Using Active Voice in IELTS Exam – Notes From Answer Checking.

active voice passive voice IELTS PTE.png

Image Courtesy: Pixabay.

An advice before you read this article:

“Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time” – Albert Einstein.

The secret of writing well is NOT to expect drastic changes in one day. Work on making continuous improvements every day and you will achieve your goal. With this message, let us begin our journey.

I’ve checked and published more than a hundred essays on this website so far and I’ve noticed that many students fail to use active voice. An active voice, with a clear subject in the beginning, is always better than the passive voice. I’ll present various instances in which students have committed this mistake along with suitable corrections.

It is contemplated by many (Passive Voice. Prefer Active.) that what should be taught to the young children: predominance of local history rather than the international history.

Rephrase: Many people contemplate whether children should be taught local history or international history.

The passive voice clearly makes things complex. Unlike passive voice, active voice places a SUBJECT at the beginning. Subject = Many People.

I am a resident of 43, Whitehall Close which was recommended by you (Passive Voice. Use Active.) as I have taken your services for finding this accommodation.

I took your services about a month ago to find the apartment I am living in currently.

The point is that if you eliminate the passive voice, things become simpler and ambiguity vanishes. Another active voice version of the above sentence could be:

“I am a resident of 43, Whitehall Close, which you recommended as a real estate agent.”

Let us look at another sentence:

I called you seven days ago but, unfortunately, any kind of service was not made available. (Passive voice. Prefer Active)

I called you seven days ago, however, you did not rectify the issue.

Isn’t active voice simpler to write and understand? It fetches you bands as well. Let us go through some more examples.

During the past two decades in Ghana, it has been reported by the local media (passive voice)  that prisoners who serve long-term sentences with difficult hardship turn out to be better and improved individuals after being released.

During the past two decades in Ghana, the local media has reported that prisoners who serve long-term sentences …..

Please note that “the local media” is placed at the head of the sentence. Let us look at an introductory sentence from task 1, academic.

The two pie charts compare the access to world wide web by the different internet browsers (Passive Voice. Try Active Voice.) in 2001 and 2010.

The two pie charts compare the use of different internet browsers to access the world wide web in 2001 and 2010.

I’ll keep adding more examples of active and passive voice in this article. Keep re-visiting this article to learn more.

Ask any doubts in the comments box below.

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IELTS Grammar Lesson: May vs Might

May Might IELTS PTE Grammar.jpg

The sentence above refers to a possibility. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A lot of students confuse the usage of may and might. Let me clear the distinction between the two.

May is used to either ask for a permission or suggest the possibility of something. For instance: May I borrow your laptop? I may rain today.

Might, on the other hand, is used to refer to possibilities. The difference between may and might is that the latter is used to refer to smaller possibilities.

It may rain today. = There’s a possibility of rain.

It might rain today = There’s a small possibility of rain.

Please note that may have and might have are used to refer to the past as well.

There might have been some trouble, but I didn’t anticipate it.

Had it not been raining, I may have reached in time.

Had it not been raining, I might have reached in time.

When we are writing counterfactuals (something may/ might have happened), we prefer might over may. For instance, in the sentences above, “I might have reached in time” is a preferred construction.

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Rules of Parallelism – Lesson for IELTS and PTE Students.

Most of the essays I’ve corrected so far contain errors of parallelism. Let me explain this concept in detail.

Parallelism refers to keeping the words/ clauses/ phrases similar in a grammatical construction. The idea is to balance a NOUN with a NOUN, a VERB with a VERB, an ADJECTIVE with an ADJECTIVE. Similarly, balance an ADJECTIVE + NOUN with an ADJECTIVE + NOUN. For instance:

Incorrect: I love playing guitar (verb+noun) and books (noun).

Correct: I love playing guitar (verb+noun) and reading books (verb+noun).

Correct: I love guitar (noun) and books (noun).

