I have one wife, one child, one cat and one dog.
In the IELTS speaking test candidates often mention their families when talking about their homes. Sometimes they do this to justify only having a small home, or maybe they want to explain why they chose to live in a particular area.
But in any situation when you offer information about your family, your listener will make certain assumptions, in particular about numbers, and if the number is one then this is often best communicated without using the word ‘one’. Continue reading
In my place there are many farm animals such as pigs, cows, and goats.
Are you by any chance translating ‘di tempat saya‘?! In English in my place generally means inside my house!
Consider using the following:
- In my hometown there are many farm animals such as pigs, cows, and goats.
- Where I live there are many farm animals such as pigs, cows, and goats.
- In the place where I grew up there are many farm animals such as pigs, cows, and goats.
Sorry, I can’t join you for lunch. I will meet my writing supervisor to discuss my dissertation.
These days this kind of meeting is difficult to re-schedule. Academic staff are increasingly busy and the time allowed for consultation increasingly short. If you try to change the time you may lose the opportunity altogether. This plan is fixed. You may have written it down in a diary. if you only made a mental note then that note is burned into your subconscious. It’s an important meeting. In this case you need:
- Sorry, I can’t join you for lunch. I’m meeting my writing supervisor to discuss my dissertation.
I know, the meeting is due to take place in the future, but when a plan is difficult to change use present continuous tense, especially when you’re excusing yourself from some other offer.
Sorry but I have to go now. I’m teaching a class in 10 minutes!
In my spare time I usually go out with my friends.
This is grammatically correct. However, if you’re talking about something you do regularly or habitually then present simple tense is all you need:
- In my spare time I go out with my friends.
Indonesians will feel a need to translate ‘biasanya’, but in English present simple tense already carries the meaning of usually, and so usually is redundant in a sentence like this.
Only use usually when you want to make a contrast between something you do habitually, and something that you do, or have to do, because of exceptional or unforeseen circumstances:
- In my spare time I usually go out with my friends, but today I have my IELTS interview.
At the weekend I like to spend my time to cook.
There are two problems here. First of all you are unlikely to spend anybody else’s time other than your own, so ‘my’ is redundant. Secondly, ‘spend time’ is much more commonly followed by _ing (gerund):
- At the weekend I like to spend time cooking.
You can also use a preposition phrase to show where you spend time:
- At the weekend I like to spend time in the kitchen.
And you can even combine these two examples:
- At the weekend I like to spend time in the kitchen cooking.
Now spend some time practicing ‘spend time’!