Lack of ‘lack’

A new song focusing on the word ‘lack’, which can often be mistaken with ‘lack of’. The rule for deciding which to use is in the chorus of the song, so listen carefully and choose the correct item – ‘lack’, or ‘lack of’! (Scroll down for lyrics and gapfill!)

Song performed by an amazing group of AAS scholarship awardees: Andi, Velo, Rapta, Roy, Ade, Novi, Septia, Susan, Vita!


Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand

Lack of ‘lack’

I this, I that.
I don’t even have a cat.
I money. It ain’t funny.
I can’t even put food in my tummy.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I tact. It’s a fact.
It’s the reason I got sacked.
A work, everywhere I lurk.
All my friends now think I’m a jerk.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I vision, I can’t make a decision.
You know I’m better off being in prison.
A grammar, is worse than a stammer,
For a man who can’t use a hammer.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

I taste, even in toothpaste,
Buying nice things is a waste.
I friends, coz I don’t follow trends,
So I’m stuck at home at the weekends.

Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
Whenever ‘lack’ is a verb, you need only one word
But if lack is a noun you need ‘lack of’, ‘lack of’, ‘lack of’ (‘lack of lack’)

Description(s)

The first paragraph is mostly argument but it also contains some descriptions.

Yet another word that has slightly different meanings in its countable and uncountable forms. I can’t remember ever seeing it causing grammar problems, but as in the above example, the wrong form may be inappropriate in certain situations. Let’s first of all examine correct usage. Continue reading

The advance of advanced technology

With the advanced of technology, millennials are finding it easier to make friends.

Indonesian flag I’m not sure why Indonesian IELTS candidates write ‘advanced’ (with ‘ed’) in this phrase. It’s possibly their confusing it with advanced technology.

Before you use these words (advance, technology) in the same sentence, decide whether you want to focus on the technology or on the advance! Continue reading

Training or trainings?

This problem can be overcome through government policies that improve access to education and trainings.

Indonesian flag This is one of the rare occasions when low-band Indonesian IELTS candidates add ‘s’ to a word!

Admittedly you will occasionally see training as a countable noun, but the uncountable form is far more common. Think of training (uncountable) as a synonym for education (aslo uncountable). 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