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February 19, 2020


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Hi Simon,

According to your plan, it seems that it will be a balance essay. However, is it possible to choose a side and write according to the one opinion? For example, can I write it only as a positive development without mention the negative side?



Yes, you can certainly do that.

Dear Simon,
Could you explain about how to use inversion in our essays please. Someone has recommended it to me recently and she emphasized it. Is it really necessary?

Simon, I just find that the word "desert" and "dessert" sound the similarity, but the meaning of them is greatly different.



You will need to use inversion if you ask the examiner a question in the speaking test.



Inversion after a negative adverb is usually avoidable:
a) Never have so many owed so much to so few.
b) So many people now owe so much to so few.

My take on the scoring for Grammar Range/Accuracy is that examiners count the mistakes (missing 'a' or 'the', for example) rather than assessing the range of structures, so just aim to put your ideas across clearly and the rest will follow.

Hoàng Nguyễn

1) desert (as in Gobi) sounds like 'DEZert'.
2) dessert (as in food) sounds like 'dezZERT'.
3) There's also a verb 'desert'.


Candidates almost never ask the examiner a question, so I can't see any need in the test to use 'inversion'. As a general rule, don't ask the examiner a question - they are not really supposed to be answering them.


Forget it. If you try to use it you will make errors and it will almost certainly look 'unnatural'.

Hi Simon,
Could ypu plz check the grammer wether it is right or wrong?

As per her request, we have granted leave for her planned vacation to USA from 20th April 2020 to 30th May 2020.

Nowadays, traditional shop businesses are no longer available in the everyday life. This essay will outline one of the main reasons and reflect the negative side of this phenomenon.

Among the many possible reasons of disappearing high street shops, one that stands out these kinds of businesses are replaced by online shopping. It is commonly accepted that online shopping is more fast, cheap and convenient- the more women and men shoppers shop online, the less time and money consume. However, traditional shop businesses are extremely expensive - it need a lot money to build, equip and staff. Access to the good online provides a shortcut to a wide range of brands in a limited time, and therefore a potential shortcut to easy life.

However, this is not the reasonable reason for people to shutdown and replace their high street shops as there are a number of downsides of this trend. One clear reason stems from the fact that rising unemployment rate. For example, some jobs such as cashiers, cleaners and sale representatives have no vacancy in this kind of business. Another reason comes from the point that loss of community. This is because ordinary shops are the places where neighbors meet each other, so it are the cornerstone of the social community.
In conclusion, although there are some benefits of replacing high street shops by online shopping, in my opinion, I believe that negative impact of this development is devastating.

1st paragraph (introducing the topic) I would be grateful if someone could correct my writings please.

It is true that plenty of shops in high street have been closed recently. I think this is attributed to one reason, and although it is bringing some benefits, however, there are negative aspects too.


1) "plenty of": this does not mean exactly the same as "many". "Many is a relative term dealing with numbers of items. For instance, I can have many apples. Plenty, on the other hand, is more of a survival term. I can have many apples without having plenty. If I have many more people than I do apples, I don't have plenty of apples to go around."

2) "in high street": which high street? Do you have one particular street in mind? If so, then 'in the High Street'. If you mean to generalize (as is often the case in IELTS) then the easiest way would usually be to pluralize -> in high streets. However, as the graph below shows, "high street" is an unusual phrase where "in the high street" can be used as a generalization. Eg: "They are challenging retailers and developers to provide answers to the problems so apparent in the high street and to bring the leisure and pleasure back to shopping." https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=0YNUAAAAMAAJ&q=%22in+the+high+street%22&dq=%22in+the+high+street%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjrtcL-7OjnAhU8xDgGHQj-AfMQ6AEIWjAH

An alternative would be to use a hyphen: many high-street shops. Merely adding the hyphen should ensure that you are not marked down for copying from the question.

3) "shops... have been closed recently": this tends to read as though they have simply put the "closed" sign on the street door overnight, rather than closing down permanently.
->shops... have (been) closed down recently. ['close' is one of those 'ergative' verbs that can be used intransitively or in the passive with little change in meaning. "Have been closed down" suggests the closure was forced by a third party such as a bank foreclosing; whereas "have closed down" sounds more like a voluntary restructuring or similar.]


Moving on to your second sentence:...

4) "I think this is attributed to one reason"

"This is attributed to..." begs the question of who is doing the attributing: you or someone else.

5) "and although it is bringing [Why continuous? ] some benefits, however, there are negative aspects too." This comes across as a pre-learned clause. Try something like:
There are both positive and negative aspects.
.. although there are some benefits, they are outweighed by the drawbacks.

