Sunday, 30 September 2012

Vocabulary - remember, recall, remind etc.

To remember = to bring something to mind e.g. They always remember my birthday.

Remembrance = to recall an event in a serious context e.g. The remembrance service is held every July.

To recollect/recollection = to remember something by making an effort e.g. I can’t recollect if he was wearing a seat belt that day.

To recall = to bring a memory or event back to mind, particularly when telling it to others e.g. I recall him telling the team that he would never let them down.

To remind = to help someone remember something important e.g. Can you please remind me to take my pills for my blood pressure?

Memory = the ability to remember things e.g. I’ve got such a good memory, that’s why I do so well in exams!

To reminisce/reminiscence = a pleasurable memory of the past e.g. She often reminisces of her student days.

Phrasal Verbs with ‘throw’

Throw something away/out = to get rid of something you don’t want/need e.g. I threw the milk away as it had expired.

Throw something away = to waste a skill/opportunity e.g. I think she’s throwing away her artistic talent by becoming a lawyer.

Throw something in = to not charge extra for giving someone an additional product e.g. I’ll throw in a free towel if you buy a set of linen.

Throw something in = to suddenly add a remark without careful thought e.g. They threw in a comment that my boyfriend wasn’t suitable.

Throw yourself into something = to start doing something with a lot of energy/enthusiasm e.g. We threw ourselves into learning Chinese.

Throw someone into somewhere = to force someone to go to prison e.g. We were thrown into prison for demonstrating against the government’s austerity measures.

Throw someone out = to force someone to leave a school/university/organisation/house e.g. She was thrown out of school for her bad behaviour.

Throw on/off something = to remove/put on clothing carelessly e.g. He threw on his jacket and ran outside to catch the bus.

Throw something together = to make/arrange something quickly using what is available e.g. They paid us a surprise visit and we had to throw a meal together fast.

Thrown together = when a situation enables people to meet/get to know each other e.g. We were thrown together at a wedding and have become good friends.

Throw something up = to vomit e.g. He ate too much at dinner and threw it all up.

Throw something up = to suddenly lift your arms in surprise or because you are upset e.g. They threw their arms up in despair when the panel said they didn’t go through to the next round.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'move'

Move ahead = to start/continue with a plan e.g. The local government is moving ahead with the park in King Street.

Move someone along = when a person in authority asks you to leave a place e.g. You can’t sleep on the bench, move along please.

Move something along = to develop in a satisfactory way e.g. Our wedding plans are moving along nicely.

Move away = to go live in another place e.g. I was so upset when my best friend moved away.

Move in = to start living in a new house/area e.g. Have your new neighbours moved in?

Move in with someone = to start living with your partner e.g. Sally moved in with Harry two years after they met.

Move out = to stop living in a certain house e.g. She moved out of her mother’s flat once she started her studies.

Move on = to leave where you have been staying and go elsewhere e.g. I’ve had enough of Vancouver and I think it’s time for me to move on.

Move on = to become better/more advanced e.g. Technology has moved on since the days of the desktop.

Move someone down/up = to be placed in a lower/higher class or level e.g. Students with learning difficulties are being moved down a grade.

Move over/up = to make space for someone to sit/stand e.g. Can you move over so that my grandmother can sit down?

Move over = to be involved in a new job that is similar to your previous work e.g. I started editing for a newspaper then moved over to a magazine.

Move towards something = to have almost achieved your aim e.g. We are moving towards a settlement.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'turn'

Turn something around = to change an unsuccessful business/system into a successful one. e.g. The new manager was able to turn the company around and we are making a profit now.

Turn something around = to change someone’s words/meaning e.g. I didn’t actually say that. He turned my words around.

Turn around = to move so that you are facing another direction. e.g. Turn around so I can see how short she cut your hair at the back.

Turn someone away = to refuse entry to someone due to lack of space e.g. We arrived at the restaurant when it was full and they turned us away.

Turn someone away = to refuse to help e.g. He came to ask me for money and I turned him away.

Turn back = to change your plans e.g. There is no turning back now. We signed the contract.

Turn someone/something down = to refuse an offer/request e.g. I had to turn that job down as the salary they were offering wasn’t good enough.