A student wrote in one of the essays:

Incorrect: This is mostly attributed to lack of planning (adjective+noun), technology (noun), and poor governance (adjective+noun).

Clearly, the above sentence is not balanced. Let me offer a correct version.

Correct: This is mostly attributed to lack of planning (adjective+noun), advanced technology (adjective+noun), and poor governance (adjective+noun).

These rules are also applicable on tenses. For instance:

Incorrect: She came (past tense) home, took (past tense) a shower and will (future tense) go to the party.

Correct: She came (past tense) home, took (past tense) a shower and went (future tense) to the party.

Incorrect: Humans pollute animal habitats, poisoning rivers with toxic wastes and increasing the concentration of harmful gases in the Earth`s atmosphere. 

Correct: Humans pollute animal habitats, poison rivers with toxic waste and increase the concentration of harmful gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Incorrect: Adding negative points to driver’s license, filing charge sheets against people frequently traffic rules violating, and temporary cancellation of driver’s license would be a great solution. (Adding, Filing and Temporary are not parallel.)

Correct: Adding negative points to driver’s license, filing charge sheets against people frequently traffic rules violating, and canceling driver’s license temporarily would be a great solution. (Adding, Filing and Cancelling are parallel.)

Incorrect: His social interaction with other people is less, consequently reducing his socializing skills that may lead to isolation (Noun) and be distant (Adjective) distance from others.

Correct: His social interaction with other people is less, consequently reducing his socializing skills that may lead to isolation (Noun) and distance (Noun) from others.

Incorrect: Many people are addicted to various bad habits such as smoking (Verb), alcohol  (noun) and recreational-drugs (noun) which not only cause various diseases but also make them financially weak.

Correct: Many people are addicted to various bad habits such as smoking tobacco (verb+noun), drinking alcohol (verb+noun) and consuming recreational-drugs (verb+noun) which not only cause various diseases but also make them financially weak.

I’m sure these sentences are enough to explain the concept. Ask questions in the comments box below.

Please feel free to ask any doubts in the comments box below.

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The Importance of a COMMA in the English Language – the Funny Side

This article is meant to teach the usage of COMMA to all IELTS and PTE students while making them grin, if not laugh, a bit. Here we go.

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This picture is indeed worth more than a thousand words. “I’m sorry I love you” will land you in a divorce, while “I’m sorry, I love you” has potential to make your life easier.



Punctuation marks such as a comma or a period (a full stop), play a crucial role in written communication. IELTS, PTE, GRE, as well as GMAT, give enough importance to their usage. But where do we use a comma?

RULE 1: A comma should be used to separate three or more items.

“IELTS exam contains reading, listening, speaking, and writing module.”

Simple. However, some writers suggest using a comma before ‘and’. This is called an Oxford Comma. Its purpose is to prevent any misunderstanding. For instance:

“I watched a movie, ate fish and bread, and came home.”

The purpose of an Oxford comma is to show that fish and bread are one unit and they need to be separated from the process of coming home.

RULE 2: A comma is necessary in the case of dependent clauses. That is, those parts of the sentence that can not stand by themselves. I prefer calling them MODIFIERS because they modify a noun/ subject.

Having landed at the JFK airport, I decided to take a quick tour of the New YorK city.”

“The bill, which makes drinking alcohol a punishable offense, was passed in the lower house yesterday.”

The underlined parts of the sentence are modifiers that give us additional information about subjects “I” and “bill”. The modifiers are separated from the main clause by a comma so that the sentence still makes complete sense without that additional information. For instance, “I decided to take a quick tour of the New Your city”  and “The bill was passed in the lower house yesterday” are complete sentences. Modifiers give extra information. Another such sentence:

“Bill, who is my brother, cooked food for me.”

“New Delhi, which is densely populated, is experiencing massive traffic jams.”

I’m sure you loved reading this article and learned a few things. If you’ve got any doubts, please let me know in the comments section.

