragraph. Both of them talk about the psychological effects on children. Is it okay to have a body paragraph centralised over an idea that was ended in a previous paragraph ?
2- The idea of human replacement by television and internet has been almost repeated in both body paragraph; "The absence of adult family members can mean that friends, television and the Internet become the primary influences on children’s behaviour. "The lack of human contact in the home is necessarily replaced by passive distractions, such as television, video games, online chat rooms or Internet surfing." Could this be a negative point in an essay ?

Thank again.

Hi, Simon,I have been following you for quite a while.Your way really helped me a lot. But recently I got some trouble, an article I wrote was marked by an Chinese IELTS teacher as not good. But I am really confident about this one. Could you possibly mark my article? No need to correct details, please just tell me the score.

TOPIC: (Online shopping is now replacing shopping in store. Do you think it is positive or negative development?)
Today online purchasing has naturally started to take the place of the traditional in-store shopping. From my perspective, it is a great advance of human civilization and also inevitable.

The tendency for people to go for online shopping has good reasons. First and foremost, it is incredibly convenient. People do not have to either travel from place to place to pick what they want or stand in line waiting to pay for what they have bought. The time-saving benefit motivates many people, especially who are swamped with work, choose not to dress up, drive a long way, walk through the crowds so that they can only probably find what they want. Instead, by shopping online, all they need to do is to sit in front of their computer looking through the web pages where there is a great variety of products with plenty of pictures displayed for you to compare and choose. Secondly, online shoppers tend to offer more generous discounts owning to the elimination of real estate cost. For example, one of my NIKE sweater cost me 198 RMB in their virtual store while its 368 in the mall. The two benefits relieve people from unnecessary waste of time and money, so I can’t see why it is not a good replacement of shopping in store.

Convenient and money-saving as I said, online shopping also has by now displayed a few flaws. For example, there is the waiting time of the delivery and the lack of close examination of products which is troublesome especially when it comes to shopping clothes or shoes. However, problems like those are not overwhelming enough to stop the developing of online business. Online shoppers are trying their best to fix them. For example, the delivery delay has been managed as minimal to 24 hours in China. Also, the 7-day refund and tryout policy has greatly remedied the situation. It’s conceivable that people in the future will welcome online purchasing even more.

All in all, I believe the change to people’s purchasing behavior is a positive. After all, all development of us is to improve efficiency. From Bikes to plane, mail to email, and in this case from mall to online shopping, all prove the point.

Hi Guys
I had a speaking test today and in the test i used the words 'rejuvenate and invegorate'
Considering the fact that i'am 17years old, was it appropriate for me to use those words.
Topic was swimming.
Also there was this question:Do u think you would be able to live in a place where the weather is different from the one in ur country?
My answer was:So, i like the weather in the US because there are alot of clouds and it isnt too hot and it may be too cold in winter but that's ok
Well,what do you guys think about my response


The second main paragraph is different because it isn't about children - it's about adults who live alone. This really answers both of your questions.

it has been widely known that people prefer to either live by themselves or live with their parents. It is a common phenomenon that people reluctant to stay in an extended family unit. Especially for people who live in metropolitan cities living under life pressure from fast-paced life, many young adults would like to enjoy their slight personal space away from work renting an apartment on their own. In this essay, I am going to illustrate the merits points of this statement and its drawbacks.

On one hand, the youngster is forced to live by themselves or share a space with their parents. This is because young generations who are about to begin university studying life prefer to have their individualized space with less supervision from their parental guardian. Reaching the age of 18, which means that teenagers have capabilities of embracing new life challenges. This is a significant life stage for facing life hardships to build up confidence. For instance, a psychologist from the University of Alberta has claimed that children who live by themselves not only have an easy life, but also they have more courage to adapt, endure life changes than others who live in a large family. Therefore, living in a small unit is a good method for developing independence.

On the other hand, as it has been illustrated as above, despite the fact that people are more independent for overcoming life hurdles might not be someone who has inflectional communication skills. To be more specific, fewer opportunities for communicating is harmful to young learners who are obtaining basic life survival skills, such as, passive listening, avoiding concerns of others. A psychologist also indicate from “Psychology Today” that people who share living space with other relative are sociable, active listener, efficient communicator. In other words, this could mean that people from an extended family have a large opportunity to be successful because they know how to ask for support from family. Therefore, people who live in a small unit might be regarded in the anti-social group.

In conclusion, it is a great opportunity to enjoy one’s independence living in a small unit whereas, living in a small might be an issue when someone has less family support to communicate to solve extensively life hardships.

I would appreciate if someone can tell me what are some problems with this essay?

Hi Simon,

It seems more than 250 words does it matter?


"it has been widely known that people prefer to either live by themselves or live with their parents.": why present perfect? Is the situation somehow on the cusp of changing? In my part of the world parents have an unfortunate tendency to die before their children, so it is often not possible to live with one's parents throughout one's life (unless of course one keeps the bodies in the freezer). There also seem to be people here who get married and live with their partner, so one of them at least cannot live with their parents, and they are definitely not living alone. So all in all it does not make a lot of sense to me. Examiners will not mark you down just because your opinion is different but your arguments should at least be consistent and plausible.