Turn something down = to reduce the volume/heat e.g. I think the rice is almost ready. Can you please turn down the flame?

Turn someone in/over = to take a criminal to the police e.g. They turned themselves in after six months as they were tired of being on the run.

Turn someone/something into someone/something = to change and become different e.g. At midnight Cinderella turned into a poor girl again.

Turn something off/on = to make a machine stop/start working e.g. Can you turn off the lights when you leave the office?

Turn off something = to leave a road you are driving on e.g. You need to turn off the main road once you drive past the supermarket.

Turn someone off/on something = to make someone not interested/interested in something e.g. My maths teacher completely turned me off the subject.

Turn out = to happen in a certain way e.g. My shopping trip to Dubai turned out just as I had expected.

Turn something out = to produce a product e.g. We turn out about 2.000 mobile phones a month.

Turn to someone = to ask for help/advice/sympathy e.g. Whenever I have a problem I turn to my parents.

Turn something up = to increase the amount e.g. Can you turn up the volume? I can’t hear very well.

Turn up = to arrive e.g. We turned up at 8pm.

Turn up = an unexpected opportunity e.g. I needed a part-time job and luckily this opening turned up.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'pick'

Pick at something = to eat a small amount as you aren’t hungry e.g. He didn’t eat much. He just picked at his salad as he’d eaten steak earlier.

Pick on someone = to bully/criticise a weaker person e.g. They used to pick on me when I was younger because I liked to read a lot.

Pick out someone/something = to choose a person/thing from a group e.g. We picked out 10 people to go to the semi-finals.

Pick up = to lift e.g. I couldn’t pick up my child as I had a sore back.

Pick up = to collect a person/thing e.g. Can you pick up some milk on the way back?

Pick something up = to buy cheaply e.g. I picked this pair of shoes up at the mall for 10 dollars.

Pick something up = to start speaking/behaving in a certain way after spending time somewhere. e.g. I picked up the local dialect after a year of working there.

Pick something up = to get an infectious illness e.g. My child picked up a cold from someone in her class.

Pick something up = to get a signal/radio programme e.g. It isn’t very easy to pick up the BBC in my city.

Pick something up = to notice a mistake in a piece of writing e.g. I picked up a spelling mistake on page 3.

Pick something up = to re-start from the point you stopped e.g. Let’s pick up from where we left off last week.

Pick someone up = to put someone in your vehicle e.g. We picked him up and took him to the nearest garage to get a new tyre.

Pick someone up = to arrest someone e.g. The police went to the house party and picked up the owner for questioning.

Pick up = to improve e.g. Business has finally picked up after the recession.

Pick up = to answer the phone e.g. No-one is picking up and I’ve tried calling several times.

Pick up = to become stronger e.g. When we hit the highway we picked up speed.

Pick up after someone = to tidy up e.g. His room is such a mess and his mother has to pick up after him.

Pick up on something = to notice something that others haven’t e.g. Did you pick up on Deepak’s subtle comment?

Pick up on something = to discuss something in detail that someone has mentioned before e.g. I would like to pick up on what the committee said about the rent.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'live'

Live by something = to follow certain rules or beliefs e.g. I would never do that as I live by the law.

Live something down = to wait for people to forget about something embarrassing e.g. He’s never going to let me live down the day that I fell into the pool.

Live for something/someone = to believe something/someone is the most important thing e.g. I eat chocolate every day. I live for it.

Live off/on something = to eat only a certain type of food e.g. When I was at university I lived off jacket potatoes.

Live off/on something/someone = to use a supply of money/another person for daily necessities e.g. We are living off our parents as we are both unemployed at the moment.

Live on = to continue to exist e.g. The memory of Whitney Houston still lives on.

Live out something = to stay in a certain place/condition until you die e.g. They decided to live out the rest of their lives in the country they grew up in.

Live out something = to experience a fantasy/ambition e.g. During Halloween we live out our fantasy of being vampires.

Live out = to not live in the place you study/work e.g. We couldn’t find a room in the university hall so we had to live out.

Live through something = to experience a difficult situation e.g. Our grandparents lived through the depression.

Live together/with someone = a couple lives in the same house without being married. e.g. We lived together for three years before we got married.

Live it up = to do exciting/enjoyable things e.g. We spent one month in Shanghai living it up.