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Here are some funny pictures presenting a change in meaning if a comma is omitted.

comma 6

Are North Americans (US and Canada residents) eating more than 400 Africans every year? Well, the picture says so.

comma 3

Are you suggesting hunters should shoot the pedestrians? Well, the omission of a comma has changed the meaning. Isn’t it?

comma 4



Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement: Was/Were? Is/Are?


Question: “The largest proportion of spending was/ were on program services, which was/ were conducted during 2016-17.”

Can you make a correct choice? Here’s another sentence:

Question: “Answering a battery of questions is/ are easy for politicians.”

Determining whether the subject of the sentence is singular or plural is vital to making a correct choice. For instance:

Proportion of spending = Singular; Use “was”

Program services = Plural; Use “were”

Answer: The largest proportion of spending was on program services, which were conducted during 2016-17.

Similarly, A battery of questions= Singular; Use “is”.

Answer: “Answering a battery of questions is/ are easy for politicians.”

Neither-Nor and Either-Or: Note the noun closest to the verb.

“Neither my dog Alex nor my cats are eating anything.” (Cats = Plural)

“Neither my cats nor my dog Alex is eating anything.” (Dog = Singular)

“Either Mr. Sharma or Mrs. Zia has the flue.” (Mrs. Zia = Singular)

Note: None, Neither, anyone, everyone, each, every, someone, somebody, nobody, is always singular.

“Nobody is interested in listening to the President.”

“Every doctor in the town is on strike.”

“Neither of the televisions is working.”

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Grammar: Dangling Modifier


A modifier is a word or a clause that modifies something. That is, it adds value to something, usually a noun/ subject. For example:

The fastest growing country in the world (modifier), India is facing huge challenges.”

The modifier modifies the noun “India”. If the modifier is wrongly placed and does not refer to anything, it’s called a dangling modifier. (Dangling refers to hanging in the air. There’s no ground beneath.)

“The fastest growing country in the world, huge challenges being faced.”

The modifier does not refer to any noun. Certainly, “The fastest …… world” can not modify “huge challenges”.

Here’s another dangling modifier: Running along the road (dangling modifier), the houses were beautiful.” The modifier modifies ‘the houses’. Is it correct? Certainly not. How can the houses run? The correct sentence and modifier are as follows.

“Running along the road (modifier), I noticed that the houses were beautiful.

Here’s a sentence from a wonderful WordPress post by Sara.

“After separating the students into groups (dangling modifier), Sample A was tested.”

Can ‘Sample A’ separate the students into groups? Certainly not. On the other hand, a researcher can. Here’s a correct version.

“After separating the students into groups, the researcher tested Sample A.”

Go through Sara’s post. It will make things more than crystal clear.

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Grammar: Despite vs Although.

I’ve seen numerous students committing mistakes in usage of these two words which look similar, however, they’re more different than you can imagine. Both are used to show contrast, however, the nature of contrast is different.

Despite is used to introduce an idea that appears to contradict the main statement.

Although is used to introduce a subordinate clause that contrasts the statement in the main clause.

“We enjoyed the holidays despite heavy rains every day.”

“Although it rained every day (subordinate clause), we enjoyed the holidays (main clause).”

Note: Subordinate clause and main clause are separated by a comma.

He completed the exam despite the pain in his head.

Although he had pain in the head (subordinate clause), he completed the exam (main clause).”

Since both subordinate and main clause are always complete sentences, we always prefer “subject-verb-object” structure in ALTHOUGH sentences. This construction is not required in DESPITE sentences. “Despite” sentences do not require mention of subjects again.

Despite arriving late, she was able to complete her test.”

Although she arrived late (subordinate clause), she was able to complete her test (main clause).”

Note: She = subject; arrived = verb; late = object of time.

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How to Write More Formally for Competitive Exams – the First Seven Rules

Various exams ranging from IELTS and PTE to GRE and GMAT lay emphasis on formal writing. And that’s for a reason. It is important for you, students and professionals, to effectively communicate in business settings. That requires formal English written communication.

