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Sunday, December 31, 2017


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Dear Mr. Simon I`ve a question can I use this phrase ( .. three main factors are to blame .. ) or should I say three main factors are to be blamed
thanks for usual support and teaching


"factors to be blamed" is very rare.

"factors are to blame" does come up but rarely.

"factor" is defined as "one of the elements, circumstances, or influences which contribute to produce a result" here:


All factors are to blame by definition, so "to blame" is redundant and unnecessary. There are better alternatives:



Thank you very much Sir

Happy Hogmanay, Simon!

from Scotland

"Three main factors are important."
(twaddle: main=important)
"Three main factors are responsible."
(twaddle: factor=responsible)
"Three key factors are central."
(twaddle: key=central)

Many thanks and Happy New Year!

"Happy New Year"
sir,I hava a provlem.when I meet any new person or circumstance I can't speak properly in english and it has been happening since last 2years while starting my ielts prigram.when it comes to delivering speak in front of any stranger,I speak fast.My teacher also pushes me not to do this again but I can't. So pls can u give me any suggestion to remove this provlem

Dear Mr. Simon,
I have a question.Some examiners would like to ask the questions before starting the exam like this:"how did you get here" , "why",as well as "did you have a good trip" ?
How could I give my answer to leave the examiner a good impression?

Many thanks and Happy New Year~

Happy New Year guys!


That's quite normal - learning a language is hard, and most people feel nervous when speaking in front of others. I'm the same when I speak French. The only solution is to keep practising!



Any conversation before of after the test will have no effect on your score, so don't worry. Just speak naturally if the examiner chats with you - don't prepare anything.

Thanks for your reply, have a good night!

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