Live with something = to continue your live with a difficult/unpleasant situation e.g. Unfortunately, she takes pills and has to live with high blood pressure.

Live up to something = to fulfil people’s expectations/a certain standard e.g. The hotel was excellent and lived up to my expectations.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'pull'

Pull someone apart = to separate people who are fighting e.g. The bodyguards pulled the two men apart and told them to leave the restaurant.

Pull something apart = to say that a piece of writing is bad e.g. My tutor pulled my essay apart and told me I had to re-do it.

Pull something down = to destroy a building e.g. They pulled down the abandoned house and are building a car park there.

Pull someone in = to take someone to the police station e.g. The police pulled him in and asked where he’d been the previous night.

Pull someone in = when many people go to a show. e.g. Bon Jovi concerts pull in a big crowd.

Pull into a place = a train arrives at a station e.g. The train pulled in on platform 10 on time.

Pull something off = to succeed in doing something difficult e.g. Can you believe she actually pulled it off and passed her driving test?

Pull through = to recover/help someone recover from a serious illness e.g. Don’t worry. I have a feeling she will pull through.

Pull off = when a car leaves a main road e.g. Pull off here and take that turning to the right.

Pull out = to stop being involved in an activity/agreement e.g. The Chinese badminton players pulled out of the games.

Pull over = when a car is driven to the side of the road in order to stop e.g. Pull over! I don’t feel well.

Pull someone over = the police asks you to stop driving e.g. The police pulled me over and asked to see my driving license.

Pull yourself together = to become calm after being angry/upset e.g. You need to pull yourself together! You can’t go around shouting like a mad man.

Pull up something = to move a chair close to someone e.g. Pull up a chair and join the discussion.

Natural landscape

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'sit'

Sit around = to spend time doing very little e.g. This whole week they just sat around doing nothing.

Sit back = to relax in a chair e.g. When he comes home from work, he sits back and watches TV.

Sit back = to wait for something to happen without doing anything e.g. You need to go out. You can’t just sit back and expect someone to come into your life.

Sit by = to fail to take action to stop something wrong happening e.g. They just sat by and watched the large supermarket chain coming into the market.

Sit down = to discuss a subject for a long time e.g. We need to sit down and discuss the arrangements.

Sit in = to be present in a meeting/class without taking part e.g. You don’t need to say anything during the meeting. After all, you are just sitting in.

Sit in for someone = to substitute someone while they are absent e.g. Michelle is away, so Patricia is sitting in for her.

Sit on something = to be on a committee, panel, board etc. e.g. She sits on the Parents Teachers Association.

Sit on something = to delay dealing with something e.g. He hasn’t answered our email yet. I don’t know why he’s still sitting on it.

Sit out something = to be unable to take part in a sport due to injury e.g. She had to sit out the final match because of her injury.

Sit something out = to wait for something unpleasant to be over before taking action e.g. We’ll have to sit out the crisis and then open our new store.

Sit over something = to eat or drink in a relaxed way e.g. Why don’t we sit over a drink and watch the sunset.

Sit through something = to listen/watch something long/boring e.g. The new director spoke for 3 hours and we had to sit through his dull speech.

Sit up = to stay awake late e.g. We sat up until 3am talking about our primary school.

Sit up = to get someone’s attention e.g. As soon as I mentioned chocolate, she sat up!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

 Many countries are experiencing serious problems with their environment, with pollution of their land, water and air.

What are these problems and how might they be reduced?

The level of pollution that plagues the world today is a topic that is discussed by many governments. Similarly ways of tackling these problems are at the top of the agenda.

Pollution is brought about by human activity and the areas most affected are land, water and air. Fumes from cars and factories dirty the air and lead to health problems for citizens and global warming, melting ice caps etc. Deforestation and soil erosion contribute to land pollution as does dumping rubbish in landfill sites. This has an impact on harvests and provides little protection against harsh weather conditions. Finally, industries and household waste may contaminate rivers and seas. This reduces the amount of clean water used for irrigation, drinking water and household use.

Action need to be taken on an individual level by consuming less, thus reducing the amount of waste produced and re-cycling more. The government needs to encourage alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind energy in order to reduce the dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. Industries could be fined heavily for polluting the atmosphere or failing to produce products that are not biodegradable. Alternatively, subsidies could be provided to people who chose to use other environmentally friendly energy sources.

