Saturday, April 30, 2011



The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English language skill. IELTS English exam is at present admitted as proof of a potential candidate's rank in English, by a large number of universities in English speaking countries. IELTS has over 800 test centers and locations across 130 countries.

There are two kinds of IELTS exam, Academic and General, that are held almost all over the world and both require different skills. If you want to study abroad especially in an English speaking country, you will have to take the Academic version of IELTS Exams. Your assessment will be presented in accordance with a level of bands, with one being the lowest and nine being the highest. It would be wise to get information from whichever university you have applied to of the band requirement for admission.

The IELTS test is divided in four segments, reading, and writing, listening and speaking. Reading judges the capability to read English texts. Writing examine if you are capable of writing good in English. Listening examine your ability to understand English and various accents. Speaking judges your proficiency to speak in the English language. You can use IELTS Practice material to pass it and see the IELTS exam papers.

IELTS Listening test lasts for about 30 minutes. It comprises of four sections that you will hear on a tape. Each section increases the difficulty of the test. It could be a dialogue or a monologue. Once played, the tape will not be repeated so you should be listening very carefully without diverting your attention, for the moment forget what’s going around you just listen the tape. Students are given a little time to write answers, so you must be answering while you are listening to the tape to avoid timing problems and if you missed one answer don’t think on it again, go for the next one and try to complete it in time at the end of the tape recording you will be given few minutes to check out your answer if you can remember those you left try to complete then otherwise let them because there is no negative marketing in it.

IELTS Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. The reading test comprises of three sections and like the Listening section, each section gets difficult. Candidates should be able to read well to avoid any delay.

IELTS Writing test also lasts for 60 minutes. The writing test contains two tasks which ask for different kinds of writing. There is no choice given, so you have to write on the given topic in time with good English so you can impress examiners, try to use all your vocabulary related to topic.

IELTS Speaking test examines your ability to speak in English, and will be conducted as an interview by a professional IELTS examiner. After the short interview comprising on common question, could be related to you or your family or work, the candidate will be asked to speak for one or two minutes on a particular topic. This test will last for just about 11-14 minutes and you should speak continuously related to topic given, some students change the topic and start speaking on unrelated things which give negative impact, so you should be specific to the topic. Examiner can ask some question at the end of your speaking topic.

To practice, IELTS sample exams are available in printed book form that include audio CDs for the listening section of the test. Through the samples and practice exercises you can familiarize yourself with the format of IELTS examination.

IELTS practice exams are also provided on the internet for you to practice and make sure to get higher band. Do not limit your study to books only. Go to the IELTS practice section and do IELTS sample tests several times so it makes it easier for you to take the examination, and builds your confidence to do well. They are especially designed for IELTS exam preparation.

If you are wandering when and where the next IELTS examinations are being held, then you can go online to British Council websites which announces IELTS exam dates being conducted all around the year which is different for countries to countries, so you should see your own country website or where you are living. IELTS exam tests are held at various locations for your convenience. You will also be provided an application form on the British Council websites. IELTS even has its official website. All material and knowledge that you need for IELTS is available there. Your Test Report Form will be sent to you thirteen days after your test. If you are not happy with your results, don't worry as you can take it again in that very month if seats are available, if not then try to get next seat when you are full prepared for your IELTS test.

Friday, April 29, 2011


IELTS 2011 US Recognition List: Educational Institutions, Professional Organizations and Accrediting Bodies Recognizing IELTS APRIL 2011

Scores/grades reported below are minimums required for admissions to degree programs. IELTS band scores refer to the Academic Module unless otherwise stated. Requirements may vary. Other U.S. institutions may also recognize IELTS, but may not have registered with IELTS Inc."

To Download all the institutions who are accepting ielts in USA ckick link below:

IELTS USA Recognition List


Are you looking to get admission in the USA Universities, and want to know that either they are accepting ielts test or not then good news for you that over 3,000 institutions and programs in the USA accept IELTS scores as proof of English language skills. Over 1.4 million people each year are now using IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. You just need to prepare yourself for IELTS test and register yourself.

You must want to know about

Test Report Forms
Register online in the USA now
USA Test Centers
Studying in the USA
IELTS USA Recognition List

For questions or concerns, you may contact IELTS in the USA:

IELTS International
825 Colorado Boulevard, Suite 112
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Telephone: 323 255 2771

Saturday, April 23, 2011

IELTS writing

IELTS Writing Sample

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

It does seem to be true that parents find teachers have lost the authority they used to have, especially in the eyes of teenagers. They are no longer seen as models for behavior: hard work, politeness and other positive qualities are seen as old fashioned. Many young people have no respect for these qualities or the people who represent them. In fact, I think when young people today are so rebellious that it's possible that both parents and teachers are afraid to exercise their authority. However, I do not agree that this is the basic reason for the increase in teenage violence.

While I believe it is true that a lack of social and emotional learning contributes to the problem. Other factors are surely involved: economic factors, for example. If a child comes from a poor family and they live in low-quality housing in all undesirable area, this is sure to affect the child, however loving the parents are.

There is also the question of who your friends are. I believe that when you are in your teens your friends have more influence on you than your parents or teachers. At that age, you want to be part of a group, or even a gang, and this might lead to breaking the law in a number of ways.

In conclusion, while I agree that lack of social and emotional learning from parents and teachers is a factor in the growth of teenage violence, I do not believe that it is the only or main cause.

IELTS writing

IELTS Writing Sample

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In some countries young people have little leisure time and are under a lot of pressure to work hard in their studies.
What do you think are the causes of this?
What solutions can you suggest?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Some young people find themselves with very little leisure time. I believe there are two main causes of this situation. The first is parental pressure and the second is competition for university places.

Every parent wants to see his or her child do well in school and go on to have a successful career. This means that they exert pressure on their children to spend hours each day studying at home. Some even arrange extra tuition for their children. In my own country, it is not uncommon for young people to spend another three hours at small private schools after their usual day at stale school is over. As a consequence, their leisure time is extremely limited and the pressure on them is considerable.

The second cause is related to the higher education system. Each year, there are many times more applicants to university than there are university places. The result of this is that only those students with very high grades manage to obtain a place. This contributes to the pressure on teenagers since they must work long hours to have any chance of success.

One solution to the problem is for parents to be made aware of the effects of the pressure they put on their children. Schools should inform parents that too much pressure can lead to anxiety, stress and depression. They should be shown ways in which they can help their children lead more balanced lives with a reasonable amount of leisure time.

Another effective measure would be for the government to invest in the creation of more university places. This could be done by expanding existing universities or by building new ones. This would have the effect of easing competition for places giving teenagers some of their precious free lime back.

IELTS writing

IELTS Writing Sample

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

As mass communication and transport continue to grow, societies are becoming more and more alike leading to a phenomenon known as globalization. Some people fear that globalization will inevitably lead to the total loss of cultural identity.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Globalization means that in some ways people around the world are becoming more and more similar. We often eat the same food, watch the same TV programmes, listen to the same music and we wear the same clothes. Some of this at least can be blamed on the spread of multinational brands available all over the world.

On the surface, it may appear as if the global diversity of cultural identities is being lost. If, the argument goes, people in Tokyo and London look and dress the same, then that must mean that cultural differences are disappearing. However, I would argue that this is a very narrow definition of culture and that in fact cultural differences are as present as ever.

Cultural Identity is built on far more than just the films we watch or the jeans we wear. The foundation of cultural identity is shared values. When you look in detail at different cultures, you realize that the things that are important to one culture can be very different from the things valued by another culture.

Take my own culture, India, as an example and compare it to a very different culture, Japan. Although I have never visited Japan personally, I believe that it is a culture which places a lot of value on hard work and that people often work very long hours. The Indian people, in contrast, greatly value their leisure time and strive to spend as much lime with their family as they possibly can. Even if we consume the same products, I would argue that there are still some very deep-rooted differences.

To summarize, I do not accept that that total loss of cultural identity is inevitable, despite the influence of large companies and their products around the globe.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I was visiting the British Council website for Germany there I see many questions that people want to know about ielts exam in Germany and other cities like Berlin, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Leipzig, Cologne and other major cities where they can take ielts exams on the given ielts dates. There are many people how want to know that, can someone under the age of 18 sit in the ielts Exam? Yes, the minimum age is 16. Exceptions can only be made in rare cases, such as the test being a school admission requirement. Generally it is strongly recommended that those under the age of 18 take Cambridge ESOL exams instead.

There was another important question mostly people want to know that, Can a native English speaker take the exam then answer is “Yes”.

