Giving a challenge for human workers to involve in controlling machines is a good idea.
Involve as adjective
You got the preposition right, but the wrong form of ‘involve’. This is nearly always constructed as an ‘ed’ adjective phrase:
- Giving a challenge for human workers to be involved in controlling machines is a good idea.
‘Get’ also collocates strongly with ‘involved in’, as does the more formal ‘become’:
- Giving a challenge for human workers to get/become involved in controlling machines is a good idea.
It’s not always necessary to mention the activity that someone is involved in:
For Indonesians there are easy translations for involved as adjective:
- involved – terlibat
- (to be) involved in – terlibat dalam
Involve as a verb
If you want to use involve as a verb, usually there is an indirect object:
- I rarely involve myself in politics.
Again, for Indonesians there is an easy translation.
- to involve + someone + in + something – melibatkan … dalam …
Several audiences left before the film finished.
Audience is indeed countable but it is a ‘collective’ noun, and so an (=1) audience can comprise many people. If you want to focus on a subgroup of an audience then it is common to refer to these people as ‘members of an audience’: Continue reading
In the 100m running the winner was Usain Bolt. The second winner was Justin Gatlin.
The Olympics in Rio produced many winners, but…
In the 100m running the winner was Usain Bolt. Justin Gatlin came second.
We can also say:
- Justin Gatlin was second.
- Justin Gatlin finished second.
However, we cannot say:
- Justin Gatlin was second winner. ( ‘Juara dua’!)
Unfortunately in a particular competition there can only be one winner. In this particular case the winner was Bolt.
I am a staff at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Although you will occasionally find an example of staff as a countable noun, it is extremely rare.
Used as an uncountable noun, staff refers to people who work for a particular organisation: Continue reading
The table shows the percentage of money that allocated by people in different countries for different reasons in 2002.
Here an Indonesian student has made a noun phrase based on ‘yang di alokasikan‘. A grammar error has affected her IELTS score, but this could have been avoided using more sophisticated – and easy-to-learn – vocabulary.
- The table shows the percentage of money that was allocated by people in different countries for different reasons in 2002.
Here I added ‘to be‘ before the V3 to produce a correct passive. However, a native speaker would probably choose more sophisticated vocabulary:
- The table shows the percentage of money allocated by people in different countries for different reasons in 2002.
Here, instead of the ugly passive structure, which Indonesians always get wrong, I made a nominal group that contains the following elements all joined together:
- the percentage..
- of money (preposition phrase)
- allocated by people (V3 phrase)
- in different countries (preposition phrase)
- for different reasons (preposition phrase)
- in 2012 (preposition phrase)
Other elements are possible in nominal groups, but these are common. I will come back to nominal groups in future posts (for example here) as problems experienced by my current class arise.
Note that there is no ‘that’ in the V3 phrase (Indonesian ‘yang’). And BTW ‘V3 phrase’ is not its official name, but it’s much easier to remember than the official name (which I will keep secret for now..).
Customer: Hi. I’ve come to collect one of the free iPhones.
Shopkeeper: Sorry, we told you to come on Tuesday. Today is Thursday. The phones are all taken!
Indonesians (and maybe you, too?) find it difficult to hear the difference between ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Thursday’ as spoken by native speakers. That’s because Indonesians do not say these words very well, and if you cannot say it clearly then you cannot hear it clearly.
‘Tuesday’ is easy
‘Choose’ + ‘Day’ = Chooseday = Tuesday
‘Thursday’ is more challenging
Try saying ‘Sir’, but change the ‘s’ sound by pressing your tongue against the back of your upper teeth. Keep your tongue pressed against your teeth and just try to blow air between your tongue and your teeth. Keep your tongue in position so that it almost – but not quite – stops the air from getting out.
As you blow air past your teeth, try not to make any sound in your throat, like when the doctor asks you to say ‘Aaaaaaaaa’. Don’t do that – just blow!
You should be able to blow out for several seconds, and so you should be able to make a ‘th’ sound for several seconds.
Now add ‘Th’ to ‘Sir’, substituting ‘Th’ for ‘S’ (= ‘Thir!’). And then, as you say ‘ir’, you can add sound in your throat:
‘Th…….’ (lots of breath, no throat sound)… + ‘ir’ (less breath, added throat sound )…
Finally you can complete the word with ‘..sday’:
‘Th……….’ + ‘ir…..’ + ‘sday’
Now listen to two students and a teacher pronouncing the words Tuesday and Thursday!