Summing up, we have destroyed our natural environment by waste disposal and industrialisation making it unsafe to live it and destroying valuable ecosystems. If we don’t re-cycle or use alternative methods of energy it will be too late to save the earth.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.96

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Some people believe it is better for governments to spend any available money for sports on providing facilities for the general population. Others believe that instead they should invest in training top athletes to win major competitions.

Discuss both points of view and give your own opinion.

Governments usually allocate a portion of their budget to providing sports facilities such as stadiums in order for citizens to keep fit and healthy or for star athletes to train under the appropriate conditions in order to excel in important events.

The general public needs facilities for exercising and this ensures a healthy, happy, productive workforce. It is therefore the government’s responsibility to provide these services for free or at a low cost to keep its citizens fit, particularly the elderly, those with health problems and the obese. In doing so, the government will be helping a large number of people and not will not be regarded as being elitist by training top athletes only.

On the other hand, a country prides itself on its ability to thrive in competitions, for example by winning gold medals in the Olympic Games. In order to perform according to their best ability, athletes should have the necessary facilities. Countries that look after their athletes, like the USA, often have the corresponding facilities to train their sportspeople. Similarly, poorer countries that have not invested in sports infrastructure for their athletes are likely to not do well in the medal count.

In my opinion it is fairer to not discriminate between people and for the government to focus on spending money on the general public’s well-being. More people will benefit in this way. If the facilities provided are of a high quality, then top athletes will also be able to use them. What is more, taking part in a competition should be valued more that coming first.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.58

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The flow chart shows the reasons why people move from the countryside to the city and the subsequent results of this shift.

Environmental and human factors cause people to gravitate towards cities. People expect to find more money and enjoy a better lifestyle if they live in cities. Poor harvests brought about by climate change because of the excessive use of fossil fuels also contributes to the drift towards the city.

Once in cities, people face many challenges including overcrowding, limited jobs, substandard housing and unequal distribution of genders. These drawbacks have an impact on a person’s health such as the outbreak of diseases as well as social problems due to the differences that exist between the city and rural areas.

To conclude, although people move to urban areas because they seek a comfortable life or they are forced off their land by poor harvests, the life they lead there in not as expected resulting in illness and social problems.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.94

Monday, 17 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'put'

Put something across = to explain clearly e.g. They put the point across clearly so everyone in the room understood it.

Put something aside/put away = to save money for a specific purpose e.g. It’s a good idea to put money aside for your children’s studies.

Put something aside = to save for later use e.g. You don’t have to cook all the meat, put some aside for tomorrow.

Put something away = to store in a place where it is usually kept e.g. Can you put the cups away?

Put something away = to eat/drink a lot e.g. He put away quite a lot of cake at the party.

Put someone away = to send to prison/psychiatric ward e.g. After the robbery, he was put away for 15 years.

Put something back = to return it to its position e.g. When you finish reading the newspaper please put it back on the table.

Put something back/forward = to postpone something/make it earlier than planned e.g. They couldn’t see us on the 10th so they put the meeting back to the 15th.

Put something back/forward = to make a watch/clock show an earlier/later time e.g. When we land in Shanghai remember to put the time back.

Put something before someone = regard something as important e.g. I always put my family before my career.

Put something behind someone = to forget a bad experience e.g. It’s time to put your break-up behind you and start dating again.

Put someone down = to make someone feel unimportant through criticism. e.g. Have you noticed how he’s always putting her down.

Put something down = to pay part of the total cost e.g. If you want to rent this flat, you need to put a deposit down.

Put something down = to kill an old/ill animal e.g. After our horse broke its leg we had to put it down.

Put something down = to write something e.g. If you put your thoughts down you will feel much better.

Put something down to something = to believe a bad experience/problem is caused by something else. e.g. He put his inability to drive down to his short temper.

Put something forward = to provide an idea/opinion/plan e.g. He put the marketing plan forward so that the team could discuss it.

Put someone forward = officially suggest someone for a job e.g. Our manager put my name forward for the new position.

Put something in = make an official request e.g. I’ve put my leave in for August.