For more question like this and other one you have in your mind you can visit:

It could be helpful for you

IELTS writing

Here are some latest ielts writing topics which you should practice before appearing in final ielts test. Prepare your self and practice as much you can, to get higher ielts score.

Topic No: 1 Soon people who cannot work with computers will be disadvantaged. To what extent do you agree or disagree with idea?

Topic No: 2 Nowadays, radio is being replaced by TV and the Internet. To what extent do you agree or disagree with idea?

Topic No: 3 These days, school introduce behavior of what is ‘right' or ‘wrong'. The responsibility is not only parents. To what extend do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 4 Education is life long task. Do you agree or disagree?

OR Education is sometime considered as something for the youth. Some People however, consider as life long task. What is your opinion? Give reason and support your ideas with specific support.

Topic No: 5 Young People are Encourage to travel or work for one year after high school and before university studies. Write advantages and disadvantages of this matter.

OR Young People are Encourage to travel or work for one year after high school and before university studies. Do you think it's a good idea to do so?

Topic No: 6 Nowadays, people care about their appearance more than before. Do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 7 Government should spend more money on education than on recreation and sports. Do you agree or disagree?

OR Some people argue that Government should spend money only on medicine and education and that things like theaters and sport stadiums are luxurious .Agree or disagree?

Topic No: 8 Technology has facilitated our lives so much and given us a lot of freedom. Some People, however, believe that it has caused more problems for us. What is your Opinion?

Topic No: 9 Shopping has become a favorite pastime among young people. Why do you think it's like that, and do you think they must be encouraged to do other things rather than shopping?

Topic No: 10 Nowadays, some people still prefer to ride bicycles. To what extend do you think this will help us in today's life?

Topic No: 11 Government has to place the same number of men and women in different fields of study universities. To what extend do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Topic No: 12 People's character is influenced by environment rather than genetics. Do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 13 In 21st Century, there is no use to pay expenses for wild animal's protections. What's your idea about this matter?

OR Wild animals have no place in 21st century and trying to preserve these animals is a waste of resources. Do what extend do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 14 Is technology time consuming or does it save time?

Topic No: 15 The Elder people of over 50 years of age should be retired and replaced by the young. Do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 16 Write whether you support that employees' salaries are not enough to make them happy. Benefit like health insurance etc. should be given to make them happier.

OR In the world today, how can the companies keep their employees happy? Express you idea and bring reasons, for example how salary, health care and holiday can make employees happy.

Topic No: 17 People follow interests and have hobbies (e.g. collecting and making things) Do you think it is pointless? How can people learn from hobbies?

Topic No: 18 Smoking tobaccos like other dangerous drug should be made illegal. Agree or disagree?

Topic No: 19 It is good for school and university students to take part in part-time jobs. Do you agree or disagree?

Topic No: 20 Nowadays, the gap between countryside and cities has increased in many countries. Is it the same in your country? What can government to do reserve this?

OR There is a gap in standards of living between countryside and cities. How true is this in your country? What measures should be taken to reduce this gap?

IELTS reading

Word List on Comments

Stating your Opinion
It seems to me that ...
In my opinion, ...
I am of the opinion that .../ I take the view that ..
My personal view is that ...
In my experience ...
As far as I understand / can see, ...
As I see it, ... / From my point of view ...
As far as I know ... / From what I know ...
I might be wrong but ...
If I am not mistaken ...
I believe one can (safely) say ...
It is claimed that ...
I must admit that ...
I cannot deny that ...
I can imagine that ...
I think/believe/suppose ...
Personally, I think ...
That is why I think ...
I am sure/certain/convinced that ...
I am not sure/certain, but ...
I am not sure, because I don't know the situation exactly.
I am not convinced that ...
I have read that ...
I am of mixed opinions (about / on) ...
I am of mixed opinions about / on this.
I have no opinion in this matter.
Outlining Facts
The fact is that
The (main) point is that ...
This proves that ...
What it comes down to is that ...
It is obvious that ...
It is certain that ...
One can say that ...
It is clear that ...
There is no doubt that ...

IELTS speaking

The speaking component

The IELTS speaking test takes around 15 minutes and is in the form of an interview. The interview will most probably seem like a friendly conversation which typically covers some aspects of your past, present and future situations. The interviewer will direct the conversation through questions which mostly focus on you and your opinions.

The interview has four main sections:

•some general questions about yourself
•a discussion of topics of general interest
•a role play
•a discussion of your future plans and a conclusion
It is important that you relax and speak as confidently as you can.
Candidates who are difficult to draw into the conversation may not achieve their potential band score simply because they haven't been able to demonstrate the level of language they are capable of producing.

The interview: section one

Task description

Section One of the interview is an introduction in which the interviewer will ask you some general questions about yourself. The questions are often, but not always, based on the CV that you filled out before the test. This section of the interview aims to be like a friendly conversation in which the interviewer asks questions that are not too difficult, to try to get to know you and relax you.

Sample questions

Prior to the test, you will be asked to fill in a CV (Curriculum Vitae) which will ask for general information about topics such as the following:
•Your country of origin
•Where you learnt English
•How long you have been learning English
•Level of education achieved
•Interests and future plans

The first section of the test will go something like this:

•The interviewer greets the candidate and introduces himself or herself.
•The interviewer asks the candidate to state his or her name clearly for the cassette.
•The interviewer asks to see the candidate’s passport and CV form.

Typical questions for this stage of the test might be:

It says on your CV that you are interested in … Could you tell me why you like it?
How often do you … ?
With whom? Where?
Why are you taking the IELTS test?
Is this your hometown?
If not:
Tell me about the place you come from.
Would you rather live here or there?
Tell me how the public transport system in your hometown compares with here.
If yes:
What do you like about living here?
Are there any bad points about this place?

Strategies for approaching the task

Firstly, you should be very careful what you write on your CV as this could be the basis for the discussion in this part of the test and may influence the interviewer’s choice of topics for the second part of the test as well.

Remember that one of the aims of this section is to get you talking freely so that the interviewer can assess your level of English. The interviewer wants you to talk about something you are interested in so that you will perform your best. It is for this reason that you are asked to write down some information about yourself that the interviewer can use as a basis for the questions.

One question on the CV asks you to write down your interests. Make sure that you are prepared to talk about the interests you write down here. For example, if one of your interests is scuba diving, make sure that you learn the vocabulary you need to discuss this topic in English before the test.

And check the pronunciation with a native speaker of English if possible.
One candidate wrote down that she was interested in the environment, though in fact, she knew nothing about environmental issues. The interviewer, thinking that this would be a good topic to get the candidate talking freely, began to ask question after questions about the candidate’s views on various issues related to the environment. The candidate didn’t have the language to cope with the questions and also didn’t have any ideas to express about the issues. So instead of the candidate feeling relaxed from the beginning of the interview talking about a familiar topic, she felt very uncomfortable and may not have performed as well as she could as a result.

So choose carefully what you write down on the CV and prepare the language you will need to discuss these topics before the test. This does not mean that you should memorise a speech as the interviewer will immediately change the topic if s/he thinks that what you are saying is rehearsed. It would be more useful to find people with whom you can practise speaking about the topics.

You should also be prepared to use the past, present and present perfect tenses to describe your current situation. For example, ‘I have been studying English for two years since I moved to the city’.

The interview: section two
Task description

In this section the interviewer will move onto one or more topics of general interest. You may need to speak longer (take longer turns) than in the first section and you may need to describe or explain.

Sample questions

It is not possible to predict what topics may be discussed at this point in the interview; however, some standard topics are:
•Traditional or modern buildings in your country
•Tourism and tourist sites
•Celebrations and cultural activities
•Family and family relationships
•Schooling and the education system in your country
•City and country living
•Modern and traditional lifestyles
If the interview does not take place in your country of origin, you may be asked to compare your country’s architecture, level of tourism, culture etc with those of the country you are living in.

What is being tested is your ability to:

•take longer turns in a conversation
•give information involving description and explanation

Strategies for approaching the task

Carefully consider what you know about each of the topics above. Try to think of all the questions that someone who was trying to get to know you might ask, and make sure that you have all the vocabulary you need to discuss the topics in depth. Check and practise the pronunciation of any new vocabulary. Where there are contentious issues, try to develop an opinion.

You will perform better in the IELTS interview if your speech is fluent. And you’re likely to be more fluent if you have already thought about the topic and have some ideas to express. This doesn’t mean memorising or rehearsing a speech because you can never be sure exactly what the questions will be, and also the examiner will immediately ask a different question if s/he suspects that your answer is memorised.

