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January 19, 2012


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That's really helpful!
1. one question: why is there no article'the' before useage. is it because usage is a uncoutable noun?

2. In the opinion essay, if the question asks us to Discuss both these views and give your own opinion, do we have to mention our opinion in the introduction if we have balanced views?


hi simon, its an excellent job as u always do,
can it be written as ?- In 2025, it s predicted that internet usage in both the USA and Canada is going to rise to around 70% of the population,
one more doubt- we should use the before internet or not, many thanks,

Can we start the introduction with the phrase "A glance at the graph provided reveals.."?

Hi Simon,

Can we write like this:
1) In 2015,the proportion of people using the internet in the USA will be about 20%.
2)In 2025,the figure for Mexico is expected to reach just over 25%.

Thanks. You are brilliant

Hi Simon,
if we have 3 pie charts : 1990, 2020, 2050 and they include railways, buses,...
we have this sentence: "while railways (see)the most significant fall in traffic volume percentage -wise, it (anticipate) that buses (fare) better"
-> what tense do we use here?

Hi Simon,
My question is regarding the introduction of more then one chart.One of your lessons says that How do you answer a task 1 question that has more than one chart or graph?

Here's my advice:

Write your introduction in the usual way: paraphrase the question. For this kind of question, it's easier to write 2 sentences e.g. "The first chart illustrates... The second chart shows..."

but in one of your lesson of Thursday, October 14, 2010 the introduction of more then one chart is like this:

The three bar charts show average years of schooling, numbers of scientists and technicians, and research and development spending in developing and developed countries. Figures are given for 1980 and 1990.

It is not the separate explaination.

What is the best thing to do in this case.

Thanks and Regards.

Hi Simon.
this post is about your lesson of Thursday, August 26, 2010.
I tried to explain this graph
Q-1.Could you please comment on this over view:
The overall trend is an increase in the proportion of people using internet in all three countries in the given time period. However the overall figure for Mexico is lower than that of USA and Canada. On the other hand Canada experienced the fastest growth in internet users.
Q-2. Please tell me can we write percentage in this way?
In 1999 20% of people use internet in USA.
should I add a comma or a word between the year and figure.
Q-3 Also after 1999 I chose year 2003 instead of 2005 as you did in your answer.Does it make any difference?

Hi Simon,
How can we know the year that after this year we use the future tense? For example, Writing Task 1 ( Test 1) in Cambridge IELTS 5.

hi Simon,
i've found this site very useful for writing task 1(line graph), i hope it will help other students as well !!!

Hi Christina,

1. Using "the" is optional in this context. You can write it if you want, but you don't need it. I think you are beginning to see how flexible the use of "the" is - two native speakers might make different choices about whether/when to use it.

2. I would always mention my opinion in the introduction if the question asks for it. In the case you mentioned, try to explain that your opinion is balanced e.g. I partly agree...


Hi Raj,

"is going to" seems a bit too informal for academic writing.

Use "the Internet" when Internet is a noun. However, in the phrase "Internet usage", the main noun is "usage", so "Internet" is acting like an adjective.


Hi L,

I wouldn't use "glance" because it seems a bit informal. Write something like "It is noticeable that..."


Hi Maya,

Yes, those are fine.


Hi Nhung,

In that case, you are talking about what will happen in 2020 and 2050, so use the future:

"While it is predicted that railways will see the most significant fall in traffic volume percentage-wise, it is anticipated that buses will fare better."


Hi Jawairia,

Both ways are fine really. I wouldn't recommend writing more than 2 sentences for the introduction, so if there are 3 or 4 charts, try to introduce them all together (like the second example you quoted).

1. Your overview is fine. You've got the right idea.

2. Yes, put a comma after 1990.

3. It doesn't make any difference.


Hi Hathanh,

I'm not sure if I understand your question, but just treat 'today' as the present, and use the future for any years after the year we are in now.


Thanks NG. That looks like an interesting link.

hii simon.. i wanna askkk a question....why u have used "should reach" in the futureee...should means must bt its task 1 ...we r not sure abt tht i will reach or not ??

Hi Reema,

"should" has another meaning. It can also mean "will probably".

For example:
"I should be home at 6pm" means "I will probably be home at 6pm"

hi simon,
after the overview ,(in which i usually write the highest n lowest figure .is that okay?)what country or should i start with the figures?


Hi Simon,
can I use collate instead of compare to not repeat?

Hi Mitch,

Yes, the overview describe the main points e.g. highest, lowest, biggest change, overall trend etc.

After the overview, start with the first year (if years are shown), or maybe the highest number if no years are shown.


Hi Sabina,

No, don't use 'collate' - it's not quite the same.

Underlines words looks awesome, i appreciate if we have few more words like that to use in future tense


Hi Simon,
I suppose "population" as in your phrase "70% of the population" should be "popultionS". Is it right?

And why I can not follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed as it is given on top your site?
P/S: I know that it is impolite to send the seperate posts, but i could not edit my last post.

In a task 1 regarding a bar chart which describes the profit predictions for the next year for a company, is it grammatically correct to write as following.

Tardy Ltd is predicted to experience a stability in profits for the first three months of next year at 100 000 euros, followed by a 700% surge.
Tardy Ltd is predicted to gain a profit of 100 000 euros per month for the first three months of the upcoming year, after that follow a marked rise to 700 000 euros.

In 2025, the proportion of people using the Internet in the USA is predicted to be about 20%, The figures for Canada and Mexico are expected to be lower, at about 10% and 5% respectively. In 2025, Internet usage in both the USA and Canada is expected to rise to around 70% of the population, while the figure for Mexico is predicted to reach just over 25%.

Hi Simon, my question is that I sometimes come upon "would" or "would have" used in writting samples to connote future predictions/estimations or past uncertainties/probabilities, like in these following examples;

"It's anticipated that by 2050 the number of people aged 15-49 would predominate.

"The bridge would probably fall by next year. It's so old"

"There are plans to upgrade the lobby so that the gallery would include an education facility with an adjacent storage and plant room"

"They say that the humanity would be able to send manned missions to Mars in 10 or 15 years"

"Australopithecus Aferensis had much longer arms and larger hands, which would have been useful for climbing trees"

I'd like to have your thoughts as to what extend it would be appropriate to use "would" in this sense? I asked this question on many language discussion forums but they appear to be split on the matter,some see no problem but others find it unnatural hence that leaves me totaly baffled. I'll be eagerly waiting to know your thoughts about that.

Thanks in advance.


I'll have a look at those sentences and try to make a grammar lesson about them soon.

Thanks Simon, I'm looking forward to knowing your thoughts :)

Hi Simon,

I wonder if we should make prediction for dynamic graphs with time in the past.

the graph given shows sales between 1990 - 2010 and it shows a very clear pattern in those years, hence I can 'predict' how the sale would be after 2010? (assuming we are attempting the task in 2017).

Thank you very much.

Khairil, Malaysia.

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