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Sunday, November 13, 2011

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Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for your awesome guidance. Hats off.

Hi Simon,

I have my IELTS exam this month.

I seriously get confuses while some of Linkers like

Can we use However and On the other hand together

Can we use Although and But together

and lastly what is a difference between In contrast and while..

Shall be very grateful if you could explain above queries.

Thanks a bunch

P.S just to amend my one sentence

I seriously get confuse while using some of the Linkers like

Hi Simon

Is it true that proverbs and cliches can increase our score in SPEAKING?

regard,

Hi Simon
It would be great if you consider performing online courses. For example one course about general English for IELTS and second course about IELTS techniques(speaking, listening, writing, reading).
It would be a great apportunity for the students around the world to get acquainted with your precious lessons and help.
regards

Hi Anna,

This lesson explains what you need to know:

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2010/11/ielts-grammar-however-and-whereas.html

Note: 'In contrast' is the same as 'by contrast' - I mention this at the bottom of the lesson.

Some of the linkers can be used together (in certain situations), but it's best to avoid trying to do this. Students make mistakes when they use linkers together, so it's best not to do it.

...

Hi Mh,

No, it's best to avoid them. It's very difficult to use a proverb/cliche in a natural way in an exam - it will probably sound wrong if you try to do it.

...

Hi Hassan,

I agree. I'll probably try to do something like that in the future.

Hi Simon,

Can I use word "make" or "do" collocating with other words in IELTS test? I mean in case that if I can use collocation of these words correctly,will it help me to get better marks in academic writing and speaking? I am not sure that it is too simple to use whether or not.Please suggest me for this case too.

Thank you very much in your help.

Hi Simon,
Is it ok if I use "In a nutshell" to sum up my writing task 2? I usually use it in my essay. Thanks sir!

Hi Patty,

'Make' and 'do' collocate with so many words. Of course it's good if you can use them properly, but I don't recommend that you try to use make/do collocations in your essays ON PURPOSE - it might seem unnatural if you do this.

You will get a high score for vocabulary if you can use collocations that relate to the particular question topic.

...

Hi Tom,

No, don't use it - it's an informal cliche, and it isn't appropriate for academic writing.

Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for your guidance.

P.S. I agree with Hassan totally.Your lessons are very precious and I intend to join in your online course whenever you offer.

Thanks Patty.

Dear Simon,
Today I have just received my IELTS result. I've got 6.5 for reading and listening, 5.5 for writing and 5 for speaking, overall: 6. This may not be a good result, But I just had only 1 week to prepare for my IELTS test. Before that, I had known nothing about it. Then I found your page, and I have studied a lot from you. Anyway, thank you so much.

Hi Tuan,

Congratulations! After preparing for only one week, you've done really well.

Hi Simon, i have recently heard about this web nd had a look at it. At d moment m trying to go through ielts.. I would just like to kniw how to use ur web fir preparation?? Is there any course or training yu provide?? Pls reply me..thank yu.

Hi Divya,

On this site I give a short lesson every day (either some advice or some practice). The lessons are not in a special order, so just have a look through any of the categories - there are over 400 lessons, so you will find what you need if you search for it.

I usually recommend using the advice on the site to help you with the practice tests in the Cambridge IELTS books. I do lessons here in Manchester, but I don't have an online training course at the moment.

thanks simon, you have been helped a lot to me in my ielts preparation.

great work...

No problem Bhavini.

Hello Simon,

So, we should completely not use proverbs and cliche'? Wouldn't this make our essays seem simple? I usually get a band 7.5 in my essay but I try to uplift by essay by putting in cliche' and proverbs. I need a band 8 and I am starting to wonder if it is because of those kind of words I am losing marks?

Hi Kaminee,

No, academic articles and books are not simple, and they don't contain cliches or proverbs.

Have a look at the band 9 essay in the lesson linked below - it's certainly not simple:

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2012/01/ielts-writing-task-2-full-essay.html

Some of you may have doubts regarding this advice, especially if you have noticed your favourite authors or teachers write this way. And I know that many ESL teachers, especially those who are not native speakers themselves, actually encourage this! The reason Simon advises against using cliches and proverbs is not simply because they are bad, but because it is very difficult to use them in a way that doesn't bore a native speaker.

Also, there is a big difference between a cliche and a well-placed quote! When I was at university in the US I occasionally included quotes in my essays, but I made sure they weren't cliched and were completely relevant to the topic. Some of my favourite ones were:

"Proof by analogy is fraud." (Meaning: an example is not usually valid proof.)
-Bjarne Stroustrup.

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” (Basically he's saying that imagination is important.)
-Edgar Allen Poe.

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." (Simply put, mathematical laws are not always entirely correct.)
- Albert Einstein

"Finger pointing to the moon." (To pay attention to the wrong thing.)
- Unknown, possibly originated in Mahayana Buddhism, popularised in Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon".

None of these are proverbs because they are not very old or vague to the average native English speaker. They are also not cliches, because the average native speaker has not heard them too often. But you should NOT use quotes unless you are completely and absolutely sure of what they mean and where to use them. And also, as you can see from Simon's essays, using proverbs or quotes is completely unnecessary for achieving band 9.

Great advice!

hi,simon i gets 5.5 bands in writing in general exams..what can i do to get 7 bands? please give me suggetion..

Just keep practising and following my lessons Kaushal.

hi simon,
I am taking both GRE and IELTS. at the moment, I am reading '1100 words you need to know' for my GRE and when I check the meaning of them in Longman dictionary, it calls them as the formal words and many of them are too formal or even weird. Is it appreciated to use these kinds of words in my IELTS essay? or better saying does it have any mark to show the range of vocabulary in this way?

Hi simon,
I m taking a test day next month and I m confused in my reading and writing. I think that I m not good in that because some times I don't got the right answers.
Are you help me for this ?
I want your suggestions because I readed your books that's help me for speaking and listening.but I want to improve my reading and writing.
I m waiting for your feed back.

hii simon
Can you please help me ,how to score seven in readin
i always try to understand it and to solve the pessage , however i cant get good scores .
what should i do to increase my understanding with reading and scores in it.
please help me.

Hello simon.
Plz give me some important suggestions about proverbs.
Can i use proverbs in writing task 2?
Like...prevention is better than cure
It is perfect for topic related with food diets or health system etc.
Plz tell me about this.
I have only 3,4 days to practice.
My exam will be on 19th November.
I want to get 7 in writing.
What can I use in the starting of conclusion?
For instance... Hammering the last nail,.........
Plz give me some mere examples about that...

Hello simon.
Plz give me some important suggestions about proverbs.
Can i use proverbs in writing task 2?
Like...prevention is better than cure
It is perfect for topic related with food diets or health system etc.
Plz tell me about this.
I have only 3,4 days to practice.
My exam will be on 19th November.
I want to get 7 in writing.
What can I use in the starting of conclusion?
For instance... Hammering the last nail,.........
Plz give me some mere examples about that...

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