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IELTS Preparation

Teacher Joe is a former IELTS Examiner who has helped thousands of students prepare successfully. Read these pages carefully, practice hard, and you will succeed too!
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IELTS Speaking Exercise:
General to Specific

A useful skill for IELTS speaking AND writing

Students often say or write sentences that are too simple such as:

  • This is important.
  • My hometown is very good.
  • I like to eat pizza.
  • I will go to another country.

    These sentences are okay if you want to be Band 4 or Band 5. However, these will be much better IF some explanation comes after. For example, instead of saying "This is important", you should explain WHY it is important:

  • "This job is very important for our company. (a very general sentence)
  • If we can sell over 10,000 of these items, we will have earn enough money to build a new factory." (a very specific sentence!)

    Now let's look at the other three examples. Instead of "My hometown is very good", could say:

  • My hometown is a very nice city in Shandong Province. (rather general)
  • Because it is between the sea and the mountains, there are many beautiful places to visit. (Very specific.)

    Instead of saying "I like to eat pizza", you could say:

  • Pizza is my favorite food in the whole world. (general)
  • I not only love the cheese, but the bread, tomato sauce with meat and vegetables on top make pizza a complete meal! (specific)

    Finally, instead of saying "I will go to another country", you should say something like this:

  • I hope to go to New Zealand to study in the future. (general)
  • If I can arrange the visa and a job, I will work in the sheep herding industry where I will have a peaceful and enjoyable life in the mountains, away from the crowds and the pollution! (specific)

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