Lack of ‘lack’

A new song focusing on the word ‘lack’, which can often be mistaken with ‘lack of’. The rule for deciding which to use is in the chorus of the song, so listen carefully and choose the correct item – ‘lack’, or ‘lack of’! (Scroll down for lyrics and gapfill!)

Song performed by an amazing group of AAS scholarship awardees: Andi, Velo, Rapta, Roy, Ade, Novi, Septia, Susan, Vita!


Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand

Lack of ‘lack’

I this, I that.
I don’t even have a cat.
I money. It ain’t funny.
I can’t even put food in my tummy.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I tact. It’s a fact.
It’s the reason I got sacked.
A work, everywhere I lurk.
All my friends now think I’m a jerk.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I vision, I can’t make a decision.
You know I’m better off being in prison.
A grammar, is worse than a stammer,
For a man who can’t use a hammer.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I taste, even in toothpaste,
Buying nice things is a waste.
I friends, coz I don’t follow trends,
So I’m stuck at home at the weekends.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’, ‘lack of’, ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

When present simple is too simple

Bali’s unique culture and traditions lead to an enormous increase in tourism. As a result, the number of job opportunities grows significantly.

This is grammatically correct, but the choice of present simple tense has – I think – resulted in meanings quite different from those intended by the writer. Continue reading

Time around now

Now I am planning to take my masters degree in public health. I prepare for all requirements especially IELTS. I am studying English so that I can improve my skills and can be accepted by an Australia university.

Occasionally it’s difficult to decide between present simple and present continuous tense, even when using a straightforward time expression like now. There are several possibilities: Continue reading

Description(s)

The first paragraph is mostly argument but it also contains some descriptions.

Yet another word that has slightly different meanings in its countable and uncountable forms. I can’t remember ever seeing it causing grammar problems, but as in the above example, the wrong form may be inappropriate in certain situations. Let’s first of all examine correct usage. Continue reading

The advance of advanced technology

With the advanced of technology, millennials are finding it easier to make friends.

Indonesian flag I’m not sure why Indonesian IELTS candidates write ‘advanced’ (with ‘ed’) in this phrase. It’s possibly their confusing it with advanced technology.

Before you use these words (advance, technology) in the same sentence, decide whether you want to focus on the technology or on the advance! Continue reading

Training or trainings?

This problem can be overcome through government policies that improve access to education and trainings.

Indonesian flag This is one of the rare occasions when low-band Indonesian IELTS candidates add ‘s’ to a word!

Admittedly you will occasionally see training as a countable noun, but the uncountable form is far more common. Think of training (uncountable) as a synonym for education (aslo uncountable). Continue reading