I know that reading is important, but Indonesian people are lazy to read.
This is an almost direct translation of “malas baca“, right?
In most English speaking countries, people who read are usually educated and interested in the world, and these are seen as positive characteristics. Meanwhile laziness is thought to be a very negative characteristic. Nobody in an English speaking country would openly admit to being ‘lazy to read‘ – they would feel too embarrassed.
In any case ‘lazy to + V1’ is bad collocation. In a situation when laziness is more appropriate, the native English speaker might say:
- I can’t be bothered to go jogging this morning. Anyway it’s raining.
If you are ready to admit your laziness when it comes to reading, then you might say:
- I know that reading is important, but Indonesian people can’t be bothered to read.
But I urge you to think again about reading. It’s an essential skill in IELTS and in university. Practice it and it will become easier and more enjoyable!
My friends advised me change my performance, so I went to the salon, bought some new clothes and smart shoes. My friends agree that my performance is much better now.
This looks like an Indonesian student trying to translate ‘penampilan‘!
Before a clown goes on stage, he must first of all change his appearance. This usually involves changing clothes and applying makeup. When he goes on stage, the audience will laugh at the clown because he looks funny.
When the clown is on stage, the audience might also laugh at the clown because of his performance. For example he might walk in a funny way, or he might do funny things, like throw custard pies at people.
Notice also that appearance and performance have different meanings in their countable and uncountable forms:
- appearance uncountable: clothing, makeup, grooming, etc.
- appearance countable: Let’s say the clown goes on stage in London tonight, and in Jakarta tomorrow night. That’s two appearances.
- performance uncountable: This is usually for machines, in particular cars. A high-performance car, for example a Ferrari, can move very fast.
- performance countable: Let’s say the clown goes on stage in London tonight, and in Jakarta tomorrow night. That’s two performances.
You can see that in their countable forms, appearance and performance generally have the same meaning. However, you need to be careful with the uncountable forms of appearance and performance!
Indonesians usually write performance when they mean appearance.
I’ll give you a text that features these different meanings. For each example, can you guess which meaning I’m using?
Clowns are not usually interested in the performance (1) of cars because that’s not funny. Instead they ride unicycles as part of their on-stage performances (2). They also change their physical appearance (3) before they go on stage to make sure they look funny. A travelling clown makes up to 100 appearances (4) a year in different locations.
Yes, I like my job because it matches my education.
In IELTS you will often be required to express opinions about topics that you may not have thought about very deeply or discussed in daily conversation with friends. Not only do you have to give opinions, you also have to give reasoned support for these opinions.
The opening statement can be expressed:
Claim: I like my job.
Support: My job matches my education.
Fine. But let’s say you studied chemistry at university and you now work as a chemist. Then you could say:
- I like working as a chemist because I studied chemistry at university.
- I studied chemistry at university because I wanted to work as a chemist.
But then it is possible to say:
- I enjoy working as a chemist because I studied chemistry at university because I wanted to be a chemist because I was studying chemistry because I wanted to be a chemist.
This is known as a circular argument. You say you like your job, and since you chose to study chemistry, we assume that you like that, too. So we still don’t know why you like chemistry (your job)! You might as well say “I like it because I like it!”
There are much better reasons why a person might like their job:
- the job pays a good salary
- the job involves travelling (which you enjoy)
- the job involves meeting interesting people
- the job presents opportunities for career development
- the workplace is situated conveniently close to your home
- (other reasons here)
So, when you’re preparing for IELTS, think – more deeply than usual – about the things you like (or don’t like). And then think about why you like (or don’t like) them.
Let’s practice right now. Here is a list of things people either like or don’t like. Choose one item and add a comment below, saying why you either like or don’t like the item. Try to give two reasons, and avoid those circular arguments!
- listening to music
- preparing for IELTS
Sports don’t have to be risky with the use of proper equipments.
An example from the real world, rather than from the classroom.
This one’s courtesy of ACE Hardware!
Equipment is uncountable!
You’re not the only ones, guys! 🙂