The interview: section three

Task description
Section three is like a role play. The examiner will explain a situation to you and then instruct you to ask questions to find out more information.
The examiner will give you a card with around six question prompts to help you make the questions. You should use the question prompts to ask all the questions on the card. Be ready to ask additional questions if the examiner invites you to, or if the examiner looks expectantly at you after you have asked all the prompted ones.

What is being tested is your ability to:
•use a question form correctly
•use a variety of question words
•ask questions politely

Sample questions

The examiner says:
‘I have just enrolled in a new course. You want to find out about the course. Look at this card carefully and when you’re ready begin to ask your questions.’

Interview card

The interviewer has just enrolled in a course. Ask the interviewer some questions to find out about the course.
Title of course?
How long?

Strategies for approaching the task

Before the test, you need to practise making correct questions using a variety of question words appropriate to the situation.
You also need to practise making your questions polite. There are two main ways to do this.
1. Use an introductory sentence politely, asking the interviewer to give you the information. For example:
Marianne, I’d like to ask you some questions about your course, if that’s all right.
(Interviewer responds by nodding agreement or saying ‘Certainly.
What’s the name of the course?)
2. Use embedded questions. For example:
Could you tell me the name of the course, please?
Notice that with embedded questions we use the statement word order, not:
Could you tell me what is the name of the course?

The interview: section four

Task description
Using your CV as a starting point, the interviewer will ask you about your future plans. The interviewer will aim to involve you in a discussion exploring possible problems, your concerns, your expectations, your hopes and possible steps to achieving your goals.

Sample questions

It is not possible to predict what questions will come up at this point in the test except that you know that the topic will be your future. The questions will be drawn from your CV, or from what the examiner has learned about you in the earlier sections of the interview, and most will arise naturally from the discussion and the information you are giving as this section progresses.

What is being tested is your ability to:

•give in-depth answers to questions about your future
•use the language of speculation
•explain and defend your actions, plans, assumptions, predictions, reasons etc

Strategies for approaching the task

Carefully consider your future plans before the test. If you haven’t definitely decided what career path you will follow, then choose one plan to talk about in the interview. For example, if you haven’t decided whether you want to be an astronaut or a business man, choose one – whichever you think is the easier to talk about – and don’t bother to mention the other at the interview.
Prepare all the vocabulary you will need to discuss that career path, especially the steps you will need to take to reach your desired position and how you would overcome any possible problems.

Be prepared to use conditional sentences to discuss, for example, what you will do if you achieve your goal or you cannot achieve your goal; for example:
If I can’t go to an Australian university to study, I will have to work in my parents’ business
Be prepared to use perfect tenses to explain how you got to the situation you are in now. For example:
Interviewer: How did you decide to become an engineer?
Candidate: Well, I’d (or I’ve) always been very good at maths, so after finishing high school I …
Be prepared to speculate about the future:

I hope to …
I’m hoping to …
I’d like to …
If possible I’d like to …
I plan to …
I’ve always dreamed of …
I assume that …
I’m assuming that …
I expect that …

IELTS reading

Sample reading text

Lessons from the Titanic

A From the comfort of our modern lives we tend to look back at the
turn of the twentieth century as a dangerous time for sea travellers. With
limited communication facilities, and shipping technology still in its infancy
in the early nineteen hundreds, we consider ocean travel to have been a
risky business. But to the people of the time it was one of the safest forms
of transport. At the time of the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912, there had
only been four lives lost in the previous forty years on passenger ships on
the North Atlantic crossing. And the Titanic was confidently proclaimed to
be unsinkable. She represented the pinnacle of technological advance at
the time. Her builders, crew and passengers had no doubt that she was
the finest ship ever built. But still she did sink on April 14, 1912, taking
1,517 of her passengers and crew with her.

B The RMS Titanic left Southampton for New York on April 10, 1912.
On board were some of the richest and most famous people of the time
who had paid large sums of money to sail on the first voyage of the most
luxurious ship in the world. Imagine her placed on her end: she was larger
at 269 metres than many of the tallest buildings of the day. And with nine
decks, she was as high as an eleven storey building. The Titanic carried
329 first class, 285 second class and 710 third class passengers with 899
crew members, under the care of the very experienced Captain Edward J.
Smith. She also carried enough food to feed a small town, including
40,000 fresh eggs, 36,000 apples, 111,000 lbs of fresh meat and 2,200 lbs
of coffee for the five day journey.

C RMS Titanic was believed to be unsinkable because the hull was
divided into sixteen watertight compartments. Even if two of these
compartments flooded, the ship could still float. The ship’s owners could
not imagine that, in the case of an accident, the Titanic would not be able
to float until she was rescued. It was largely as a result of this confidence
in the ship and in the safety of ocean travel that the disaster could claim
such a great loss of life.

D In the ten hours prior to the Titanic’s fatal collision with an iceberg at
11.40pm, six warnings of icebergs in her path were received by the
Titanic's wireless operators. Only one of these messages was formally
posted on the bridge; the others were in various locations across the ship.
If the combined information in these messages of iceberg positions had
been plotted, the ice field which lay across the Titanic’s path would have
been apparent. Instead, the lack of formal procedures for dealing with
information from a relatively new piece of technology, the wireless, meant
that the danger was not known until too late. This was not the fault of the
Titanic crew. Procedures for dealing with warnings received through the
wireless had not been formalised across the shipping industry at the time.
The fact that the wireless operators were not even Titanic crew, but rather
contracted workers from a wireless company, made their role in the ship’s
operation quite unclear.

E Captain Smith’s seemingly casual attitude in increasing the speed
on this day to a dangerous 22 knots or 41 kilometres per hour, can then be
partly explained by his ignorance of what lay ahead. But this only partly
accounts for his actions, since the spring weather in Greenland was known
to cause huge chunks of ice to break off from the glaciers. Captain Smith
knew that these icebergs would float southward and had already
acknowledged this danger by taking a more southerly route than at other
times of the year. So why was the Titanic travelling at high speed when he
knew, if not of the specific risk, at least of the general risk of icebergs in
her path? As with the lack of coordination of the wireless messages, it
was simply standard operating procedure at the time. Captain Smith was
following the practices accepted on the North Atlantic, practices which had
coincided with forty years of safe travel. He believed, wrongly as we now
know, that the ship could turn or stop in time if an iceberg was sighted by
the lookouts.

F There were around two and a half hours between the time the
Titanic rammed into the iceberg and its final submersion. In this time 705
people were loaded into the twenty lifeboats. There were 473 empty seats
available on lifeboats while over 1,500 people drowned. These figures
raise two important issues. Firstly, why there were not enough lifeboats to
seat every passenger and crew member on board. And secondly, why the
lifeboats were not full.

G The Titanic had sixteen lifeboats and four collapsible boats which
could carry just over half the number of people on board her maiden
voyage and only a third of the Titanic’s total capacity. Regulations for the
number of lifeboats required were based on outdated British Board of
Trade regulations written in 1894 for ships a quarter of the Titanic’s size,
and had never been revised. Under these requirements, the Titanic was
only obliged to carry enough lifeboats to seat 962 people. At design
meetings in 1910, the shipyard’s managing director, Alexander Carlisle,
had proposed that forty eight lifeboats be installed on the Titanic, but the
idea had been quickly rejected as too expensive. Discussion then turned
to the ship’s décor, and as Carlisle later described the incident … ’we
spent two hours discussing carpet for the first class cabins and fifteen
minutes discussing lifeboats’.

The belief that the Titanic was unsinkable was so strong that
passengers and crew alike clung to the belief even as she was actually
sinking. This attitude was not helped by Captain Smith, who had not
acquainted his senior officers with the full situation. For the first hour after
the collision, the majority of people aboard the Titanic, including senior
crew, were not aware that she would sink, that there were insufficient
lifeboats or that the nearest ship responding to the Titanic’s distress calls
would arrive two hours after she was on the bottom of the ocean. As a
result, the officers in charge of loading the boats received a very halfhearted
response to their early calls for women and children to board the
lifeboats. People felt that they would be safer, and certainly warmer,
aboard the Titanic than perched in a little boat in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Not realising the magnitude of the impending disaster themselves, the
officers allowed several boats to be lowered only half full.

Procedures again were at fault, as an additional reason for the
officers’ reluctance to lower the lifeboats at full capacity was that they
feared the lifeboats would buckle under the weight of 65 people. They had
not been informed that the lifeboats had been fully tested prior to
departure. Such procedures as assigning passengers and crew to
lifeboats and lifeboat loading drills were simply not part of the standard
operation of ships nor were they included in crew training at this time.

