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Thursday, October 29, 2015


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Thank Simon

Does the numbers mean the sale amount (revenue) or cost?
"information about sales of Fairtrade*-labelled coffee and bananas "
I thought the numbers mean how much did they earn from selling Fairtrade coffee and banans, not they spent on buying those crops.

Dear sir Simon,
Your website is really helpful in learning English.But I'm still struggling with many things,especially I don't know to use" commas" in sentences.Can you please help us in teaching some rules for it.

I'm now confused a bit about 'the UK', 'the United Kingdom', 'Britain', and 'Great Britain'. If the question mentions any of these terms, can I use all four of them interchangeably?

@ Pongsathon

Yes, you can use any of those.

The tables above compare the annual turnover of the Fair-trade Coffee and Banana industries grossed from UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, and Sweden respectively in the year 1999 and 2004.

does sales = turnover = revenue = gross = consumption = money spent ?

"in five European countries"
Dear Simon,
if in topics had shown the number , the introductions would be write those , or namely them ??

@ Pongsathon ,Bikes
British adj (people or language)
the British Empire (18's)
UK = United Kingdom (country)
Britain Noun (people)

Thank you Biks and good.


Hi Jenny,

When I write "the amount of money spent", it means "by people buying the products". It doesn't mean "by sellers buying those crops".

Jenny and Emma,

Don't worry about the use of "sales" and "the money spent". The question doesn't show us whether the figures are for turnover, profit, pre-tax revenue etc., so examiners are not going to be concerned with that kind of technical detail. For the purposes of paraphrasing in an IELTS test, I would say that "sales" can be changed to "turnover", "revenue" or "the money spent (by consumers)".



Don't worry too much about commas. You won't lose marks for missing them, so just focus on where you put the full stop to end your sentences.



No, I wouldn't use those 4 interchangeably. The UK / United Kingdom is not quite the same as Britain / Great Britain.

Most countries only have one name, so don't feel that you need to change the name of the UK. We don't need synonyms for countries.



Yes, you can write "in five countries, namely..."

Thanks Simon!!

Dear Simon,

I have followed you recently, and your website is fantastic! However, I can not find General writing part I examples. Could you please post some General writing topics and examples?

Thank you and Happy Halloween!


Dear Simon,

I think I have to apologize because of the previous comment. I found General writing material on your website. That is amazing! Thank you so much for your precious suggestion!


Dear Simon,

Thank you for your reply. I've just taken the IELTS test that morning (Thailand time), and your blog helps me a lot on writing test. Thank you very much.


Dear Simon,
Do we need to mention about the units. eg.units measured in million euros.Afterall that sentence can contribute for the word count

The tables shows sales of coffee and bananas in two mentioned years of 1999 and 2004 in UK,Switzerland,Denmark,Belgium and Sweden..... Can u tell me is this correct

The tables compares the sales of Fairtrade coffee and bananas in 1999 to those in 2004 in the UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

Dear Simon,

is "those" above right here?

Dear Simon,

First of all, your website is really useful for IELTS, thank you for your work and time.
I would like to ask a question. For writing task 1, you always say 4 paragraph and no conclusion. Instead you give an overview at the second paragraph. But in the Cambridge 8 book, there are model answers written by examiners and they all include kind of conclusion. They start with overall, and then give a general comparison or so at the end. I am confused about what to do.
I would like to get 7-8 for each part, so I wanted to be sure and take your opinion about this issue.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Dear Simon:

Your website is useful and helpful in studying for IELTS. This is my very first time to post a comment. Here is my introduction:

The two tables compare the money spent on Fairtrade in terms of coffee and bananas among UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, and Sweden in 1999 and 2004.

I hope it's okay as an introduction.
Sincerely waiting for your feedback. thank you.

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