Put something into doing something = spend a lot of time and effort on something e.g. I’ve put a lot of time into learning Chinese.

Put something off = to postpone e.g. We’ve put the meeting off and have re-scheduled for the 8th.

Put someone off = to make someone not like someone/something e.g. Ever since I saw that cockroach in the restaurant, I’ve been put off eating there.

Put someone off = to make someone unable to continue what they are doing e.g. I can’t focus on my work. You are putting me off. Can you please play that music elsewhere?

Put something on = to wear e.g. The sun is hot, put on a hat.

Put something on = to pretend e.g. She’s putting on the act of being sensitive.

Put something on = to organise a show/competition/play e.g. The school is putting on a play at the end of term.

Put something on = to become heavier e.g. Ever since I came to America I’ve put on 10kg.

Put something on = to start cooking e.g. Once you put the pasta on, you can then start making the sauce.

Put someone on = to give someone the telephone e.g. I want to speak to Chris, can you put him on please?

Put someone through = to connect callers e.g. Let me put you through to our manager.

Put someone on something = to take medication/food e.g. Because of his high blood pressure he’s been put on medication.

Put something out = to stop burning e.g. Put your cigarette out. Smoking isn’t allowed here.

Put something out = to make information available to the public e.g. The company put out a press release advertising its new product.

Put something/someone through something = to test e.g. We have to put you through an IQ test.

Put someone through something = to pay for someone to study e.g. My parents put me through university.

Put something together = to join parts of something e.g. We spend Sunday afternoon putting the puzzle together.

Put something up = to build e.g. We put a wall up in the living room.

Put up something = to oppose/fight against e.g. That fish put up quite a fight before we managed to catch it.

Put someone up = to let someone stay in your home e.g. We’re putting the exchange students up for 2 weeks.

Put someone up to something = to encourage someone to do something stupid/wrong e.g. He told the police that Brian had put him up to spraying the school wall with paint.

Put up with someone/something = to tolerate something unpleasant e.g. She puts up with his anti-social behaviour because she is in love with him.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'run'

Run across/into someone = to meet someone unexpectedly e.g. Guess who I ran across/into today?

Run after = to chase e.g. I had to run after the bus today as it arrived early.

Run along = said to children to tell them to go away e.g. Run along, we are have some serious talking to do here.

Run around = busy with many different things e.g. I’ve got to run around this morning for the wedding preparations.

Run away/off = to leave by running e.g. As soon as they saw the car owner they ran away/off.

Run away = to secretly leave as you are unhappy e.g. He ran away from home when he was fifteen.

Run off = to secretly or suddenly leave forever e.g. I came home one day and found that my husband had run off.

Run away/off with something = to steal e.g. They ran away with the money.

Run away with something = imagination, emotions, enthusiasm makes someone do silly things e.g. When he thinks of success, his imagination runs away, and he thinks he will be as famous as Justin Bieber.

Run away from = to avoid e.g. I wish he would face his problems instead of running away from them.

Run away with someone = to secretly leave in order to live/marry someone e.g. Her parents didn’t like him so she ran away with him and now they are happily married.

Run something by someone = to repeat something e.g. Let me run by the proposal to you again and you can tell me what you think about it.

Run down = to lose power e.g. My mobile phone battery is running down, I need to re-charge it.

Run for something = to try to get elected e.g. Obama is running for President again.

Run into something = to experience difficulties e.g. When we first opened up the company, we ran into many problems.

Run into something = to accidently hit something while driving e.g. He fell asleep on the wheel and ran into a tree.

Run off/on something = to use a supply of power e.g. The advantage is that it doesn’t run off/on electricity but uses solar power instead.

Run something off = to print/photocopy e.g. Can you run off 30 copies of this memo?

Run on = to continue for longer than expected e.g. Sorry I’m late. The concert ran on until 3am.

Run out = to have nothing left e.g. I’m sorry we’ve run out of orange juice, would you like something else?

Run out = to reach an expiry date e.g. My house contract is running out so I’m looking for a new place.

Run through something = to explain/read something quickly to someone e.g. Let me just run through the reservation list to see which table is yours.

Run to someone = to ask someone to help/protect you. e.g. Whenever she spends all her salary she runs back to her parents for more money.

