IELTS Grammar: Difference between “Between” and “Among”

A lots of students ask me about the difference between "between" and "among/amongst". You may have noticed that I said students ask me about the difference between the words “between” and “among/amongst.” Many people believe “between” should be used for choices involving two items and “among” for choices that involve more than two items. That can get you to the right answer some of the time, but this is not completely accurate.

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IELTS Writing: attitude towards learning

Many people have a negative attitude towards learning. What are the reasons? What can be done to encourage them to have a positive attitude?

Here is my sample answer:

It might be true that quite a few people, particularly school children today do not have a positive attitude towards studying. In my opinion, emotions like studying anxiety and weariness are the main reasons for this. Teachers should foster and strengthen the predisposition of willingness to learn and ensure that young adults have the right motivation and capacity to learn and continue learning throughout life.

High levels of anxiety in the classroom have adverse effects that can lead to students avoiding work and learning things only at a surface level. Take mathematics as an example, many school children, whose grades are not up to standard, feel it might be difficult to catch up, because there is a perception that maths is one of the more difficult subjects to conquer, especially when their academic performances have already fallen behind others. There is a tendency of students with the higher marks to gradually develop a sense of superiority towards those with lower grades, whilst the latter may feel discouraged. As a result, these emotions have detrimental effects on students’ performance giving rise to negative attitude towards learning.

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IELTS Writing: Short sentences

Long sentences

Some IELTS students believe they have to write like David Foster Wallace, with long, flowing sentences with different clauses and conjunctions, as they think this proves to an examiner that they have the language skills to write complex sentences, thus achieving a higher Band Score.

Now breathe. That was hard work. You may also have found it difficult to understand and follow.

There is nothing wrong with long sentences but you don't want to make it hard for the IELTS examiner to understand your writing.

Short sentences

I recommend that you keep sentences short. You can achieve a high IELTS Band Score for both writing sections with short, effective sentences. You can still link and add extra information. You just need to use full stops instead of conjunctions such as 'and'.

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IELTS Writing: Household duties

Here is an IELTS Writing Task2 question about household tasks, and below is an sample answer.

In many countries, women and men both work full-time. It is logical for men and women to share household tasks equally. (e.g. cleaning and looking after children) To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Sample answer:
Full time work is an economic reality for both men and women in many countries and it is understandable that two people in a relationship should share the duties at home. I agree with the concept of sharing; however the meaning of equality in a relationship is a relative concept.

With regards to the choice of tasks, there are preferences, for instance men would prefer or are assumed to be well versed with more manual tasks, taking into account the physicality associated with the chores, such as plumbing and anything electrical. Whereas women are assumed to be better at tasks involving cleaning and childcare. I do agree in the sharing of household duties amongst the people in a relationship. It would be important to note when it comes to the division of labor within the household there is a certain degree of socio cultural programming that affects the decisions we make.

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