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February 12, 2020


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reason 1) Tech-savvy millennials accustomed to internet shopping mall - cheaper, convenient, bargain sales, a range of products, because online shops have less less labour cost & rental fee
reason 2) People do not have time, energy to go supermarket or shopping mall after work - click and order while working & commuting
reason 3) Transport infrastructure developed - quick delivery, can order perishable foods

Positive - provide better service & diverse options for customers; could lead to development of other sector such as delivery service companies (spill-over effect); encourage retail companies to shift their business focus to catch up with technology development

# The fall in the pound since the Brexit vote has pushed inflation>>>imported goods more expensive>>>>icreasing retailers debts.

# Wages have been rising at a slow pace, compared to inflation>>>shoppers have less disposable income to spend in stores.

# People's tastes are changing>>>more spending in Takeaways, gyms and vaping stores, nowadays.

#The shift to online shopping>>>for example, Amazon, the online giant have had a huge impact on the high street by offering online-shoppers what they are looking for at a competitive coast.

1. Technology leads to new lifestyle, resulting in disappearing of street shops> modern people do things through smartphone and computer> online shopping for goods or food > faster then go to shops.> even more option> consumer happy.

2. This is a negative development
For work: many shops face to close> reduction of employment opportunity> unemployment rate increase
For users: fewer places for people to go> no point to go out > become isolate> not good for physical and mental health.

reason 1:Shopping online is time-saving and more convenient than street shops>buy whatever they want to purchase by clicking a mouse button rather than driving to the store>it is available in all days and all time
reason2:provide home delivery of purchasing things

positive development
1.offer more ways to shop for customers
2.the price is more reasonable for consumers

1.over expansion of malls
2.Rising rentals
3.low profits due to competition
4. Changes in spending habits of people
5. Rapid growth of cheap stores like dollar store

In my opinion its a positive development since many of the middle class can also purchase the latest models from the cheap stores. Can save time by online shopping,
Reduce congestion in cities

*worldwide online shopping examples
* the generation interesting on smart phones online applications shopping
*Quality items to choose without getting tired
By walking around the streets.
*terms and conditions positive and negative
*Population increases, transportation
difficulties, city traffic, pollution
* Online shopping credit card hackers
* deliveries duplicate same as original
* Different size of different industries examples clothes

The following are some of the reasons for the disappearance of local markets.
a) Extensive marketing and advertising by big businesses is a threat to the very existence of the small businesses.
b) Due to the availability of excess money, big companies can buy several local stores and monopolise the products.
c) An increasing number of people are buying what they need online. Very few people actually feel the need to venture into brick and mortar stores.
In other words, online shopping has become more popular than in-store shopping, due to the fact that it makes shopping easier.
d) Buyers no longer have to drive all the way to shops to buy things. Also, online stores tend to offer attractive prices probably because they have lower overhead costs, which allows them to sell items for deeply discounted prices.

Hi Simon, I just wanted to know if local markets are the same as high street markets, or is there a difference, request to clarify.
I assumed both to be the same and gave the above points.
Thank you

1) an increase in the number of online shopping centers with the improvement of technology(more convenient for both sellers and customers)- street shopping has transformed to online services

2)an unpredictable rise in the rate of inflation(rental fee,levy and other expenses have increased-

positive:ordering goods with a click or at least a call without wasting too much time while working- less expenditure


Thanks for sharing your ideas guys! There are some really good points here.



For me, a 'local market' is not really the same as a high street shop.

Hi Simon, please can you explain a bit about high Street shop, I tried googling but could not get a proper answer.
It will be of great help.
Thank you


It is true that the number of outlet stores and main street businesses are in decline. There are many reasons for this to happen, and in my opinion it has both positive and negative consequences.

First body paragraph
- rise in online shopping
- online shopping is now accounts for 10% of transactions
- economy crisis
- the cost of living has increased nowadays
- people have less free time to shop around

Second body paragraph about negatives:
- there several drawbacks
- people lose their jobs
- shopping centers would not be as attractive any more..
- shopping centers used for more than one purpose they were also a place to hang out, have dinner, watch a film, browse new brands and designs.
- some stores are historically important e.g. Arcade jewellery Center in London

In conclusion, many new online outlets emerge every day to replace old-fashioned main street store,and my view this could have both beneficial and detrimental consequences.

Hi! I would like to ask, if the academic writing task 2 does not ask my opinion, do I still need to state my opinion? My exam would be tomorrow and I would gladly appreciate your prompt response on this query. Thank you so much :) your free online courses helped me a lot since I am just studying on my own.