J As the Titanic sank, another ship, believed to have been the
Californian, was seen motionless less than twenty miles away. The ship
failed to respond to the Titanic’s eight distress rockets. Although the
officers of the Californian tried to signal the Titanic with their flashing
Morse lamp, they did not wake up their radio operator to listen for a
distress call. At this time, communication at sea through wireless was new
and the benefits not well appreciated, so the wireless on ships was often
not operated around the clock. In the case of the Californian, the wireless
operator slept unaware while 1,500 Titanic passengers and crew drowned
only a few miles away.

After the Titanic sank, investigations were held in both Washington
and London. In the end, both inquiries decided that no one could be
blamed for the sinking. However, they did address the fundamental safety
issues which had contributed to the enormous loss of life. As a result,
international agreements were drawn up to improve safety procedures at
sea. The new regulations covered 24 hour wireless operation, crew
training, proper lifeboat drills, lifeboat capacity for all on board and the
creation of an international ice patrol.

IELTS reading

The reading component

The IELTS reading test takes one hour. In this time you are required to
read three texts of between 500 and 900 words each. The texts and
questions increase in difficulty. There will be around 40 questions to
answer and record on the answer sheet within the 60 minutes.
Most students come out of the reading test feeling that there wasn’t
enough time to complete the exam paper. For this reason it is very
important that you take a number of timed practice reading tests before the
actual exam day to develop the skills of skimming and scanning and other
timesaving strategies.
In the following pages you will find information and practice questions to
prepare you to answer some of the most common types of question in the
reading test:

♦= Summary completion
♦= Matching headings to paragraphs
♦= Identifying the writer’s views
♦= Multiple choice
♦= Selecting factors
♦= Table completion
♦= Matching causes and effects
♦= Sentence completion
♦= Short answer questions

Saturday, April 16, 2011

English Grammar

Business Writing Tips

All business material should be written in a professional way which means that it should be clear, concise, and formal. Avoid technical jargon that only industry insiders will understand. Also avoid buzzwords. So what exactly is meant by clear and concise business writing? Well, clear and concise means that you should avoid:

Vague or ambiguous statements

While writing business documents you should avoid vague and ambiguous statements that the reader may not be able to understand or interpret.
Jokes, anecdotes and clichés

Jokes and cliches are fine in informal pieces of writing. But in business writing these are totally out of place and should be avoided.

Unsubstantiated facts

Avoid including unsubstantiated facts in a business letter or document as these may affect the credibility of the writer and the organization.

Slang or offensive language

These are strict no-no in a piece of business writing.

Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors

This rule is applicable to all forms of writing, but in the case of business writing it is particularly true. Spelling and grammatical errors will make you look unprofessional. Worse still,they will cause confusion and waste precious time and resources.

Using the Passive Voice

Good business writing doesn’t permit the use of excessive passive verbs. The passive voice is used in situations where you don’t want to attribute the action to a particular person or group. As a general rule, you should use few passive verbs in your writing. That said, passive constructions are quite appropriate in situations where the reader doesn’t need to know who performed the action.

Business emails

Nowadays much of the business writing is in the form of emails. Business emails are usually simple and straightforward. However, even in short emails you should include a clear subject line. Start the email with the name of the person you are writing to. Sign off with an appropriate closing formula such as ‘Best regards’ or ‘Kind regards’ and your name. In more formal emails sign off with “Yours sincerely”

English Grammar


A precis is a summary. Precis writing is an exercise in compression. A precis is the gist of a passage expressed in as few words as possible. A precis should give all essential points so that anyone reading it will be able to understand the idea expressed in the original passage.

Note that precis writing is different from paraphrasing. In a paraphrase you should give all the details: you should not leave out any details. A paraphrase will be at least as long and sometimes longer than the original. A precis, on the other hand, must always be shorter than the original. It should express only the main theme that too as briefly as possible.

How long should a precis be?

There are no rigid rules regarding the length of a precis. But as a general rule, it should not contain more than a third of the total number of words in the original passage.

Uses of precis writing

Most people read carelessly and fail to fully comprehend the meaning of the passage. Precis writing forces them to pay attention to what they read because no one can write a summary of a passage unless they read it carefully. So summarizing teaches one to read with concentration.

Precis writing also improves your overall writing skills. It teaches you how to express your thoughts clearly, concisely and effectively.You learn to choose your words carefully and construct your sentences in a logical and concise manner.

English Grammar

The Noun: Case

Read the following sentence:

1. John broke the window.
2. The boy killed the spider.

In sentence 1, the noun John is the subject. It is the answer to the question ‘Who broke the window? ‘The group of words ‘broke the window’ is the predicate. The predicate contains the verb broke.

What did John break? – the window. Window is the object which John broke. The noun window is therefore called the object.

In sentence 2, the noun boy is the subject. It is the answer to the question ‘Who killed the spider’. The noun spider is the object. It is the answer to the question ‘Whom/what did the boy kill?’

When a noun or pronoun is used as the subject of the verb it is said to be in the nominative case. When a noun or pronoun is used as the object of the verb, it is said to be in the nominative or accusative case.

Note that to find the nominative, put who? or what? before the verb.
To find the accusative, put whom? or what? before the verb and its subject.

A noun or pronoun which comes after a preposition is also said to be in the objective case.

* The cat is on the roof.

Here the noun roof is in the accusative, governed by the preposition on.

Examine the following sentences.

* John killed the spider.
* The spider was killed by John.

You will have noticed that nouns in English have the same form for the nominative and the accusative. The nominative generally comes before the verb and the accusative generally comes after the verb.

Now read the following sentence:

* This is John’s car.

John’s car means the car belonging to John

Here the form of the noun John is changed to John’s to show ownership or possession. The noun John’s is therefore said to be in the possessive or genitive case.

English Grammar

Negative verb forms

The negative verb forms are made by putting not after an auxiliary verb.

* She has invited us. (Affirmative)
* She has not invited us. (Negative)
* It was raining. (Affirmative)
* It was not raining. (Negative)
* She can knit. (Affirmative)
* She cannot knit. (Negative)

If there is no auxiliary verb, do is used to make the negative verb forms.

* I like reading. (Affirmative)
* I do not like reading. (Negative)

Note that do is followed by an infinitive without to.

* She didn’t come. (NOT She didn’t to come.)

Do is not normally used if there is another auxiliary verb.

* You should not go. (NOT You don’t should go.)

Infinitives and -ing forms

The negative forms of infinitives and -ing forms are made by putting not before them. Do is not used.

* The best thing about weekends is not working.

Not can be put with other parts of a clause, not just the verb.

* Ask John, not his father.
* Come early, but not before six.

We do not usually use not with the subject. Instead we use a structure with it.

* It was not John who broke the window, but his brother. (NOT Not John broke the window, but his brother.)

Other negative words

Not isn’t the only word that can make a clause negative. There are some other negative words too. Examples are: never, hardly, seldom, rarely etc.


* He does not work.
* He hardly ever works.
* He never works.
* He seldom works.

Non-assertive words

We do not normally use words like some, somebody, something etc in negative clauses. Instead, we use non-assertive words like any, anybody, anything etc.

* I have caught some fish.
* I haven’t caught any fish.

English Grammar

Double negatives

In some languages, a negative word like nobody, nothing or never has to be used with a negative verb. In English, these words are themselves enough to give a negative meaning, and not is not necessary.

* I opened the door, but I could see nobody. (NOT I opened the door, but I couldn’t see nobody.)
* You never understand me. (NOT You don’t never understand me.)
* Nothing worries him. (NOT Nothing doesn’t worry him.)

Nobody or not anybody

The words nobody, nothing, never etc are very emphatic. Instead we often use not anybody, not anything, not ever etc. Note that anybody, anything, ever etc are not themselves negative words – they have to be used with not to give a negative meaning.

* I didn’t see anybody. OR I saw nobody. (NOT I saw anybody.)
* I can’t tell you anything. OR I can tell you nothing. (NOT I can tell you anything.)


Not anybody, not anything etc., cannot be used at the beginning of a clause. Instead we use nobody, nothing etc.

* Nobody is perfect. (NOT Not anybody is perfect.)
* Nothing matters. (NOT Not anything matters.)
* Nowhere is safe. (NOT Not anywhere is safe.)

In many British, American and other dialects, two or more negatives can be used with a single negative meaning.

I didn’t see nobody. (= I didn’t see anybody.)

Note that a double negative is not equivalent to a positive. The sentence ‘He didn’t say nothing’ does not mean that ‘He said something’. It is simply a non-standard but understandable way of saying ‘He didn’t say anything’.