Run up to = to run to where a person is e.g. After the show, my daughter ran up to me on the stage and brought me flowers.

Run up something = to owe lots of money e.g. She went shopping every day while on holiday and ran up quite a large sum.

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Mobile telephones have brought many benefits but they have also had negative effects.  Do the advantages of having mobile phones outweigh the disadvantages?

Very few people are without a mobile phone today and owning a cell phone begins at a much younger age than it used to in the past. Initially, bulky models were used for emergency purposes only but current phones operate like computers and have many useful features.

Firstly, mobile phones allow us to communicate with our loved ones at all times via calls, text messages, social network sites, emails or live with programmes like Skype. They are extremely useful for business purposes as you are constantly in touch with clients and can be updated on any important developments instantly and worldwide. In addition, phones of today have many extras like maps, gps systems, access to search engines etc. that make your life stress free because you can have endless information at your fingertips. Mobiles are also entertaining, having music, films, games etc.

However, a mobile phone means you can be reached at any hour and you are forced to respond to calls, missed calls, emails etc. Your private and work lives are merged together and it seems that you are working constantly. Furthermore, people have come to rely too much on their phones usually at the expense of face-to-face communication. There is also a belief that mobiles carry health risks such as cancer if they are overused without headphones.

I think many people would agree that a mobile phone is a necessity these days but should be used in moderation. Without a phone you would be unable to stay ahead in terms of business or keep in touch with family and friends.

Question taken from Skills for IELTS Foundation p.80

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Phrasal Verbs with 'let'

Let someone down = to disappoint someone by not keeping a promise e.g. I expected her to be at the wedding but she let me down.

Let someone in/out = to let someone in/out a room e.g. You shouldn’t let anyone in after 12pm because you never know who it might be.

Let someone in for something = to make someone involved in a difficult/unpleasant situation e.g. I don’t think you know what you are letting yourself into by accepting that job offer - there are many deadlines.

Let someone in on something = to tell someone a secret e.g. Very few people knew about the promotion but the manager let me in on it.

Let someone off = to not punish someone who has done something wrong or to punish someone lightly e.g. He should have been put in jail for life. I can’t believe they let him off with 10 years only.

Let someone off something = to allow someone not to do an unpleasant job e.g. You don’t have to clean the bathroom today, I will let you off.

Let on = to tell someone about something which was meant to be a secret e.g. He let on that he was going to propose to his girlfriend.

Let out something = to rent out a room/building to someone e.g. I’m moving in with my boyfriend so I’m letting out my old apartment.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The pie charts show the factors contributing most to happiness for those under and over 30 years of age.

Almost a third of those under 30 are fulfilled when they perform well at work. 22% of these people are happy when they are engaged in their hobbies whilst 4% less consider having a good appearance as being important. Travelling and other factors have almost the same percentage.

Similarly, those over 30 value their careers and this makes 32% of them happy. Hobbies are more important for the 30 plus group reaching 24%. Similarly spending time with family members and other factors combine to form 24%. Finally, financial security accounts for 20% of this age group’s happiness.

To sum up, people of all ages value achievement at work the most and emphasis is also placed on leisure time activities. Happiness for the over 30’s comes in the form of being with the family and financial security whilst the younger age group are concerned about travelling and their image.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.116

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The line graph shows how many members of a sports club are active in four different types of sports activities between 1995 until now.

To begin with, 300 members were engaged in racquet sports in 1990 and this number was reduced by half in the time period under consideration. In 1990, there were 250 swimmers in the club and this number remained constant throughout, except in the year 2000 when 20 more members took up swimming. Although fitness classes were not very popular in 1990 with 120 members enrolling, this number doubled steadily to reach 220 members in the present day. Similarly circuit training doubled from around 150 members at the beginning of the time period to 300 currently.

To conclude, the members in fitness classes and circuit training at the Santon Sports Club increased, fewer members took up racket sports while swimming membership remained unchanged. In addition, today circuit training has the most members.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for Ielts Foundation p.55

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The diagrams show changes to a university campus between 1985 and the present day.

The diagrams make a comparison between a university campus in 1985 and the appearance this campus has today.

