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Saturday, March 31, 2018


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Can we start a sentence with coordinating conjunctions, like: and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet ?
please answer.


On google books, there are sentences which begin with: and,but,yet,or,nor. They much more common in fiction.

No statistic for "so", but presumably similar.

Simon sometimes does this. For example: But is time.../Or just take....


In the IELTS exam itself, it might be safer to avoid beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions, as this usage could be too dramatic, theatrical or emphatic for academic writing.

"For" as a conjunction meaning "because" is rare in modern English, and marked formal in some dictionaries. It can sound stilted, so safer to avoid this usage in the IELTS exam.



There are basically 5 or 6 types of task 2 problems and they are….

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
2. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
3. What are the drawbacks and suggest solutions?
4. Discuss advantages and disadvantages
5. Do the merits outweigh the demerits?
6. Is this positive or negative advancements?

Now, how can I organize those essay problems? Where I should give my opinion and where I should not?

I need a brief outline to arrange my essay problems. Simon’s links are highly required.



Hi Simon,

Can I use it.

the numberS of students in class A and class B were equal at 20 in 1990.


The phrases "number of men were equal" and "numbers of men were equal" hardly come up at all on Google books.

The phrases "were equal numbers" and "had equal numbers" do come up:



So I would suggest:
There were equal numbers of students (20) in Class A and Class B in 1990.
Class A and Class B had equal numbers of students ...
Class A and Class B both had twenty students in 1990.


@DaNang: thank you so much ^^


Just to check my understanding: paraphrasing is often needed to:

1) To avoid copying the question in Task 1 and 2
2) In Task 2, to avoid repetition in the conclusion of phrases in the introduction (thesis).

Apart from the above, it is fine to repeat key words from the question, as Simon does here (repeating "recycling" ten times):

Also, there is no general requirement to paraphrase absolutely everything.


Shall I give my opinion though opinion is required or mention in task 2 problem?


Thank you @Mojo :)

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