English Grammar

Non-assertive words

There are some words which are mainly used in affirmative sentences. Examples are: some, once, already, somebody, something, sometimes, somewhere, someone etc. These words are often called assertive words.

We do not usually use assertive words in questions and negatives. Instead we use other words like any, anything, anybody, ever, yet etc. These words are often called non-assertive words.


* Somebody knocked at the door. (Assertive)
* Did anybody knock at the door? (Non-assertive)
* I have bought something. (Assertive)
* I haven’t bought anything. (Non-assertive)
* I have been to the US once. (Assertive)
* Have you ever been to the US? (Non-assertive)
* She has already arrived. (Assertive)
* She hasn’t arrived yet. (Non-assertive)

Non-assertive words are used in questions and negatives. They are also used in if-clauses and with adverbs, adjectives, verbs, prepositions and determiners that have a negative meaning.

* Let me know if you need any help.
* I wonder if there is anything wrong with her.
* She sings better than anybody else in my family.
* Few people have ever seen him laugh.
* I would rather do it without anybody’s help.

Assertive words in questions

Assertive words are sometimes used in questions and negatives. This, for example, happens when we want to give a positive feeling to the sentence.

* Did you want something? (Suggests ‘I think you want something’.)

English Grammar

Gerunds or present participles?

We can use -ing forms (e.g. drinking, singing, smoking, running etc.) not only as verbs, but also like adjectives, adverbs or nouns.

* You are drinking too much these days. (Here the -ing form is part of the present continuous verb.)
* Barking dogs seldom bite. (Here the -ing form is used like an adjective. It modifies the noun dogs.)
* She ran out of the room crying. (Here the -ing form is used like an adverb.)
* Smoking is injurious to health. (Here the -ing form is used like a noun.)

When -ing forms are used as verbs, adjectives or adverbs, they are called present participles. Note that a present participle can refer to the present, past or future.

When -ing forms are used like nouns, they are called gerunds.


Point out the present participles and gerunds in the following sentences.

1. He has ruined his lungs by smoking.
2. Asking questions is easier than answering them.
3. We saw a clown standing on his head.
4. He hates spending money.
5. Waving their hands, the spectators cheered the runners.
6. We are fighting a losing battle.
7. It is freezing cold.
8. We are confident of winning the election.
9. The boy cried thinking that he would be whipped.
10. Can you teach me painting?


1. Smoking – Gerund (object of the preposition by)
2. Asking – Gerund (subject of the verb is)
3. Standing – participle (used like an adjective qualifying the noun clown)
4. Spending – gerund (object of the verb hates)
5. Waving – participle (used like an adjective qualifying the noun spectators)
6. Fighting – participle (used to form the present continuous verb)
7. Freezing – participle (used like an adverb qualifying the adjective cold)
8. Winning – gerund (object of the preposition of)
9. Thinking – Participle (used like an adverb qualifying the verb cried)
10. Painting – gerund (object of the verb teach)

English Grammar

The joining word whose

Whose is a relative possessive word. It is used as a determiner before nouns. Whose can refer to both people and things. In its clause whose + noun can be the subject or object of a verb. It can also be the object of a preposition.

* I saw a girl. Her beauty stunned me.
* I saw a girl whose beauty stunned me.

* It was a decision whose importance I did not understand at the moment.
* Today I met John whose mother is an old friend of mine.

Note that whose can be used in both identifying and non-identifying relative clauses.

Of which instead of whose

Instead of whose we can use of which. The most common structure is noun + of which.

* He has acted in a film whose name I can’t remember.
* He has acted in a film the name of which I can’t remember.
* OR He has acted in a film of which I can’t remember the name.

Note that whose is very formal. In an informal style, other structures are often preferred. With, for example, is a common way of expressing possessive ideas.

* I have got a friend whose brother serves in the army. (Formal)
* I have got a friend with a brother who serves in the army. (Informal)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IELTS vocabulary

Look at these sentences and decide if they are true or false.

1. Formal letters are always longer than informal letters.
a. .......................................................................

2. In a formal letter it is acceptable to use colloquial English, slang and idioms.
a. .......................................................................

3. In a formal letter it is acceptable to use contractions (e.g., I've instead of I have).
a. .......................................................................

4. In a formal letter you should include your name and address at the top of the page.
a. .......................................................................

5. In a formal letter, you should always write the date in full (e.g., 1 April 2000 and not 1/4/00).
a. .......................................................................

6. In a formal letter, you should always put your full name (e.g., James Harcourt and not J. Harcourt) after your signature at the bottom of the letter..
a. .......................................................................

7. Formal letters do not need to be broken into paragraphs. It is acceptable to write them as one continuous paragraph.
a. .......................................................................

IELTS Vocabulary

Below, you will see eleven common situations that people encounter when they are writing a formal letter. Choose the sentence or phrase (A, B or C) that would be most appropriate in each situation.

1. You are writing a letter to the headteacher of a school or college, but you don't know their name. How do you begin your letter?
A. Dear headteacher.
B. Dear Sir / Madam
C. Dear Sir.

2. You have received a letter from the manager of a company which buys computer components from your company, and you are now replying. What do you say?
A. Thank you for your letter.
B. Thanks a lot for your letter.
C. It was great to hear from you.

3. You recently stayed in a hotel and were very unhappy with the service you received. You are now writing to the manager. What do you say?
A. I had a horrible time at your hotel recently.
B. I would like to say that I am unhappy about your hotel.
C. I would like to complain about the service I received at your hotel recently.

4. You have sent a letter of application to a college, together with your curriculum vitae which the college requested. What do you say in the letter to explain that your curriculum vitae is attached?
A. You asked for my curriculum vitae, so here it is.
B. As you can see, I've enclosed my curriculum vitae.
C. As you requested, I enclose my curriculum vitae.

5. You have applied for a job, but you would like the company to send you more information. What do you say?
A. I would be grateful if you would send me more information.
B. I want you to send me more information.
C. Send me some more information, if you don't mind.

6. In a letter you have written to a company, you tell them that you expect them to reply. What do you say?
A. Write back to me soon, please.
B. Please drop me a line soon.
C. l look forward to hearing from you soon.

7. In a letter you have written, you want the recipient to do something and are thanking them in advance of their action. What do you say?
A. Thank you for your attention in this matter.
B. Thanks for doing something about it.
C. I am gratified that you will take appropriate action.

8. The company you work for has received an order from another company and you are writing to them to acknowledge the order and let them know when you can deliver. What do you say?
A. About the order you sent on 12 January for...
B. I would like to remind you of the order you sent on 12 January for...
C. refer to your order of 12 January.

9. In a letter, you explain that the recipient can contact you if they want more information. What do you say?
A. Give me a call if you want some more information.
B. If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
C. If you would like any more information, why not get in touch?

10. You began a letter with the recipient's name (e.g., Dear Mr. Perrin). How do you end the letter?
A. Yours faithfully.
B. Yours sincerely.
C. Best wishes.

11. You did not begin the letter with the recipient's name (see number 1 above). How do you end the letter?
A. Yours faithfully.
B. Yours sincerely.
C. Best wishes.

IELTS Vocabulary

Complete these sentences with the most appropriate word or expression from A, B or C.

1.The two machines .......... considerably. One has an electric motor, the other runs on oil.
A. differ B. differentiate C. differential

2.The .......... in weather between the north and the south of the country is very noticeable.
A. comparison B. contrast C. compare

3.Many people cannot .......... between lemon juice and lime juice.
A. differ B. differentiate C. contrast

4.Children must be taught to .......... between right and wrong.
A. differ B. contrast C. distinguish

5.There is a .......... between being interested in politics and joining a political party.
A. distinguish B. distinctive C. distinction

6.Can you tell the .......... between a good boss and a bad one?
A. difference B. differentiate C. contrast

7.The management must not .......... between male and female applicants.
A. differ B. contrast C. discriminate

8.Asia covers a huge area. .......... Europe is very small.
A. By way of contrast B. By ways of comparing C. By similar means

9.The new model of car is very .......... to the old one.
A. same B. similar C. common

10.Her political opinions are .......... to mine.
A. same B. exactly C. identical

11.Some political parties have such similar manifestos that they are difficult to .......... .
A. tell apart B. say apart C. speak apart

12.My friends and I enjoy doing many of the same things. In that respect, we have a lot .......... .
A. in similar B. in particular C. in common

13.There seems to be a large .......... between the number of people employed in service industries, and those employed in the primary sector.
A. discriminate B. discretion C. discrepancy

14.British and Australian people share the same language, but in other respects they are as different as .......... .
A. cats and dogs B. chalk and cheese C. salt and pepper

