It is important to test products on animals before releasing them commercially to markets.
The problem here is that there are two kinds of market – physical and virtual – and in this example, markets (plural) suggests more than one physical market, while releasing them commercially suggests more than one virtual market. Let’s take a look at some examples.
- The crowd around the market were given free water.
- The town centre markets were also discussed briefly.
- A big favourite at local farmers’ markets.
These are the places you go early in the morning to buy cheap vegetables. Often this kind of market is outdoor:
If it’s an indoor market then it’s usually inside a large hall:
The featured image for this post shows people buying and selling things on the virtual market. They’re not buying anything inside that building, rather they are investing in things that are located elsewhere so that they can hopefully receive some of the profits from the sale of those things.
A particular virtual market or set of virtual markets may be mentioned explicitly:
- Funding costs rose amid renewed volatility in financial markets.
Sometimes more than one virtual market is implied:
- New products are constantly appearing on the market. (different products sold in different locations)
And sometimes a specific virtual market is implied but not mentioned explicitly:
- The property hit the market last week. (= the housing market)
Market(s) and collocation
If the name of a virtual market is not given, certain phrases can suggest that you’re talking about a virtual rather than a physical market.
- We put our house on the market last week.
- Anybody from anywhere can buy our house!
- The 1990 model is no longer on the market.
- It’s no longer available anywhere.
- The property hit the market last week.
- The property did not physically ‘hit’ a physical market building, rather it became available for purchase.
If it’s on the market (one or more virtual markets), it’s not at the market (a single physical market).
Our opening example implies a set of virtual markets that are not explicitly mentioned, and so we need:
- It is important to test products on animals before releasing them commercially to the market.
- More than one virtual market is implied (e.g. cosmetics, medicines, food products) but not mentioned explicitly!
Every people can access their own social media account with the touch of a finger.
This is partly forgivable. We know that millions of people (= millions of fingers) use social media, and this writer is making a statement that applies to all of these people. However, there is some faulty grammar: Continue reading
Social media may grow up rapidly in the future.
This is a kind of understandable error. Students have seen or heard ‘grow up’ and they assume that absolutely anything can ‘grow up’.
However, only children grow up: Continue reading
Online news can spread out quickly because most people these days have smartphones.
OK so first of all if something spreads, it’s difficult to ‘unspread’ it: Continue reading
News from online media is easy to be found.
With easy and difficult you need active verbs:
- News from online media is easy to find.
- It is more difficult to find news from traditional sources.
..and with a different verb:
- News online still has a negative side because it is not always easy to be verified.
- News online still has a negative side because it is not always easy to verify.
So, that was easy to fix! (NOT ‘to be fixed’!)
Technology is very useful for people’s life.
This common error made by Indonesian students is easy to avoid if we appreciate that the last three words are actually redundant. Let me explain… Continue reading
Technology makes people rely themselves on instruments.
In this sentence, themselves is described by grammarians as a ‘reflexive pronoun’. Reflexive pronouns are used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject. For example: Continue reading
Mobile phones are completed by advanced features.
OK let’s look at some examples of ‘completed by’:
- The questionnaires are completed by women aged 15–49.
- A complete site overhaul was completed by our editorial staff.
- The detailed project report has been completed by the consultants.
In all three examples we have to be + completed by + agent (the person doing the completing). In our opening example that would make ‘advanced features’ the agent, which is of course impossible. Continue reading
A song that demonstrates verb noun collocations relating to using, wearing and carrying all kinds of things!
Why not try the gapfill activity before listening? (See lyrics below..) Continue reading
When demand is low, prices usually fall down.
This is a common error when describing trends in graphs in IELTS task 1 writing. It makes sense, intuitively – if something ‘falls’ then it falls down and not up! However, ‘fall’ and ‘fall down’ can have quite different meanings depending on the context.
Take a look at these examples.
- Real incomes actually fell in many places.
- The deer fell immediately and never moved again.
- The squad fired and both men fell.
- Just about anything or anyone can fall, either accidentally or predictably. This is a good word to use when describing trends in IELTS Task 1 Writing! In fact, this is what we need with our opening example:
- When demand is low, prices usually fall.
- He fell down from his horse and died immediately.
- It’s better to wear a belt so that your trousers don’t fall down.
- Both of these examples highlight ‘accidents’ in which someone or something falls down from a higher position to a lower position.
- Houses rocked and cracked; furniture fell over.
- I actually fell over the bed when entering the room.
- These are also ‘accidents’, but this time a person or thing falls over from its normal standing position into an abnormal position on the floor or on the ground.