Prasad Gandham

"Shop" implies a building.
A market has "stalls", which are temporary structures. In England, many markets operate only one or two days per week in smaller country towns, where people bring produce in from the surrounding countryside.




Follow the instructions. Task two usually asks for your opinion, although sometimes this is implicitly worded, for example: what are the advantages and disadvantages.

Task 1 does not ask for your opinion, and you should not state your opinion in Task 1.

Positive: The goods' prices will decrease due to selling of products in large quantities and accordingly, the general cost will decrease.

Negative: Many local employees who are working in the retail sector will lose their job and will become workers of big companies which mostly belong to global commerces and pay off the minimum benefits to locals.

Although this change brings some benefits, it leads many negative impacts on local businesses and communities.

Many high street shops have gone out of business in recent years.
1.landlords in the area want to get profits at maximum by asking high rent fee for using a building from tenants.
2.Owners running private business in that areas are getting pressure of the payment monthly and finally decide to leave out of the area and find a cheaper place as alternative.
3.Global franchise company stores are replaced in the street and so the locally unique characteristic atmosphere made by the local shops has fade away, therefore, there is no differences between the main street and other places. The tourists or residents looking for unique dishes lose their interest in this street and don’t visit the global street, and this leads to make economy get worse.

Dear Saimon Sir,
Following is my Skeleton of the essay along with complete introduction.
INTRO: It is quite evident nowadays that the number of street shops has dramatically disappeared due to a range of social and economical factors.In my opinion, this is completely a negative trend and will have far reaching effects on the lower and moderate income groups.

BODY(1): *Extensive tendency to shop online

*People feel exhausted in roaming
around streets for shopping.

* Buying from big malls seems like an
object of status symbol.

BODY(2): Additionally:
*A great deal of amount needed for
renting than ever on streets.

* People are getting richer and solvent
and tend to be classy

*Advertising has an effect to force
people to go to branded shops that are
not available on streets.

Conclusion: Paraphrase of the intro, mentioned

Reasons- 1. Online shopping has become more popular these days.
Negative development-closing stores will take away jobs from people hence , hinders economic growth.

Dear Sion Teacher,
Thank you very much for your website, it is very great, I am new, from Hochiminh City, Vietnam

Below is my first writing, so is is quite long and maybe a lots of mistake, if possible Kindly have a look and have me revised or commented, thank you very much.

In recent years, many shops at high streets have gone out of business. From my opinion, the main reason is restructuring infrastructure of the governments and high street shops also do not much benefit, I think that this is a quite positive development.

Firstly, it is the infrastructure structure, in which high streets are for transportation and traffic as main role. Furthermore, regardless of benefits that shops cannot be able to attract consumers at the high-class layer, especially foreign customer channel. Finally, problems such as traffic jam and traffic accident, that is if there are shops locating at high streets it will be automatically appeared the number of customers for selling and buying, nobody can be sure is not causing the traffic jam or even accident happening.

On the other hand, infrastructure is a national role in advertising and attracting foreign tourists via safe and convenient traffic. if a country has high streets where are most shops grown, it will not only non-efficiency in advertisement of the national infrastructural beauty and foreign tourist attracting, but also reducing in contribution to GDP generally and individuals particularly. For instance, in Vietnam in 2000s, there were a lots of shops in high streets between the nearby provinces, it was much impacted badly on transportation that make the streets were always at crowded situation just to have transaction at shops, more important that it is was not much benefit proved by GDP statistics. But after restructured, there were improved all faces like smooth and safe transportation and traffic, benefit was increased and significantly contributing to GDP of the nation.

In conclusion, I think that shops be put out of high streets are the positive development, it is not only having traffic improved but also and more important is the beautiful infrastructure face, especially get more benefit in State budget contribution.
(306 words)



From [wrong preposition] my opinion, the main reason is restructuring infrastructure [infrastructure restructuring ? ] of the governments ....

"Firstly, it is.." : what is?

"it will be automatically appeared": 'appear' is an intransitive verb and therefore cannot normally be passive.

In general, I would suggest that you need to go through your essay with a good teacher, as , whilst your ideas and vocabulary may be good, the ideas do not come across clearly.

Hi Simon,
I’ll do my IELTS test in 4 days but still find it difficult to make a partly-agree essay.

The essay question is that “we should stop using books in schools, and use movies, films, and computers instead.”

If I decide to partly agree, can I use this skeleton:
Body 1: why books should be stopped (the weaknesses of using books)
Body 2: books cannot be replaced thoroughly by any means.

Or this:
Body 1: the use of books should not be stopped because of its benefits
Body 2: computerised resources should be used as well


"I can therefore only partly agree with the assertion that..."




And make sure you know how to use 'although' correctly.