15.Britain's economy is largely based on its industry, .......... a few hundred years ago it was an agrarian country.
A. wherefore B. whereas C. whereby

IELTS vocabulary

Word and Phrase Search

As we've covered a wide range of vocabulary I suggest you rake your brain and come up with answers to the following definitions:

1) to figure out where you are and where you're going
2) pay close attention to what is being said (2 var.)
3) make smth easier
4) completely removing yourself from a bad situation
5)to be infected with a disease or obsessed with a desire/idea to do smth
6) have complete control over smb
7) to start to successfully use the skills you've just learnt
8) a large building or group of buildings with thick stone walls, and often a moat (a medieval ______ )
9) a quilified person who teaches you how to drive
10) if you can't say what you mean because you can't remember the right words you're ______ _____ ______
11) if you successfully pass a test or exam with great ease, you pass it _____ _______ _______
12) do things in a completely new/different way

IELTS Vocabulary

Find the missing words to fill the gaps in these sentences. The first one is done for you as an example:

1 Less than 2% of the British labour force is employed on farms in agriculture.
2 In the autumn, at h .............. time, the c ...........s in the fields have to be gathered in and the fruit in the orchards has to be p ..............
3 In the Alps, cows are kept indoors in winter and spend the summer in the m ..........s.
4 The sport that involves chasing or shooting animals is called h .....................
5 P ............... is caused when waste products or p ............s contaminate the environment.
6 According to the weather f........., there will be sunny i.............s this morning.
7 In the early morning there may be thick f................ and motorists should drive slowly.
8 We couldn't see very far from the top of the hill because it was slightly ............y.
9 During the night t.................... will fall below freezing and there will be a f................
10 During the s.......... many trees were blown down.
1 1 Although it was really boiling in the sun, there was a light b ............... from the sea, which made it feel quite pleasant in the s .....................
12 Although the storm passed us by, we could hear the th.................... and see the 1 ..................... in the distance.
13 It's not going to rain all day, it's just a sh ..................... . We'll soon be able to go out.
14 The s ................ in the north of the country is spectacular with deep v.........s and high snow-capped peaks, but the c ............ tends to be cool and wet.
15 The west c ..................... of the country has high c.............s as well as sandy beaches.

IELTS Vocabulary

Nature and the Environment Vocabulary

Add THREE more items to each list. Use a dictionary if necessary. The first is done for you as an example:

1 Cereals: oats, rye, maize, barley, wheat
2 Fruit: grape, pear, peach,
3 Vegetables: spinach, radish, carrot,
4 Trees: pine, olive, oak,
5 Flowers: rose, daisy, carnation,
6 Wild animals (mammals): rabbit, tiger, whale,
7 Domestic animals: turkey, camel, goat,
8 Pets: parrot, goldfish,
9 Birds: sparrow, eagle, pigeon,
10 Young animals: puppy, calf, chick,
11 Reptiles: lizard, alligator,
12 Insects: butterfly, wasp, ant,
13 Fish: salmon, shark,
14 Other sea creatures: oyster, octopus, crab,

IELTS speaking general

Learning English or preparing yourself for ielts is not only through sticky book or reading journals or news only, you must read all content of English in all forms, because it will enhance your mind and vocabulary for English, for making prepare yourself for ielts or speaking english in general you must know some jokes and general conversation, because jokes and famous quotes click fast in your mind.

some nice jokes

A: Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?
B: Yes I am, I married the wrong woman.
A Scotsman who was driving home one night, ran into a car driven by an Englishman. The Scotsman got out of the car to apologize and offered the Englishman a drink from a bottle of whisky. The Englishman was glad to have a drink.
"Go on," said the Scot, "have another drink."
The Englishman drank gratefully. "But don't you want one, too?" he asked the Scotsman.
"Perhaps," replied the Scotsman, "after the police have gone."
If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day.
If you teach a man to fish, he can always eat.
If you give a man a fire, he's warm for a day.
If you light a man on fire, he is warm for the rest of his life.
A: Did you hear that a baby was fed on elephant's milk and gained twenty pounds in a week.
B: That's impossible. Whose baby?
A: An elephant's.
"Am I the first man you have ever loved?" he said.
"Of course," she answered "Why do men always ask the same question?".
When I was young I didn't like going to weddings.
My grandmother would tell me, "You're next"
However, she stopped doing that after I started saying the same thing to her at funerals.
A very drunk man comes out of the bar and sees another very drunk man.
He looks up in the sky and says, "Is that the sun or the moon?"
The other drunk man answers, "I don't know. I'm a stranger here myself."
An elementary school teacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school.

"If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I will promise not to believe everything your child says happens at home.
A: Doctor, will I be able to play the piano after the operation?
B: Yes, of course.
A: Great! I never could before!
Why couldn't Cinderella be a good soccer player?

She lost her shoe, she ran away from the ball, and her coach was a pumpkin.

(Requires basic knowledge of the Cinderella story and that both ball and coach have double meanings.)
Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an "I".
Student: I is the...
Teacher: Stop! Never put 'is' after an "I". Always put 'am' after an "I".
Student: OK. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
Two cows are standing in a field.
One says to the other "Are you worried about Mad Cow Disease?"
The other one says "No, It doesn't worry me, I'm a horse!"
Teacher: How can we get some clean water?
Innocent Student: Bring the water from the river and wash it with anti germs.
Q. What do you call a ginger bread man with one leg?
A. Limp Bizkit. (limp biscuit)
(Alternate: What do the British call a cookie that got wet?)
A guy says to his friend, "Guess how many coins I have in my pocket."
The friends says, "If I guess right, will you give me one of them?"
The first guys says, "If you guess right, I'll give you both of them!"
A: Meet my new born brother.
B: Oh, he is so handsome! What's his name?
A: I don't know. When I ask, i can't understand a word he says.
Q: What starts with E, ends with E and only has one letter?
A: An envelope.
Q: If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?
A: Wet.
Q: What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
A: A stick.
These need to be written.

Q: What do you call a pig with three eyes?
A: A piiig.

Q: What goes Oh, Oh, Oh?
A: Santa Claus walking backwards.
Q: What happens when "you" and "I" are gone?
A: Only 24 letters are left. (you=the letter "u" and I the letter "i".)
The teacher speaking to a student said, "Saud, name two pronouns."
Saud who suddenly woke up, said, "Who, me?"
Teacher: Today, we're going to talk about the tenses. Now, if I say "I am beautiful," which tense is it?
Student: Obviously it is the past tense.
Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building?
A: Yes, because the Empire State Building can't jump!

Monday, April 11, 2011

IELTS learn english

Business English Vocabulary

advertising - show your products to customers through radio, television or newspapers
"What is the best way for us to advertise our product?"

afford - able to buy, have enough money to buy
"Television is the best advertising, but the most expensive. Can we afford it?"

agenda - a detailed plan for a meeting.
"The first item on our agenda is advertising."

booming - business is growing very fast
"This year business is booming, so we can start thinking about increasing our investments."

borrow - getting money from someone else, or from a bank, which we must pay back later
"We need to borrow $100,000 to expand our business."

brand - the name of a well-known product (McDonald's, Coca Cola, Volkswagen, etc.)
"We'll need to borrow money for advertising, then we'll build our brand awareness."

break even - when our spending equals the amount we receive from sales
"The company didn't make money nor lose money during the last quarter. They just broke even."

bribe - secretly paying money to get special favors from a company or government official
"She was sent to prison for 30 years for trying to bribe a high official."

budget - a detailed plan for spending money
"The second item on our agenda is the budget. We need to pay special attention to advertising, marketing and building our sales staff. Oh, and we need to significantly increase our budget for English teachers!"

calculate - to count, add, subtract, multiply, divide numbers
"It's not hard to calculate - if we keep spending more money than we take in, we'll have to sell more!"

cancel - to decide NOT to buy something that you had agreed to before
"Before they cancel the order, find out what the problem is and fix it!"

capital - money
"If we had more capital to invest, we would build a new factory."

charge for - ask money for payment
"We never charge for repairs. Making sure our products work is included in the purchase price."

CEO - the top officer in a company, the chief executive officer
"How can we find a good CEO who knows how to run a business in today's business environment?"