Rule 1: Do not write contractions. I’m, we’re, he’s, don’t, won’t – are strictly prohibited.

Rule 2: Do not use abbreviations or short forms such as “info” or “asap”.

Rule 3: Reduce the usage of PASSIVE voice. Prefer active voice while writing a sentence. The active voice always consumes fewer words than the passive voice. For instance:

Active voice: Wright brothers created the first successful airplane in 1903. (nine words)

Passive voice: The first successful airplane was created by Wright brothers in 1903. (eleven words)

Note that in active voice the sentence starts with a subject (Wright brothers).

However, there may be situations when you may not be able to communicate the message in an active voice. For example, when there is no subject in a sentence. Then you’re forced to use passive voice.

The temples of Ajanta and cave paintings of Ellora in India were made in fifth century AD.” (We don’t know who made them.)

Rule 4: Prefer sophisticated intensifiers to make your nouns more expressive. These include extremely, entirely, exceptionally, usually, remarkably, etc.

Rule 5: Before you write, create a structure outlining what each paragraph will communicate. Break your essay or letter into introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Remember, each body paragraph must communicate one idea only. You can see this practice in all the writing task 2 I have written so far.

Rule 6: Do not start a sentence with “but” and “and”. I have seen numerous student commit that blunder.

Wrong: But the best way to solve the problem is to avoid it.

Correct: We need to solve the problem, however, is to avoid it.

Rule 7: Follow parallelism principle.

Now, this requires an article in itself, but here is a short explanation. Compare APPLES to APPLES and ORANGES to ORANGES. Do not compare your shoes with me, as WRONGLY written in the sentence below.

Wrong: Your shoes are better than me.

Correct: Your shoes are better than my shoes./ Your shoes are better than mine.

There’s a LOT more to this principle and I’ll soon explain this in a fresh article.

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Common Grammar Mistake in IELTS: Writing Numbers as Numbers

Which one is correct:

  1. The 21st century has witnessed several technological advancements.
  2. The twenty-first century has witnessed several technological advancements.

Though there’s no documented rule that dictates writing numbers in words, I recommend students to write numbers from one to a hundred in WORDS. Numbers of higher order are difficult and cumbersome to spell. Consequently, you should use numbers.

Prefer “1921” over “One thousand nine hundred twenty one.”

Good Luck!

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Greetings! Two Unique Ways and Their Meanings

There are two ways to greet someone and most people, including natives, do not understand the difference.

  1. How are you?
  2. How do you do?

Let me explain.

How are you? This manner of greeting includes an ‘ARE’, which means the question is intended to enquire about your PRESENT status – the moment in which the question is asked. So, if you’re going through a rough phase in life, however, you just had a moment of elation you’ll respond “Well, I feel good. How about you?“.

“How do you do” is different. When somebody greets you with this question, the intention is to go beyond the moment. The scale is bigger than just the present moment. For instance, look at the following statements:

A. The children are playing. (in the moment)

B. The Sun rises from the East. (A daily event. Beyond this moment.)

Understood? Next time someone asks you How do you do?, remember the scale is bigger. There are ups and downs in such a large scale of time. So you answer: “Well, not bad. How do you do?”

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IELTS Grammar: Its or It’s?

d0ba014107a0e725350128ac49b8253d-1Many students, particularly those appearing in IELTS exam, often confuse the usage of ITS and IT’S. (Unfortunately, old habits die hard and students tend to commit this mistake again and again) So, here’s an explanation.

Question: When should I use ‘its’ and ‘it’s’?

Usage of ITS: Without an apostrophe (‘), this is a pronoun similar to ‘it’. (I choose not to go into core grammar concepts such as possessive pronoun. Keeping it simple.)

