In a more recent practice activity the focus is on sustainable development and how that relates to the envirnoment. Meanwhile if you’re not sure about how to use articles in English (a, an, the), read this first, and then try the activity below!
In addition to the instruction given, if no article is suitable then don’t make a selection. Good luck! Continue reading →
Cities offer larger salaries to people rather than small towns.
Here the comparison is between ‘salaries’ and ‘small towns’. The writer is saying that cities offer people large salaries and do not offer them small towns. Hmm. I would be quite happy if someone gave me a small town!
If we want to compare the salaries offered by cities with the salaries offered by small towns, then we need:
Cities offer larger salaries compared to small towns. (= salaries in cities vs. salaries in small towns)
And if you really must use rather than, then you could also write:
Cities offer larger salaries rather than smaller salaries. (= larger salaries vs. smaller salaries)
Most of the timeinstead of is synonymous with rather than:
Cities offer larger salaries instead of smaller salaries.
However, instead of is quite often a replacement for something that came before:
City companies now use electronic transfer instead of cash payment for salaries.
Next time make sure you’re comparing what you mean to compare!
Recently I was telling students that for certain statistics, generic labels like number and amount might not be suitable, for example when you’re writing about employment. Then today I saw this up-beat news item from the BBC, which contains some nice examples of ’employment speak’! Continue reading →
Common people watch television every night for six hours.
I don’t think the writer intended to be so negative, or worse – insulting! Let’s explore the meaning of common, first of all by looking inside an opera house.
Some seats in opera houses have always been more expensive than others. The cheapest seats are in ‘The Stalls’ or in ‘The Gods’, because in these areas the view of the stage is limited. Wealthier people can afford to pay for a private ‘box’, and they get a better view. The best view, meanwhile, is from the ‘Royal Box’. Continue reading →