CFO - the top financial officer in a company
"The CFO will be attending today's meeting to talk about fundamental accounting principles."

commission - a percentage of each sale that goes directly to the salesperson
"Our salespeople get 10% for each item sold, but that increases as he or she sells more."

competition - other companies that make the same product as yours
"We face tough competition, but our product has some important advantages."

consumption - the total amount of product bought in a market
"Although prices have fallen, overall consumption is higher, so we can still make money."

credit - when you buy first, but pay later
"You can buy this product on credit. The payment will be due in 90 days."

currency - the money of one country
"If you exhange currency in the airport, you'll pay a large commission. Go to a bank instead."

deadline - the time by which some project must be finished
"We have to finish this by Friday. That's the final deadline."

demand - the wish of customers to buy a product
"Until demand increases, we won't sell many of our most expensive products."

discount - a lower price
"If you buy more than 100 of these, we will give you a 10% discount".

distribution - getting the product to the final consumer, or customer
"Our distribution system needs to be improved if we are to meet increased demand."

diversify - start many new businesses instead of doing just one
"If we diversify, we can make more money, but sales of our main product may go down."

economics - the study of finance and money
"If you want to succeed in business, you should study economics."

employee - a worker
"Employees today need to learn so much to be able to move up in the company."

employer - the person who finds and pays workers
"My employer told me I have to work overtime or I'll lose my job!"

estimate - a guess about how much something will cost
"We estimate the new factory will cost less than 20 million euros."

export - to send goods out of a country
"As the local currency drops in value, our exports to that country also drop."

extend - to give more, especially a loan of money
"The bank said they cannot extend the deadline. We have to pay by Friday or face the consequences."

finance - the study of money and how to use money well
"After you study finance, you will know how to increase profits and limit losses."

fund - to provide money in general.
"The CFO said the company plans to fund 50% of the project. The rest will come from the government."

gross - amount of money received from sales
"We took in more than $100 million in gross sales last year.

import - to bring goods into a country
"When our currency is strong, we can import more goods into our own country."

incentive - a special price to get customers to buy
"By offering a 15% discount as an incentive, we'll attract many new customers."

income tax - money paid to the government, based on total money received
"I thought I made enough money last year, but after paying 25% income tax, I didn't have enough to buy that new house."

inflation - rising prices
"Rising energy prices have caused many other prices to increase. The rate of inflation has increased to 7%."

install - to put in and prepare for use, as with a machine
"If you buy now, we'll install this machine for free."

interest - extra money needed to pay back borrowed money
"When you pay back the 100,000 euros, you must also pay 10% interest, so the total will be 110,000 euros."

inventory - unsold items that you keep so that you can sell them in the future
"Our inventory is very low right now. We have to increase build up our inventory to meet demand in the coming year.

invest - spending money so that we can make more in the future
"If we invest so much money in a new factory, we won't have any money in our budget for new advertising."

invoice - a paper which explains what was sold and at what prices
"Look at the invoice. You charged us for repairs that you said were free!"

leadership - the skill of managing people
"He has natural leadership skills, so he will surely be successful."

lend - giving money to someone else, which they will pay back to us later
"When did you lend him the money? I lent it to him two months ago."

loss - when we spend more money than we receive from selling our product
"We took a loss last year, but this year we are spending less and selling more."

lucrative - the possibility of making a great amount of money
"This could be a very lucrative contract! Well make money for each sale as well as for each installation!"

maintain - keep a machine in good condition
"If you maintain this product, it will last for years."

management - the study of how to run a business and lead people
"I plan to study management before I open my own business."

memo - a paper with a message, sent to other people in the same company
"The CFO read the CEO's memo at the meeting, to remind the employees of the company's strategic goals."

monopoly - when only one company controls a whole market
"With this new product, we can break our competitor's monopoly."

negotiate - try to get a better price or make a better arrangement
"We negotiated for hours before they finally gave us a 20% discount."

net - the amount of money received from sales, after expenses are subtracted
"Our gross sales were very good, but we need to cut expenses to add to our net sales."

principal - the main part of a loan, before interest is added
"We can pay back the pincipal in 10 years, then we will only have to repay the interest."

process (verb) - get something ready.
"Please process his employement application, then send him to the accounting office."

profit - the money left over after all expenses are paid
"Our profits are lower this year, but at least we're not losing money!"

quarter - three months of the year, the usual time for planning and reporting financial reports
"Last quarter was our best ever, and I am confident next quarter will be even better."

recruit - search for and choose workers
"We'll need to recruit new employees before the factory starts operation."

refund - giving money back to the customer if there is a problem with the item you sell
"We cannot give you a refund after 90 days. Sorry!"

resign - quit a job suddenly
"Nobody knows why the CFO quit, but some people say he didn't get along with the CEO."

retail - selling to the final customer
"The retail price is 150 euros, but you can buy it for less if you bargain."

retire - finish work after a long career (at age 65 in the U.S., 60 in Japan, 55 in China...)
"I've saved enough money for my retirement, but if I want to retire to Hawaii, I have to save even more!"

sales tax - money paid to the government, based on sales made
"In most states in the U.S., sales tax is added on after the sale. It varies from state to state."

salary - a monthly or yearly pay to managers of important workers
"We will have a salary increase of 7% this year, just enough to keep up with inflation."

saturated - too many companies producing the same product
"The market for product A is already saturated. We need to diversify if we wish to increase our profits."

sluggish - when business is slow (opposite of "booming")
"In this sluggish economy, the best we can hope for is to break even."

supply - the total amount of a product available in a market
"The supply of computer parts is too high, so the price is falling fast."

target - the amount that you plan to sell in a month (also "quota")
"The salesman reached his target by the 24th. He'll get a larger commission on any sales after that."

tariff - a tax on imports from another country
"If the government puts a tariff on electronic products, sales will fall."

terms - the details of an agreement or contract
"The terms of this contract are quite good. I think we have a deal!"

trend - movement in one direction, especially about product becoming more and more popular
"The trend towards more colorful fashion is getting stronger. We need to develop new products."

unit cost - the average amount needed to produce a product
"If we can produce more of these, our unit price will fall, and we'll be able to make a better profit."

warranty - a promise that the things you sell will be of good quality
"This product has a one-year warranty, but if you pay a small fee, we can extend it to five years."

wholesale - selling to a salesman who will then sell to the final customer
"The wholesale price is generally 50% of the retail price."

Learn English Vocabulary

Learn English Vocabulary Through Jokes!

A businessman walked into a bank in San Francisco and asked for the loan officer. He told the officer that he is going to Europe on business for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000. The bank officer explained that the bank needed some kind of security for such a loan. So the businessman handed over the keys to a Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of the bank. Everything checked out, and the bank agreed to accept the car as collateral for the loan. A bank employee drove the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and parked it there.

Two weeks later, the businessman returned, repaid the $5,000 with interest, which came to $15.41. The loan officer said, "We are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow $5,000?" The businessman replied, "Where else in San Francisco can I park my car for two weeks for only 15 bucks?"

IELTS learning english

25 More English Idioms

26. all of a sudden means "unexpectedly", used to describe something that happens very quickly
Example: He had just gone to bed when all of a sudden the phone rang.

27. be all ears means "eager and ready to listen"
Example: Go ahead and speak. I'm all ears!

28. be fed up with means "to hate something now, even though I may have liked it before"
Example: I'm fed up with my job! I think I should start looking for a new one.

29. to bug means "to bother someone". (American English)
Example: Hey, stop tapping your fingers. It's really bugging me!

30. a cinch means something that is very easy to do
Example: I didn't think I could run five kilometers, but with the right preparation, it was a cinch.

31. cost an arm and a leg means "very expensive"
Example: I'd really like a new car, but they all cost an arm and a leg.

32. to cram means "to study hard a few days before a test"
Example: If you had studied hard for the past four months, you wouldn't have to cram so much this weekend.

33. fresh out of something means "to have no more of something"
Example: I have to go buy some more milk. It seems we're fresh out now.

34. to get it (often negative) means "to understand"
Example: What did the teacher say? I didn't get it. Did you?

35. got a minute? means "Do you have time right now?"
Example: Hey, Joe, got a minute? I have something to show you.

36. give someone a hand means "help someone"
Example: Could you give me a hand moving this table? It's quite heavy.

37. grab a bite to eat means "quickly go get something to eat"
Example: I'm going to go grab a bite. I'll be back in a few minutes.

38. drive someone up a wall (or "drive someone crazy") means "to make someone very angry"
Example: My neighbor practices the piano every night, but he's terrible. It's driving me up the wall!

39. to hang on means "to wait"
Example: Hang on a few minutes. I have to make a phone call and then I'll be able to join you for lunch.

40. hard headed means "stubborn" or "unwilling to change an opinion or idea
Example: I can't work with Joe any more. He's so hard headed!

41. have a change of heart means "change a previous decision"
Example: I thought I would change jobs, but now that my boss is treating me with more respect, I've had a change of heart.