"It is a common phenomenon that people are reluctant to stay in an extended family unit." Where I live, this would not be unusual. Different countries have different systems and norms. Be wary of over-generalizing.

Re "living under life pressure from fast-paced life: perhaps something more like:
"where the fast pace of modern life causes people to become overwhelmed."



"to illustrate the merits points of this statement ":


->to discuss the merits of this statement...

"the youngster": this word is marked as old-fashioned. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/youngster


"Reaching the age of 18, which means that teenagers have capabilities of embracing new life challenges." Where is the main finite verb? Where is the grammatical subject?

"...it is a great opportunity to enjoy one’s independence living in a small unit, whereas living in a small might be ...": note repositioned comma.


" [despite the fact that people are more independent for overcoming life hurdles] (??who??) might not be someone who has inflectional communication skills. "

What is the subject of the main verb "might not be" ?

"fewer [opportunities for communicating] is ..." : "fewer" is plural, and needs a plural verb.

"A psychologist also indicate ..." : "a" is singular, but the verb is plural.

"people (plural) who (plural) share living space with other relative are sociable, active listener (singular), efficient communicator (singular)": mis-match.

"Therefore, people who live in a small unit might be regarded [classified] in the anti-social group." I see: I am anti-social because I am an only child. Thanks for telling me. At least it is not my fault if I act in an anti-social way.

Hi Simon,
Cities are seeing . I really do not understand this sentence, and Can I use " Citiies are being seen" ?


See: verb (transitive) To be the setting or time of.
Eg: The 20th century saw humanity's first space exploration.


"Cities" is the natural subject of the sentence (and the essay), so there is no need to introduce a passive unnecessarily.

Hi everyone,
Could you please help me comment my writing takt 2?

Nowadays, science and technology have gained popularity. Many people argue that learning these related subject are important than historical subjects in the school. In my opinion, I totally agree with this view.

On the one hand, there are several reasons why people suggest to learn history. Firstly, students have chances to learn the traditional culture and historical events of the past. In this way, the youth broaden their horizons and raise their awareness on the historical value. Secondly, learning history to avoid the mistakes of the ancestor and deter learners from these faults in the future. For instance, lacking of technological knowledge to apply is one of the main reasons caused decreasing products which is used evaluate the working efficiency the in agriculture; therefore, today there are more investments from the government to help developing this field.

On the other hand, despite the above argument, I still believe that science and technology are more beneficial for students to study. Firstly, during learning process of these subjects, youngsters learn the way to work efficiency. These subjects require students a high logical thought and high level of focusing on details, so the youth learn the ability to collect the information, ask questions and problem solving ability. Secondly, the youth find chances to work immediately after university because these fields offer a great deal of available position to work in. Finally, students are offered a high salary to work in related jobs. They could settle down early and even raise their family.

In conclusions, it seems to me that the role of learning scientific and technological subjects in schools are much considerable than historical subjects.

How about this:

The trend in cities now is to either live alone or have a small family. I think it is both a positive and negative development in society.

Many countries in the world are extremely overpopulated so the smaller-family trend is a healthy change. We all know that our resources are finite, so having fewer lives to sustain can be the break needed to improve the overall health of the planet. We would be needing fewer farms, fewer factories, fewer schools, and fewer machines operating all at once since they are only servicing a smaller population. Eventually, we will see a healthy balance in supply and demand that will help resuscitate the planet. To illustrate, if the population count is within manageable levels, production of any kind will also be manageable, and this will have a ripple effect on all aspects of life.

However, I do worry about the drawbacks this change has on the world's economy. With more people living solitary lives or in smaller groups, an aging society is imminent and the impacts can take years to rectify. If majority of the population is old, the government will have fewer people paying taxes while spending more on healthcare. This means that the cost of living will skyrocket since the government will be applying taxes on everything to compensate for the losses incurred from the lack of tax payers. To show you an example, Switzerland may be seen as a successful country, but it is an aging community and the cost of living in Switzerland allows only a few to afford a life.

In conclusion, the trend of living alone or in smaller groups can resolve problems that stem from overpopulation, but it also places a huge burden on governments that may lead to bigger problems in the future.

In several nations obesity has become a uniqie issue Which result in the deterioration of individuals health and physical strength

Sir tell me this is a write sentence?

Hi Van, I think you should spend more time to rearrange your ideas and structures used in your essay. Another thing you better consider is revising how words are used :)

Have a good day ~

Contact me via [email protected] if you wanna discuss more :)

hi Simon,
about this essay, i just want to ask whether it is ok to say this is a negative trend and in body 1, i would discuss about the positives of living in a large family. in body 2, i would write about the negatives of living in nuclear families and alone.
thank you.

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