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How to Answer IELTS Writing Task 2: General Writing

Bob Schoenfeld

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For those of you about to take the IELTS and are sweating bullets about the Writing Task 2 section, don’t worry. This blog will help you. I will take you through a slide presentation that guides you through the writing process.  You will see what kind of information you need to include to get a good score.

 

While Task 1 asks you to understand and explain a graph, Task 2 asks you to write an opinion essay about a current topic. The topic will be something accessible to everyone taking the test. They will not ask you about 17th century Ethiopian politics, the evolution of Jazz or the size of Barack Obama’s ears. They will ask you to explain your position about an easily understandable task.


You will have 30 minutes to write at least 250 words. This...

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When Do I Say "I Went" and "I Have Been"?

Bob Schoenfeld

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English Grammar: Simple Past vs. Present Perfect

Rule 1: Specific vs. Non-specific Time

 

Anyone studying English has certainly learned the simple past – I went to the movies; I broke the window; I punched my brother in the face.  They have also learned – I have been to the movies; I have broken the window; I have bitch slapped my little brother in the face.

 

However, when do we use the simple past and when do we use the present perfect? Knowing the simple past and present perfect of the verb is different than knowing when to use it.

 

One simple rule is to determine if the sentence is specific or non-specific. By this, we mean do we know when it happened? Look at...

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Pronunciation & Listening in English: Part 2

Loquus

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Whadya say?

The pronunciation of /o/

 

As we talked about in Pronunciation and Listening in English: Part 1, the letter ‘t’ has 4 distinct pronunciations - /t/, /d/, /ʔ/ and /x/.  The letter ‘o’ is also a terrible letter in American English. Most people see the letter ‘o’ and want to pronounce it long, like owe or oh

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