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February 26, 2020


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Hi Simon,
The last sentence in your paragraph has a phrase "any product imaginable online". I can change it into "any imaginable online product", can't it?

Hi Simon,
I'd like to know what exactly "loss of community" mean in your last week's plan.I'm so confused.
Looking forward to your explanation!


"there is considerable variation in the different attempts to define and operationalize community. In part this variation is rooted in a basic confusion with regard to the distinction between the terms community and neighborhood. Akin to the early senses of the term, community is generally associated with certain kinds of relational qualities such as connected-ness or shared interests and concerns. While these relationships are not inevitably bound to a spatial nexus, they may materialize in local organizations such as churches, associations or other community organizations. It is this form of communal connection among individuals, rooted in place or shared interests that presumably provides the foundation for some sort of group identity and collective action.

In contrast, neighborhood is an explicitly spatial concept referring to a geographical unit. But even as such it is often associated with relational properties as connected-ness that are inherent in the term community, particularly in the urban context where the neighborhood is often considered the primary unit of solidarity and cohesion. It is this confusion between the terms community and neighborhood that lies at the center of the tension between notions of place-based connected-ness and the loss of immediate relationships under the impact of modernization, urbanization, migration, communication and technological advances that runs through the different classical conceptualizations of community (Chaskin 1997)." https://www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/96/385



As the graph below demonstrates, "imaginable" can come either before or after the noun.




-> any imaginable product online

Simon’s paragraph is great and very detailed.
My paragraph is for those who appreciate the beauty of English.

I believe the contributory factors to the shutdown of street shops are intense competition between businesses and the rise of online shopping. Many small shops these days often find themselves in the face of tough competition for their consumers’ patronage. In fact, shoppers tend to prefer department stores, such as Costco or Walmart, where a wide range of consumer goods are available rather than small specialty stores. But perhaps the leading cause of this trend is that a large number of shops succumb to internet purchasing and shopping and ultimately vanish. This is because customers find it more convenient and economical to make purchases on e-commerce websites, such as Amazon.com or eBay.com, in the comfort of their homes or workplaces and receive delivery of their purchased items the next day instead of making trips to traditional brick-and-mortar stores.


any product imaginable online
any imaginable online product

Unfortunately these phrases have different meanings so you cannot replace one with the other.

In the first one, 'online' is the location to find any product (which is) imaginable.

In the second, 'online' is not a location. It becomes an adjective, and this changes the meaning.

In this way, "imaginable online" is a relative phrase to support "any product". is it right, sjm?

Don't think about the words 'imaginable online' as working together. 'Imaginable' goes with 'product'. 'Online' is a separate idea (location).

For example, we can say:

You can get any product imaginable...... at a supermarket.
You can get any product imaginable...... in New York.
You can get any product imaginable...... online.

'imaginable' works like a relative clause to give more information about the product, but 'online' is a location and not connected to the previous words.

Hi sjm,
So I can use "any imaginable product online" in that situation?

Hi Hoang,

I feel we can use "any imaginable product online"
And is grammatically correct.



I don't want to get too technical, but yes, you can put the adjective in this case either BEFORE 'product' (prepositive) or AFTER (postpositive). We rarely put the adjective after the noun, and it only happens in a limited number of cases.

However, there is a small change in meaning and also a change in emphasis. Putting the adjective after the noun here definitely emphasises that 'any product you can possibly imagine' is available online.

In Simon's essay, 'any product imaginable' is clearly the best option here, because it matches the meaning he wants to communicate. If he wrote 'any imaginable product online' we would still understand him but it would not really convey the precise meaning he intends.



There's a very interesting discussion in the comments above. I'm tempted to write a lesson about the phrase 'any product imaginable' over the weekend!

Good link Klaus - the answer is on that page.

Hi Simon,
Thanks for the reply, and I like your idea that we don't learn English in a special order.
I now just follow your blog to work hard on the writing section for a certain period.
below is my handling of your essay, and would you give me some suggestions to make my study more efficient?

1 Look at the questions
2 Do the planning in 10 mins
3 Compare with your planning if you have, and see the differences.
4 Write an essay following your skeleton.
5 Compared with your essay
5.1 Find the differences
5.2 See and mark the proposed topic vocabulary in your blog.
5.3 Re-write the essay based on my memorize
5.4 And compared again.
6 Look at the Next essay.

and you also mentioned that we need to focus on the topic vocabulary and the ability to express and develop ideas. I just wonder how to use the topic vocabulary. Is it to memorize it?
How to develop the ability to express and develop ideas.

Dear Simon,

I have found a topic for the Writing 2 essay which was put by a student asked for some help with that. However, it was under the listening section( from the 3rd December) from December so I don't know if you or anybody had a chance to help him.

I have found this topic interesting, so in my next entry, I will write my attempt on that.

If you would like to comment or anybody else this would be nice. Thank you, Aleksandra

It's been a while I haven't seen you post anything. Hope you are not infected by conoravirus.

Hi Simon

Why have you used "bricks and mortar stores"? why not "clicks and mortar stores"? as the latter conveys commerce but first one means property due to the Cambridge dictionary of example.

