« IELTS Listening: how to use the breaks | Main | IELTS Writing Task 1: description using questions »

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

It is true that we tend to throw away our broken or useless things in these days, rather than reusing or recycling them. There are various reasons why this is the case and this trend has several negative consequences in the world.

There are three main reasons for this trend. Firstly, advances in technology enable companies to produce large number of goods faster than ever, and costumers can buy items with low prices than before. Samsung company, for example, produces thousands of television every day and all individuals can buy this commodity with reasonable prices if their old one is not working any more.Secondly, advertisements promote consumerism culture and encourage us to buying the latest new objects rather than repairing the old possessions. Finally, people are too busy with their jobs and making a living, and they do not have enough time to mending their old or broken things.

The most important consequence of this attitude is that raw materials such as trees, metals and fossil fuels are running out in order to produce new objects. Furthermore, we produce more waste than ever with throwing away damaged items and even plastic garbage doesn't break down easily and add to litter problem. Finally, increasing number of companies, which are producing large quantities of goods, release huge amount of gasses such as carbon monoxide that cause global temperature to rise.

In conclusion, several factors have caused this behavior, and this trend has negative impacts on our lives.

What can I write if I disagree with the premise? For example, "many of us prefer.." ; no we don't "prefer", we just have no alternative. Who is "us" anyway? Is that consumers in the USA? Or is it nomadic tribesmen in the Hindu Kush?


You make a good point, and in the "real world" you are of course right. However, in the context of an IELTS test I would say that you are over-complicating things.

You could disagree with the premise and deconstruct the assumptions made in the question, but I don't think this would be the wisest course of action. It's going to be much easier to simply accept the (simplistic) premise and answer the questions. Remember that this is just a language test.

Simon the Lord of IELTS,

The question reads more like a "cause and effect" than a two- part. Have I got something wrong about it?


Hi Myson,

You can call it "cause and effect" if you want - it doesn't really matter as long as you answer both parts of the question well.

Thanks for the new title by the way!!

Hi Simon Sir,

i have some problems in writing essay, i can't organize my ideas in adequate way like numbering the ideas. So consequently, coherence of my essay is always worst.

Please give me some tips to make coherence better.


Some ideas for this topic:
why nowadays people throw old objects away rather than fixing and re-using them:
1. By improvement in technology, we would like to renew our household appliances and when they are old, we simply get rid of them and buy the most up to date ones.
2. Due to busy lifestyle in modern world, many individuals do not have sufficient time to repair objects
3. These days people earn more money compared to past and they do not care about throwing old things away and buy the new ones

What are the effects of this trend:
I think this modification is negative due to the following reasons:
1. old and damaged items can be fixed and given to charities. In this way, many people will have the things that they can not afford to buy.
2. Throwing away the objects frequently will create lots of waste and even pollution. Therefore, it is not environmentally friendly.
3.it is expensive to buy new stuffs and repairing things is less costly. We can save money for other things.

Comments on my ideas are welcomed.
Thank you.

1 consumer culture, influence by advertising
2 mass production of goods, products made not to last
3 creating more waste, environmental pollution, wasting resources

Hi Simon and All,

According to the Simon's instructions (which you can see here http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2011/03/ielts-writing-task-2-the-two-part-question.html#comments)I made my essay plan for this.

1.Introduction: topic + general response
•Topic: In modern society, there is a trend of disposing broken goods rather than repairing items.
•General response: There are several reasons for this change
There is a positive effect
2.Answer the first question
•Significantly low price of brand new goods such as electronic appliances, toys and some ornaments, etc.
•Especially this trend can be seen in industrialized countries such as Japan, china, etc.
•Quality of possessions are comparatively low – long-running and repairing are not possible
•Repairing cost may be high
•Difficult to find a proper place to repair things
•Repairing take time
•Sometimes it does not give original quality after the repair
3.Answer the second question
•Although they do not repair damaged things they used broken items for recycling
•Resources such as manpower, tools, power etc. used for repairing damaged things can be used for more efficient new product development
•Most of the new products have warrantees – don’t want to waste time to find the spare parts
•can always be experienced latest technologies
•quality degradation will not experienced
4.Conclusion: repeat your response
•Number of motives are behind this revolution and positive consequences are outweigh negatives.

But I'm afraid. Because of it took about one and half hours to make this plan. :(

Dear Simon

Hello, I have a question about construction of body paragraph.

I believe that it is better to write about one idea or two in one body paragraph, but ideal way of writing is only one idea per body paragraph. Too many idea such as three or four in one body paragraph may lose coherence and cohesion and task response.

I think that it is ok to write many ideas in one body paragraph when only if you can explain ideas with short sentence and can persuade examiners. The longer sentences become, the less coherence and cohesion become.

However, I sometimes feel that writing about one idea deeply might cause distortion and off-topic.

How do you think?
Is it depends on several condition such as task, strength of idea and candidates' aim score?

