Answer Checking

Common Mistakes of All ELTEC Students – 15th of July, 2017.

Please note: My focus here is not to create perfect sentences but to help students make suitable amendments to their writing style (IELTS, PTE, GRE and GMAT) 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 have; everyone know; there is so many applications; nobody can imagine their life without …

The correct version is: it has; everyone knows; there are so many applications; nobody can imagine his life without …

A useful article on this topic.

B. Word Usage: MUCH vs MANY.

Much is used to refer to uncountable nouns while Many is used to refer to countable nouns. A student wrote: “… there are so much applications which helps to video call.” correct version is: “… there are so many applications which help in making video calls.”

Wrong word usage: “Some people give deceive to others owing to fake identity.” Correct: “Some people deceive others using a fake identity.”

C. Wrong Sentence Construction: 

“Easy of internet from the early 1990s to today has led to …….”. Well, firstly it’s THE INTERNET. Secondly, instead of “early 1990s to today”, prefer “since 1990s”. Correct construction is: “Penetration of the Internet since the 1990s has led to ….”

“In the past decade people communicated through the letter a two week later another person received it.” This sentence construction is wrong and needs to be corrected. Look at the following Correct construction. “More than a decade ago paper letters were the primary medium of communication and people received them after more than two weeks.”

Wrong: “Recently a survey hold in our city and the result find out that the people hardly make any direct communication.” Did the survey hold your city? I’m sure SOMEBODY held the survey. How can results find something out? Results must have helped YOU find something out.

Correct: “Recently a survey was conducted in New Delhi and it revealed that most people no longer make any direct communication.”

D. Pronoun usage:

“… talk to relatives which are away from us …”

While referring to humans, the correct pronoun is not “which” but “who”. “… talk to relatives who are away from us …”

Here is a helpful article for those who wish to learn more.

Since a pronoun must refer to a noun, you must not use pronouns irresponsibly. “My uncle lives in Canada and we (WHO IS WE?) can talk face to face with him. That’s why they (UNCLE IS SINGULAR) are closest to our (WHOSE HEART?) heart.” 

A correct version is: “My uncle lives in Canada and my family and me talk to him face to face. That’s why he is so close to our heart.” Here, our refers to my family and me.

E. Tenses:

Wrong version: “In the last decade people uses letters to communicate with each other and it takes 2 to 3 days to receive the letter.” The student has set the time as “last decade”. However, he’s using the present tense. This is an unpardonable offense in IELTS/ PTE exam and will shave off some bands.

Correct version: “In the last decade, people used letters to communicate with each other and it took two to three days to receive the letter.” You must use a COMMA after decade. To elicit further discussion on this, please make a comment in the box at the end of the article. Moreover, you should prefer an alphabetical 2 over a numeral 2.

Wrong version: “In the last few years the network had been broad everywhere in the country but before it was not so.” Really! I mean not the network but PAST PERFECT TENSE. Past perfect tense is used when you’re talking about an event that occurred before the past. That is, past of past is past perfect. (Weird!)

Correct version: “During the last few years, the network has grown significantly throughout the country.” Use COMMA. Moreover, this sentence obviously means “before it was not so”. You don’t need to write this.

Wrong version: “In the past time landline telephone were used costs high so people send letter to their relatives.”

Simple Past of “cost” is, well, COST and that of “send” is SENT. So, the Correct version is “In the past time landline telephones cost high and people sent letters to their relatives.”

Wrong: “Some time ago people use the telephone and some people have a mobile phone but these phones are not so advanced.” The student is using PRESENT tense (use, have) in a sentence with PAST setting (Some time ago).

Correct: “A few years ago people preferred using the telephone and only a few people had access to a mobile phones.”

F: Redundancy:

A student wrote at the end of an introduction: “There are many facts to discuss this theory and we can start step by step.” This is redundant. A sentence is called redundant if it does not add value to your writing. If we delete this line, it will not make any dent on your essay’s total sense.

Redundancy – adds little value to your essay.


G. Articles and Prepositions:

A student made a mistake in the usage of the word “communicate”. Prefer using it as -communicate “with”: This idiom is usually written as “communicate with someone”. For instance “However, nowadays we can communicate with our friends and relatives who are far from us.”

I’m sure this article will help all students learn from mistakes of other students. Good Luck!

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