IELTS often requires us to talk about money and how we spend it, so here’s a song illustrating some common collocations. Lyrics are embedded in the video.
Bahasa Indonesia often features with after certain verbs where it would not be used in English. In English the opening example would simply read:
It could be argued that a patient who doubts with modern medicines will take longer to heal.
- It could be argued that a patient who doubts modern medicines will take longer to heal.
Other examples of the redundant with include:
- In addition, patients do not fully believe with the capability of the doctor.
- I like with dangdut music.
- Please promise with your mother that you will meet her after work.
So that’s four verbs – doubt, believe, like, promise – that are not followed by with in English, but are followed by with in at least one other language. I’ll add more examples when I think of them. Meanwhile, if you can think of any other examples, please add comments below.
I will tag this post with the Indonesian word dengan – please come back another time and see if the list has grown!
Here an Indonesian student has used if as a relative pronoun. This is allowed in Bahasa Indonesia, at least after the verb ‘believe’, but it is not allowed in English.
Old people believe if traditional medicines are more effective for long-standing health complaints than contemporary ones.
Instead you need:
- Old people believe that traditional medicines are more effective for long-standing health complaints than contemporary ones.
- The word ‘relative’ made me think of Einstein, and that’s why he appears on this post’s featured image.
- Since there is a cultural note for ‘relative’ then I suppose we ought to include one for ‘if’. How about this inspirational poem by Rudyard Kipling?
Most patients think hard about the best way to recover their health and to accelerate the healing process.
This verb noun collocation – recover health – is very weak. Let’s take a look at the two words separately.
Recover + noun
The strongest collocation for recover + noun seems to be associated with money:
- Apple invested heavily in the iPhone but soon recovered their research and development costs.
- Fraud victims find it difficult to recover their money.
- The state’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund (CPAF) can help victims, who have filed complaints with our office, recover their losses.
Verb + health
Meanwhile, verb + health gives us:
- Most people make an effort to improve their health.
- regular exercise and a balanced diet can help to maintain good health.
- I’m quite concerned about my uncle’s health.
Recover (no object)
In the context of health, recover is usually intransitive:
- I hope your uncle recovers quickly.
- If you take this medicine you will recover in a few days.
- You had a bad fall. You need some time to recover.
Returning to our opening example, either of the following are possible:
- Most patients think hard about the best way to recover and to accelerate the healing process.
- Most patients think hard about the best way to improve their health and to accelerate the healing process.
Zoos have evolved to prioritise research that benefits for animals.
This error might happen because students have seen (1) the adjective phrase beneficial for, or (2) the noun benefits followed by the preposition for: Continue reading
Animals that are used to perform are easy to get tired.
If we reduce this to its most basic grammar, we get:
- Animals are easy.
Obviously that’s not what the writer intended. Maybe we should look at some examples!
- My answer was pretty easy to understand.
= My answer was easy.
- The daily instructions are very easy to follow.
= The daily instructions are easy.
- The game is really pretty easy to play.
= The game is easy.
Now contrast the previous examples with the following.
- Generally it is easier for men to handle horses.
= Handling horses is easy (NOT men are easy!)
- It is easy for smartphone users to use QR codes.
= Using QR codes is easy (NOT smartphone users are easy!)
- It is easy for people to misunderstand religious language and ritual.
= Misunderstanding is easy (NOT people are easy!)
It is easy for us to correct our opening example if we begin “It is easy for.!”
- It is easy for animals that are used to perform to get tired.
[it is easy/difficult for + noun + to + v1]
An alternative improvement would be to use an adverb:
- Animals that are used to perform get tired easily.
..and for a higher IELTS score, avoid ‘get’ by using the verb form of ‘tired’:
- Animals that are used to perform tire easily.
If you’re studying in Australia you should make an effort to see the amazing Circus OZ – an animal-free circus!
Is this a good way for students to prepare their new academic environments?
- I’m preparing dinner.
(You’re mixing ingredients, boiling, baking, frying, etc.)
- I’m preparing for dinner.
(You’re washing your hands. You’re going to eat very soon.)
A baby prepares for dinner while
his mother prepares dinner!
- I’m preparing an exam.
(You’re writing the questions that someone will answer when they sit the exam.)
- I’m preparing for an exam.
(You’re reading and thinking about questions that might be included in an exam that you are about to take.)
These men prepared a disaster.
They made the first atom bomb!
Some people prepare for disaster.
Returning to our opening example, you probably need:
- Is this a good way for students to prepare for their new academic environments?
If students are preparing their academic environments, they’re already there – possibly they’re busy arranging furniture in their accommodation, putting books on shelves, etc. If they’re preparing for their new environments, they’re not there yet because they’re not yet ready – possibly they need to study more first, pass exams, save money, etc.
Indonesians tend to translate selama as during, but then they run into this grammatical error.
At the same time parents spend lots of money on their children because they consider traveling costs and additional expenses during their children take their gap year.
In English, during requires the following grammar:
- ..parents spend lots of money on their children because they consider traveling costs and additional expenses during their children’s gap year.
[signal + noun (period of time)]
- ..parents spend lots of money on their children because they consider traveling costs and additional expenses while their children take their gap year.
[signal + sentence]
Taking a gap year gives certain advantages to young people before attending colleges.
Yet another of those dreaded words that have slightly different meanings in their countable and uncountable forms.
1. College, countable
If you attend colleges, then..
- you attend more than one college in more than one location, either sequentially or at the same time.
- possibly you keep changing your mind about what you want to study?
- possibly you are never satisfied with the college you happen to be attending?
- possibly you are super human!
2. College, uncountable
If you attend college, then..
- you are enrolled on a course of study.
- your course lasts for a fixed period of time.
- you probably study on the same campus every day.
- when you finish your course, you hope to receive some kind of qualification.
Perhaps it’s best to think of attend college, or go to college as phrasal verbs that carry all of these meanings. All of the above also applies to the word ‘university’.
Since young people want to be considered independent humans. They try to prove their ability for themselves and other people as well.
This student is experimenting with alternatives for because but has found herself in hot water. There are two possible improvements:
- Since young people want to be considered independent humans, they try to prove their ability for themselves and other people as well.
[since + cause sentence + comma + effect sentence]
- Young people try to prove their ability for themselves and other people as well, since they want to be considered independent humans.
[effect sentence + comma + since + cause sentence]
In both of these examples, since is indeed an exact synonym for because, and so is as. However, as and since are more likely to appear at the beginning of a sentence, whereas because is more common after a comma:
|after comma||beginning of sentence||beginning of sentence|
Returning to our opening example, we could also get rid of the word humans since it is clear we’re not talking about aliens or rocks:
- Since young people want to be considered independent, they try to prove their ability for themselves and other people as well.