Dear Fruzsi,

Thank you very much for your comments, well noted.

Dear Fruzsi,

I have just revised, can you help to have a look?
Thank you very much

Topic: Many high street shops have gone out of business in recent years. Why do you think this has happened? Is it a positive or negative development?

In recent years, high street shops have been gone out of business, my opinion is it is a positive development, because infrastructure restructuring and benefit of high street shop is not efficient.

The main argument for high street shops have been gone of business in recent years is having infrastructure restructuring. Firstly, removing shops out of streets for extending streets, in order to be convenient for traffic and transportation. Secondly other units can be built instead, such as buildings with national typical characteristics. And finally, add more some commercial centres blocks along high streets for supplying necessary service to long distance passengers, all that change can make the face of infrastructure is better. For instance, Pham Van Dong High street in Hochiminh City now is very beautiful with no shops, there are many big building and commercial units instead.

On the other hand, nowadays with the information technology 4.0 E commercials are developing very fast, it is quite difficult for high street shops to be alive. Besides, the land fee of high street is significantly high. Furthermore, high streets are mainly for traffic especially vehicle transportation, it is not convenient for selling and buying, hence the amount of money earned from products selling are small, the result is that business result is not efficient. One example is with USD10,000 we can open a shop at walking street or citizen area, by this method it surely be much workable, as land fee is low and the number of customers will be crowded, so the business result of this method will be great.

In conclusion, I think believe that high street shops have been gone out of business in recent years is positive development, because for infrastructure restructuring and benefit of high street shops is also not efficient.
(296 words)

"high street shops have [been] gone ". There is a fairly strict rule in English that only transitive verbs can be passive. go/went/gone is an intransitive verb. Therefore "have been gone" must be a mistake.

Maybe the error arises from translating from Vietnamese. It is true that "bị" in Vietnamese often corresponds with a passive in English; but this is not always true:
"Anh ta bị chóng mặt." [Vietnamese]
He is feeling dizzy.

[No I do not speak or know your language. But I can google, cut and paste.]

2) "... business, my opinion..." : this is two sentences joined by a comma. Not in English! Google "run-on sentence" or "comma-splice".

3) "Pham Van Dong High street in Hochiminh City now is very beautiful with no shops, there are many big building and commercial units instead." That's interesting: in England, many High Streets have retained their shops, but the traffic has been re-routed away into a by-pass, and the High Street itself has been turned into a pedestrian precinct.

I do notice in my travels that countries which previously had centralized-planning governments, also tended to have grandiose squares and public buildings, while shops and consumer facilities were less grandiosely served.

Equally, at the other extreme, in a more laissez-faire economy, town-planning and signage can seem more like an ill-planned jungle, with new subdivisions miles from any shops. Indeed our definition of a "community" is a new subdivision where there are no shops and no bus service so everyone has to help each other with lifts and shopping.

Another feature is where commercial developers build large hypermarkets on greenfield sites outside the established residential areas, and residents then have to use their greenhouse-gas-emitting cars and SUVs to get there. Not a good well-thought-out development at all.

Apologies. Got bored. Wrote my own stuff instead.

Dear Pruzsi,

Thank you very much for your help (my teacher).
I would like to get your support, can you tell me your email?

Actually, I want to get IELTS band 5.0, it is one of conditions for my Ph. D study.
Maybe you can be my English teacher, the fee should be whenever you go to Hochiminh, Viet nam I will invite you to my home if you are female, but if you are male let my husband invite you instead of.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards
Kim Hanh

Kim Hanh

Thank you for your kind invitation. Unfortunately Viet Nam is not on my bucket list. And like Greta Thunberg I no longer fly these days.

I was surprised to see you mention an IELTS score of 5.0 in relation to a doctorate. In my experience, you would need an average score of well over 7.5 for such an undertaking. To do all the background reading and write a thesis, I would suggest a minimum of eight.

Just keep using the material and advice from this site, and avoid anyone who offers you shortcuts to success. Simon is the best around.

Dear Fruzsi,

Thank you very much for your kind share, especially helped me to revise my writing, I well noted with many thanks.
Yes surely I never care anyone who offers shortcuts to success.

Best regards
Kim Hanh

Hi Kim Hanh,

I found this book: Barron's writing for the Ielts is very helpful for the beginners to learn and practice how to write Ielts essays effectively. You can study by yourself with this book. I hope it helps.

The main reason for closure of high street shops is due to the online shopping as this mode is more convenient and effective.For example, any customer can purchase their desired products online at much a affordable price with the help of various effective deals that online web based stores offer.
In fact, they also get to chose variety of different products which offline stores are not able to offer.

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