Example: The government of India and its armed forces have conducted surgical strikes across the border. (its refers to government of India)

Example: The union and its members are protesting against the new Education Reform Bill. (its refers to the union)

Usage of it’s: Similar to we’ll (short for “we will”) and doesn’t (short for does not), it’s is a contraction for “it is”.

Example: The government of Afghanistan has declared that it’s (it is) not going to tolerate any form of terrorism on its soil. (I’m sure that by now you’ve understood the difference between it’s and its in this sentence.)

Example: The library has announced that it’s (it is) not accepting any membership applications.

I hope this article was useful. Keep visiting to learn more.

Grammar Concepts: More X than Y

ielts-grammar-more-thanI’ve seen numerous students making mistakes in usage of “More X than Y”. This is a common grammar construction that we often fail to use correctly. Let me explain it today for ELTEC’s IELTS and GMAT students.

A few days ago I read a post on Facebook. It contained the following sentence:

She is more wise (X) than clever (Y).

This is wrong! How? Let me explain.

Better version is “She is more wise than she is clever.”

This construction can take two forms: 1. One subject two qualities/ activities. 2. One quality/ activity and two subjects. (I do not mean grammar’s subject.)

Common structure for first version is – (Subject) MORE (Quality) THAN (Subject) (Quality)

Look at following sentences:

Wrong: They talk more than work.

Correct: They talk more than they work.

Wrong: This product is more produced than consumed.

Correct: This product is produced more than it is consumed.

Similarly, I like reading more than watching television.

The second version looks something like this: Anna is more wise than Chris is.

Quality is WISE, Subjects are Anna and Chris. Plain and simple right.

Okay. Here are a few more sentences with suitable explanations:

“Plants are more efficient at acquiring carbon than fungi are.”

Two subjects (Plants and Fungi) and one quality (Acquiring Carbon).

“India is emitting more carbon dioxide in atmosphere than permitted under United Nations framework.”

Two subjects (India and United Nations Framework) and one quality/ activity (Carbon dioxide emissions).

“Analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they have been setting.”

One subject (Dividends) and two objects (conservatively and ‘than they have been setting’)

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Why you need expert guidance in IELTS exam?

Most of us live life in an autopilot mode. We leave things to fate. How many times do we blame our condition on circumstances merely by saying “I could not have done anything better.” IELTS students often say “I worked extremely hard this time but could not increase score above 6.5. What else could I have done?”

What else could I have done? That is a million dollar question. To give an answer to that question, let me draw an analogy.

Have you ever wondered why airplanes, mostly, arrive at intended destination in time? The reason is simple and it holds an important lesson in everyone’s life. Airplanes, unlike our lives, are perpetually on course correction mode. Pilots get expert guidance on actual events and course from ground staff. What can happen if they fail to take directions from the ground staff?

Well, a lot of unfortunate things may happen. For instance, a passenger jet left New Zealand in 1979 with 257 passengers on-board for a sight seeing trip to Antarctica. However, a two degree flaw in flight coordinates placed them 28 miles east of their actual position and the plane came in path of an active volcano Mount Erebus. The plane along with its crew and 257 passengers met with an unfortunate end.

A minor error of two degrees brought an unfortunate and enormous tragedy.

It is an analogy of our lives. Imagine how off-course do we live our lives. More specifically, how off-course we are when we’re preparing for IELTS. Most of us prefer to save a few dollars and score 6 bands than paying a well trained tutor and improving to more than 7 bands. Remember:

“Small things – if not corrected – become big hurdles, ALWAYS.”

At ELTEC our trained team makes sure through consistent practice that you are never off-course and that you achieve your targeted bands to cherish your dream of studying in a western country.

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Connective words in IELTS: Part 1

CONNECTIVE words are those words that are used to connect one part of sentence to another. I have noticed that many students fail to connect clauses and/ or sentences. This creates lack of cohesion in both task 1 and task 2 leading to lower bands. Examples of connectives are:


For instance, take a look at following article:

You go through a number of websites, absorbing as much as you can about a topic. Before you know it, hours pass and you’re still reading article after article. The problem is: You haven’t actually done anything.