OR :
"Although there are some benefits, of which bringing down barriers is one, there are also costs and we think that the costs outweigh the benefits at this stage." https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=iAjxEipuqNUC&pg=PA148&dq=%22although+there+are+some+benefits%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPq96U8ejnAhXvzDgGHbu3BWgQ6AEIMjAB#v=onepage&q=%22although%20there%20are%20some%20benefits%22&f=false

practice essay:
It is true that an increasing number of the high street stores has closed their business and I believe that the development of online shopping is the main reason for this trend. I personally think that it has more positive impact on our daily lives.

A growing number of people have chosen to shop online because online shopping is faster, cheaper and more convenient. People can sit at home and simply search the items they want to purchase on their computer. They can easily have all the best deals at their fingertips within few minutes. Once the order has been placed, it can usually be received within two to three business days. This is impossible for the stores to compete. For example, I bought a iPhone case and a screen protector on Amazon last Friday with free delivery and received those items the following Monday.

Online shopping has many positive impacts on our everyday lives. It provides us with a world of choice without physically visiting the shops. This is a great solution for people who have a tight schedule or those who can not leave the house. On the other hand, the bankruptcy of high street shops has caused rising unemployment. This also eliminates peoples’ face to face communication as they do not go out shopping with friends as much as they do before.

In conclusion, I believe that the growing of online shopping is largely to blame for the closing of high street stores. But I think the advantages of this trend out-weigh the disadvantages.

Over the last decade, a noticeable trend may be observed for the customers doing more and more online shopping instead of traditional purchases in the high street outlets with the result of the closure of many of them. I will try to analyze the reasons for this as well to look at some positive and negative outcomes.

No one can deny that shopping online is convenient, cheap, easy and fast. People may search first for their desired products, compare the items and look for the bargains. The range of choice is enormous. We can buy something from a distant part of the world which is not available here. Customers may use their smartphones and do their shopping whilst waiting for the bus, in a cafe or in bed. This is an ideal option for busy people who can buy something when the shops are closed or for disabled people who cannot leave their homes. The normal shops cannot compete with that. Even me, a bit reluctant at first found shopping online to be practical and useful whilst looking for a professional book, medical equipment. This may be cheaper and more achievable.

However, apart from those evident benefits for the people, there are also some significant drawbacks of this situation mainly measured on a general scale. Broken businesses, many jobs lost are the main problems. However, not only that. Our cities are losing their character when our colorful sops disappear when we were able to contact personally our sellers and ask for advice . Online shopping is depersonalized. In a traditional place of buying things we can see a product, touch them and fit. This is not possible with purchase online.

Generally speaking, to facilitate our shopping through modern technology is not a bad thing. However, some initiatives may be introduced and regulation implemented to make our traditional way of shopping more attractive and to protectour local economies

Hi Colette!
My heartiest thanks for your time and help. Now I have written a new introduction , please check .
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?
It is true that many main street shops have ceased their business in recent years . I think the closure is attributed to one main reason, and although there are some benefits ,they are outweighed by the drawbacks.

This is an interesting topic. Here is my essay.

Retail industry has observed remarkable change where more and more outlets have been replaced by another type of commerce . This essay will discuss the causes and its impacts to our society.
There are several factors contributing to this trend. Firstly, the rise of e-commerce. E-commerce has many advantages over conventional shopping stores. A brick-and-mortar store has significant higher operation cost due to space renting and labor while an e-commerce website can totally avoid. Moreover, since operating an e-commerce business is data-driven, it is very possible to optimize the whole chain of logistic and procurement and cut down cost even more. Secondly, over recent years, shopping behavior has been shifted to a new level due to the change of social environment. A busier life means one has less time to spend at the outlets. Instead of visiting a shopping mall, customers now usually browse websites such as Amazon, eBay searching for needed items from their comfortable bedroom. Orders could be placed as fast as three clicks and the items would be at front door the next day. What could be more convenient?
There are both good and bad effects to the disappearing of street shops. Firstly, the closing of stores will lead to job loss in retail industry. When Sears closed their stores in 2018, thousand of their employees became jobless and this yielded further burden to the US labor market. This also means hundred thousand square meters of renting space are now earning nothing for the land owner. On the other hand, consumers gain benefits from various shopping options either from web-based or from physical stores. One can get the best offer from a far-away online store instead of more expensive similar product in Walmart.
In conclusion, there are certain loss when street outlets fade away but this could be offset buy another channel of commerce.

Hello Simon,

Can our Essay be more than 250 words ?

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