42. have mixed feelings about something means "to be uncertain"
Example: I have mixed feelings about Joe. He's a very good teacher, but he has a very strange sense of humor!

43. head out for means "to start on a long trip" (but it could be within a big city)
Example: We're heading out for the countryside to pick some apples. Would you like to join us?

44. How come? means "Why?"
Example: How come we don't go to the movies any more? I guess we're too busy to enjoy ourselves these days.

45. keep in touch (or "stay in touch") means "do not stop communicating - send letters or call sometimes"
Example: Don't forget to keep in touch. I want to know how you're doing while you're away.

46. be kidding means "to joke or tease someone in a playful way"
Example: No, I don't really have three wives - I was just kidding!

47. look down on means "think somone or something is not good enough"
Example: We shouldn't look down on people just because they don't have as much money as we do.

48. make ends meet (often used negatively) means "to have enough money to buy everything we need"
Example: Even though I make more money than last year, we just can't seem to make ends meet.

49. miss the boat means "to miss an opportunity"
Example: The sale ends today at noon. If we don't hurry, we're going to miss the boat!

50. next to nothing means "to cost very little"
Example: I went to the new discount store and bought these new shoes for only five dollars. That's next to nothing!

IELTS learn english

25 Common English Idioms

English Expression 1. as easy as pie means "very easy" (same as "a piece of cake")
Example: He said it is a difficult problem, but I don't agree. It seems as easy as pie to me!

English Expression 2. be sick and tired of means "I hate" (also "can't stand")
Example: I'm sick and tired of doing nothing but work. Let's go out tonight and have fun.

English Expression 3. bend over backwards means "try very hard" (maybe too much!)
Example: He bent over backwards to please his new wife, but she never seemed satisfied.

English Expression 4. bite off more than one can chew means "take responsibility for more than one can manage"
Example: John is so far behind in his studies. Besides classes, he plays sports and works at a part-time job. It seems he has bitten off more than he can chew.

English Expression 5. broke means "to have no money"
Example: I have to borrow some money from my Dad. Right now, I'm broke.

English Expression 6. change one's mind means "decide to do something different from what had been decided earlier"
Example: I was planning to work late tonight, but I changed my mind. I'll do extra work on the weekend instead.

English Expression 7. Cut it out! means "stop doing something bad"
Example: That noise is really annoying. Cut it out!

English Expression 8. drop someone a line means "send a letter or email to someone"
Example: It was good to meet you and I hope we can see each other again. Drop me a line when you have time.

English Expression 9. figure something out means "come to understand a problem"
Example: I don't understand how to do this problem. Take a look at it. Maybe you can figure it out.

English Expression 10. fill in for someone means "do their work while they are away"
Example: While I was away from the store, my brother filled in for me.

English Expression 11. in ages means "for a very long time"
Example: Have you seen Joe recently? I haven't seen him in ages.

English Expression 12. give someone a hand means "help"
Example: I want to move this desk to the next room. Can you give me a hand?

English Expression 13. hit the hay means "go to bed" (also "hit the sack")
Example: It's after 12 o'clock. I think it's time to hit the hay.

English Expression 14. in the black means "the business is making money, it is profitable"
Example: Our business is really improving. We've been in the black all year.

English Expression 15. in the red means "the business is losing money, it is unprofitable"
Example: Business is really going poorly these days. We've been in the red for the past three months.

English Expression 16. in the nick of time means "not too late, but very close!"
Example: I got to the drugstore just in the nick of time. It's a good thing, because I really need this medicine!

English Expression 17. keep one's chin up means "remain brave and keep on trying"
Example: I know things have been difficult for you recently, but keep your chin up. It will get better soon.

English Expression 18. know something like the back of your hand means "know something very, very well"

Example: If you get lost, just ask me for directions. I know this part of town like the back of my hand

English Expression 19. once in a while means "sometimes, not very often"
Example: Have you been to the new movie theater? No, only see movies once in a while. I usually stay home and watch TV.

English Expression 20. sharp means "exactly at a that time"
Example: I'll meet you at 9 o'clock sharp. If you're late, we'll be in trouble!

English Expression 21. sleep on it means "think about something before making a decision"
Example: That sounds like a good deal, but I'd like to sleep on it before I give you my final decision.

English Expression 22. take it easy means "relax"
Example: I don't have any special plans for the summer. I think I'll just take it easy.

English Expression 23. to get the ball rolling means "start something, especially something big"

Example: We need to get this project started as soon as possible. I'm hoping you will help me get the ball rolling.

English Expression 24. up to the minute means "the most recent information"
Example: I wish I knew more about what is happening in the capital city. We need more up to the minute news.

English Expression 25. twenty-four/seven means "every minute of every day, all the time"
Example: You can access our web site 24/7. It's very convenient!

IELTS Speaking Interview

Strategies for the IELTS Speaking Test

The questions are easy, so the examiner cannot be sure of your level from only Part 1. You can give very easy answers, but this is a chance to make a good impression. If you give easy answers, the examiner will not know if you are Band 4 or maybe Band 5. If you give good, specific answers with explanations, the examiner will think you could be Band 6 or Band 7!

You can use this time to practice making good sentences. If you wait until Part 2 and Part 3 to give longer answers, you might not do so well. Athletes and musicians always take time to warm up. You should too!

Part 2 - the "Long Turn"

The biggest mistake students make is to not take notes. The examiner will give you a piece of paper and a pencil to take notes because speaking for two minutes without stopping is not easy. Even native English speakers will have trouble speaking for two minutes! Students who don't take notes often say, "Uh, I think maybe, um.... Um..., well... It seems to me...". "Uh" and "Um" are Band ZERO! Use notes to help you remember what you want to say. If not, you WILL get a low score.

Use the P.R.E.P. method. Start with "P" - make one sentence about your main Point. Then give two or three sentences to provide "R", a Reason. Next give "E", an Example. Describe the example using two or three sentences. Finish by repeating "P", your main Point, but use a different sentence. If you have extra time, give a second example.

You must practice! Use a watch and give yourself one minute to take notes on a topic, then two minutes to make four or five sentences using the PREP method. You should practice one or two topics every day before the test.

Do not worry about the time. That is the examiner's job. He or she will tell you when to stop.

Part 3 - General Questions

Part 3 is the hardest part of the Speaking Test and it comes very fast. Most students aren't ready. When you hear the examiner say "And now I'd like to ask you some more GENERAL questions RELATED to your Part 2 topic", you know Part 3 is starting. Be ready!

Do NOT take so much time. Two sentences for each answer is usually enough. If you have a long introduction, the examiner will think you don't know how to answer the question.

Use the General-Specific technique. As soon as you hear the question, give a general opinion about the topic. Then give a specific reason or example in the next sentence or two.

IELTS speaking interview

Example IELTS Interview Questions

Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking exam is an interview, consisting of 'getting-to-know-you' questions. Here are some sample questions to give you an idea of what happens in the IELTS interview.

* What's your name?
* Where are you from?
* Where do you live?
* Do you like living there?

Let's move on to work

* What job would you like to do?
* Why does this job interest you?
* What skills do you need for this job?

Let's talk about food

* What do you like to eat?
* Do you try to eat a healthy diet?
* Do you often go out to restaurants?

Part I Interview: Giving Full Answers

Impress the examiner with your ability to give full answers to his or her questions. To avoid simple yes or no answers or short responses generally, try using our REDS method to add detail to your initial response:

* Give a Reason
* Offer an Example.
* Give Detail
* Speculate

Part I Interview: REDS in Action

Question: What job would you like to do?
Answer (Reason): I've always wanted to be a vet. I love animals and I think it would be a very rewarding job.

Question: What skills do you need for this job?
Answer (Example): I think you need to be sensitive to people's feelings. If you're dealing with their sick of injured pets you need to be honest but also appreciate how they might be feeling.

Question: Where do you come from?
Answer (Detail): I come from Braga in Portugal. It's well known as a religious centre and has lots of beautiful buildings, both new and old.

Question: Do you often go out to restaurants?
Answer (Speculate): Unfortunately, since I had my baby, no. If I had the chance I'd really like to eat out more often, especially in Thai or Vietnamese restaurants.
Part I Interview: Over to You

Now you try using the REDS method with these question:

Let's talk about travel

* Do you like to travel?
* What's your favourite way of travelling?
* Have you got a holiday planned?

Let's talk about hobbies

* Have you got any hobbies or interests?
* What do you do in your spare time?
* Is there anything you haven't yet done that you'd really like to try?

Let's talk about food

* What do you like to eat?
* Do you try to eat a healthy diet?
* Do you often go out to restaurants?