It is true that nowadays people tend to throw away things instead of repairing. In my opinion, this behavior is due to individual perspectives so its effect might not too big.
Firstly, if you throw something, that means you cannot use it effectively or you don't like to use it or you can buy a new one so it depends on personal use and capability. For example, I have used my electric cooker for nearly five years but it is now too old, take a lot of time to cook and the cooked rice is not delicious so although I do not want, I still have to buy new one and throw away the old one. Some people might argue that because of producers today oversupply and we should save our resources but I think producers need profit so they only supply if they find there will be a demand. Moreover, the technology is advancing with our lives so if you use things effectively we could manage the resources well. There will be side effect if we throw things too much but people tend to buy things less as the world economy in the downturn.
All in all, the effect of discarding things is not too big as this is due to personal preferences, however, we should use things effectively to get the best benefit over the cost.

Dear Simon

I want to say thank you.
I'm exploring your website these days, and I've learned lots of new skills, your articles make me think a lot.
It's the first time I post a comment on your website, and I am wondering if you could give me some advice.

---------------The Essay-----------
It is true that people tend to discard their damaged possessions these days, rather than repairing them. There are various reasons why we behave in this way, and it seems to me that the effects are largely positive.

I believe that the most important reason for people to throw their broken things is the increased complicacy of modern products which is much more complicated than ever. For example, if the major parts of computers stop working, like CPU, hard disk, it would be almost unable to recover them without a IT professional. For those who may try to send their damaged stuffs to the customer service centers for help, they would probably find there is no official center nearby. Even if there was one, it might take a long time for reservation, examining, waiting in queue, to get their possessions fixed. Therefore, the difficulties of preventing consumers from repairing would consequently lead them to purchasing new merchandise.

The tend above would affect many aspects of our life and society. On individual level, while discarding might be seen as a waste of money, I prefer the view that they would save their time and furthermore they have chance to bring back and enjoy some of the latest goods. From another angle, the transactions in second-hand markets might be beneficial for young adults who have not amassed enough money. From economic perspective, the increment of deal numbers, including the first and second-hand transactions, would advance the development of retail, manufacturing, logistics, and as well as the relative businesses of used stuff, like quality and value evaluation. Moreover, some certain thrown things will be useful to charity, clothes, in particular, are highly demanded by people who lives in poverty areas.

In conclusion, I think the discarding of damaged things have positive meaning for both individuals and society, whereas it may cost a little more than repairing.

Dear Simon

I am a little confused.
About this 'discard their old or damaged possessions', is there necessary to use 'old' here? I don't think there is any information about 'old' mentioned in the question.


Don't worry that it took you a long time to write your plan - all of your hard work is helping you to improve your English.



Good question. I'll answer it in a lesson this weekend.



There's no need to add the word "old", but it doesn't do any harm to the introduction. I'm not really sure why I wrote it - I suppose it came from the image that I had in my head at the time!

With the widely used information technology, on-line shopping becomes common in the modern society. Commodities rare to see in the old days become tangible. Moreover, e-commerce, together with door-to-door delivery greatly reduces the time and improves efficiency. With several clicks in mobile apps, we can finish purchasing on the go. Additionally, in order to win the market or get good reputation in the fierce competition, sellers are tended to decrease prices and offer more valuable products to consumers. All these taking in the scene makes on-line shopping very attractive to people living in fast-pace life. 

However, this also creates a throw-away culture in the society. I believe reason for this is obvious, as on-line shopping is so convenient and accessible where ever you are, as long as connected on line, the majority would undoubtedly throw away broken stuffs instead of sitting down, taking out tools and fixing it. Nevertheless, this habit has been causing more negative effects to the society as a whole. Firstly, it contributes wastes and pollutions and substantial environmental problems, such as non-degradable packages and plastic bags. As a result, the global environment will be worse for our offspring. Secondly, the youngster might form a bad shopping habit by spending more and overlook some essential life-long skills, such as problem-solving skills.

In a word, the new technology gives us ability to access commodity in an easier than ever way, we have to realize that it’s also changing our mindset and spending habits, which possibly lead to a negative effect to society in the long run.

hi simon,
i want to add few more points and want to change the introduction.please check and comment on this introduction please

there has recently been an increased trend in people disposing damaged products rather than repairing them.There are several reasons for it and this phenomenon could have negative ramifications.

para 1-want to add my point
firstly,one of the main reasons for this trend might be the tremendous increase in the labour cost for repairing damaged items these days,therefore people find it less expensive to buy new product instead.

para2-my points
however, this phenomena has few drawbacks.firstly,the skilled labourers could suffer unemployment,because people would be reluctant to fix their broken items at repair shops.Moreover,people's behaviour to buy unnecessary new products would promote consumerist culture at cost of resources depletion,environmental pollution and climate changes.

It true that time is changing every now and then thus people attitudes and manners would alter as well. Previously people would rather prefer to fix up their possesses and keep them as long as they could, however, this trend has changed dramatically, it seems that there are several reasons and effects which could be illustrated as follow.

Certainly, people nowadays tend to discard their broken stuff more frequently as what It has been, this trend would be justified as a consequence of the technological innovations which made things much more affordable and accessible, a case in point, getting a new computer would rather cost less likely as a repaired one. Furthermore, commercial wise companies deliberately manufacturing unrepairable products, such as a door locker set that should be replaced by a new set in case a key somehow lost.

