Phonemic Chart

Click phonemes to hear examples!

ɪ
ʊ
e
ə
ɜː
ɔː
æ
ʌ
ɒ
ɪə
ʊə
ɔɪ
əʊ
p
b
t
d
k
g
f
v
θ
ð
s
z
ʃ
ʒ
m
n
ŋ
h
l
r
w
j

To practice identifying phonemes in words, try these minimal pair exercises:

ɪ | i: e | æ e | eɪ s | ʃ

Starting with started from

Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan, started from establishing mission objectives, undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and formulating plans.

In this sentence the first comma splits the sentence into two halves: Continue reading

The workplace

Modern technology is becoming more common both at home and in workplaces.

the workplace (uncountable!)

When you use the workplace (uncountable) you’re talking about the abstract idea of the workplace as a feature of people’s lives along with school and the home. In addition, you’re usually talking about one or more of the following: Continue reading

A critique of ‘critic’

Many teachers believe that smartphones should not be allowed in class because they distract students and do not help them to develop learning skills. However these critics are wrong, for the following reasons.

Critic is one of those words that has several forms, some of which have been borrowed by other languages and some of which have not. Consequently there is potential for word form error when critic is used by non-native speakers.
Indonesian flag Indonesians often use critic when they mean criticism! Continue reading

Describing transformational change(s)

The farmland was transformed become residential areas.

I have written elsewhere about how Indonesian IELTS candidates often use become to talk about a constant, where in English it is only ever used to describe a change. However, although become is used to describe a change, we would not use become AND transform together. Continue reading

Chicken because egg because chicken

Earth hour can have a significant impact on our planet. Because much can be achieved when people work together towards a shared goal.

I’ve posted about because before – here, here, and here. It’s such a common word and so you should make a special effort to use it correctly. Incorrect use can have a negative effect on your IELTS speaking and writing scores! Continue reading