I used to do this for hours at a time. I would research on a topic, whether it was on exercise, writing, or even how to become productive, but nothing would get done. I would take in a lot of information, but none of it seemed to help.

Doing an analysis of what we’re supposed to do is often a way of making ourselves feel productive. It seems as if we’re doing something to reach our goals. But there’s a difference between being busy and productive.

Busy means performing tasks that may or may not produce results, while being productive is when you take concrete steps to achieve a goal.

Consuming information rather than doing something is a way of putting off what we know we should be doing. Postponing what’s important masks our deep-rooted fears, whether they include fear of change, fear of failure, or even a fear that we may become successful.

Okay. Here’s an explanation of underlined words that you should try to use in IELTS exam.

  1. Whether it be X, Y or Z: Do not confuse it with ‘weather’. Whether it is driving, swimming or sleeping, I love all activities.
  2. But: No need to explain this. I guess.
  3. Seems as if: It means that …….
  4. Between X and Y: Standard English idiom
  5. X rather than Y: Standard English idiom

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IELTS Grammar: Usage of Adjective Clause (AC)

Over the past several months I’ve seen numerous students getting confused about usage of adjective clauses. Let me explain their usage in greater detail today.

Now, I want to make this article useful to laymen (and women). So, I’m throwing out all that useless grammar jargon. Let us keep it PLAIN and SIMPLE.

What is an adjective? Its a word that adds value (let’s not use the word MODIFY) to a noun. And what’s a clause? Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to know.

Ok. Simple. AC refers to words “such as when, where, who, whose, whom, that, which” and it is used to add value to a noun (just like adjective).


The project that I’m working on involves working for 16 hours a day.

Mr. Aman is the teacher who helped me solve the mathematics problems.

See, its easy. You have a portion of the sentence that requires some explanation (that is, add some value), you use AC.

The crucial question pertains to usage of ‘which’ and ‘that’. What is the difference between the two?

Without entering into grammar jargon, the difference is that ‘that’ is used to add value to the sentence without which sentence would be incomplete. ‘Which’ is used to add value without which sentence would still be complete. That is, ‘which’ is used to add extra information.

We listened to the minister’s speech, which was on threat of global terrorism, very attentively.

Okay. If I delete “which was …… terrorism”, the sentence is still complete. However, this was used to add value about speech.

Read the following sentences on usage of that/which.

Chairs that don’t have cushions are uncomfortable to sit on.

These chairs, which I purchased from your shop, are of poor quality.

You should not play card games that involve betting money.

Understand the difference: 

1. The cake that I purchased yesterday was made of chocolate.

2. The cake which I purchased yesterday was made of chocolate.

First sentence is correct because I’m talking about a particular cake that was purchased yesterday. Not today or any other day.

Here’s another example:

That cake which is made of chocolate looks tasty. What do you think?

This sentence means that there are many cakes among which there’s one cake that is made of chocolate.

Here is a link to an excellent artice on AC. Please visit it to enhance your writing/ grammar skills.

Happy learning English!

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IELTS Grammar: Past Perfect Tense vs Simple Past Tense

You can share your answers in comments section.

Here are 2 sentences to explain the difference between Simple Past Tense and Past Perfect tense.

1. When I reached home, my wife cooked dinner.

2. When I reached home, my wife had cooked dinner.

Where is the Past Perfect tense used?

When you are talking about past and mention something that happened earlier.

Example: “When I reached home my mother had already left.’’

That is, the mother was gone before I reached home.

Similarly, “When I reached home my wife had cooked dinner.”

That is, wife had cooked cooking dinner before I reached home.

We use simple past tense if events move in chronological order.

Example: “When he was born his father started a business.”

That is, his father started the business after he was born.

Similarly, “When I reached home my wife cooked dinner.”

That is, my wife cooked dinner after I reached home.