It is true that time is changing every now and then thus people attitudes and manners would alter as well. Previously people would rather prefer to fix up their possesses and keep them as long as they could, however, this trend has changed dramatically and they things are more likely to be discarded, it seems that there are several reasons and effects which could be illustrated as follow.
Certainly, people nowadays tend to discard their broken stuff more frequently as what It has been, this trend would be justified as a consequence of the technological innovations which made things much more affordable and accessible, a case in point, getting a new computer would rather cost less likely as a repaired one. Furthermore, commercial wise companies deliberately manufacturing unrepairable products, such as a door locker set that should be replaced by a new set in case a key somehow lost.
However, I would rather believe this trend has a significant drawback in every single aspect of people’s lives. Lacking a sense of critical thinking to solve problems, that is to say, their mindsets is ready to give up negotiating a way or another to sort a complex situation out, a record number of students who failed in a mathematic test is unprecedented. In addition, it would jeopardise social values, people more frequently become not to validate what it has been passed down to them such as moral and respect as an old behaviour.
to sum up, having looked at the points that people would rather prefer throwing their old and damaged stuff than fixing them, it has deliberate reasons and consequence.

It is true that people nowadays get easier to get rid of their damaged belongings rather than mend them. The condition is a backdrawn of people's habit at previous time. There are some reasons why the phenomenon has changed and what consequences of that behaviour.

The technology are developing through years. People can have assistant from things that very rare a long time ago. For example, it is not easy to communicate with our relatives who live in a distance from us. We can connect to their family by using public telephone and it was costly. Cell phones are very luxurious things that day, so when you have one then you will use it wisely and take carefully for it. When it was broken, then repairing is a first option. However, todays people can choose any type of cellphone base on the budget. When it is damaged, it is affordable to buy new ones that meet with our budget. Another reason for not repairing the broken possesion because it is not easy to find a person who can fix it. The thing happens when people break their umbrellas. They find difficulty to find an umbrella repairmen.

Those reasons give consequences in people's live. Some people will not have a good attention on their belongings. They just use it and not take care of it. They don't have respect on their stuffs. Furthermore, the numbers of repairmen will be reduced because only few people need them.

Hence, it is important to suggest our children and friends to be more grateful with what their possessed. Remind them, that all materials of things you have come from nature that are not renewable. By using it wisely and carefully will assist the rapid extinction of the resources.


Dear Simon,
Please give your comment on my writing above.
I only got 5.5 on my previous ielts test.
Please advise.

Thank you

Hi my best teacher, Simon
It's my first time to write here
I hope that you comment on my introduction.

It is true that in recent years we have been living in a throw-away society, as people tend to dispose off the old or damaged materials, however, this behaviour is contradicting the reservation techniques of the previous generations. There are a variety of reasons for this transformation and it had huge influence on our lives.


i am completely agree with this topic and it is true alot of people throwing the old thigs away from home and keep new things to try to use new one .on the other side people of past times preffered to repair things to make useful in everydays life.

The third paragraph:

The trend above would pose a negative impact on the attitude of people how to deal with problems in their daily lives. Instead of dealing with problems or hardships at work or in relationships, people tend to escape from the core of problems. To be specific, young adults choose to switch in-between jobs as soon as they find the positions slightly unsatisfactory. Furthermore, people would become ungrateful to the possessions they have in their lives, such as family, friends, and health. Since they interpret that everything is replaceable, they would not cherish the things they have at the moment, which, on the other hand, are rather scarce for some unfortunate people.


That's my attempt for the third paragraph........Anyone, please give me some feedbacks if you may! :)

Thank Simon and this wonderful website!

It is true that many people tend to throw away damaged possessions instead of repairing them like what happened in the past. This can be attributed to several reasons. This essay will discuss this change of behaviour and look closely at the effects of such actions.

Nowadays, people have a mentality of replacing damaged goods and replacing them with newer ones. This was not the case a long time ago as people would prefer to keep them. I believe the possessions people kept were of sentimental value and as such they could not easily discard them. In the past people were not extravagant, and they had a drive to survive within their own means and keep the resources they had in check. However, this is not the case in the present day.

People replace goods easily because they do not have a personal connection with them. In that regard it is very easy to replace them. More so, Shops are selling replica goods especially in this part of the world with very low prices. People often weigh the advantages of repairing goods and buying new properties. It would be unnecessarily expensive to repair a replica piece of equipment.

This change of attitude both has positives and negatives effects. By way of throwing goods away, people will indirectly be donating to someone who has a genuine need of the equipment. However, this causes pollution to our environment. It also means people channel resources that they could have used in important undertakings in replacing possessions they could have easily repaired.

In conclusion, discarding possessions has both pros and cons. It is entirely up to individuals to weight the effects of such behaviour and act in the best interests of everyone

Can anyone help me to makes good example in writing part 2?

Isn't second part of question asking 'what are the effect of this change in attidue' mean that we simply state the effect but not our opinion?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)