Answer Checking

Common Mistakes of All ELTEC students – 14th July 2017.

Please note: My focus here is not to create perfect sentences but to help students make suitable amendments to their writing style and grammar.

All students made some common mistakes while writing answers to task 1 and task 2 of IELTS. Here’s a list with an explanation for everyone to learn.

A. Subject-Verb disagreement:

Unfortunately, most students still do not understand this concept and are making some simple mistakes. You’re WRONGLY writing – it create, it boost, computers has, they gives.

Correct version is: it creates, it boosts, computers have, they give.

Similarly the correct versions for task 1 are: the given table shows, the pie-charts show, the pie-chart presents.

Uselful article on this topic.

B. Word Usage: Effect vs Affect. While effect refers to resultaffect refers to impact.

“Almost all our activities are effected/ affected by computers.” (Ans: Affected)

Computers: “Life seems to be dumb without this wonderful machinery.”  I’m sure life is not dumb (lacking intelligence) but boring. Prefer machine rather than machinery.

Some students have used wrong and unnecessarily complex words: “There are several ascendency and descendency factors associated with the use of computers.” You should have simply used the words “advantages” and “disadvantages” (coz that’s what the essay is on).

In task 1 some students have wrongly used “numbers” in place of “percentage”. The data in the question was in percentage. Wrong: “The largest number of people”. Correct: “The largest percentage of people.”

C. Wrong Sentence Construction: 

And in this way they destroying their future.” Lots of serious problems. Usage of pronouns is wrong. But that is discussed in point number D.

Never start a sentence with AND. Moreover, the tense is wrong. Either use present continuous “are destroying” or simple present “destroy”.

“According to a survey conducted in our city …” Please directly name your city.

“The main detriment of computers is the swiping of time like waste water.” Nope. Please avoid using metaphors (like waste water) if you do not understand their usage. You could have simply and more clearly written: “The kids often waste precious time playing video games on computers.”

D. Pronoun usage:

“And in this way they destroying their future.” A simple question “Who is destroying whom?” You can’t use the same pronoun for two different subjects in a sentence. A correct version is “In this way the computers are destroying their (children’s) future.”

Computers:They give knowledge and enhance their minds for a better learning.” Who gives knowledge and enhances whose mind? A correct version is “The computers give knowledge and enhance their (children’s) minds for a better living.”

E. Tenses:

“When my cousin was in 10th standard he was played the video game the whole day.” Which tense do you intend to use? Past continuous or simple past?

Here’s another wrong sentence: “They forget and left their homework.” The student has wrongly used two different tenses – forget and left in the same sentence. Prefer the same tense. “They forget or leave/ avoid their homework.”

F: Redundancy:

Many students commit the blunder of redundancy due to which they often lose bands in IELTS exam. Look at the sentence a student wrote today:

“Children nowadays, in fact I should say all the kith and kin, are interested in playing games due to which the most precious time is wasted. Furthermore, I may say that there are many pros and cons of playing video games.”

Rephrasing: “There are many pros and cons of playing video games. Children nowadays play video games and often waste their precious time.”

G. Voice:

Please prefer active voice over passive voice. A student wrote in the passive voice: “Bus and taxi are used by least number of people.” 

Active voice: “The least number of people use bus and taxi.”




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