Past Perfect Tense Exercise:

According to Dr. Ken Winkle, Australia’s Red-back spider is colonizing the world.

Dr. Winkle, a venom expert from the University of Melbourne, said that authorities 1………………(find) Red-back spiders in Japan and Belgium. They suspected that spider or their eggs 2……………… (enter) these countries along with Australian trading goods. Furthermore, it was extremely likely that the spiders 3…………………… (make) their way into other nations around the world but that people 4……………… (discover) them yet. Dr. Winkle said the spider 5……………..  (also/ turn up) in the port city of Osaka (which receives a variety of Australian trade goods) in the late 1990s and  6……………….(multiply) quickly. He said Australia spider experts were collaborating with Japanese officials to find a way to stop the venomous invader.

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IELTS grammar: Simple past tense and its exercise.

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Simple past tense is used in two situations:

1. To talk about single past completed actions.

2. To refer to a series of actions in sequence/ order of occurance.

For instance: The burgler broke into the house, opened the safe, stole jewellery and left.

Note parallelism (will publish an article on this soon) around ‘and’: all are in sequence and in past tense – broke, opened, stole, left.

Here’s a simple exercise to test your skills.

Fill in the blanks with appropriate words given below. You can give answers in comments section:

Allow; be; be; be; invent; increase; lay; mean; own; receive; replace; ride; take; walk.

(Note: the verb ‘be’ refers to was/were.)

The pace of change in the world of technology is amazing. It ……1……. (not) long ago that the postal service ……..2…… our only way to communicate over any distance. It ……..3……. days and sometimes weeks to receive letters from  within the same country. As a result the news in the letters ……….4……. already out of date when people ……….5……… them. In the workplace this ……6…….. that business was mostly conducted locally, over relatively short distances.

When Alexander Graham Bell ……..7…… the telephone in 1876, it ………8…… the foundation for the communication system we have today. The telephpne ………9……. two people to communicate instantly across a great distance. Eventually computers ……..10……. typewriter and dramatically …….11…….. the speed of our daily work life. Nowadays the internet is an essential part of every business.

However, it is not just communications that have changed. Only 50 years ago people ………12…….. (not) a car. People …..13…….. to work or ………14…… bicycle. Change in travel as well as the increased speed of communications have led to the global business world that we have today.

Please mention the answers in comment sections and our team will check and make corrections.

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IELTS grammar: If – Then construction

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“If India can somehow capture this territory, then India-Afghanistan border will become a ground reality” stated a recent opinion article in The Tribune, an English daily in India.

So, where do we use If-Then construction in the English language? How do we use it? Most importantly, will it fetch us marks in IELTS exam?

If-then clause is a conditional construction that refers to hypothetical situations and their consequences. That is “if a certain X is true, then Y will be the consequence”.

If + Present Tense, Then + Will

If you rest, then you will feel better.

If you rest, you will feel better.

Usually ‘then’ is omitted and it is presumed to exist in the sentence but not written.

If you work hard, you will score 7 bands in IELTS eventually.

If + Past Tense, Then + Would/Should/Could/Might

If I were rich, I would pay you a million dollars.

If our company made a profit last year, I might let everyone take a Vegas trip.

If + Past Perfect, Then + Would Have

If I had worked hard, I would have scored 7 bands.

If I had completed the report, I would have gone home by now.

Here’s a small exercise to test your if-then clause usage.

1. If I had cleaned the house, I ………. (go) to watch the movie.

2. If I get a headache, I ……… (take) rest.

3. If I were sick, I ………. (take) medicine.

Let us switch to the most important question. Will such construction fetch us marks in IELTS exam? Well, as Jessica Beck points out in her blog, IELTS examiners pay close attention to sentence structure. Not only that, they expect you to keep changing sentence structures. So, if-then construction will fetch you, bands.

I’ll soon publish an article on different sentence structures that you can use in IELTS exam and their usage.

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