Many shops and stores in cities have disappeared in recent years. This phenomenon is an inevitable consequence as online shopping has become more prevalent. From my perspective, this trend will bring both advantages and disadvantages, however, the benefits will justify the drawbacks.
The disappearance of brick and mortar shops will make cities' outlooks less diverse. High street shops are often placed on busy and crowded streets in every city. Those stores are the main reason attracting customers to come for shopping and it goes hand in hand with the existence of many other businesses such as coffee shops and restaurants. Therefore, when brick and mortar shops go out, the dynamic and busy atmosphere of many streets will disappear, making the city's outlook bleak. Furthermore, customers are losing their chances to see, touch and feel the products before they make their decisions to buy. For many people, shopping around is considered as a hobby. Going through a chain of shops to see a product first-hand and feel it physically is important to see whether those products’ qualities meet their expectation or not. However, with high street stores have been closing, customers are having less chances to experience the products before making their own decisions to buy.

On the other hand, modern life has become increasingly hectic. As consumers are having less time for leisure activities, they switch to online shopping. The disappearance of physical stores therefore is an unavoidable result of modern lifestyle. In addition, this trend will re-organise the way retail businesses are being operated. As retail businesses have been converting their physical shops to online stores, a significant amount of operating expenses can be saved, such as spendings on commercial real estates. Operating businesses in a more economical way will result in cut-price products, which is obviously beneficial to customers. Furthermore, the disappearance of physical stores may lead to a decline in price reduction in real estate markets, giving the opportunity of property rental to other new forms of business, as a result of modernisation.
In conclusion, many shops and stores have closed as a result of e-commerce and online shopping. While this trend can cause some drawbacks, it is the unavoidable result of modernisation and will bring many other benefits to both new businesses and consumers.

how can I post comment?

Online shops have been overwhelmingly replacing high street shops since Internet has been commonly accessible everywhere. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

It's very obvious that online shops provide more convenience with less cost for both shop owners and customers than any physical shops at any high streets. Shop owners can easily onboard and manage shops on professional e-commence websites, which can appeal to global customers with little time latency, no matter where the customer is located and the website is hosted. The registration fee for them may vary from zero to hundreds annually. Shop owners will be more than happy to choose online shops.

Meanwhile, customers are happy to directly buy things online when staying at their cozy home without extra fee. There are many chooses in different online shops. And most of them considerately provide long time customer service. If there are customers craving for buying a coffee machine at 10:00 pm on a rainy day that has thunderstorms, nobody would like to go out and high street shops are already closed. However, they can always purchase the desired one from various online shops. What a wonderful day!

This change, on one hand, benefits the economy through bringing more profit to shop owners and more tax to government, while human life is delighted because more requirements are fulfilled by online shop than high street shops. On the other hand, more fierce competition is induced to e-commence industry, this will cause some online shop selling fake or illegal items to cut cost further or be more attractive, which will lead customers be trapped into scams. And due to the cheap price, people tend to over-shopping which will be a waste of resources.

In one word, online shops are more commonly to be seen or heard than high street shops nowadays. There are some benefits, while shortcomings can't be ignored. What we should do is to take the most of it and keep eyes open when buying from or opening online shops.

If I have many ideas, how should I select from those ideas?

1. My answer

Online shops are replacing high street shops. It has both positive and negative impact.

2. Structure: four paragraphs

Provide opinions

Main - Explain reasons

Main - Describe impacts

Summarize and emphraze opinions

3. Ideas for the main paragraphs

Main - Explain reasons

Online shops are more convenient.

for shop owners

appeal to global customers

easier to open and manage through website

for customers

access without location restriction,

provide longer time custom support

spending less time on returning items

Online shops are cheaper.

for shop owners

reduce cost

for customers

compare various choices to find the most economic one

Main - Describe impacts


economy - bring more profit to shop owners and more tax to goverment

improve human life - fullfil customers requirements


less employment

hard to guarantee legality and quality- more fake and illegal items

over shopping - waste resources

In recent decades, the closures of many physical stores have been an emerging issue among business owners and economists. Although there are various reasons challenging the existence of high street shops, this development brings more positive changes overall.

There are a number of reasons why high street shops are on the brink of collapse in the market. First, the intense competition from online shopping websites has been reshaping shoppers’ buying behaviours. Online shopping offers a variety of benefits to consumers, especially the ease of convenience and flexibility to place an order, conditioning them to engage virtually rather than going to the retail stores. Second, the increasing expenses, including rental leases and labor costs, acts as the deterrent against store owners to maintain the business operation. The rise in all kinds of expenses is an inevitable result of scarcity resources, such as land and building materials, that humans are confronted with due to overpopulation worldwide.

Even though this trend has raised public concerns over the years, the returns are highly justifiable. First, store owners can opt to establish online stores that are substantially cost-saving. Businesses are less reliant on warehouse space rentals and physical stores; therefore, the savings would be passed on to consumers and companies’ owners, creating a win-win solution. Second, by enabling individuals to save a great deal of time and effort on buying, online shopping is becoming essential to everyone in modern lives. For example, many online stores offer free shipping services for busy shoppers that they can have their orders delivered to the doors within just a click, which is highly conducive to greater customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, although many brick-and-mortar stores have been forced to shut down as the implication of online shopping development and the growing operation costs, it widens new opportunities and values for not only consumers but also store owners.

Are you okay, Simon?

I'm fine thanks Ho Quang Trung! I'm still here and still teaching IELTS, just on my member site at the moment.


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