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Wednesday, July 25, 2018


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To sum up, while compulsory parenting lessons would contribute to the development of parents' ability to nourish children in theory, I would argue that this measure would be impractical in reality considering parents' busyness and huge expenses to operate these courses.

In conclusion, while mandatory parental training on childcare may look as a great concept on paper, I believe it would be completely impracticable, costly,and unnecessary in reality.

In conclusion, while training parents in advance may sound impractical in theory, I believe that such an idea would be beneficial for both parents' and children's well-being in reality.

In conclusion, while training parents in advance may sound impractical in theory, I believe that such an idea would be beneficial for both parents' and children's well-being in reality.

Mr Simon

Might I suggest an alternative word order that seems to be more common? This follows the practice of putting premises, and known information earlier and new information later in the sentence.

In conclusion, whilst in theory compulsory parenting lessons might seem like a good idea, I believe that in reality such a scheme would be completely unworkable.

It seems that "whilst" is twice as common as "while" in this phrase.




The statistics seem to suggest that American writers would be more inclined to use "Although in theory", and British "Whilst in theory", although clearly both are acceptable both sides of the Atlantic, with the proviso that "whilst" is considered archaic or very formal in the US.

A minor point of course.

impractical in theory


I can assure you that 'whilst' is old fashioned English, and very few natives ANYWHERE would use it. I would advise you to forget it.

@ sjm

Google books appears to show forty-five million occasions in which "whilst" has been used in books between 1990 and 2008


And over thirty million occurrences in newspapers


Hi everyone

I have difficulty in understanding this question. ' leisure is a growing industry,but people no longer entertain themselves as much as they used to because the use of modern technology has made them less creative.do you agree or disagree? '
This statement is assuming that we don't entertain ourselves because we have become less creative. I think entertainment and creativity are not linked.
All of my ideas regarding this question are that technology has increased our options of entertainment. These ideas have no relation with creativity. I am confused whether i would be able to fully answer the question using these ideas.

Please reply

@ Harry

In England, before television, people used to go to the cinema at least once a week: it was the only way to see the news or watch a film. As there was no television at home, the rest of the time they "entertained themselves". This meant playing cards, gathering round the piano together and singing, or going out to a working man's club or a pub and doing something similar. Most pubs had a piano and more people knew how to play than now. I think "entertain themselves needs to be read in this sense.

IELTS is very short, maybe too short, for your approach. I suggest you write out your ideas and see if you can do it successfully in the time available. If not, then it would be better to go along with the opening statement (premise) and just write a couple of paragraphs on how television and youtube have made us all just passive consumers of entertainment, and no longer know how to create our own amusements.


Hi Oleg,

Various options did flash through my mind as I wrote the sentence, including the use of 'although' and the alternative word order that you suggested.

Neither of these alternatives really makes any difference, so my 'teacher head' decided to stick to my usual use of 'while' (I've talked about 'while' sentences in previous lessons). I also decided that it was a little clearer from a teaching/learning perspective to put 'in theory' and 'in reality' on the end of each clause. These are tiny issues as you said, and on another day I may have made a different decision.

PS. I find that I hardly use 'whilst' myself - it does seem to be in decline. Here's an article about it:



I'm not saying that 'whilst' is a 'dead' word (you will still sometimes find it) but as Simon says, it is clearly in decline and I don't encourage second language users to use it. Many of the examples you are finding have strange and 'affected' tones (the writer is trying to sound more 'academic' or 'literary'). Certainly, nobody in the USA, Australia and most other English speaking countries would use it, and most Brits wouldn't use it either.

Comparing the google books statistics in the ngrams graph above, it actually seems that they are inconsistent with each other, and thus give the wrong impression.

HI Oleg,

Yes, the two ngrams seem to show opposite results. I haven't looked carefully enough to see what the reason could be.

I think tools like ngrams are fantastic, but it's always a good idea to take "the intuition of native speakers" into account. For example, I use Google searches to check and demonstrate things to my students, but first and foremost I trust my instinct / intuition of what sounds right and what doesn't.

You're doing great work by the way. Are you an English teacher?

Hi Mr Simon

Hearing impaired, more of a geek now.

I wonder if I can use whereas here:
In conclusion, I believe compulsory parenting lessons would be completely unworkable in reality, whereas in theory it seem like a good idea.

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