In 1985 the three science blocks (physics, chemistry and biology) are in different buildings but in the present day these are combined into a science zone in the form of laboratories. The library is maintained in the same place, to the north west of the campus, however this building becomes larger and includes an IT centre. Similarly the administration building can be found in the south east of the campus but currently it has been reduced in size.

There were two car parks in 1985, one to the south west and the other was located between the Chemistry and Biology block. In addition, a road ran between the car park and the administration building. Both the car parks have been removed and have been replaced by a lecture theatre and a shuttle bus terminal. Footpaths now connect the buildings as well as the bus terminal. Finally, the centre of the campus is covered in greenery.

To sum up, the present campus has become compact with many building merging together. Parking areas have been replaced by a single bus terminal, footpaths and the campus is greener now.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.79

Phrasal Verbs with 'play'

Play around/about = to behave in a silly way e.g. Stop playing around, you need to be serious about this.

Play up = to behave in a childish way e.g. The children are playing up so we need to leave right now.

Play around/about with something = to experiment with ways of doing something before making a decision e.g. We should play around with different concepts before showing them to the client.

Play along = to pretend to agree with someone e.g. I didn’t believe what he was saying but I just played along so I could leave early.

Play at something = to pretend to be someone as a game e.g. I remember when I was young I use to play at being an architect with my friends.

Play something back = to re-listen or re-watch e.g. I was talking on the phone can you play that bit back again because I missed it.

Play something down = to try to make people believe something is less important e.g. Even though she was promoted, she’s playing down her position.

Play someone off against someone = to try and gain an advantage by making two people/groups compete e.g. I think the best way to get a good deal is to play our competitors off with each other.

Play on something = to use someone’s weaknesses/fears to gain an advantage e.g. He plays on her insecurities of being alone and really treats her badly.

Played out = to happen e.g. You should have seen how the competition played out. It was so exciting.

Play up = to cause pain e.g. My knee is playing up again.

Play up something = to emphasise a quality too much e.g. I’m going to play up my work experience so that I can get the job.

Play up to someone = to behave in a way so as to make someone like you e.g. I hate the way he plays up to the boss just so that he can get a promotion.

Play with something = to consider an idea but to not do it e.g. I played with the idea of cycling around the world but I didn’t do it in the end.

Play with someone = pretend to love someone e.g. I have a feeling she doesn’t really care about him and that she’s just playing with him.

Play with something = keep moving something because of boredom e.g. Can you please stop playing with that pen and listen to what I’m saying?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

to type, a typewriter

Phrasal Verbs with 'work'

Work against someone/something = to make it harder for someone/something to achieve what they want e.g. We don’t have much time, we are working against the clock.

Work around something = to prevent a problem occurring e.g. Don’t worry about meeting the deadline, we’ll work around it.

Work at = to try hard to improve something e.g. I’ve been really working at my Chinese these past months.

Work yourself into something = to make yourself angry/upset e.g. You are working yourself up. I’m sure Peter didn’t mean it like that.

Work off something = to get rid of anger by exercising e.g. I was so angry after the meeting that I went jogging to work it off.

Work off something = to exercise after eating too much e.g. If you eat too much you have to work twice as hard to work it off.

Work out = to exercise e.g. I usually work out four times a week at the gym.

Work on something = to spend time to improve something e.g. I’ve been working on my Chinese for two years now.

Work on someone = to try to influence their opinion or make them do something e.g. They didn’t want to come with us at the weekend but I’m working on them.

Work something out = to do a mathematical calculation e.g. Can you work out how much it is going to cost us?

Work something out = to think carefully about a plan/decision e.g. We need to work out how we are going to drive across Canada

Work someone out = to try to understand their character/behaviour e.g. I haven’t been able to work the new secretary out yet.

Work out = to happen in a particular way e.g. We were planning to spend some time in Delhi but things didn’t work out.

Work itself out = a problem solves itself e.g. You shouldn’t worry too much, things have a way of working out by themselves.

Work through = to work without stopping e.g. In order to meet the deadline we had to work through the night.

Work towards something = to try hard to achieve something e.g. I’m working towards buying a new car.

Work someone up = to make someone upset/worried/excited e.g. Leave him alone. Can’t you see you are working him up?

Work up to something = to gradually reach a particular level e.g. I started off being an elementary student but I’m slowly working up to an intermediate level.